Peas threaten to ‘walk’ & the leek seedlings get ahead of themselves.

I’ve done it again! I’ve got enthusiastic about getting an early start with my spring plantings by chitting early peas, broad beans & leeks, but…. I then had to get on with the rest of my life, like work & boring things like attempts at housework (hate it!). So, what’s happened? Remember those chitted peas I mentioned in an earlier post that didn’t get planted? Well, I’ve JUST got them into root trainers now-I feel like a neglectful parent who has been found forcing their child to eat cold porridge. Honestly, though,  how many of you (oh, there IS just you?) start a gardening task & don’t finish it quite how it ‘ought’ to be done?

Whatever the drawbacks of allowing your seeds to chit & then grow roots before you plant them out, they’re in their pots now all snuggled up in the kitchen extension & I will monitor how well or otherwise they do over the next few months. The Broad Beans have all emerged & are ready to go into the cold frame on the allotment before planting out, probably under fleece to help them maintain a head start.

'escaped' Piccolo Provenzale early peas

the leek seeds I sowed on 9th January are now over 1″ tall & just need popping in the cold frame for a couple of weeks before planting out into the seed bed to grow on before transplanting into the leek bed – I had them wrapped in bubble wrap by a cold French window (North facing) – it took them 10 days before the 1st seeds germinated. I’ve checked  the time/temperature guidelines for germination of  leek seeds: It can take up to 21 days to germinate leek & onion seeds, within the temperature range of 7-24ºC (45-75ºF); I don’t reckon the seedtray was warmer than @ 10ºC, but there was a full moon on 19th Jan & I have noted that sowing before a full moon does seem to affect germination rates (comments on your own experience of this, or scepticism equally welcome). What I welcome is a full seed tray of leek seedlings, in contrast to last year when they failed to germinate at all, probably too cold (I didn’t wrap them).

Pandora & Carentan Leek seedlings 27.1.11

Feeling happy at seed productivity & early start – just have to ensure nothing eats them once in the coldframe then the vegetable beds on the allotment – a dangerous time for seedlings!

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