On the 18th Jan, I reported that the seedlings had germinated. A few days later, there were so many that I decided to thin them out. Today, I decided to thin them out again since some more had germinated and, in any case, I wanted to reduce them to about three seedlings per propagator cell. So here is a pic to illustrate:
A bit pathetic, don’t you think? But we must remember that the seeds are minuscule. At this stage, the seedlings are barely attached to the compost. In the first pic, some of them are lying down. That’s because of me mauling them, but they will buck up. Because they are barely attached to the compost, it is better not to pour water directly into the cells – the seedlings are easily detached from the compost. If necessary, just ‘mist’ them using a spray bottle. I use an old window cleaning fluid bottle which was, of course, thoroughly washed.
The seedlings are reasonably spread out. They should be OK for two or three weeks. They can sit in the propagator on the south-facing spare-bedroom window ledge. The temperature in that room is about 20C and they will get some sun there. They should be OK.
The weather over the last week or so has been splendid! Here in the North West of England, we had a couple of days of clear skies and reasonably hard frosts. Because I left my two baccy plant plots very roughly dug over, the frost got deep into the ground. The frost freezes the water in the soil and expands it. When the water in the soil thaws, it leaves billions of little holes which fill up with nitrogen (and oxygen) from the air. This is called ‘conditioning’. At the moment, we have several inches of snow lying on the surface. It is now beginning to melt, which will nicely moisten the ground thoroughly.