Garden 101 Blog

A week in the garden: 21 February 2021

Time to give you an update, I suppose.

This week, I have mostly been planting seeds. At the end of January, the seed planting for 2021 began. The plan was drawn up in the sense of timings, not space, of which there will almost certainly not be enough (of course). I never learn and don’t want to!

Germination started pleasingly quickly!

On the last weekend in January, I planted three types of sweetpeas, the first of the Atlas carrots (which I’m trying to plant in succession), some lemongrass and salvia. They were all planted in little windowsill propagators – just cheap ones from Amazon – and put in our sunniest window, which only really gets the sun in the afternoon. It’s just above a radiator though, which I hope will help. Lots of people soak their sweetpea seeds, but I didn’t bother.

Within a week, everything had shown signs of germinating, and a few days after that I had to start taking the propagator lids off to accommodate the sweetpeas. I have to say that only about half the sweetpeas germinated, but that’s not a crisis this early in the year! They are also a little bit leggy, because they’re not really getting enough sunlight, but I’m hoping it’ll all work out.

Today I planted those sweetpeas out into slightly bigger pot and planted my next round of seeds:

  • More sweetpeas – I’m a bit concerned that some of the seeds of one variety looked a little mouldy, which would explain the low germination rate, but let’s see
  • More Atlas carrots – I’m planting 10 each month for succession
  • Chard – five colours – I’ve never grown this before and was delighted that the seeds look like little popcorns!
  • Chillis – Harbanero Magnum, Hungarian Black and Prairie Fire
  • Leeks – Chef’s White and Sprintan; I’m also going to try succession planting with these
  • Wild strawberries – we have a few other types of strawberry, so looking forward to trying these
  • Spring onions – red ones!
  • Tomatoes – Chocolate Cherry, Currant Red, Reisetomate and San Marzano. I struggled to narrow down the list of tomatoes this year, so there are at least two more varieties to be planed in March
  • Asters, Foxgloves and Lavender, which I’m really playing the long game with these
The number system is so I can remember what I’ve planted where!

All of these are in their windowsill propagators at the moment, but I have a new polytunnel/greenhouse thingy coming this week (an excellent birthday present), so hopefully in March it will be warm enough to start putting things outside.

I also pruned the roses today, so I’m full of splinters and scratches. Hopefully, I’ll see those coming back with health and vigour this year. I’m keeping an eye on them as last year we got a bit of blackspot, so I’ll spray them with something natural from the Green Gardener at the first sign of spotty leaves. Quite a hard prune from my point of view, but Googling suggested that it was actually a moderate pruning.

Today has been the first day of good weather. This time last week, everything was covered in a few inches of snow and somewhere in England got down to -23 degrees, but today in Essex it was 15 degrees and I was out working in my t-shirt. My last post about winter leaving was definitely pre-emptive! The hellebore has flowered though and I love the colour of it, but it just never looks that happy to be there. Maybe this year will finally be the year of the hellebore. I can’t tell you how excited I am for spring, as I’m sure everyone is after the monster winter we’ve just had. Be gone foul Vitamin D deficiency!

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