The Greenhouse Year – February
It was a bit too grey, cold and windy to do much in the garden yesterday so I spent a couple of hours tidying up the greenhouse. I have sown, pricked out and potted up. You can see my broad beans are beginning to germinate and I have also pricked out some eranthis seedlings though these will be going out to the cold frame in the next couple of days before the greenhouse gets too hot for these early spring gems. I have also potted up some small passionflower plants I had in the hope that they will really grow this year and fill the greenhouse with flowers. I still need to pot up my two Callistemon plants which are looking a little pot bound, I am very proud of them as I managed to get them to grow from seed a couple of years ago and it isn’t that easy to get the seeds to germinate.
I’ve sown some tomatoes. It may be too early I don’t know but we shall see. This is just phase 1 of the sowing extravaganza I have planned this year, I am ignoring the fact that I have to prick them all out. There has been some dithering about whether to set up the propagator tray or/and the heated tray. I decided in the end at this stage to go for the long narrow propagator as I learnt last year that many seeds don’t benefit from bottom heat and in fact it can have a detrimental affect on the seeds. I will get the heated tray out in a few weeks when I am sowing more tender annuals and perennials. In case you are wondering in the various trays above are: sweet peas, cauliflower, artichokes, tomatoes, chilli, petunia, acquilega, dahlia and sainfoin. The acquilega have been sitting outside for about a month so they have had a good freezing and hopefully this will aid germination.
Lurking below is a tray of cyclamen persicum which I germinated last year. No flowers this year but hopefully by next winter they will have bulked up enough to give me some winter colour in the house. You can also see some of my succulents over the back.
My Aloe is just ridiculous now and I really don’t know what to do with it. As you can see it is growing sideways, it has been doing this for sometime well before it push put under the seed trays. There are lots of baby aloes which I can remove and I already have others in the house. There is part of me that thinks I should collect some of the babies and throw the plant but I hesitate as it flowers and the flowers are quite attractive so I feel a little cruel throwing such a healthy plant just because it is cumbersome. Oh and you can see a solitary holly cutting in a large pot – sadly the others didn’t take and I need to pot up the one left. The tall leaved plants at the back are Watsonia which have really benefited from this winter in the greenhouse hiding under the bench. The leaves have filled out and are a better green. I am hoping they might flower soon especially as I grew them from seed about 2 years ago.
I have to confess to neglecting my Melianthus major. I noticed the other day on looking out of the kitchen window that the leaves were drooping and looking very brittle. Panic watering followed but the real problem was that the plants were well overdue for potting up and so there was no moisture reservoir for them to draw on. I have now potted them up and tidied the plants but some of the leaves are still very dry and sad-looking. On a positive note there are lots of new leaf shoots apparent all the way down the stem. They are so big now that the only place for them is on top of the potting bench so whenever I am working in the greenhouse they have to be evicted. I will need to start hardening them off soon so this year they can be planted out in the garden.
I have also tidied out the cold frame and potted up some Viper Bugloss. The cold frame is currently full of hardy annuals and young perennials sown last year so I will need to get them hardened off soon as well to start making room for the next crop of seedlings from the greenhouse. I suspect space is going to be a premium very soon and I found myself wondering about a poly tunnel the other day, completely out of the blue whilst walking across campus at work. I think if I can grow on a reasonable number of perennial seedlings then I need to think about over wintering them ready to be sold next Spring (2013). Then the following day I spotted a plastic greenhouse in a local superstore at a very low-cost and I am seriously wondering about getting one especially as I could grow my tomatoes on in it and that would make life in the proper greenhouse better.
If you have a greenhouse and would like to join in this monthly meme of what is growing in your greenhouse then join in on the 20th of each month and post a link in the comment box below.