white hellebore niger

'For gardening, begins in January, with the dream'

 New Year, new season to come - what seeds to sow this month.

Looking out at my somewhat bedraggled and soggy garden I dream of sunshine and flourishing plants, bees buzzing amongst fragrant flowers. So having gathered all my packets together, I do have several unopened packets that I just didn’t get round to sowing last year. The broad beans can be started now in pots ready for planting out in the spring, better in my heavy wet soil.  Some Chillies can be started now in a propagator especially capsicum chinense varieties such as habanero types and ‘Moruga Red’ or ‘Bhut Jolokia’ as these take longer to mature. Sowing these and aubergines early increases the potential for better cropping providing you can maintain temperature and good light levels. If like me, you have limited space indoors then other varieties - capsicum annuum or baccatum can be started later in February and March with good results. I have ‘Basket of Fire’ waiting but will add some ‘Jalapeno’.

In amongst the packets, I still have herb seeds so will finish those off in fresh peat free compost to grow on the windowsill before buying new.

Although the focus maybe on sowing to grow and eat, now is also a suitable time (if you have the right conditions) to start geraniums, begonias and petunias for splendid flowering baskets and containers. I have overwintered sweet peas and will sow some more to follow on.  It’s too early to plant Dahlia tubers but you could start those from seed, as well as delphiniums and papaver nudicaule (Iceland Poppies).

Looking to perk up your indoor décor? Then ‘Wizard’ Coleus might fill the bill. With velvety foliage in a range of colours, both single or multi-hued, these tiny seeds can be grown any time of year. Coleus seeds need light to germinate, so sprinkle over the surface, no need to cover them fully with soil. Put a clear plastic lid or bag over top of the container to prevent them drying out. Then place the containers somewhere warm to germinate (beware cold draughts on window ledges). Once seedlings appear take off the lid, keep in the light and the compost moist (not soggy otherwise the seedlings will damp off and die). These seeds take a little while to germinate and then to grow into small vibrant plants (8-12 weeks), but are considered easy to grow. 

quote from Josephine Nuese

featured image :Photo 115788275 | Dreaming © Lifeontheside | Dreamstime.com


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