It is one of the coldest years I can remember in the UK and light snow is still falling outside but I am hopeful that warmer weather will arrive eventually. We have been getting on with our tomato plants as at least we can plant the seeds and nurture the seedlings indoors, until the icy winds and frosts in the garden relent.
I started off by making paper seedling pots from newspaper. All you need is an old newspaper, scissors and something circular to wrap the paper around (I chose the cardboard tube from a kitchen roll). You can see a video of the wonderful Maggy from Red Ted Art making newspaper seedling pots. I cut strips of newspaper, rolled them around a cardboard tube leaving about an inch over the end of the tube.
Then, I folded the excess paper over the end of the tube and wriggled the paper pot off the cardboard tube. I did this whilst Burt was sleeping as it is a bit fiddly and not something I think he could help with yet – he is much more of a digger at the moment.
Once I had a good number of pots I set them out in a seed tray and filled a plastic tub with compost. We braved the cold to pot the seedlings outside as I don’t trust myself, let alone a two year old, to pot seedlings without making a bit of mess! Burt loves to dig and he was in heaven digging in the plastic tub and filling the paper pots with soil. As usual he didn’t want to use his plastic spade, nothing else but my trowel would do. It is great to watch him digging and turning the compost: learning the smell of the soil that I remember so clearly from the little bit of gardening I did as a child.
Once we had filled the paper pots with soil I brought out the seeds for him to look at. I covered a plate with blue tissue paper so that he could see the tiny seeds clearly. We have planted two different varieties ‘Sweet ‘N Neat Cherry Red’ and ‘Tumbling Junior’. It never ceases to amaze me that a whole plant and fruit can emerge from a humble seed and I don’t think that the magic quite sunk in when I explained it to Burt but he happily picked up each seed and gently popped them into their own paper pots.
We simply followed the instructions on the back of the packets and covered the seeds lightly in soil. Then we watered them in gently.
I put the seeds in the sunniest window in the house and in a few days we had signs of emerging life, which have grown into beautiful little seedlings. The seedlings are the first thing that Burt checks every morning and it will be fascinating to watch him seeing them grow into plants and hopefully get some fruit eventually.
Eventually we will plant the tomatoes into hanging baskets but that all seems as far off at the moment as ever seeing the sun again! If you are growing tomatoes I’d love to hear how you are getting on, do leave a comment or come and say ‘hello’ on Facebook or Google+.
I’m linking up with Coombe Mill #CountryKids linky again this week. If you have been enjoying being outdoors this week in the garden, the park, the countryside or the beach pop over and join in too.