Fret not – Plants don’t hurry

Pepper Seeds
The obligatory first handful of seeds for the season image…. You can almost see them smiling! They are as excited as I am after months of sitting in a dark packet in a cool place.

I love tradition and fanfare.  Any excuse for a celebration and I’m all over it.  We need these things to mark the passage of time as life rolls around too fast.  And it is with this thought bouncing around firmly in my head we find ourselves in August!   Seriously – August 2017.  It seems like yesterday I was waking up to a new day of a new year and promising myself this will be a better year, all fine-tuned and full of hope due to my past experiences and learning things the hard way.  My intentions were heavily laced with determination and commitment.   And yet here we are in August.

Seed trays
This year I have a new propagation system for these early starters, so they can stay warm, moist and cosy. The first job was to fill them with a good quality seed raising mix.

Don’t get me wrong – I have done stuff I feel proud of and I look back over the year and can legitimately say the failings weren’t my fault.  If the weather wasn’t so terrible I’d have more tomatoes, I would have had a better garden and I would have done more stuff.   The weather – no matter how frustrating has been a convenient scapegoat.

Labeling is importing when sowing seeds – especially when you are planting a hot Bird’s Eye Chilli beside a mild mannered Bell Pepper! I also like to sow seed in alphabetical order and take a photo of the seed tray so there is no chance for confusion.

But now we are in August.  I keep repeating this with disbelief.  The main reason I am approaching this with incredulity is that we are standing on the edge of a gardening precipice.  The new growing season is imminent and I’m not sure I’m ready.  Today as the 2nd day of the new month I haven’t done what a usually always do:  That is to start my pepper, chilli and capsicum seedlings off with great fanfare, pomp and ceremony.  I didn’t get it done.  This momentous moment passed me by.

Spacing seedlings
I normally like to sow my seeds into module seed trays so they get the space they need and there is less root disturbance. However, with this new system that isn’t possible so after I gently firmed the soil I made a grid out of some spare chicken wire mesh fencing we had kicking around. Spacing is important when sowing seeds, to ensure the seedlings have good air flow.

The negative thoughts in my head are suggesting it is an omen for the season…  ‘if you start behind you’ll stay behind’.  Of course, I shut them down straight away.   Peppers can be started all the way up to Early Summer in December and you’ll still get a harvest.  But for me it is more about lovingly coaxing this slow growing seedling into life, giving it the one on one attention it wouldn’t get when planted beside the more popular, faster growing and attention seeking tomatoes next month.  It is also about the beginning of the season and all that it represents to me.   And with this tiny peek into the inner workings of my bedraggled mind you can sense logic in my madness.

Date your seed packet
I always write the date I open packets of seeds, because as much as I store my seeds in the best possible way – in an old tin, in a cool, dry, dark place – the viability is on a countdown from the moment I open the packet. It makes things so much easier when I do my annual seed sort through.

Ok – so I missed the first day of my own growing season.  It was raining, non-gardening commitments took precedent and just to add to the frustration I had a bit of an MSsy day.  And I need to be ok with it.  Sometimes life stops gardeners gardening.  But nature is a forgiving thing – my peppers won’t know they started a day late and will still burst into life under my watchful care.  It is very easy to beat ourselves up with our own expectations.  Today, I’m feeling a little better, my non-gardening demands have been addressed and to be honest it doesn’t matter that it is raining (and the boffins are suggesting there will be a lot of rain – again).  Sowing seeds is a gentle indoor job and I will relax and slow down to the rhythm of nature.  Maybe this is a lesson for the entire season.

Fennel the Cat
They say don’t work with animals and small children. Fennel the Cat was determined to help, but she was just a little too helpful for my liking.

“Fret not – Plants don’t hurry”

Propagation system
The seed trays had their fancy covers placed over the top and then placed on my new heated propagator system with capillary matting so it will be watered gently with warm water from below! Peppers do like a nice warm 22C for good germination. I shall probably check for signs of life at least twice a day – if not more from now on! Let the fun begin.

Come again soon – the starters flag has been waved (albeit a moment late) and the growing season is underway.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

2 thoughts on “Fret not – Plants don’t hurry

    1. Thanks. It is nice to have a system made for the job, so you know your seedlings are off to the best start. I tend to treat the peppers the best because they are the first… buy the time the cucumbers need planting it is all on for young and old so they just get jammed into pots willy nilly! : o)

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