Saturday, 30 January 2010

Earth is hard as iron!

I woke up this morning to what was obviously going to be a brilliantly sunny day. I was full of enthusiasm to get outside, but alas everything was frozen solid. There was no way I could do anything to the ground, although there is a lone snowdrop in flower. The ones further down the garden are slower. I just had a tidy around, and had a mini bonfire in the bbq; the small bits of rose and grape prunings from last weekend, and a few other twiggy bits that wouldn't go in the compost. After getting frozen feet and watering eyes from the smoke I retired into the kitchen to wash some more flower pots, and sow some chillies that arrived in the post from Mr Dinkle of the Grapevine forum. I'd got the pots of soil into the heated propagator last night, so put in 2 each of the prairie fire and dorset naga seeds he sent.

As the French Black tomato seed was so slow germinating, I removed some seeds from the last wrinkled fruit on the windowsill last Saturday and sowed 3 along with some of the tigerella seeds I'd had to buy after losing my ones from last year. They were all up within 3 days and moved up to the light cupboard. I'm amazed at how quickly the plants are growing. The chillies in the picture were only sown on Boxing day, the tomatoes a week later, and the lettuce another week on. All the seeds have been planted directly into the 3 inch pots, so I haven't had to do any transplanting yet, although the roots are showing through the bottoms of the pots already. I've got them standing in hydrolucca (expanded clay pellets), and keep that a bit moist to add a bit of humidity to the air. The temperature is still maintaining around 20-25c, although I've now got 6 lamps in there which helps.
The chillies below are the same ones I posted on 16th January. They still haven't seen any real daylight but seem to be thriving!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Chilli plant pictures

Here are my plants so far. The first planted on boxing day, the others a week ago with the tomatoes. As with last year, the Green Tiger tomatoes were fastest through, only 3 days!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Surreal Snow

Snow has hit Iwade again, not as bad as Medway and Canterbury, but more than we've seen since moving here 5 years ago. School has been closed for two consecutive days, but today we had to travel to Medway anyway to get Vicky's fund released for her trip to Japan. The judge agreed so we now just need to wait for the paperwork to go through and she can start planning and booking. She is really looking forward to seeing Takae again.
It seemed very surreal, I was planting tomato seeds in the kitchen, while watching people trudging past in the snow. I have set up a light room in one of my cupboards by lining it with reflective foil , and putting 4 energy saving light bulbs in there. I now have 2 Dorset Naga, 2 Naga Morich, 2 chocolate habanero, 2 hot lemons and one purple jalapeno up and living in the cupboard. They are looking good so far, one of the Dorset Nagas is beginning to grow its second leaves. The temperature in there hasn't gone below 15C, and when the lamps are on, around 16 hours a day, it is averaging 25C. This will probably be a bit lower once the winds pick up again, as it will still be a bit draughty I think.
With the success of the chillies to go on, I've planted some tomato plants in the heated propagator. One of the Green Tigers is up so far, so I will be getting it into the light room in a minute. I have another Green Tiger, 2 Black French, 2 Costalu and 2 Golden Sunrise planted as well, but I can't find the Tigerella seeds so I will need to order some of these. I don't know if there will be enough light, but I am also trying some lettuce seeds, 4 All the Year Round, and 4 Little Gem. If it doesn't work, I haven't lost much, just a few seeds.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year

Today was icy cold, I went to put out the bird food on the green opposite, and the path was a crazy paving of ice, so I waited until it had thawed a bit. There had been a sprinkling of snow, but it had frozen solid. I moved the lemon tree into the greenhouse, too late for the immature lemons, but hopefully the plant might survive. Really all I did was a bit of tidying up, it was so bitterly cold in the back garden, though the front was warmed by the sun.
I have 4 chilli plants up so far, 2 hot lemons, 1 Japapeno and 2 Dorset Naga (from seeds kindly sent from a Grapevine member). Oh, that makes 5 doesn't it? Counting is not my strong point tonight.