Friday 25 March 2016

Windowsill veg

During March and April every year the windowsills in our house are always crammed with pots and trays of seedlings. This year there is the added "problem" that 9 of my chilli plants from last year have survived the Winter. It's still too cold for them to go outside, so they are on windowsills too.

This is a pot of "Toledo" Leek seedlings, which have just germinated:

Initially I had this pot in the garage, but after about three weeks with no sign of anything coming up I moved the pots indoors. The increased temperature kicked the Leeks into life and they germinated after only 3 or 4 days. I'm lucky that we have central heating radiators underneath almost every window, so the windowsills are as good as many purpose-made propagators! Last year and the year before I transplanted my Leek seedlings into individual pots when they were still very small and then grew them on to the pencil-size stage before planting them out into their final growing-positions. This year I am going to skip the individual pots stage and plant out straight from the original pot. This will minimise root-disturbance as well as saving time and effort.

My Basil seedlings are coming on nicely too, and are just about ready for transplanting.

There are 9 seedlings in that pot, and I think I'll transplant them into pots of the same size, but with two plants in each. I always grow Basil indoors even after transplanting, because it never did well when planted outside. Being originally a Mediterranean herb, it evidently still prefers a Mediterranean climate.

My latest batch of Parsley seedlings is not so special. I sowed about 20 seeds but so far only 8 have come up, and they have germinated many days apart from one another, so the are very uneven in size.

I don't know why this has happened, because I have not done anything different this time. Just "one of those things", I suppose. I think I'll do another pot soon, so that I will have several clumps of Parsley all at different stages of maturity.

This year I germinated all my Broad Beans in pots on windowsills too, which has worked very well. Almost all the seeds germinated too. There were just two No-Shows. These ones here are "Reserves", just in case of casualties amongst the main crop, which has already been planted out.



  1. All those little seedlings growing indoors is such a sight for sore eyes after the winter months. Even thought I normally don't transplant allium seedlings before they go outside, I transplanted my leek seedlings this past week as they were truly crammed into their pot.

  2. I've had a problem with alliums too - I've sowed two batches of various types of onion seed and none have germinated; two pots of leeks and only the later one has sprouted. It's been a funny spring so far! Or maybe my seeds are past the sell by date...

  3. Do you think leeks mind having their roots disturbed? Have you noticed a difference? I ask because many people (not is) trim the roots before planting.

    1. In general I think the answer is "No", but last year my Leek seedlings got a bit pot-bound in the Elmlea containers and I did trim their roots when planting out. Whether this is a coincidence or not I'm not sure, but my Leeks were pretty poor all round.


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