Preparation for each season becomes a way of life when the computer screen-saver is a library of plant images.
In days of yore I’d reach for the printed photographs as a reminder of which rotational plan existed in the vegetable beds. That gave way to slides, then this digital age.
The first germination of a new year, a batch of leaf lettuce, has recently surfaced in the propagating case. This was sown in late December, a generous pinch to each section of a cell tray, covered with vermiculite, watered and offered a constant 15C.
The seedlings now need a slightly cooler, but well illuminated spot – the conservatory. After a fortnight there to toughen them up, there’s a place in the greenhouse border and we’ll be snipping micro-leaves in February.
Garden peas (Early Onward) and dwarf broad beans (The Sutton) are ready for sowing. They go into 9cm pots, five and one per pot respectively, and develop on the staging in an unheated greenhouse.
Saved seeds of other vegetables, including the colourful, climbing fire-tongue bean (Borlotto lingua di fuoco 2), are on standby for mid-February sowing.