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Initial steps into the 2024 growing season


By Xela


My son helped me replace a polycarbonate panel in the roof of the greenhouse today ( hope storm Isha doesn’t remove any more) but as usual the 2024 seed sowing season started for me on my bedroom windowsill. It’s a lot easier to keep an eye on them while waiting for them germinate if they are on the windowsills in the house. I nurture them there through the pricking out stage too, moving them to the greenhouse when they look as if they are sufficiently well established to survive a few days without attention or about to become leggy.
Today in toilet roll inners I have sown two lots of sweet peas, Butterfly Kisses and an Old Fashioned mix, and Musselburgh leeks. The All Year Round coulis are in a half tray and there are two smaller trays of begonia semperflorens and mixed pelargoniums.
Last week I found B&Q were selling seed potatoes so I have Pentland Javelin (earlies) and Maris Piper (main crop) waiting to bet set out in egg boxes to chit. I am hoping some of the Earlies will get a move on and be ready to plant in bags soon, I like to start two or three bags in the greenhouse to get their season under way.
No growing season goes exactly to plan but despite still having to use a walking stick four months after my hip replacement I am determined this one is going to be better than that in 2023, lol.

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wow you have been busy. I rarely start seeds off this early mainly because most of my windows don't have deep enough ledges. I do most of mine in the unheated greenhouse in late Feb/early March.

I had plenty of cardboard rolls waiting but hubby found them and as we no longer have a gerbil he binned them. They made good enrichment toys for the gerbil.

I am planning to do spuds too but would like a creamy mash type, any suggestions?

lets hope your mobility continues to improve and makes for a better year in 2024

22 Jan, 2024


I wouldn't start sowing seeds so early, Sbg, if the begonia semperflorens seed didn't need such a long period to reach 'planting out' size, as they need an early start the other seeds get one too ;-) February is usually the month when my windowsills overflow with seed trays and the greenhouse starts to earn its keep. Let's hope the weather is kind to us this side of Easter.
Oh yes, I used to keep gerbils too so the habit of collecting toilet roll inners is well established. It was lovely to see the little creatures enjoying a new batch of rolls. For a while my gerbils were class pets too (before health & safety vetoed their school attendance) so there was no shortage of the cardboard rolls. It is amazing how many craft activities can be based around a toilet roll inner as well, lol! Imagine my delight when I stopped teaching and found a dog was more companionable, to find my habitual collecting of toilet roll inners provided material for making useful plant starter pots too.
I am no spud expert, but over the years I have discovered that Pentland Javelin and Maris Piper are family favourites. So sorry to say I can't advise on creamy ones but I am sure there will be someone here in GoY who can!
Thank you for your good wishes for my mobility in 2024, I have my fingers tightly crossed :-)

22 Jan, 2024


Good luck with your seeds and potatoes :) Good idea to have them under close supervision.
I hope you won't have to use the walking stick for much longer.

22 Jan, 2024


Sounds like you've got the bit between the teeth, Xela. I'm just amazed my s.peas haven't bitten the dust! (Tempting fate, there!). Good luck with all the sowing.

23 Jan, 2024


Xela! I'm so inspired. we must be some of the longest lasting goyers! We started goY about a month apart in 2008. great to see you're not letting the torpedoes get in the way! I bought myself a motorized tiller last summer and I've been ripping up turf like anything. Should have done this years ago... like others, I don't have a lot of space to start my flats early, and my greenhouse is unheated, so, I'm never early with my seeds. was hoping this year might be the exception but after starting spring in late Feb. we've rebounded solidly back into winter and I'm too old to get out there and push my limits! No expertise with taties either. sorry. I plant Yukon Gold, as it's a Canadian variety that is quite cold tolerant. Best of luck, hope you get right back into the swing of things!

21 Mar, 2024

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