I love sowing seeds. It’s sad I know, but true. For the few weeks after sowing I just have to check the propagator every time I pass it, looking for any new signs of life – another seed germinates, another victory. It’s the same every year, each new variety a fresh challenge.
A couple of weeks ago, I found two seeds of Chilli Bhut Jolokia (not the easiest item in the world to geminate, sometimes taking five to six weeks) that had been sitting at the back of the seed drawer for four years. Three weeks later and I am the proud owner of a strapping seedling (that may be an exaggeration) which will, in time, present me with the hottest chilli peppers ever to grace this planet.
Alas, germination can also cause a problem. For as my little seedlings flourish and gain in size and strength, the time for pricking out and potting on arrives. How is this a problem? Well I only have limited rooms for aubergines, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers around the greenhouse, conservatory, patio and garden and I hate to part with these little seedlings nurtured with my own fair hands. I pass plants on to friends and neighbours but still have too many and I can’t face destroying the rest.
I thought I had found the answer to my dilemma last season with a bit of ‘guerilla gardening.’ I tried a bit of furtive planting in the flower beds (my wife’s area, strictly off limits) but when the fruits appeared – small tomatoes, tiny peppers, garlic plants – the games was up. It looks like I need a bigger garden.