The first green shoots

It may still be winter outside, but indoors there are the first signs of spring.

On the windowsill in my office I have my seed potatoes chitting. There are two varieties: Colleen (an early) and Sarpo Mira (a blight-resistant maincrop). I love to see the signs of life bursting forth:

Sarpo Mira

Sarpo Mira

And in the propagator there are tiny seedlings – they weren’t there yesterday so this is their birthday! First to germinate are a couple of ‘Pyramid’ Rainbow chilli peppers. These seeds were bought from Real Seeds, who have this to say about them:

Pyramid rainbow chilli

Pyramid rainbow chilli

[They] make a bush about 20″ tall, covered in incredibly purple little peppers. They then ripen to a whole range of pinks, oranges and reds, so you get all the colours at the same time. It is ideal as a patio or conservatory pot plant, and is very hot, too!

Can you see it?

Can you see it?

I bought them mainly because I thought they would look pretty, but I’m sure that we will enjoy the chilli peppers in cooking. Second to appear is a tiny shoot of Bartlett’s Bonnet chilli, again from Real Seeds and selected because the fruit are such an interesting shape, described as a “winged bell”. Apparently the plants can grow up to four feet tall… at the moment only the tiniest loop of stem is peaking out from the compost and you might not even be able to spot it, but trust me it’s there. So, we have ‘chilli futures’ and ‘potato futures’, fingers crossed we’ll start to see some sweet peppers germinating soon too.

The pots, by the way, are hand made in Sri Lanka  from coir fibre and latex (read about them here), the compost is made commercially using wool and bracken (details here) and I made the plant labels from strips of plastic cut from the lids of some old takeaway boxes.

 

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14 Comments

  1. Uh oh, I think I’d better get started with mine or I’ll miss another year of veg growing – thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
  2. I can see it! And you upload nice big photos so we can biggify and really check out the pale curved shoot. Thank you! 🙂 How on earth do you get such smooth edges cutting up old takeaway plastic? Mine are always cracked and discoloured….. So happy for you that the first signs of returning life are showing.

    Reply
  3. I was lucky enough to spend 10mins in the garden on the weekend with my seed stash on my lap, enjoying a bit of winter sun and dreaming of summer, and patipan squashes….

    Reply
  4. they remind me of you xxx

    Reply
  5. I just read up on growing sweet potatoes. They said they were hard to grow and needed lots of heat which we don’t get that much of here. I haven’t had much time to think about the garden but as soon as the rain stops, I’ll get out there and have a look. Inside, I can grow almost nothing. Good to see someone already hard at work. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Nature’s at it again, producing enormous quantities of biomass from one tiny little scrap of seed. It’s one of the most enduring miracles. Sadly, in the 4 days I was away, my beans have been decimated by aphids and are looking a bit tragic. I shall rescue what I can for seed and the rest will head to the compost.

    Reply
  7. This is so exciting! The temperature here today is WAY below zero Fahrenheit, with no sign of anything spring-like, so your little shoots give me hope!

    Reply
  8. It’s wonderful to see these tiny stirrings of life,even when our temperatures locally are going into the minus!
    I love to see your pics, Jan, as they always give me a whole new promise of spring:)

    Reply
  9. So exciting! And you are so organised too. I love chitting potatoes in egg boxes, it just feels so good.

    Reply
  10. Lubbly jubbly Ms Snail. Guess what we picked up from the mailbox yesterday on our way up the drive? I can’t begin to thank you and Mr Snail enough for my most wonderful mailbox adventure :). I will blog about my wonderful snail mail (pun fully intended) tomorrow :). I also got a lovely parcel from the U.S. from Marlene that I will blog about at the same time. Have you tried Rocoto chilli’s? Perennial and will grow in much colder climates and you can put it in a pot and take it indoors when it starts to get cold? Here’s my old mate wikipedia with some info. I just planted out seeds and they are growing well now. I will pot some up to share the love but they have a lot of promise as you can eat them green when they are mild, then they heat up a bit and turn black and when they are bright red they are HOT. Team that with happy to live in temperate conditions and perennial and I think I just found my new favourite chilli 🙂 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsicum_pubescens

    Reply
  1. And sow it begins… | The Snail of Happiness

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