Not. One. Seed. Give up?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Fat Controller, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    Not one single seed has germinated for us so far this year - not really surprising given the temperatures we've seen and the simple fact that I cannot afford to heat the greenhouse to a sufficient level consistently enough (not least as my greenhouse is 'leaky' to the cold air.

    So far, we have only really sown chillies and tomatoes with a lot of seeds sitting some of which could potentially be sown direct.....? Peas, beans, sprouts, cabbage, beetroot, carrots and so on BUT as we are now heading rapidly to May am I just as well calling it a day now and sowing a limited amount (beetroot, tatties etc) and then buying some seedlings of other stuff from a garden centre? I just feel that sowing now is a waste of seed and compost?
     
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    • Sian in Belgium

      Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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      So sorry - I know how it gets us down, when nothing comes up...

      I hwve basically given up sowing many things outside. I sow indoors, keeping the seeds near a radiator for warmth. To save soil, I sow many seeds in small lidded pots (herb cheese, hummus, etc) , and prick them out into modules as soon as they start to emerge. If nothing comes up, then the compost goes into outdoor pots, etc, so is not wasted.

      For us the main problem is lack of rain. Like @Loofah we have had many seeds and plants fail because of lack of water. If you still have some seeds left, maybe try this? Do the likes of Lidl/Aldi sell seeds in the UK? Here the packets of seeds are as little as 0,49€, so less than 50p. I’m learning to use as many of these as possible, so as to have fresh seed each year...
       
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      • Fat Controller

        Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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        Sadly I don't have the space to be able to start things indoors (the windowsills are out as we have a puppy that would be away with any pots on windowsills), so the greenhouse was my only option. I have tons of seeds, and even tons of compost - I am just looking at the date and thinking that it is just too late?
         
      • Jasmine star

        Jasmine star Super Gardener

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        I'm no expert by any means and my greenhouse isn't heated so I have had to cover most of mine in trays with lids. I've had some its worked with and some unsuccessful. It must be so frustrating to have all the seeds and compost ready to go. :sad:
         
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        • Sheal

          Sheal Total Gardener

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          We're only halfway through April FC, I'd give seeds another go if you already have them. I had a cold greenhouse in my last garden so cobbled together some garden canes and bubble wrap creating a kind of cloche to put over them, it covered a couple of dozen trays.
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener Staff Member

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            I'm hanging off sowing most of my seeds. I do have tomatoes and chillies coming on indoors, it's much too cold for them to go in an unheated greenhouse just yet. I plan to sow most other things this weekend, some will just have to take their chance in the greenhouse and the weather will improve over the next few weeks and they will catch up.

            It's not too late :dbgrtmb:
             
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            • JWK

              JWK Gardener Staff Member

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              I have potatoes with quite a lot of top growth in my unheated greenhouse right now. We have had -3C the last few nights, all I do is cover with fleece or bubble wrap over-night. Uncover in the morning and they are happy. Most hardier flowers and veggies will be happy treated like that as day time light levels and temperatures are good at the moment, it's just molly coddling them over-night.
               
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              • Scrungee

                Scrungee Well known for it

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                Everything is germinated in propagators indoors and grown on under lights. Plants needing natural light go out in polytunnel and are brought indoors if going to be too cold overnight and kept in stacking plastic crates stacked up to almost 2m high (also useful fot stacking in a fleece wrapped stack left where they are),

                Only a few more days now before lots can go out leaving only toms and tender flowers to come in overnight.



                Tip: Don't encourage puppies play with old flower pots as it can cause problems.



                puppyA.jpg
                 
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                  Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
                • Fat Controller

                  Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                  Thanks folks - the lack of space to bring stuff on indoors is the real issue, and we had barely sown the tomato and chilli seeds when the weather turned cold again. There is nothing to stop me sowing stuff this weekend, but I am restricted to sowing at weekends as I work full time plus during the week.

                  @Scrungee - to be fair to him, he is actually quite good and most likely wouldn't bother him, but he is still a youngster and he does have a strong 'attention seeking behaviour' trait, so that and a lack of space means indoors is out.
                   
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                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                    Too early to give up lots of time left, still got things to sow, my Tom's are still seedlings and the few I bought are actually too big and becoming a problem.
                    Admittedly a bit late for a few things but in your situation I'd probably buy a few plants.
                    And then there is always the big seeds that work even when direct sown.
                     
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                    • NigelJ

                      NigelJ Total Gardener

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                      Peas and beans I chit inside on damp paper towels in take away containers with lids on, check every couple of days and then when they start to germinate, root shows, I put them in a seed tray of compost in the greenhouse, water well and leave to reach an inch or two tall then plant out and put canes/netting up. Only way to stop the pigeons getting the lot. Last weekend I sowed sunflower and sweetcorn into root trainers in the cold greenhouse, this weekend french and runner beans will be sown in the same way. Need to keep an eye on watering as greenhouse gets quite warm in the day. A lot of seeds actually germinate better with a day/night temperature fluctuation.
                      You are not too late to sow leek and brassica seeds either in a seed bed or in pots/modules in the greenhouse once germinated harden off and plant out when large enough.
                      Pumpkins, squashes and courgettes can be sown outdoors mid May onwards so now in the greenhouse would give you good plants to go out end of May. I've had tomato seed germinate May/June time in old compost so don't give up on the ones you have sown, or you can sow some more. Yes you may get a later crop and a lot of green tomato chutney.
                      As you say lettuce, carrot, beetroot you can direct sow outside. Parsnip seed needs warm soil to germinate and I have sown into May and got parsnips that were carrot size.
                       
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                      • Fat Controller

                        Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                        Well, I have just discovered I have £42 sitting on various garden centre vouchers so that takes the pressure off. Potatoes I will get started chitting today. @NigelJ that is a great idea for the peas and beans, I never thought of that! Sweetcorn is the one that is a pain because the mice get to them in the greenhouse, even under cover.
                         
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                        • Sian in Belgium

                          Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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                          Do you have a pasting table, or something similar?
                          I have one, that is permanently up, and it’s where I grow my plants on. It is next to a radiator, and under a velux window. The plants are not so vulnerable to puppies, as it’s not a case of putting paws up on a windowsill to look outside.

                          The pasting table (facing north west)45D0E395-57AA-44DB-9450-AC25B40FD40F.jpeg
                          (I will soon be moving the citrus pip, avocado stone and date stone plants elsewhere, to give me space for another tray)

                          another window “set-up”, facing south east
                          157197E0-D874-4BBE-B270-70A306CFAF81.jpeg
                          (As we plant to move on fairly soon, we are reluctant to do too much, structurally, to the house, hence the Heath Robinson shelf)

                          “And that, your Honour, is my indoor growing space”...
                           
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                          • rustyroots

                            rustyroots Total Gardener

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                            Do the same as Nigel has said about peas and beans with sweet corn too. That’s what I have done in the past. I have also tried it with carrots and parsnips this year after watching YouTube video of someone doing it and growing in flower buckets. Which is what I am trying this year. Its really not too late to grow from seed and it looks like the overnight temps are picking up from today, so things should start catching up.
                            Rusty
                             
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                            • Fat Controller

                              Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                              I don't have a pasting table, and to be honest our living room wouldn't accommodate one as our house is quite small.

                              I will definitely give @NigelJ's idea a shot though, as that sounds ideal and as @rustyroots says night temps are rising from today so fingers crossed. I suppose I had my pessimistic head on....
                               
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