Gardening Magazine

Early Season Seedlings

By Jules
On the first day of March, a little bit of a round up of what's germinating so far:
early toms and chillies - one or two of each of the tomato varieties have germinated but there's been a distinct lack of chilli action so far. Chillies require a temperature of at least 18-20 degrees for germination so perhaps they weren't kept warm enough. So, I have sown a few more pots of those, and of some other chillies (I seem to be growing 9 varieties this year...) and they're all staying in a propagator on the hot water tank until signs of life appear.
leeks - these took a few weeks, but have now started to push through the compost surface.
nasturtiums - I grow these because they're a) easy to grow, b) pretty and colourful, and c) keep blackfly off my broad beans. These germinate amazingly quickly and are already potted on in the greenhouse. I plant them in the raised beds where the broad beans go and they seem to thrive. They're also really easy to pull out or move if they start to become a bit dominant.
I've now started to chit some parsnip seeds on a piece of damp kitchen paper. These were self-saved in 2011 (see post here), so I'm really curious so see what the viability is like. As the seeds germinate and develop their primary root (the radicle for the gardening nerds amongst us), I'll transfer them outside into their growing position. You need to do this quite quickly, otherwise the tiny root begins to grow into the kitchen paper and you could damage it upon removal.
Early season seedlings

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