|A rather soggy-looking garden|
However, whilst the rain itself might be welcomed by the water-boards, unfortunately it's accompanied by plummeting temperatures and a lack of sunlight. And these have had a detrimental effect on the chillies.The long and the short of it is that everything has just slowed to a crawl. The cold, damp atmosphere is the opposite of what the plants thrive in and without any sunshine, the fruit that has already grown is refusing to ripen.
|The sorry-looking chillies in the allotment polytunnel have not made any great progress.|
|Orozco and Moroccan seedlings straining for sunlight|
|Pasilla Bajio seedlings|
So, with all of the seedlings and more mature plants on hold until the weather breaks, I decided to turn my attention to some more seeds.I know it's getting a little late in the season to be planting any more seeds (and it's not even as if I have homes for all the plants I already have) but I had a couple of good reasons to plant some more.Firstly, not all of the seeds I planted did as well as others and in one or two cases it's left me with just one or two specimens of a particular variety. I've already had a couple of more mature plants keel over on me for no reason and some have been less fruitful than others. So a few back-up plants wouldn't go amiss, particularly of the more tender or interesting varieties.
|The propagator loaded ready for growing|
Secondly, I picked up a Jiffy 7 propagator cheaply the other day as was keen to try it out compared to the various methods I've used so far this year for propagation.The Jiffy 7 system is a clean and simple way of raising seedings, using compressed coir (coconut husk) pellets that swell up in warm water as the planting medium. Once the seedings are of a sufficient size, the netted plugs can then be transplanted straight into larger pots without touching the roots and risking damage or root shock.
|One week into the trial...|
|...the seeds are beginning to show through|
Now these pellets aren't as cheap as a bag of compost and a few seed trays so in order to ensure that none go to waste I've planted two or three seeds in each to maximise the chance of a seedling taking. In the case of more than one sprouting then the weaker ones will be pinched out.
They're being grown on top of the aquarium to benefit from the same heat source as the other seeds I've germinated this year so I'll be keeping a close eye on them to seed how they fare compared to the seed trays, peat pots and the toilet-roll tubes that I've used up to now.