Monday 24 May 2010

Pead Off

Do you know I thought I'd planted all the beans I was going to this year. But I've got a load of pea beans and I need to get some to germinate this year rather than wait another year only to find they weren't viable. So I've soaked the one's I have in water for 24 hrs and then drained them - rinsing them several times a day. The ones that sprouted I've sown in potting compost which I will keep on the dry side this time.

Let's see if it works this time! I wouldn't normally bother but this is a "heritage" variety and I'd like to see if I couldn't keep it going.

On the subject of failure (hate to dwell on it, but how else am I going to learn) my early start on the brassicas this year turned out to be a waste of effort. The red cabbage on the right was sown on 21st March in modules on a windowsill. The red cabbage on the left was sown outdoors (and covered with fleece). Despite its later start the outdoor grown seedlings are so much better!

In fact the whole tray was a bit of a disappointment - except for the parsley and lettuce which I transplanted - hence the empty tray.

So my efforts with starting brassica early indoors have convinced me not to try it again.


The cells are too small (although no roots were showing through the drainage holes)

The temperature was too hot

there wasn't enough light

The potting compost was too rich for them.

I overwatered them

They got a shock when they got put outdoors

I should have potted them up or planted them out sooner

All in all its too much of a waste of time. I'm going to avoid this experience next year.

This was the starting point (in reverse order):

All (brassicas) for nought.

For the record

Time spent last weekend 4.5 hrs

This weekend 4.5 hrs

On the plus side - No money spent!


  1. None of my brassicas look great this year and I haven't done anything different....I think it's just the weird weather we've been having. I always start mine off in the greenhouse and then transplant them...thinking of sowing more so i can get a decent crop...even if it is a little late!

  2. I had same experience with early sowing of kohlrabi. Seeds I have sown one month later had better result than the ones I was growing under lights in March.

  3. WE usually have good success with indoor growing but there is much concern at the moment over the quality and consistency of compost. What was your comost like?

  4. Sorry it should say compost!

  5. That's strange Mal, all my cauliflowers were started indoors and are really going well since planting out. I did plant them out quite early so maybe the cooler temps helped?

  6. I think the brassicas should only be GERMINATED on the windowsill and placed somewhere cooler as soon as they do. I held on waiting for the parsley to germinate, and by that time the brassicas had already gone too far. Answer don't mix up seeds with different requirements in the same propogator. There is also the compost issue (thanks GLA). I used a general purpose potting compost. Perhaps I should have mixed in some soil and/or sand - or used a ready made John Innes compost. In future once I spot them bolting - out they go!

  7. I know what you mean with brassicas, I find them temperamental at best. I almost vow to give up on them every year, all that hard work I put into them and the caterpillars, slugs and pigeons eat them anyway!