First sowings

Kale seed

It’s the first of February today, and the gardening year begins again with the first seeds to be sown. It feels really good to have seen January through and finally there’s enough light in the day to get some seeds under way. So, in a thick jumper and scarf, I braved the freezing temperatures of my potting shed in order to once again immerse my fingers into black, wet compost. Mmm, lovely!

broad bean seed

Some more broad beans have been sown into old toilet roll tubes. I have 1 row growing pretty well on the plot, so this should give me a second row that will flower and fruit a few weeks later. I’ve sown 2 varieties of chilli seeds, which can be started early because they will be grown indoors. I have sown some kale, as it’s pretty hardy stuff and can be grown all year round. I’ve sown some shallot seed that I mistakenly bought online last year, thinking I was ordering sets, and too late for me to get growing. And then leeks, which I always grow from my own saved seed.

There are always one or two leeks left standing in the corner of the leek bed that are allowed to stay put and go to flower. The flowers are beautiful globes of tiny white flowers, delicately edged with pink, which the bees go crazy for. By the end of the summer, once the flowers have done their job, the flowering stems are cut and hung in the shed to dry out.

leek flower head leek flower head2

This one is resting in and old hanging basket with newspaper below to catch any seeds that might fall. Though to be honest, the seeds don’t give themselves up too easily. It’s a real faff to free the tiny black specks from their papery shell, so I just throw the dried out flowers onto the compost and cover them over. The papery cases break down, and the seeds grow through them fine. Natures way!

Leeks seed seed trays

I might get some brassicas and lettuce going sometime in February, maybe some spinach (though I never have much luck with this), but everything else will wait until March. I have learnt from experience that it pays well to hold your horses at this time of year. Be patient, be calm, hold your nerve, and then it’s all go, go, go once we get to April and it’s panic stations! We’ll be there before you know it.

For now, its back indoors for tea and cake and warmth.

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