Gardening Magazine

More Haste Less Seed?

By Tuckshopgardener @tuckshopgardenr
Looking at my lettuce-box on my porch windowsill, I can't help feeling that my eagerness to sow in January got the better of my good sense.
More haste less seed?
Even with indoor conditions, it isn't worth trying to get ahead of nature while daylight hours are short as things just don't grow well.  I think I'm going to now crop this lot as micro greens and try again with a new batch now that we're only 2 days away from March, which I always deem to be spring, whatever the official vernal equinox may say. (March 20th this year according to Googled sources, for those of you who care about such things)
Sowing when you should is always more productive, so that's why I've been sticking to sprouting seeds in the airing cupboard for  my recent weekly salad sowings - they're a roaring success, super quick,  and very tasty too.
Edible things you can start sowing in heat now include chillis (which need a long growing season to flower, fruit and ripen) and the majestic globe artichokes which are so fantastic for their architectural stature and leaf form, their delicious immature flowerheads and for their glowing violet spiky flowers.  These babies love to grow - here are my sowings from a week ago:
More haste less seed?
Already ready for potting on into small individual containers. I sense windowsill congestion is imminent.  Just as well I have lots of space at my allotment to house these giants when they grow up.  But they do make amazing border plants as well - don't be scared of statuesque specimens (says me, the six-footer) as height in the border is always a fine thing and stops things from getting boring.

More haste less seed?

The jagged gray form of artichoke leaves adds interest and they're also great for flower arranging.  Don't be scared of tall things in your garden, whatever its size. Here, spring height is given by the dark-leaved shrub Physocarpus Diablo, and by the towering spires of foxgloves and russell lupins.  The artichokes will take over the upper storey dramatics from mid to late summer with their huge thistle-like flower heads.

I am feeling very pleased that I got organised enough to get ahead with September greenhouse sowings of some of my annual flower seeds. My greenhouse dwelling ammi, sweet williams and hollyhocks are now ready to shunt across to the cold frame, and those already overwintering in there can begin edging towards the great outdoors for proper planting in the borders.  Which should make room for all my spring seedlings.  (Why are greenhouses never big enough?)

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