This time I won’t shout. Promise.
My poor delicate seedlings don’t know whether to wear fur lined boots or open toed sandals. In the greenhouse they bask in 80 degrees centigrade during the day and shiver in minus 1 at night. Such extreme fluctuations have led to a dozen of my tomato seedlings giving up in their confusion. They have ‘damped off’.
This is a term used for when a seedling collapses and dies following attack by a soil borne disease – usually a fungus. The fungus is caused by damp conditions and is particularly problematic in Spring when light levels and temperatures are still low. Of course, I’m also going to apportion some blame to the lockdown too, as I hadn’t been able to buy any vermiculite to add to the sowing compost. Vermiculite adds drainage and helps to prevent the shallow roots from becoming water logged. Their demise had absolutely nothing to do with me being way too eager and sowing too early!
No other seedlings were harmed in the writing of this blog and I do still have about 100 tomato babies left– I can’t help myself; I have a problem, I know! At the opposite end of the spectrum; broad beans, garlic, onions and shallots are as resilient as resilient things and thriving in situ. Snow and frost haven’t fazed them.
The fruit trees are dripping with blossom and buzzing with bees; teasing me with the prospect of deliciousness to come. The girls, who are now allowed out to play, are starting to hide their eggs from me again. It’s a game they play. They tell me they’ve heard that we humans like to go on egg hunts at this time of year – something to do with an Easter tradition and all that. So, April is living up to her horticultural reputation of toil, unpredictability and promise. She always was a bit of a drama lama. Exhausting! I’m going for a lie down. See you in May.