Ketchup seeds!

Well that’s the last time I use that compost company. 35 bags of supposedly ‘finely screened compost’ from a local supplier caused no end of headaches today. Tipping them out onto the raised beds two weeks ago to top up the levels, the mix did appear very wet and heavy. Preparing for seed sowing this afternoon I found it had set into hard tennis ball-sized clumps, like lightweight dried clay.

Quite the opposite of the fine tilth needed for seed sowing

Quite the opposite of the fine tilth needed for seed sowing

Trying to smash them up with the back of a rake had little effect, so I crumbled as many pieces as possible with bare hands until cramp set in. In the end, lifting out the clumps and throwing them into buckets was the best way forward. I’ll think of another way of dealing with them later.

Very difficult dried lumps of compost

Very difficult dried lumps of compost

Back indoors, while various seedlings are coming along fine, there were more seeds to sow in the propagators. I sowed extra squash and sweet pepper seeds, to replace some which hadn’t germinated, then two first timers for me: Mimosa flowers and Oregano herb seeds.

Seedlings coming along in propagator

Seedlings coming along in propagator

Both needed extra attention; Mimosa have to be soaked in hot water for twenty minutes before sowing and the Oregano seeds were the smallest I’ve dealt with, calling for sharp eyesight and a steady hand.

Tiny oregano seeds, alongside the tip of a cocktail stick

Tiny oregano seeds, alongside the tip of a cocktail stick / toothpick

Perhaps the Oregano will go well with the Heinz tomatoes. Yes, that’s Heinz as in Heinz tomato ketchup.

Heinz UK's tomato seeds

Heinz UK’s tomato seeds

The company has developed many tomato varieties, each with an identifier number. Earlier this month Heinz UK was giving away packs of variety 3402 on Facebook.

The variety is called 'Heinz 3402'

The variety is called ‘Heinz 3402’

I sowed them today, unaware as yet what the plants’ growth habit and productivity will be, but it’ll be very interesting to taste the tomatoes later in the year.   UPDATE:  See how they turned out six months later..

Packing away as the sun went down, I was sure to update my planting list. I’ve a plan of what will grow where in the garden this year along with a list of all the varieties I’m growing.

Vegetable planting schedule

Vegetable planting schedule

As it’s in an Excel spreadsheet it’s easy to sort by the all-important sowing date and end up with a to-do list by month. And it’s easy to slot in extra rows for all the new things I decide to add in at the last minute!

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