Sowing, pricking, transplanting …

tom seedling

… that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to of late in the potting shed. I’m playing catch-up, my activity levels increasing in line with the rising temperature. The grass seems to want mowing every 3 days, the garden borders have suddenly eaten up all of that spare ground I thought I had, and the seedlings in the coldframe typically all need pricking out at the same time.

I’m planting out stuff that’s been in my coldframe all winter (sweet william plants grown from seed last summer, baby strawberry plants) so I can free up space for the larger seedlings that have been pricked out, which in turn frees up space on my window sills for more seeds. Okay, move along, everybody, please move along.

PS broc seedling


I always forget to stagger my sowings. I get a bit heavy handed when tipping out the seeds from the packet, and before I know it, I have already filled a tray with more than I need. And then (mum always says the same thing) I can’t bear to throw away tiny seedlings, so the thinking goes ‘I’ll keep a few extra in a separate pot in case the others get eaten by a slug/pulled out by a bird/dry out or drown, depending on the weather/get accidentally knocked over/caught by a late frost etc. The potential perils are endless.

calabrese seedling

Talking of late frosts, do beware the nice weather in May – if we get any. There is always the chance of a frost until the end of the month. I have made the mistake of planting my tomatoes out in late April, by wrongly assuming it’s now summer.

sweet pea seedling

So my sowing is all done now. Five rows of potatoes have been planted down on the plot (just one more to do). I have refilled and extended the strawberry bed. The garlic has been weeded and mulched with grass clippings. Just got to dig over the rest of the beds ready for toms, beans, brassicas, squashes and sweetcorn. The big planting out session will commence towards the end of May.

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