Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Cold Snap

A couple of years ago, my hubby bought me a lovely watering can planter for Christmas. Each winter it has been moved into the greenhouse and has been perfectly fine, but not this year. I know that these type of planters aren't frost resistant but it's been covered with fleece and it's still cracked and broken. It just shows how cold it's been this year. I suppose I could always put another on my Christmas list for this year, but at the risk of sounding ungrateful, it wasn't a very practical design. The top had a band across it which made planting and watering difficult, the compost was always drying out. I do like to have quirky planters and ornaments around the garden though.

It's my weekend off this week, so I've decided that I shall start off my first batch of seeds. Some people can't resist the start of the new season and start their seeds off in January, but I've been trying to wait a bit so that the seedlings aren't hanging around on my windowsills for too long. This makes them go leggy due to the reduced light levels, and I find that later sowings usually catch up anyway. I have some shallots to plant and have heard of people starting them off in module trays before planting them out. I'm wondering if any of my readers have any experience of this and find it beneficial. Perhaps you could let me know.

There still hasn't been any work done on the allotment. It's still far too wet to get a spade in there, and at the moment it's snowing again. When will it ever end?


  1. Oh I do sympathise - it's so frustrating isn't it. It snowed again here today, and there are no signs that it's going to warm up any time soon.

  2. Well, it just proves that you had a very cold winter! As for the seeds, I agree, they could get leggy unless you have all the right lights. I don't have those lights and a space for the seed containers too. That is why I did some winter sowing in plastic containers outside.

  3. What a shame! I concur with your last paragraph. Flighty xx

  4. I have never tried starting shallots off inside...In fact wherever possible I like to start all of my seedlings off outside so as of yet I have planted nothing. Sorry this isn't more helpful but I will be interested to know your success if you do give it a try.

    Roll on spring!!!!!

  5. Oh Jo I'm sorry about your planter's demise.

    Like you I have decided to not start anything till the end of February for th same reasons.

    It is also snowing down this way again so who knows when I'll get any gardening done.

  6. We have had snow fall now 3rd day non stop, so I know what you think...

    I have never grown shallots, I’m sorry I can’t help. But I would try it anyhow if you are planning to grow them from seed. Growing from bulbs - I’m not sure that it will work to start them indoors...

  7. I love discovering new blogs and your blog title spoke to me.
    It has been warming up a little down our way but turned cold again now. I do have some seedlings started indoors but know from previous years experience they will be fine. Looking forward to the warmer soil days to get really going now though. Will go and have a nosey around your blog now.

  8. What a shame about your planter - it looked really pretty.

    I plant my shallot sets straight into the ground Jo and they're fine. The sets have a head start anyway and will provide a crop even if they go in later than they should. They do seem to like a little bit longer in the ground than onions. Hope that helps.

    I can only agree about the weather. This is our third day of snow showers!

    Jeanne x

  9. Well, if it snows this weekend, I shall just be defiant and work outdoors in it. I've wasted enough time. I've still got a few beds to build, as well as some vertical herb planters, and no amount of frozen slush will stand in my way.

    Well, I might have a lie in for a bit if it's really thick, but then I'll work in it.

  10. Hi Jo, oh what a shame about your pot. What a helpful hubby getting all those toilet roll innards ready for you. I washed out pots today with jeyes fluid, the kitchen stunk for ages (too cold to do it outside !) I did intend to sow my sweet-peas, but I just couldn't be inspired. When is the winter going to end !!

  11. Oh what a shame about the planter Jo. A couple of terracotta pots here have cracked :( Have only planted shallots directly into the ground so not sure how they would fare in cells. You've got nothing to
    lose by experimenting though- it all adds to the fun.

  12. We've had quite a nice day today, Rachael. It hasn't rained, yet. Let's hope the weather's on the turn.

    It has been very cold this year, Tatyana. The time when my windowsills will be full with seedlings will be here soon.

    Thanks for visiting, Flighty. Let's hope the better weather is only around the corner now.

    I still haven't decided what to do regarding the shallots, Tanya. The problem really is that the allotment isn't ready for them to be planted, so I might not have an option but to start them off in modules.

    Hope your weather has improved, Kella. We've had some sunshine today so I just hope it continues. I've started my first batch of seeds off today.

    Hope your snow doesn't last long, Vrtlarica. I'm growing the shallots from sets, but I've read of people starting the sets off in modules. I think it's just to get them into growth before being planted out. I'm still unsure what I'm going to do, but I'll let you know.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, Dawn. I will pop over to check your's out in due course. My first seeds have now been sown, so I'm hoping that the improvement that we've seen in the weather this weekend continues.

    The planter was pretty, Jeanne. Just another casualty of this cold winter we've had. Thanks for the advice about the shallots. I think the shallot bed will have to be the first part of the allotment which gets dug over.

    We've had sunshine today, The Idiot Gardener. I hope the weather has been fine where you are too, to enable you to get some work done, well, after your lie in.

    I've been planting today, Maureen. I've done that in the kitchen as although the sun is shining, for a change, it's still cold. Oh, and I got my sweetpeas planted at last.

    I've had a couple of other pots crack too, Anna. Those were my own fault though as I left them outside. I might do an experiment with the shallots and plant some in cells and some in the ground, we'll know for sure what the difference is then.

  13. I've started off seeds early in the year, and normally the only issue I had (before the greenhouse) was that my window cills were full of triffids BEFORE the last frosts, and Mr V eg was unhappy. so was I. I couldn't see out of the windows. Stuff tends to catch up if planted later though. Cat

  14. I've had the same issue in the past, Cat. What I did last year though, was to start the seeds off indoors and then move them out into the mini plastic greenhouse which I put inside the proper greenhouse. They did ok, and it freed up my windowsills.


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