Thursday, 26 May 2011

Poor Germination - time for a furtle...

Hmmmmm, there is something very odd going on in my 'blowaway'...things just aren't germinating. Affected things seem to be French Beans, Pumpkins and Squashes. So what's gone wrong?

Well, I had a good 'furtle' (poking around in the soil until I locate the seeds) last night, and discovered the main problem with the Pumpkins and Squashes is simply overwatering. Normally I would sow my cucurbits indoors, and keep them inside until they are a really good size and ready to harden off. That way I can keep a close eye on them (I think they are the most fascinating seeds to germinate - they errupt out of the soil!). This year, due to lack of space, I decided to put the pots straight out into the blowaway (with its new fleece cover). We've had a few downpours over the last few days, and the fleece cover is permeable, so some rain will have got in, but I think the main culprit is my little helper, MrPB. He's been giving everything a 'general' watering with the hosepipe during this dry weather, which is fine for plants, but its just too much for seeds. When I went furtling, not only did I discover soaking wet soil, but also soggy, squishy seeds...they'll never germinate. I've resown several varieties, and have brought the pots inside to germinate. Fingers crossed!

The second problem seems to be my friend Mrs Norty. I had sown a tray of modules with dwarf french bean 'Sprite', which she kindly rummaged through, for me (as previously posted). Now, I thought the seeds were still in place, but it would appear that she dug up my beans and replaced them with wheat seeds from the birdfeeder - they've come up beautifully, but no bean seedlings!! I've resown these too.

The third problem is quite possibly age related...I have a sneaking suspicion that I labelled a pot for French bean 'A Grand Nero', but forgot to actually sow the seeds into it....ooops! I furtled through the entire pot contents, and there is just no sign of them...I sheepishly sowed some of these too!!

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