Starting up the propagators in 2020

I was just out in the shed doing some tidying up when I accidentally ended up filling 2 propagators with freshly sown seeds.

These are now safely on my windowsills, along with another tray of sowings. It’s far too early to be sowing anything much direct, not least because of the UK’s succession of storms – so any kind of cloche or cover would just get blown away, if it wasn’t washed away.

So, what’s in the propagators? Here goes;

Trays of compost containing freshly sown seeds
The sowing has begun – Antirrhinum ‘Purple Twist F1 Hybrid’ and Sweet Pepper ‘Friggitello’.

First up are my Broad Bean ‘De Monica’ and I’ve sown just 6 of these with an intention to sow more later. These don’t need the propagator lids on, as they’re actually fine being direct sown in Autumn and survive perfectly through snow and frosts. I don’t currently have the space in my garden ready for them, so I’ve sown these in pots instead. ‘De Monica’ are a variety that’s happy growing in low light, which as in previous years has made them perfect for the shadier area of my little garden plot.

In addition, I’ve also sown half a dozen of the Broad Bean ‘Crimson Red’ which I’ve also previously grown for a couple of years. Between the two varieties I get a slow small crop of protein-rich beans that really bulk out many meals.

Joining these, are my first ever sowings of a few things – Onion ‘Walla Walla’ are new to me, and to Suttons as well, who bill them as a tearless onion that’s sweet enough to eat like an apple. I’ve never grown onions before, so we’ll see how they fare, whether they are mild, and whether I actually use them up.

Sowing the Onion ‘Walla Walla’ seeds.

Antirrhinum ‘Purple Twist F1 Hybrid’ is a variety of these ‘snapdragon’ flowers that I’ve never grown before, after 9 years of having the ‘Chuckles’ variety. Hopefully this will add a nice variation to my garden. Most of my Antirrhinum’s usually manage to over-Winter themselves, and there’s still some standing in my garden despite the frosts.

Another new sow is Ox-Eye Daisy, which will hopefully lure more predators into the garden as well as look cheerful.

I’ve also sown another batch of Parsley ‘Plain Leaved’, having had only 2 seeds germinate from my batch a few weeks ago (along with a random mushroom).

Lastly, I have sown a dozen Sweet Pepper ‘Friggitello’ seeds, as last year was a productive year for these little chilli-shaped sweet peppers. I’m sowing these about a fortnight earlier than last year, as hopefully it will bring the plants along earlier and the fruits will have longer to swell and colour up.

Thankfully no damage has been done to my garden due to storm Ciara or Dennis that struck over a fortnight, and I hope that you’ve been saved from damage in your gardens and allotments.

I leave you with this photograph I took of a Bluetit in the wind of Storm Ciara, sitting in my Cineraria ‘Maritima Silverdust’ plants.

This Bluetit took a ride in the wind on my Cineraria plants.

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