The sweet pea seeds came too late to plant in October and really sowing them in autumn would give quite early flowers. Planting in March will give later flowers but not really by much. So how about sowing them in December?
Having all the sweet pea seeds handy in the greenhouse was far too much of a temptation so I have spent a couple of hours today sowing the Bristol and Eclipse seeds. I am planting them in 3 inch pots with New Horizon's peat free growing medium; one seed per pot. Whether they will survive well until the spring is debatable but worth a go. I sowed 25 Bristol and 29 Eclipse seeds which will give me a lot more than I will need. King's seeds seem to be very generous with the number of seeds in a packet. They have been put into the plastic greenhouse inside my glass greenhouse to give them a little more protection and warmth. There is no heat in the greenhouse at the moment but it does seem to stay about ten degrees during the day in the plastic green house.
In order to keep all the same colours together in the rows when the sweet peas are planted out, I have labelled them very carefully. I hate it when I mix up the varieties. Writing out the labels is a very time consuming task but it is worth it.
I washed all my labels earlier in December and put them all together in a net bag. I have been collecting old labels from where ever I find them. I have about ten from the new allotment. Carefully washing them to remove the old writing means that I have quite a few this year. From the number I used today, I think that I will still run out before the summer. I will wash and recycle them but I am not confident that I will not have to buy some more before the spring is out.
I planted some of my own broad bean seed in November and they have germinated fairly well. I have transplanted them into 3 inch pots and they seem to be doing quite well. I am hoping that they will grow quite big and be ready for the allotment competition in the first week of July. However, just in case, I have sown some more exhibition ones to make sure I have a presentable row.
I took a load of hardwood cuttings in the autumn and they all seem to be coming very well. They are all fairly simple to strike: Forcythia x intermedia, Ribes sanguineum, Spirea japonica and Spirea prunifolia and they will either be put into my daughter's garden or on the new allotment.