Up here in Manchester we don’t enjoy the balmy microclimate that places like Cornwall or the south east benefit from, so with temperatures trending cooler, and weather patterns at this time of year a bit unpredictable anyway – take this coming weekend’s coming frost as a good example – I’ve found it’s not always a good idea to try to get ahead of schedule. Sowing too early – as I ended up doing last year, just before we had that cold, dull, grey May and June – can sometimes mean seedlings fail for lack of warmth and sunlight, even with the benefit of a greenhouse to shelter them.
Which means that whilst I usually sow a few things that do need a fairly long growing season (chillis, tomatoes, onions, leeks) or are easy-to-re-sow if needed (peas, beetroot, carrots, turnips, parsnips), in February and March, seeds that need a decent amount of warmth to germinate and then grow on strongly are saved until mid-April, May and on into June.
So far this month, I’ve sown the following:
|Squash||Cucurbita maxima||Crown Prince F1|
|Squash||Cucurbita moschata||Coquina Inca Gold F1|
|Squash||Cucurbita maxima||Uchiki Kuri|
|Squash||Cucurbita pepo||Vegetable Spaghetti|
|Courgette||Cucurbita pepo||Black Beauty|
|Courgette||Cucurbita pepo||Sunstripe F1|
|Hungarian Rice Bean||Phaseolus vulgaris||Duchesse de Chambourd|
|Cucamelon||Melothria scabra||Mexican Gherkin|
|Basil||Ocimum basilicum||Sweet / Genovese|
|Basil||Ocimum basilicum||Red Leaved|
|Basil||Ocimum basilicum||Mrs Burns’ Lemon|
|Sweetcorn||Zea Mays||Sweet Nugget F1|
|Radish||Raphanus sativus||Sparkler 3|
|Lettuce||Lactuca sativa||Mixed Green Leaves|
I’ve also lined up kohl rabi, parsley, kale, callaloo, and more lettuce, and then I’ll be starting on the beans. I have 22 varieties of beans in my seed box and you know what? I might just sow a few of them all. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
Actually, if you’re interested in what I’ve sown so far, there’s a Google spreadsheet available here that I’m updating fairly frequently. (Hopefully you should be able to view that but not edit it…)
How about yourself? What have you got on the go, or lined up, seed-sowing wise? Do you like to get an early head start, or do you prefer to wait for warmer weather? Let me know, via the comments.