Life, Simply Led

Gardening for Beginners – Week 2

We are growing seeds in tandem with a family in Ireland who are new to gardening, have a look here to meet them and here to see what we got up to last week.

Last week we planted our nasturtiums, tomatoes and sunflowers and we have been pretty pleased with their progress! Most of them have germinated and are growing strongly under Bonus Boy’s tender loving care.

We turn them daily as they strive toward the light so that their stems are nice and strong and they aren’t all bent in one direction. Because we planted them all individually into little pots we can leave them where they are until they are ready for potting on.

These photographs show you how much happens in a week, it really is miraculous and Bonus Boy checks them every morning and evening to see how they are getting along.

A sunflower seedling emerges on day 3

The same sunflower seedling two days later

Nasturtium seedlings planted exactly a week ago

This week we have planted our dwarf sweet peas in pots outside. You can plant them straight into the ground at this time of year but we have a virulent slug and snail population which is exacerbated by the wall all around our garden. I grow almost everything in pots first before planting out so that my little seedlings have at least a chance of hitting the ground running! These are 10cm square plant pots, I like square ones because you can pack them all in close together and they take up less room. We filled each pot with peat free multi purpose compost, firmed it down lightly and then pushed the fat sweet pea seeds into the earth.

I am hoping to use the dwarf sweet peas and the tumbling tom tomatoes in hanging baskets as Kate specifically requested plants which can be grown in baskets. We are also growing some Basil (sweet genovese) on the windowsill upstairs as a few years ago we planted up some Pizzas in a Basket (tomatoes and basil) and we fancy doing that again this year. If you want to join us get hold of some basil seeds and plant them just as we did the tomatoes last week but sprinkle a few seeds over the surface (rather than one) and cover them with a teeny bit of compost.

We have also planted some dwarf beans (borlotto firetongue) and some traditional tall growing sweet peas (old fashioned mixed) this week, again outside in pots.

Our perpetual spinach

and purple sprouting broccoli are coming along nicely. They will be stretching their roots out into the earth very soon!

We will be planting the runner beans in the next day or so as well as one or two (or twenty) other things as the growing season really begins to hot up!

Kate, this week:

  • remember to keep your compost moist
  • keep turning your seedlings daily as they emerge
  • plant your sweet peas outside and put them in a sunny spot (or plant them in the ground where you want them to grow). Keep them moist, don’t assume the rain is doing it!
  • I would recommend that you stick to our 5 packets of seed at this stage as it keeps it simple and should ensure you stick at it and don’t get disheartened BUT if you want to grow some basil on a windowsill and some traditional sweet peas outside, I’m not going to stand in your way!

If you missed it last week, here is Bonus Boy explaining what happens when seeds start to grow!

Happy growing, see you next week! If you have any questions please leave them in a comment and I will attempt to answer them.

I’m linking up to ‘Come sow with me’ meme which is being run to support @ONECampaign ‘LetsThrive’ campaign over at Play Activities. Do pop over there and see how you can help.

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8 Comments

  1. Erm….should I be concerned that all I can see is soil so far?

    I will be hitting the new tasks next week as I’m away until Monday. Don’t be cross.

    • I don’t do cross and it can wait…but not for long! When did you plant your little babies? Most of them take 7 – 14 days to appear, don’t worry! Keep them moist but not wtaerlogged on a nice warm windowsill and they will do their thing because that’s what they want to do!

  2. Think it was a week ago? (Should have dated them shouldn’t I?)
    I will inform you as soon as I see anything resembling green. THANK YOU!

  3. They are coming on well x

  4. Fabulous series of posts Chris, we planted our seeds about the same time, it is just our second year of doing it and the kids love it. So exciting watching they grow.

    Mich x

  5. Thanks for the update. I’ve just started to see small sprouts coming through on my basil plant. Still nothing with the coriander and rosemary though. I’m hopeful and keeping my fingers crossed. Looking forward to the next update.

  6. We need to get our act together here and start planting too. I shall pester you with endless questions as we try to get our heads round gardening, as we’re really keen to get growing our own salad and veg this year.

  7. Nothing so satisfying as seeing your first seedling!

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