Some Green Enters the Scene

After several weeks of looking at little trays of compost there’s now some tiny bits of green making their way into the sunlight.

Pisum sativum 'Bijou'

The Pisum sativum ‘Bijou’ were actually the ones I was least expecting to survive the early planting – I had thought mangetout might struggle a little in the cold but I’ve been proven wrong.  This isn’t a particularly early variety but, if I can keep them from getting too much frost, should mean that they have time to produce their spectacularly large pods before viva day.  ‘Bijou’ is a lovely sweet variety – despite the pods being a good 18cm long, this monster mangetout can be eaten straight from the plant.

The next round of seeds also went in on Monday:

Mixed seeds

Some of them are resown seeds – Lathyrus odorata ‘Midnight’ and ‘White Supreme’ have gone in, this time to root trainers, as I have a sneaky suspicion the ones in pots have rotted – unfortunately but not entirely unexpected with the cold, damp weather. I also am trying Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Majesty’ (purple millet) surface sown in root trainers as it doesn’t like root disturbance too much.  The last tray is of Tropaeolum majus ‘Princess of India’ – the deep orange and dark leaved nasturtium.

The Pennisetum is currently nestled into a warm spot in one of the glasshouses, and both the Tropaeolum and Lathyrus have gone into the cooler environs of the polytunnel at the Edible Garden Project as neither needs heat to germinate.

The Plantsmanship student tables are starting to fill up:

Polytunnel

If the weather stays a little warmer, as it has been this week, I may even start planting outside relatively soon – I have another row of broad beans (Vicia faba ‘Aquadulce’), and peas (Pisum sativum ‘Bijou’) to plant and I’d like to sow them directly outdoors to compare with the pot grown indoors plants.

Storm A-brewing

Not much to report this week in the face of the ferociously unpredictable weather – it’s nice then not, windy then snowy.  Typical Scottish weather, really.  However, I have one more addition to the polytunnel seed crew – some pansies! Viola x wittrockiana ‘Padparadja’ and ‘Black Moon’.  ‘Padparadja’ is a deep, bright fully orange-faced pansy and ‘Black Moon’ a similarly single-toned black, picked to represent the black, and orange-red of the theme in the small edging-plant arena.

Viola xwittrockiana seeds planted

Viola xwittrockiana

I wasn’t alone in the potting shed this time, however – it was a really nice day last Friday and there was a really nice busy atmosphere of sowing, planting and general horticulturalness, followed by the busy rustling of plenty of warm fleece coverings for the newly planted seeds due to the weekend’s bad weather reports – very glad we did, now!

Another small change I made to my plot was to exchange my old bits-and-pieces of plastic for a single sheet.  Whilst they had done a decent job of weed suppression  the fortnightly dash to capture and tie them all down again was getting a bit tedious.  It’s also rather more aesthetically pleasing (as much as black plastic can be…) to have one large sheet rather than a mosaic.

A visit to the polytunnel mid-week confirms the non-existence of anything sprouting just yet but it’s still early days for most of the seed.