It is that impatient time of year, I am sure you know what I mean. Bulbs and seeds and young plants have been ordered and now they are starting to arrive. A few seeds here and there, some dahlia tubers and that exciting Gloriosa tuber that you have wanted to grow for years and years and have finally committed to buy are now sitting waiting, drumming their tiny fingers wondering when they will be planted.
and of course I just want to get on with planting them, which if I do too soon will by and large just mean disappointment, death and despair. So I have to wait. I know I have to wait, impatiently, but wait I must.
Though some seeds I do not have to wait for. My Persicaria orientalis seeds need to be sown now as they like a bit of cold. So I can start them off in the greenhouse and whilst I cover them with a plastic bag to keep off any pests, I do not protect them from cold. Last year was not a successful persicaria year for me. Usually I collect enough seeds from my plants to sow for the next year. Last year for the first year in a long time I failed completely to have plant reach flowering capacity. This was such a shame as they are one of my very favourite annuals to grow.
Some seeds need a long period of growth, such as chillies, and if I grew them from seed I would be warming up the propagator to get them started. I have tried growing them from seed but these days I buy young plants instead and these will be arriving later on in Spring. I love growing from seed, I really do, but I also like the certainty of young veg plants. I used to feel a little guilty about buying plug plants, as if it was somehow cheating. Maybe it is, but I now do not let this trouble me, I am not going to be plug-plant-shamed.
It will not be too long before I sow the first sweet peas . Regular readers might recall that I successionally sow my sweet peas. I do not bother with sowing in Autumn as it never works for me but I did sow some in February last year and that worked rather well. As long as I can keep the mice off them then they usually grow well. I will then sow some in March and some more in April. In a good year I will have sweetpeas in flower until the first frosts.
For the rest of my seed sowing I will be waiting - impatiently but steadfastly. I know through experience (so much experience) that sowing sooner is just a waste of time and compost. It takes just one April frost to undo all the germination that might have happened. A few years ago I was going away in early May and I held off any sowing until I returned. This felt risky, this felt like I was wasting time and that I would end up with no annual flowers of any note. This was not the case at all. The seeds germinated quickly on my return and romped ahead. A lesson was learned. Not much will get sown here before May as I know they will catch up. Promise.
Stay safe and be kind.