YooooHoooo – where are you?

This has to be the most frustrating time of the whole season.  After much anticipation I finally sowed my pepper seeds.  These are the first seeds to find themselves lovingly placed in seed raising mix in preparation for my summer garden.  They are notoriously slow and experience has taught me that if I’m to have a decent harvest before my first frost in autumn then they need to be started now.

Waiting for seedlings
I’ve waited so patiently… but how much longer do I have to wait to see that exciting hint of green?

In spite of being a bit rusty, having not sown any seeds for months, the technique came back instinctively and I felt good.  Finally, I was growing again.  The season is underway.  I was even proud of my restraint and only sowed what I needed and a replacement set and resisted the urge to chuck in the extra “just in case” ones and completely avoided the “but they are so tiny, it wouldn’t hurt to grow a few more!”

Empty seed tray
While we are at it…. Where are my celery seedlings? Huh?

Then I set them up in a warm spot with a gentle heat radiating from underneath, to appease their fickle desire to germinate in a cosy spot of around 22°C.   Several times a day I gently misted the soil to ensure it was at the correct level of moisture. I had even used fresh seed in a brand new seed tray so I felt so chuffed with myself.  We were off to a good start.

Shallot bursting forth
Things do bode well for a fab season – these shallots are bursting forth with such vigor.

It has been 12 days and my confidence is beginning to waiver.  There is no sign of anything.  Nothing.  The seed tray is barren.  In spite of my obsessive level of care that no other seeds in the garden receives – there is nothing like that first child to get spoiled beyond belief.  By the time the cucumbers go in there is so much going on that they get lobbed into the nearest pot and watered as and when and they rarely get individual attention.   They still do well – proving we don’t really need to fuss as much as we do.

Pea seedlings
I have an army of peas rising up…

But I need to be reminded of this each season as I fuss over these first seeds.   I begin to question myself.  Is the misting not working – is the soil too dry.  Maybe my mister is a little too misty and it is making the soil too wet.  What if the heat is too hot and cooking my seeds?  What if it is too cold and my wee babies are shivering down there in wet soil?   What if the seed is dud?  But with 11 different varieties, surely they can’t all be dud?  I resist the urge to have a poke. I wake in the middle of the night with the question going around and around in my brain:  “What am I doing wrong?”

Broad beans flowering
The broad beans are flowering. Remind me why I’m growing these ‘things’ again? I think I vaguely remember a mild liking for them last year….

But deep down in my heart I know what is wrong.  The problem doesn’t lie with the seeds.  It lies with me.  I need more patience.  They will pop up eventually – in their own time.   I need to trust their natural instinct to grow.  I have given them what they need and all I have to do now is wait.  But I do wish they’d hurry up.

Daffodils on a sunny day
The sun is shining, the birds are singing. What more does a spring gardener need?

Come again soon – the sun is shining, the soil is drying and there is much to be done.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

15 thoughts on “YooooHoooo – where are you?

  1. So exciting! Hoping for a great season for you.
    I am a few weeks before I start planting my cool weather seed.

  2. Pepper seeds are SO slow. Every year I’m tempted to stop watering and just give up because obviously they’re dead. It doesn’t help that I sow them at the same time as my tomatoes who pop up in a few days…hang in there! They’re come.

  3. Two thing that spring to mind, are they in the sun? they can cook very quickly on days like this ,Forgot to open door on my glasshouse this morning ,temp was 48degrees!! also i find a sheet of glass over the tray helps keep humidity up.

    1. Hi Graham. thanks for your helpful advice. They are in a perfect spot in my office where I can keep a close eye on them and have started to pop up. I always get impatient around this time of year, but they never really let me down.
      The greenhouse gets surprisingly warm on these late winter days!
      Cheers Sarah : o)

  4. Resisting the “chuck in the extra” is the hardest part always, I find… I do use covers on the trays, so I don´t have to mist regularly, with very small seeds I find that safer.

    1. Even after growing successfully from seed for years – every time the peppers test my confidence. It doesn’t help that they are the first seeds of the season. They are all popping up now – thank goodness.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

  5. I got my first hint that its almost time to get into the garden again… self-sown coriander and rocket started popping up. Spring is nearly here!

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