A Merry Christmas to you all! I hope you all had a lovely and festive day yesterday. My day was mostly spent outside tucked away inside my greenhouse!
I have received what feels like 100 packets of seeds as part of a very generous Christmas present this year. Whilst I am very excited by this, I am also aware of the need to plan way ahead so everything can be sown on time and then prepare for the months of maintenance following that. I have mentioned in previous blog posts before how I have to fit gardening around working full time between two jobs and looking after two horses full diy so it is very important for me to create a plan otherwise I forget to do things and then have another long year to wait!
Not only am I really spoilt for choice seedwise this year, I am also very fortunate to have a beautiful new greenhouse to work in and grow everything in that I am starting off by seed! There’s something about raising plants from seed that thrills me everytime. Everytime the little seedlings emerge it feels like a miracle. Sure, not everything has turned out well, but everytime I do try again I’m always learning more and more. You can read about seeds that I would recommend for beginners here.
One thing I am not short of in Winter is time. Or more specifically, though the days are much shorter at this time of year, not as much seed sowing can be done just yet. Aswell as that, the seeds that can be sown at this time of year need some assistance; whether that be by sowing indoors or using additional heat to encourage successful germination.
One way I have organised the piles of seeds so that I know when to organise them is by going through each packet and reading its sowing time. That way I have a pile for each month that I can stagger through each week and do seed sowings in stages. This is not only practical but will also extend the growing season.
Another item that has been very useful for organising my seeds by month is this beautiful storage case I received as part of the Christmas seed giftset:
So without further ado, here are some of the seeds (purchased by the gift giver from Thompson & Morgan) that I will be sowing under cover in my new greenhouse this Winter in December:
Primula japonica (mixed)
Zandeschia aethopica calla lily
Stephanotis floribunda (climber)
Angel’s trumpet double blackcurrant swirl (datura)
Helianthemum rock rose mixed
Malva ‘mystic merlin’
Some of you may have noticed that all of the above plants are perennials and almost all are hardy perennials. For the newbies of you out there who want to know more about what is a hardy perennial and why it is important knowledge to have, you can read my step by step guide about that here.
I am uncertain how the Jasmine will fare, as I do not currently have a supply of artificial heat to the greenhouse and that plant requires 24-27 degrees celcius for germination. I am currently researching options for eco friendly ways of heating my greenhouse as I do not want to run any electric there or use heaters if possible. You can see more about my findings regarding that here. For now, I will settle for using a windowsill in our heated utility room inside our home. Germination can take 1 to 3 months for those seeds so patience is definitely a must.
I will update you all on how things are going once the seedlings begin to emerge! It is still Winter but I can alreafy feel Spring coming now the daylight hours are slowly but surely lasting longer again. In the meantime, you may like to read about what else I have been doing at this time of year including what bulbs I’ve been planting and what I have been doing in the rest of the garden.
Written by Bethany Wright at The English Meadow