Shoots & Leaves

What are you doing up already? Back to bed
What are you doing up already? Back to bed

I sowed the sweet peppers (Yolo Wonder, Long Red Marconi, and Corno de Torro Rossa) in the smallest module tray last Thursday (21st Feb), along with 24 aubergine seeds (Falcon F1), and placed in the heated propagator unit on my windowsill. There was room for a strip of maybe 20 more modules, so the following day, I also added some F1 Cindel tomatoes and a few Brandy Wine beefsteak tomato seeds in modules too; although they will be ready for planting out before the designated tunnel will probably be ready at the end of April, I can pot them on and feed them before planting out to make pretty substantial plants, and therefore hopefully get an early crop in June/July.

I sowed the rest of the tomatoes seeds (Gardener’s Delight, more Brandy Wine, Berner Rose, Black Cherry Tomato, Tigerella, Green Zebra and Golden Queen) in 300 modules in the module tunnel. Although unheated, they germinated fine like that last year. I’ve also sown a handful of chillies from saved seed there too.

Anyway, the heated seeds were of course always going to germinate quicker; but I certainly didn’t expect them to germinate and appear by Tuesday 26th Feb – five days, four for the tomatoes! That’s quicker than some brassicas! Eek, they really must be desperate to get going and start seeing spring. I know how they feel…

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Houston, We Have A Problem…

IMG-20130221-00219The newest polytunnel, put up last summer, is right behind the first two tunnels and next to the hedge; therefore it invaded prime rabbit territory. They still have all the rest of the horses’ fields to play in, of course; but I have noticed a number of rabbit runs in the hedge becoming more apparent during the winter. Then last week I strolled into the tunnel to pick some beetroot and salad, and was confronted by a proper gurt big rabbit hole under the beetroot. Hmm.

Then the following day I went into the tunnel and caught possibly the largest rabbit I’ve ever seen in the act: it freaked out and ran from one side of the tunnel to the other, sumersaulting into the plastic, before shooting out through a gap in the plastic by the door. That must be how they got in too. Damn. I’ve tried filling in the hole a couple of times; but think I’m going to get hold of a friend’s terrier and send it down the hole, in return for breakfast (and the rabbit). There doesn’t seem to be too much damage in the tunnel at the moment (just some burried baby chard and chervil plants), but I don’t want rabbits in the tunnel when I plant lettuces out etc. Mind you, the soil they’ve dug out is amazing: crumbly and light, better than any rotovator could do. Silver lining I suppose…