Suburban Sue

Plotting on!

I have a dilemma! I have friends coming to stay at the end of March and for Easter and I’m not sure where I’ll be able to put them as my spare bedroom is currently host to an increasing acreage of potted up seedlings.

My early sowings of tomatoes were starting to look a bit leggy – probably started too early in a small pot and having insufficient light meant they were trying to outdo each other. One evening last week I started the grand ‘pot on’. This is no ‘Instant pot’ but seedlings run out of space and nutrients and need to move on – like kids, from crèche to nursery to playgroup to....

So the leggy tomatoes and peppers have gone into potting-on compost although I could also use have used a multipurpose compost.  I’ve potted on into a variety of recycled pots – yoghourt tubs, washed pots from last year. The leggy tomatoes have been put in taller pots in order to put some of the stem in the soil – Tomatoes can produce roots from the stem so I’m hoping this will work at this stage of growth.

Chilli’s in particular prefer a just big enough pot, but other seedlings too benefit from a slightly larger rather than their forever home size pot enabling them to establish their root structure well.

I have indulged in some grow lights as where I have space to put the increased acreage of potted on seedlings is in a north facing bedroom which is rather dark. I have visitors coming at the end of March so will need a strategy for them to be in that room – at least I haven’t got seedlings over the bed as well – yet!

I am glad we have had such a mild winter at home this year. Rash or not I have not lined my unheated greenhouse with bubble wrap as my main overwintering experiment was last years’ Cape Gooseberry therefore expendable along with late sown lettuce, kohl rabi and purslane. I just need to remember to check the moisture level once a week and sneak a tasty leaf here and there. Glad I’ve not had to spring into action with fleecy blankets at the first sign of a freeze! 

Meanwhile my greenhouse is occupied with the brassica and leek seedlings and my germinating broad beans and early pea sowings are in deep sided supermarket mushroom trays containing the recycled toilet roll inners I have been saving over the last few months.

So back to the bedroom dilemma. All my seedling pots are frost tender pot ons so need to stay indoors until April/May when they can head out to the greenhouse - to be protected on the later frosty nights by a layer of fleece. Should I put them out and risk a cold snap in the greenhouse or try and find some other space indoors - I was wondering about new decorative plants in the lounge unless my friends would be happy to share with a forest of triffids!