I don’t really expect anybody else in this world, or another world, to find this page very interesting.  It’s just for me really – my personal geek record – but perhaps it might be helpful to others fretting about their germination rates.

The first part is mainly a chronicle of failure, but it gets better.

Lessons learned so far:

  • Old, badly cared-for seed is a bit of a gamble
  • Signs not looking good for the egg-box-as-plant-pot experiment
  • Station ladybirds in defensive positions before putting seedlings outside
  • The weather will turn mean straight after moving sensitive plants outside

7 March


  • Two pots of earth, surprise gift; May update – one cauliflower seedling emerged, had a quick look at the world and made his farewells, two unidentified so known as ‘Ruth’ chilli pepper seedlings came up in pot two, though one is now looking distinctly like a stick after an aphid attack. Sorry Ruth! Note: Unidentified-mud-surprises cause much excitement.

14 March


  • 4 shop bought garlic cloves; behind herbs in border; May update – 4 strong shoots about a foot high;
  • 3 manky Jerusalem artichoke tubers, bought for eating, planted against side fence; May update; two plants have appeared in roughly the right place, but I’m not sure if they’re really the fartichokes or not. 1 June – I think I have two! (or I’m letting some weeds get really big).

22 March

  • 6 Aubergine Black Beauty, inside, windowsill with afternoon sun; May update: 6 seedlings potted up 9 May
  • 1 small pot old Spring Onion seed, inside; Update: still not surfaced in late May
  • 1 small tray Radish, French breakfast 3, inside; Update: planted out 5/4, and all but three eaten by slugs
  • Small tray old coriander seed, inside, windowsill with afternoon sun, one seedling emerged then died.
  • 6 Pepper corna giallo, in egg box, inside;
  • Small tray Classic Italian Basil, inside, windowsill with afternoon sun; Update: potted up  two nice pots worth, and optimistically planted spares out around tomatoes
  • Small tray Thai Basil, inside, windowsill with afternoon sun;Update: potted up  two nice pots worth, and optimistically planted spares out around tomatoes
  • Small tray Borage

5 April


  • Courtesy of begetters-of-frugilegus – 12 Potato tubers, Maris Bard, Nadine, Rocket and ‘Sex’, outside in buckets;
  • 1 row Spring Onion seed; Update: if they grew they were eaten
  • 1 row Radish; Update: devoured by slugs as soon as it grew
  • 1 small tray Rocket, plated out April, May update: some has survived the slugs but is yet to rocket.
  • 3 Okra seeds, inside; May update, two germinated and taken outside,one survivor, one fell to aphids and wind;
  • Two pots parsley giganta, inside
  • One pot old open marigold seed, inside
  • Tray ancient open mixed lettuce seed, outside; May update: no show.
  • 6 pots peppers, 2 padron 2 carmagnola rosso, 2 ciliegia piccante, inside; May update: all germinated, planted out 9 May;
  • Three cucumber plants, marketmore, inside
  • One pot garlic chives, inside; May update: no show…

11 April


  • 6 unidentified squash seeds, inside; one survived, struggled but survived aphid onslaught, one germinated but could not find the strength to throw off his seed case, one fell in the great aphid battle of May 2009; three too lazy to appear; will try pre-soaking next time.
  • Small tray Basil Red Rubin, inside; potted-up three nice pots worth
  • One tray Camomile, outside; May update: germinated well
  • 3 pots  Aubergine violetta lunga 2: potted up 10 May

13 April


  • Tray rocket seed, outside; May update: germinated well

9 May

Planted out gifts from begetters-of-frugilegus (they’re spoiling me)

  • Three tomatoes: Shirley, Super 100, Jolly, in buckets, outside, light position:
  • 2 baskets of hanging tomatoes,outside, light position:
  • Runner beans, 6 in large pot and two in ground where bokashi bin had recently been dug in
  • French beans, pots
  • Courgette, outside, light position, in large pot:
  • Curly Parsley seedlings, outside, light position in pot:


  • Carrots, Early Nantes 5, three large pots, shady position; germinated 19 May


  • Three cucumber plants, marketmore, to back fence, good sun, milk-bottle slug barriers erected; 16 May: one devoured by aphids, two doing well;
  • Pot giant flat leaf parsley split between patio pot and border

