Saturday 1 February 2014

Small-scale success

With the weather having been so atrocious recently (still, again, always...), outdoor gardening has been almost impossible and my focus has been on  indoor gardenening - i.e. what can be produced in the Growlight House.

Yesterday I passed a significant milestone in the gardening year - my first chilli seed germinated:

This is one of those Bird's Eye chillis I wrote about the other day. I sowed six seeds, so hopefully this will not be the only one to germinate, but even if it is I shall count this as a success, given the dubious origin of the seeds.

The Basil seedlings are also doing well under the lights - growing very rapidly:

My plan is to use these (I have two similar pots on the go) as microgreens, and I think they are just about big enough for this. Tonight I'm making a salad that would probably benefit from their inclusion, so I'll let you know the result in due course.

The distinctively D-shaped cotyledons (seed-leaves) of Basil remind me of the half-moon-shaped tool that you use for edging a lawn!

Alongside the Basil I have two pots of Parsley:

These ones are destined to be transplanted outside (possibly in bigger pots if the weather doesn't buck up) in due course.

In this next photo you can see how the plants have thrust up through the compost even before breaking fully clear of the seed-casings. One of them has brought a lump of compost up with it too:

Last weekend at the Potato Day I bought a pack of seeds for Leaf Celery, which I am very keen to sow, but we are going away for a few days soon, and I don't want to sow then until we get back because they will need some TLC in their early days and can't be left to their own devices. They will just have to wait. Amusingly, the seed pack advises you to keep the seeds in the fridge until you are ready to sow them - mimicking Winter, (vernalisation) I suppose.


  1. I've bought seeds where they recommend that you put them in the freezer for a couple of weeks. I swear cilantro is like that. The seed outside has no trouble germinating, but the the seed indoors is much harder to get going.

  2. It's nice to get things growing indoors - makes you feel as though you are doing something - I was thinking of doing an early batch of tomatoes - I got caught out last year and lost my first ones - but as this winter isn't nearly as cold I may have a go.

  3. I've never had any success with basil so I'm very envious.

  4. I'll be interested to see what you make of leaf celery as neither ordinary celery nor celeriac produce for us.

  5. I haven't sown anything yet this year. One of the advantages of having growlights, you get to indulge earlier than us who only have natural light. I'm itching to get going.

  6. How lovely to see that mystery chilli up. I've got yew seeds in the fridge, they've been there for ages, I've only just remembered them. Must try and plant them soon.

  7. Great pics Mark! I love photos of seeds emerging. I think there is something uniquely magical about the whole process. The wonder of nature! x

  8. I will behave & not sow a single thing until later on this month. I have no growlights (yet) & to make sure I don't succumb to temptation I have no seed compost either. It must be a lovely feeling though, what might be your first plant of the year.


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