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Johnplotman's Journal

Johnplotman's Journal

Last Post 1209 days 1 hour ago

An early seed start.

30 November 2009 19:59:19
New seed trays prepared.

New seed trays prepared.

Frost has already payed a visit and will again tonight so greenhouse work will be on hold until another evening.The bottom section of the garden shed tidy up will be finished tomorrow evening be it hail,rain,or snow.I changed plans around a little and from 3 pm i washed 200 mini flower pots and filled them along and an 84 module tray with very damp compost so i could move them inside to heat and have all ready for an early start to tomato plants around mid December.After a hot cup of tea some life came back to my fingers.Jack Frost may have wanted to help me wash them.It looked like that with the cold of the weather.Now that all washed pots and trays are inside in the heat of the seed room,problems with cold temp are not a worrie.Another of the trays of saved seed were prepared,stored,and put  away until very early Spring time.Tomorrow evening plans will be for the garden shed work.

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Jacinta D Jacinta D 30 November 2009 20:10:19

Wow that is some amount of pots, John. Your poor hands. I hope you did it in hot water. I didnt think you could start tomatoes off in December. What variety are you going to sow?

kitkat kitkat 30 November 2009 20:14:47

I grew tomatoes once from seed in my diningroom as I dont have a greenhouse. They were very successful but too tall. This time I would like to try a dwarf variety.

Myrtle Myrtle 30 November 2009 20:17:53

200 pots! Wow!

Clara Clara 30 November 2009 20:21:41

Hope the frost is not going to slow you up but you will not put the seeds out until it passes frost is early as it was here last year in feb.

Johnplotman Johnplotman 30 November 2009 20:34:05

Jacinta,[thanks] i will start the usual greenhouse ones,Ailsa Craig,Monemaker,Tumbler etc.They will be shifted straight to the greenhouse when time allows.Outdoor will be started later,about the end of March.I got some from Olga,big pear shaped black,orange,red and it will be interesting to see how they do.As they only have just a few in each packet it will be a hope for the best job with them.They can also be started in a heated greenhouse.I hope to do similar with some veg on those trays,in a sort of successional cropping way.My hands are fine now.

Jacinta D Jacinta D 30 November 2009 20:39:29

John I saved tomato seeds during the summer (Alicante and Sunbaby) that grew in the greenhouse. Can I sow these in December?

Johnplotman Johnplotman 30 November 2009 20:44:30

Hopefully not Clara,they will never hit the ground until the time is safe.Nothing is worse than heading out and to see weather damaged stalks after all the watering thinning,turning to light to keep them straight etc.Jack frost has it in for me and watching me to make a move to him.

Johnplotman Johnplotman 30 November 2009 20:49:06

You can Jacinta,in late December especially with the Alicante once the greenhouse is heated.The temp must not go below 12 deg at night.Maybe to 10 but it gets risky then.

Jacinta D Jacinta D 30 November 2009 20:51:33

I dont have heating in my greenhouse, John. Could I grow them in the house.

Johnplotman Johnplotman 30 November 2009 21:06:03

No nor me Jacinta.I started in an other upstairs room.Once they dont get to overwarm and ok with water they should take off well when started in your house.The crucial bit will be the hardening off.When the time comes here to move them out to the greenhouse i will move them out for about a week and back in at night.Then they fight for themselves.

fran m fran m 30 November 2009 21:19:40

Well done you, system well thought out, as ever.

MaryJoe MaryJoe 30 November 2009 21:20:34

You are a mighty man those hands of yours must be made of iron more power to you

Jacinta D Jacinta D 30 November 2009 21:21:25

Excellent. I will do that so, and give them an early start. Hopefully they will be better than shop-bought seedlings. Thanks John.

Johnplotman Johnplotman 30 November 2009 21:29:59

Thank you all,

Jacinta,hope all works out for you with the tomatoes.The next time you save the seed at the end of the year get 1 or 2 small grains of rice and leave them with the saved seeds in the envelope.The raw rice will help keep them dry.You may be doing that already.

Gismo1981 Gismo1981 30 November 2009 21:30:26

wow thats some planting. how warm do you keep your greenhouse ?

Johnplotman Johnplotman 30 November 2009 21:33:52

I often wished my hands were made of iron MaryJoe,so i could reach up and wring out the clouds of rain for about 3 months

Johnplotman Johnplotman 30 November 2009 21:38:36

Gismo,that room will stay at a steady 15-16 deg.Right now though with the desperate cold of the night it has fallen back to 13.It will recover in a short while.The poor greenhouse is touching about -2 if not -3 this minute i would say.I will be down there for a look around 10 pm and to lock the garden shed.

Sharon1 Sharon1 30 November 2009 21:38:55

John, putting us all to shame again?  but do you not find that the light levels are still too low in Jan and the plants get 'leggy' and the ones sown later in late Jan/Feb do just as well? - just curious?? cause I've done early tom sowing in Jan and continued it thru to even May and ended up with tomatoes right through to November, but never had toms before July.......

Gismo1981 Gismo1981 30 November 2009 21:40:04

Oh how I would love to be a seed in one of those trays, its warmer than my office in work. had layers of clothes and two pairs of socks today and I was still numb :O(

Johnplotman Johnplotman 30 November 2009 21:56:41

I dont know about the shame piece Sharon.Yes,the light levels will be low at that stage but i will have the room well lit up.Greenhouse tom,need between 15 and 16 weeks to be ready for picking.Outdoor need up on 20 weeks for similar.When they did harvest for you it was a good crop you got right thru to November.

Janette Janette 01 December 2009 10:41:31

John, well done and well thought out! recycling the old wardrobe for a table was a good idea... I can see now the work you put into getting those prizes at the local Show, you DESERVE them!!J

Johnplotman Johnplotman 01 December 2009 18:11:00

Thanks Janette,I hate to see anything going to waste if it will help the garden in any way especially.Hope a bit of that luck will pay off with the show next year.

Mairin Mairin 02 December 2009 00:15:42

Goodness John, there are some amount of pots there.  Very impressed.

Johnplotman Johnplotman 02 December 2009 17:44:36

Thanks Mairin.


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