Growing plants from seed has been so much easier this year using my new cold-frame. I wrote about it a few weeks ago, turns out it’s even more useful than I imagined it would be.
Previously in the old house, I would have used my greenhouse for all seeds and small plants, except for a few on the window-sill, but I’ve found that germinating seeds in the cold-frame in late spring and early summer works well. It’s cooler, so plants don’t dry out as quickly as greenhouse plants and if it rains they get watered without any effort from me, they also get plenty of all round light.
It gives just enough warmth and protection to encourage seeds to germinate more quickly than outside in the garden, without mollycoddling them.
It’s been perfect for housing a second batch of seeds, that had to be sown to replace a few spring sown seedlings demolished by a couple of hungry snails.
Here’s a peek into the cold-frame in mid-summer:
Nasturtiums seeds planted directly into the soil at the allotment didn’t grow, probably because the temperatures were a bit too low, but these little fellas have done well in the cold-frame.
The terracotta pot is full of parsley seedlings, I can never have enough flat-leaf parsley and it’s hardly ever successful for me when I sow it in the ground. I’ll thin it out and plant in a bigger pot when the seedlings have grown a bit bigger.
It seems that kale is the thing to grow, and it is a great vegetable, indestructible through winter when home-grown vegetables are scarce, as long as it’s protected from pigeons, who love it as much as we do.
Fourteen kale plants made it through the snail invasion, so I’ll have a few to give away at the allotment.
Dill isn’t easily available in the shops round here, so I’m growing it for the first time, it’s so much nicer than the dry stuff.
My first sowing of courgette plants failed to germinate, I didn’t notice for a while, and when I did all the local garden centres had sold out of seeds and plants, but Victoriana Nursery came to the rescue with these, such cute packs too.
I’m coaxing the little courgette plants along in the cold frame, but they’ll be off to the allotment next week. The crop will be later than usual, but I can’t imagine the plot without any courgettes on it.
My cold frame is near the kitchen door, so it’s easy to keep an eye on everything, I’m sure this has made a big difference to it’s success.
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos: Jill Anderson.