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:
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:
[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!
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.