Sunday, February 24, 2008

And... we're off!

At last, it's seed-sowing time again. After the long, wet, cold winter, there's hope in my heart and compost in my seed trays, and here's just one of the little babies poking their heads up bravely to see what the world's all about.

I get hopelessly sentimental about sowing seeds. It's the start of a new season; laden with hope, innocent of all the disasters to come. There's a sense of adventure, of stepping out into the unknown: who knows what will happen to this little cabbage seedling, so safe in my greenhouse for the moment - it could end up scoffed by slugs... flooded by spring rains... pecked at by pigeons... or (and of course this is the hope I cherish) burgeoning to beautiful cabbage-y perfection so I can enjoy it on my plate.

This is my early sowing date, so brassicas feature highly. I've sown savoy cabbage and two kinds of brussels sprouts - one early, one late, to extend the cropping season to the max. Parsnips, the first carrot sowing and the first batch of salad leaf are also coming up. And I've been in the habit of sowing my Mediterranean veg at this time of year, too - you need a frost-free greenhouse to do this successfully, but since I had electricity installed last autumn this is getting less risky and more profitable every year. So I also have three big pots of tomato seedlings, five melon seedlings (!) and three cucumber seedlings putting on growth almost as you watch them. The sweet peppers and aubergines are in the propagator, and won't be far behind.

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