The growing season is moving up a gear, temperatures are rising, daylight hours are stretching and growing rates are accelerating. The seedtrays have done their job. Now is the time to plant out those seedlings in their potting compost modules. This means the least possible disturbance of the young root balls.
The seedlings have been hardened off. Pots and windowbox are lined up filled with good soil. Watering can, trowel and small fork are at hand. I am planting the salad rocket plants side by side with the not so edible flowering plants. The likes of Nicotiana (Affinis), Night-Scented Stock, Calendula, Nasturtium and Gypsophilia will add pleasant aromas, a splash of colour and welcome food for the pollinating insects, including the honey bees I have been minding up the road in a friend’s orchard.
Some of these plants also have interesting backgrounds. Nicotiana, for example, was named after Jean Nicot, a French consul in Portugal, who introduced the tobacco plant to Portugal and France in the 16th century. Although related to the big tobacco leaf plant, the variety ‘Affinis’ looks more like a rockery plant but I’ll see how it grows in the weeks ahead.