Sunday, 20 February 2011

It All Begins Here

I've been saying since January that I'm going to start off my pepper seeds, well I've finally got round to it today. They're now all tucked up in the heated propagator, but they'll be taken out of there as soon as they push their heads up otherwise the extra heat will encourage them to grow leggy. I've decided to go for two varieties this year. The first is a bell shaped pepper, California Wonder, which seems to be a popular choice of pepper in the UK. The second variety is Corno di Toro Rosso, which is known as Bulls Horns in Italy due to it's tapered shape. It will be interesting to compare the two.

There's been so much talk of spring arriving just lately that it came as quite a shock yesterday when I got up and looked out the window. Everywhere was white, covered in a layer of snow. It was lunch time before the snow stopped falling, but it had turned to slush by evening. This morning there was no snow to be seen. We should remember that it's still February and this sort of weather isn't unusual.

At the moment I've got a renewed enthusiasm for the allotment after reading several blogs telling just how fast they're progressing with their allotments. I had intended to get cracking with my own allotment this weekend, however, with the snow covering it yesterday and the residual mud today, there was no chance. Fingers crossed for better weather next weekend.


  1. I'm in the fingers crossed camp with you. Rain last weekend and then feeling unwell this weekend (dratted labyrinthitis!). Here's hoping for next weekend.

  2. The snow was a bit of a shock wasn't it? It can't be progress on our plot that has you itching as we aren't out of the starting blocks yet!

  3. My pepper seeds are still sitting in the backbedroom waiting to be planted! Without a heated propagator though I'm waiting a bit till it's a tad warmer and then they'll be planted. It's my first time growing pepper so hopefully they'll be OK. Good luck at the allotment!

  4. There must be something I'm missing when it comes to peppers. I started mine early last year (early March) on a warm windowsill and they just sulked for ages and most of them died. Any guesses what I'm doing wrong?

  5. I got peppers in this weekend as well, California Wonder. It was so so cold today, I can understand how you got snow. NI isn't far off it. I have to remind myself, not clear of frost until 1st June!

  6. Thankfully no snow down here, that would have been a shock! Good luck with the peppers, I need to get another batch underway.

  7. Just cold, dull and wet here over the weekend!
    I'm certainly not progressing fast but we shouldn't be unduly worried (yet!). Flighty xx

  8. We didn't get the covering you guys got - just slush :-\
    great to see you've got peppers on the go. We've just got some of the long varieties, on your advice ;)Will probably get them sown this week.

  9. I used to grow California Wonder but in the last few years I've sown seeds from the long pointed red supermarket peppers - free seeds and a much higher crop. Give it a go.

  10. I've never done well with chillies, so I give them a miss now. But I have earmarked this week to get my tomatoes started. Sorry to hear about the snow!

  11. I started my Californian Wonder this weekend too. I also sowed Red Marconi pepper - I'm trying it for the first time.

    After reading gardening blogs I also get enthusiasm for gardening. However, we are experiencing the return of winter this week, so I will have to postpone any outdoor activity. Sowing peppers is all the gardening I will do this week.

  12. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, it meant I found your blog too!
    Reminds me to get down in the greeenhouse and start sowing some seeds - have overwintered some lettuce plants there successfully, and spinach, but yet to sow anyhting this year!


  13. Oh how so exciting Jo. Here the propagator is dusted down and ready to spring into action later this week. I am also growing 'Corno di Toro Rosso'. None of the white stuff here but it's been cold and dreary for days ~ in desperate need of a shot of sunshine :)

  14. Exciting! I've got chilli seeds to prick out but no peppers showing as yet. Am sitting on my hands trying to stop myself sowing anything else until next weekend. Glad to have missed the snow but the plot is a quagmire, and more rain forecast. Undiggable :-(

  15. Sorry to hear you've not been feeling well, Linda. It seems there's always something conspiring to keep us away from the allotment. I'll keep my toes as well as my fingers crossed for next weekend.

    I wasn't expecting snow at all, Sue, thank goodness it didn't hang around. You might not have done much on your plot yet but look at all that lovely salad that you're growing. I'll definitely be envious when you start harvesting.

