Friday, 7 March 2014

Spring Frost Threatens Seedlings

Well, we're seven days into spring and I think we've had more frosts than we did all winter. I guess that's what's happens when the Jetstream shifts that little bit further south.

Typically, the first rather sharp frost was the very same night when I chose to put my newly emerged tomato and leek seedlings into the polytunnel. There is a certain excitement when the first seed of the year germinates. It's all systems go until about November. To see it withered and frostbitten would be somewhat deflating. Okay, they'd gone into a polytunnel in a minigreenhouse over a hotbed. But this could be the shortest lived experiment ever. The day before it had reached 88 degrees in the microclimate I'd set up for them, but a dip to close to zero might not be good news for a tender day-old shoot.

I tentatively stepped inside the tunnel, unzipped the minigreenhouse and found...

Happy as Larry. Not just that, but they'd come on quite a bit even since yesterday. The day ahead was absolutely glorious too. In fact, it's been quite some start to spring with blue skies during the day and stunning clear skies at night (hence the frosts).
The seedlings continue to do well and I've been busily sowing tray upon tray in the dining room. As soon as they germinate I'll throw them out into the polytunnel so the conveyor belt can keep moving.

The only problem with the hotbed idea so far is that it has given rise to a plague of small flies. But I'm hoping that's just a reaction to going into the warmth of the polytunnel and that it will soon disperse.

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