New shoots

It is early days but a tray full of ‘Chico 111’ tomato seedlings is growing well on a sunny window sill. The Air-Pot seed tray is deep enough to keep these young plants growing until it is warm enough to pot them up individually in the greenhouse. This early bush variety can often produce an early crop ahead of late blight outdoors.

A blight resistant ‘Nagina’ tomato is already in a 1 litre Air-Pot container. This type can grow very tall and keep growing almost into winter. This one early plant could potentially provide lots of cuttings, saving on expensive F1 seed. As the weather warms the main sowings of tomatoes will soon fill every sunny spot. This year a new variety for me is Pommodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio which I hope will produce the best pizza sauce. I will eventually move the smaller bush tomatoes into medium (9 litre) and the taller vine / cordon types into large (20 litre) Air-Pot containers.

Another good use for the Air-Pot trays is for growing salad leaves and a couple of trays can provide continuous pickings of lettuce, rocket, mustard, mixed leaves, etc. I also have a pot filled with French Sorrel plants, which were forked out of the ground last Autumn and kept in the greenhouse over winter. This has brought their growth forward and in addition to early salad leaves they will soon provide enough to use as a lemony spinach substitute.

A rather weather-beaten Tea Bush (Camelia sinensis) has bravely struggled through a few Scottish winters now and appears to be producing seed for the first time. Apparently it is happier given some protection in this climate so it has been potted-on and will be moved into an insulated polytunnel in the hope that this year we can grow enough tender leaf tips to brew some homegrown tea.

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