    I've sown my pepper seeds much later than this and they've produced fine, MacGirl. The only thing with peppers is that they need a long growing season to ripen fully, but they're still edible when they're green.

    I take it your peppers germinated ok, Nome? I tend to treat peppers like I would tomatoes. You say you had them on a warm windowsill. Perhaps move them in to the room at night as windowsills can get quite chilly which peppers won't like. I hope it hasn't put you off giving them another go this year, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    It's hard to imagine frost in May, Kelli, especially when the weather turns mild, but this weather just serves to remind us not to rush in to sowing things too early. I think Northern Ireland has had it's fair share of bad weather this year, I hope the snow stays away now.

    Glad to hear you dodged the snow, Damo. I couldn't quite believe it myself when I looked out of the window and everything was white. I hope we've seen the back of it now.

    It's still early in the year, Flighty, but I do start to panic when I read blogs and see that everyone is so far ahead of me. I have to remember that there's plenty of time for everything yet.

    I'm glad the snow didn't hang around, Mo, neither did the slush. It will be interesting to see how the long pepper varieties do compared to the more usual shaped ones.

    That's really interesting, Kath. I never thing of saving seeds from supermarket bought veggies, but that goes to show that it doesn't have to cost a fortune to grow your own.

    I'll hang on for a while yet before starting off my tomatoes, Mark. It's where to put them once they're up and out of the propagator. My dad always starts his off really late in his unheated greenhouse and they do very well.

    I like trying new varieties as well as old favourites, Ana. Blogs are a great way of spurring us on, I find someone's enthusiasm rubs off on to me.

    Thanks for the return visit, Gill. The peppers are the first seeds I've sown this year, there's plenty of time yet.

    This dreariness is really depressing, Anna, so different from last weekend but then it is only February. Hope both of our peppers do well.

    I haven't done any digging on my allotment this year, Janet, it's just been too claggy. It's hard not to sow the contents of my seed stash at this time of year, I'm itching to get going, but they'll do much better if I wait a while.

  16. Sorry, I've just had a chuckle to myself, wondering how many of your readers know the word 'claggy' :)

  17. It is very easy to get carried away with wanting to get planting when we get to this time of year. I did it last year and ended up with a house full of leggy plants because it was too cold to get them outside. This year I am taking a more sensible approach and waiting until the weather warms before starting. We here in Yorkshire are copping for the snow aren't we!!

  18. I have no joy with peppers at all, I do get them to germinate then it just goes horribly wrong. They see me coming, keel over and die. I hope the weather improves soon as I had better get cracking as well.

  19. Good luck with those peppers...I still haven't planted any seeds yet but hope to get stuck in next week. Fortunately the snow seems to have passed us by but the ground is very muddy here with all the rain we've had!! :-(

  20. Dear Jo,

    Love your propagator. Can't wait to get mine going, but still too early here, as our last frost day isn't until the end of May.

    I know all about snow with my garden still under about a foot of the nasty stuff. But can't garden right now anyway, as just had another stint in the cardiology unit ... third hospilization this year. I am recuperating in front of a lovely fire reading my favorite blogs! P x

  21. You have a lovely blog! Loved reading through! Have bookmarked it to read more of it!

  22. I'm sure any gardeners with soil like mine is at the moment will know what claggy is even if they don't know the word for it, Mo. Is it a Yorkshire word? I hadn't thought about it before using it.

    I'm hoping that we've seen the last of the snow now, Naturalicious. I think we all get itchy and want to be sowing at this time of year. I'm sure we've all made the mistake of sowing too soon and having leggy plants too.

    I treat my peppers as I would tomatoes, The Plotkeeper, though I do start them off earlier than I would tomatoes as they like a long growing season. Good luck with your peppers if you decide to try them again this year.

    Our ground is very muddy too, Tanya. I'm hoping that we've seen the back of the snow now, we've had enough this winter.

    Sorry to hear that you've been back in hospital, Pam. I think that in front of your cosy fire is the best place to be if there's snow outdoors. Hope you've seen the last of the hospital now, you've had your fair share this year.

    Thank you for your lovely comment, Microsoft. I hope you continue to enjoy my blog if you return.


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