10 May


  • One tray of Mizuna, outside, light position: Update – germinated 14 May;
  • Pot of Greek basil, verde a piccole foglie, inside, windowsill with afternoon sun: Update – germinated 13 May
  • Pot of coriander (new seed!), inside, windowsill with afternoon sun;  Update – started appearing 15 May
  • Spring Onions, White Lisbon, one pot, more old seed…

Potted up

  • Aubergines, Black Beauty and violetta lunga 2: outside, light position, in pots:
  • April’s Peppers, and Pepper ‘Ruth’, outside, light position, in pots, to be buffeted by wind rain and aphids for the next week;
  • Basil Thai, Genovese and Red Rubin, split between outside and in;

15 May


  • One tray of old mixed lettuce seed, tried hopefully (hopelessly?)  again in tray of April’s failed attempt.

16 May


  • One tray of (decrepit seed) Spinach beet, outside, light position; two germinated 26 May
  • One tray of purple sprouting broccoli, outside, light position; germinated 22 May
  • Pot of radish, and a few seeds in the gaps in existing pots, outside, sunny position; germinated 21 May
  • Two pots peppers corno giallo, inside, windowsill with afternoon sun; germinated 26 May
  • Cinnamon basil – basil variety number 5!,inside, windowsill with afternoon sun; germinated 20 May
  • Pot Genovese basil (can never have enough basil), inside, windowsill with afternoon sun; germinated 20 May;
  • Pot Okra – (another replacement – only one plant of earlier sowing survived), inside, windowsill with afternoon sun; germinated 19 May
  • Pot of four mixed squash (to replace aphid-eaten plants from April), inside, windowsill with afternoon sun;
  • Pot of Dill, inside; germinated 21 May; murdered in overenthusiastic greenhouse 28 May

Potted up

  • Two Borage plants put in big pot on depressing bit of concrete round the back by slightly fragrant drain (EM juice added to drain!);

22 May


  • Peas, Telefono, inside; germinated 26 May
  • Basil, Lettuce leaf, inside; germinated 26 May
  • Sunflowers, Paquito mix, outside in half-made greenhouse; germinated 26 May
  • Aubergine, ‘tree of eggs’, greenhouse; germinated 31 May

Planted out

  • Strawberries Tumbleberries, outside in pots;
  • Sweet peas Old Spice – alongside beans and cucumber canes;

Planted out

  • Chamomile and nasturtiums (dug up from self-seeded plants in garden), in the worms’ rooftop garden;

23 May


  • Cumin, one pot plant seed from Victoriana Garden Nurseries, one pot packaged spice from the corner shop for comparison, inside in pot;
  • Lemon grass, inside in pot; germinated 30 May
  • Chick peas, with radish in between the rows, tub on patio; radish germinated 27 May, chickpeas 30 May
  • Sweetpeas, inside; germinated 31 May

Planted out

  • Marigolds as companions to tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, beans, and in pots next to carrots;
  • Daisy and Lobelia in worms’ rooftop garden and in various pots about the place;

24 May


  • Tray Strawbini, outside; germinated 31 May
  • Tray Land Cress, outside; germinated 30 May
  • Tray White Mustard, outside; germinated 28 May
  • Tray Marigold, outside; germinated 28 May
  • 2 pots Spring Onion Ramrod, outside; germinated 31 May
  • Tray Mixed lettuce, outside; germinated 28 May
  • Winter Squash Burgess Buttercup, in greenhouse; germinated 31 May
  • Chilli Peppers: “Albertos Locoto”/Rotoco, Purple Venezuelan, Gelbe Kirschen, Czech Black and Wenks Yellow Hots; sown far, far too late, but put in a couple of each hoping that, with careful tending and a hot summer, something might happen!
  • Small tray Garden Cress, outside, germinated 29 May
  • Small tray Papalo & Quillquina, greenhouse
  • Garlic chives

29 May


  • Lemon Basil, inside
  • Lime Basil, inside
  • Beans
  • Dill (cooked the first pot in over-effective new greenhouse!)
  • Peas for pea shoots, pot outside

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