The Need To Sow

I’ve been ill.

I’m not a sickly person. The occasional light cold, a low-level, non-specific viral something every now and then but this has been a doozy.

My lovely man went down with it. Temperatures of 101 three days in a row. Really laid low. I did the sensible thing and slept in the spare room, ministered to the poorly but left the room pretty quickly and smugly thought I had escaped the beast. Then Thursday arrived and I felt the first hint that something was amiss. By that evening the something was starting to inhabit my body.

The last few days have gone by in a fog of Lemsip, Nurofen and a desire to rip off the parts of my body that are a little weak and which the virus has decided to wreak havoc with.

Today I have woken, after another fever-filled night, to find that the alien that had invaded my body appears to have moved out.

This is all a pre-amble to the fact that I had been so happy that, as I looked out the window earlier in the week, the evenings are clearly getting longer and the light is subtly changing. It has had an effect on me which always happens around this time of year. I want to start sowing.

Planting paraphanalia

The day before the lurg hit a delivery from the wonderful Chiltern Seeds had arrived. Annuals that I will grow to fill any gaps in the borders and that will give me extra colour as the summer moves into its lethargic stage. Vegetable seeds, many of which I start at home and then transplant up at the allotment once they have got to a size to defy the slugs and snails, are calling out to be sown.

For many years I have sown seed in January only for the poor things to either not germinate or get leggy and weak because the weather is too inclement for them to be moved outside. This year, I thought, I will wait. Wait for the light to change and the weather to start to look more hospitable. And so I waited. The urge to plant gaining momentum.

Early planting madness

When my flower seeds arrived mid-week I was about to go seed-sowing crazy when the alien invaded and it was like I was being saved from myself. Stop! It was saying. Wait. A bit longer and the seeds will thank you.

Any one who knows about these things will tell you that seeds planted a bit later will catch up with the earlier sown ones and be healthier and stronger. I learnt this when a few years ago my courgette plants lovingly tended at home to be reasonably sized plants were taken to the allotment and planted out in their final resting place. This proved to be true in a way that was not intended. The day after planting I went to the allotment to find there was not a sight of them to be seen. They had been razed to the ground overnight by hungry molluscs.

Disheartened I was going to give up. It had been a difficult early year weather-wise. This was just one more set back. Then the optimist in me reared its head and suggested it was not too late to sow another batch. So in late June the new plants grown on to be even bigger and more snail-resistant were planted in the ground and produced the best crop of courgettes I had ever had.


I know all this and yet….. maybe today, feeling a little better as I do, I could wanly sow a few Scabious, Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Summer Fruits’. Ooh they sound delightful don’t they? And it does say ‘sow indoors Feb-Apr’.

1 thought on “The Need To Sow”

  1. Almost all of ours get sown directly. Our climate is too mild to necessitate starting things early inside. We only start a few things in cells to give them a head start to avoid getting eaten by snails.


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