So today I thought it about time I get some of the accumulating pile of seed packets I have, opened and set. This may sound like I know what I’m doing but last year was the first time I had ever actually set seeds.
My seed setting experience can be likened to a classic three act play. I had some epic fails in act one where I thought I’d just pour some seeds into some of the soggier parts of the garden where nothing was really growing anyway and see what happened: what happened, was nothing! No germination, no little green stems poking excitedly through the soil searching for my glorious applause! No, absolutely, nothing happened in the most boring of act ones!
I had some glorious success though with Cosmos seeds in act two when I literally just threw them into a planter and climactically, they grew to at least 4 foot tall, took centre stage and flowered – no one in the audience, believe me, was more amazed than I!
I also then had a seed setting tragedy of Shakespearian proportions to conclude! Having read all the packet instructions, I thought come the Autumn, I am going to be all over this seed setting script: I’m going to buy proper seed setting compost, modular tubs with the clear lid and set those little characters in Autumn, ready to planted out in Spring. This will ensure they are stronger, tougher and ready to bloom into heroes earlier! And so, all that I did. I even bought myself a fancy, £20, plastic greenhouse for staging and that, was the fatal flaw. The seeds germinated and I was almost euphoric with delight at my own success until an almightly storm hit and not only blew over my lovely, little, plastic greenhouse but dragged it along the ground, vomiting out all those sprightly, young seedlings and ripping the outward plastic costume to shreds, bringing my seed setting play to a tragic conclusion.
Once I had recovered from my amateur dramatic forage into seed setting, I decided come Spring, to tread the boards again. This time, I even bought vermiculite to mix with the seed setting compost – well if Monty says it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me! So I washed all the modular seed trays, mixed the compost and vermiculite in an old basin and filled up those modular trays to around three quarters full. Then I watered them and left them for a few hours before popping in some seeds and then, I even sieved some soil over the top. This final, flourish of performance actually did make me feel like Monty Don – he would be so proud of me!
Lacking a cheap, plastic greenhouse, I am now resigned to sitting the seed trays on the frame of said plastic greenhouse frame minus the plastic, outer costume and keeping it all inside initially. Now all I have to do is hope that these seeds realise this is no longer the dress rehersal and get their costumes on for a blooming great show!