Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

The Nursery April 17, 2009

Filed under: Flower,Indoor,Seeds,Spring,Summer — northernwindowgardener @ 12:14 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

SeedlingsThe weather has turned a bit grey and misty this week so things aren’t looking at their best. At times like this it’s fun to think about what’s yet to come rather than what is currently happening.

Despite my miscue with the last set of seeds the first couple of batches are healthily growing on a sunny ledge indoors. When I remember I open the window a bit to let some cooler air circulate in an effort to harden them up a little. This means one room in the house has become an improvised, and distinctly oversized, cold frame.

Fortunately it hasn’t been windy so it’s been ok to open the window early in the morning and leave it like that until much later in the evening when I get home to close it again. It’s a risk that’s worth taking as they are mostly at the stage where they could handle a gentle breeze if the wind lifts a bit. There’s always the worry that our changeable climate brings a flash storm or strengthening winds while no one is around to rescue them, but the alternative is to leave them permanently inside then shock them when they get planted outside. On balance this seems to be the best compromise.

The geranium have been on the go for weeks now and the stalks are getting thicker and stronger, while the leaves just get bigger. Even the runt of the litter, the one that originally grew upside-down, is progressing – although it’s noticably smaller and weaker than the others.

The french marigold are starting to look like bonzai rain forest or palm trees (I can’t make up my mind which). I’m tempted to manufacture a photo of one sitting on a beach with a lego figure sitting next to it. I’d bet the scale would be almost perfect at the moment. The second tranche of marigold seedlings are doing just as well as the first although they are a bit smaller as you would expect.

The two other main sets of seedlings are the verbena and brachycome. I was a bit cowardly with both of these sets of seedlings and didn’t thin them out, thinking they were still so delicate that I’d leave it up to nature to decide the stong ones. The verbena are thin and straggly and I’m not sure if there’s anything I can really do about that. We’ll see how they progress. The brachycome are a couple of weeks behind the rest and again I should probably have thinned the seedlings out. But they’re doing ok and their curly, twisting, delicate foliage is really eye-catching – it’s so different from other plants with their straight stalks and crisp leaf structures.

There are some other odds and sods around – poor things, that’s a terrible way to describe them. The one surviving aster and the sweet pea are doing ok, the two lobelia look a bit weak and somewhere there’s a nemesia that is doing its best. Fortunately I had a sneaky look in the propagator and can already see some seedlings breaking through the soil so reinforcements are on their way.

It’s amazing what a bit of warmth, light and water can do. Actually at this time of year it’s now a LOT of warmth, light and water!


3 Responses to “The Nursery”

  1. Flighty Says:

    You must be well pleased with progress so far! I know that I would be.
    It’s been raining here yesterday and today but the forecast is for sunny, warm weather over the next few days which means that everything will be growing like crazy!
    Have a good weekend!

  2. Glo Says:

    It’s inspiring to read of your optimism and anticipation as you see your nursery plants developing. I can hardly wait to see how your window boxes will turn out 🙂

  3. Thanks folks. I’m lucky to have space to keep potting them on and give them lots of light – our longer northern days help now 😉 – whether that will translate into a burst of colour, who knows!

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