The early gardener

OnionsSort the seeds
Those MUWAGA members who order their seeds through the Association know they are on to a good thing as all seeds are half price. Currently we do this through Kings, and I have to say (I may be biased) that they provide a very good service. This is very good value as you can easily save more than the £5 annual MUWAGA membership cost in one go. Whether you got your seeds through the Association or not, now is the time to get them sorted. Get shot of all those old time-expired packets, because while they may germinate, often they don’t do as well, and are weaker; parsnips and parsley are good examples of this. The other advantage of sorting your seeds is that you can put them in the order you want to sow them so you are less likely to forget to do it. Lastly, if you do have seeds that are in date but you don’t need them, why not bring them along to the MUWAGA talks where we operate a swap table.

Easy does it
Keeping with the seed theme, I think it is best not to be in too much of a rush to sow. The soil can still be cold so that the seeds sit and sulk and may just rot rather than get going. I tell myself this every year but still feel a very strong urge to get things going as soon as possible, often with mediocre results. A bad case of not listening to my own advice! However, if you have a greenhouse or heated propagator then it is worth sowing seeds such as those for tomatoes and peppers early so they get a long growing season and then harden them off slowly before putting them in their growing positions once the risk of frost has passed.

Events
2017 is now well underway and Christmas and New Year seem a distant memory. Our last talk was about protected growing, and given by Chris Day, from Buckingham Nursery, a very knowledgeable and entertaining speaker. Indeed, even the world-famous Cheese, Wine and Pate evening on 25th January has been and gone by the time you read this. Looking forward to forthcoming talks, on 22nd February we have a talk by Philip Aubrey on ‘Conservatory and House Plants’, and on 22nd March the talk is on ‘Hardy Geraniums and Friends’ by Julie Ritchie. All our talks take place in Milton Village Hall on Wednesdays and start at 7.30pm. Both non-members and members are equally welcome, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Happy gardening.

Tony Lewis

February – March 2017