The bad weather that Cruella (my wife) cursed me with when she left to visit our idiot son has continued now for almost a month. I was at my wits end as I needed to get seeds going, and then I had a good idea, why not turn our kitchen into a seed factory. I laid out all the seeds I needed to get going and I mixed everything up in the kitchen. The first photo below shows my seeds laid out ready to go. The second photo shows Cruella’s kitchen cabinet, I didn’t dare touch anything on there. Click on each photo for a larger view.
4th April 2022. Things I have been doing lately:
Soaking seeds prior to sowing. Some seeds benefit from soaking prior to sowing and this is mainly for two reasons. Hard seeds such as loofah and sunflower etc benefit from a soaking in warm water to soften the seed casing. Others such as Jasminium and Trumpet Vine that are blown on the wind are given a short soak to mimic the ideal conditions when they hit the ground.
Loofah seeds are best soaked for three days in warm, but not hot water. I just place them in a cereal bowl by the sink, and just keep topping it up with warm water. After three days dry the seeds and then plant them in four inch pots. Place two seeds in each pot with the weaker seedling being removed later. The first photo below shows my loofah seeds happily bathing in warm water. Then being dried off in paper towel before being sown in four inch pots. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Jasminium. This is my first year attempting to grow Jasminium from seed so I am quite excited. I got a few seedpods from my existing plant and they were very large and tactile. See photos below. Click on each photo for a larger view.
The seeds were only soaked over night before being placed in one of Cruella’s colanders for straining, and then planted on the surface of a seed tray before being gently covered with a sprinkling of compost. See photos below. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Chilli seeds. I grew some chillis last year which were a great success with Cruella. She even started looking after them whilst I was away as she said they reminded her of little drops of blood. In a previous post, last Autumn, I explained how you leave a chilli pod on the plant to get wrinkly and give the seeds time to mature. I then dried them on tin foil in the sun and stored them to sow this year. I planted the seeds in fibre pots so as to minimise root disturbance when planting out as they don’t like their roots to be disturbed. I planted two to a pot and sprinkle covered with compost. Again the weaker seedling will be removed. The photos below show the process. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Keeping seeds warm. Most seeds need to be kept at a warm temperature to encourage germination, but the problem is that it is too wet and cold to put them outside. In the UK you could put them on a sunny window ledge indoors, but in Spain houses tend not to have internal window ledges. So instead I have placed them in a little naya that has glass curtains and covered them with a sheet of perspex – don’t tell Cruella. The photo below shows my seeds happily basking in the warm. And the good news is some have sprouted already.
Accepting failure: Gardening, like life, has its successes and failures, and whilst I never like to give up on a plant, sometimes I just have to accept the inevitable. Regular readers of this blog will know that I planted Golden Photus cuttings in a pot on my Naya about 6 months ago. And at first they seemed to grow well and I even bought a special stake for them to grow up. But no matter what I did they just seemed to wilt. It wouldn’t have mattered so much but this particular plant was a favourite of Tango the lonely blind Labrador. Every day without failure Tango would bump his head on the plant pot as he exited the front door, and then by way of compensation he would always sniff the plant.
I had decided to replace the Photus with a geranium that was thriving on the nearby window ledge. The first photo below shows the dying Photus and the upstart geranium in their respective positions before the the great replacement. The second photo shows the reproachful look that Tango gave me when he discovered what I had done. The final photo shows Tango disdainfully staying away from me that evening. Normally he sits right by me whilst I drink wine and we discuss the days gardening, but he would have nothing to do with me. Luckily he had forgiven me by breakfast time. Click on each photo for a larger view.