Monday, 16 April 2012

Winter, Spring or Summer? ...No, It's April.

Monday 16th April 2012
An icy start to the day - ice inside the greenhouse could spell trouble
 A gardener faces difficult decisions at this time of year. Plants have to get growing so they have time to produce a crop, yet start them off too early, or put them out too early and you can be set back a month.

Prompted by the possibility of a house full of nasty fumes on Saturday (see Nasty Bugs post) I decided to give my tomato and pepper seedlings a taste of fresh air. I seem to have avoided the mistakes which led to the total loss of my first batch of seeds, and have learned not to kill them with kindness! More precisely, that their need for plenty of light cannot be made up for with plenty of water.

So out they went. The chill breeze would make them sway, but this would harden them up a little anyway. However, there is hardening up and there is hardening up!! For, while I was out watching the Black-winged Stilt yesterday, April's typical mix of weather delivered us a pelting of hailstones. Those poor seedlings!

Anyway, the strong and the lucky survived, which fortunately was most of them. Faced with the prospect of transporting all the trays and pots back inside for the night, I decided to take the plunge and move them to the greenhouse...

... where a growing queue of baby plants await their chance to go outside or to go into the bigger greenhouse and polytunnel (both still yet to be built!)
But that can't happen until this stops happening...

The nettles and thyme can withstand the icy night air, but for others there's a few more weeks to wait yet.

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