Garden Diary: Fruit and Vegetable Seedlings – 24th -25th April

In these uncertain times we all need an anchor in our lives to help keep us sane, so the commitment to grow all my fruit and veg from seeds is mine. The seeds and compost may have cost a small fortune, which will make the produce gold-plated if and when it grows, but this is my ‘anchor’ and helps to keep me focused.

However, I need to get more organised and create a planting plan to ensure a continual rotation of crops which is quite difficult when I don’t know how long certain seeds take to germinate yet alone how long before they crop.

Then there is the problem of where do I plant all this produce – the raised bed is full, I have no additional land to use to grow vegetables, and I only have so many large plant pots.

However, growing all my own fruit and vegetables from seed is already proving to be quite a challenge, especially lettuce. Lockdown has really made me appreciate the monthly markets where I used to buy all my established seedling plugs. It’s lucky I have the two cloches my garden Gnome made me last year, not only to protect the young seedlings from the elements but also as a refuge from the blackbird who thinks my vegetable area as his domain.


cold frame
1. Lettuce Seedlings

So far I’ve had no success in growing lettuce and I can’t understand why. Fingers crossed the varieties I bought i Portugal will grow better than those from the U.K.

Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg 2 Seeds - DT Brown

I planted these lettuce seeds on the 17th March in seed compost and this is the result. What a waste of time! Looking back, these seeds were also a non-started last year so I think I’ll cut my losses and throw away the seeds as well as these pathetic specimens.

lettuce seedlings planted 17-03
lettuce seedlings planted 17-03

Lettuce – Gotte

Gotte Lettuce Seeds
Gotte Lettuce Seeds

I planted these in my coldframe on the 11th of April and so far so good!

Gotte-lettuce seedlings-24-04-20

Baby Leaf Spicy Mix

I never noticed when I ordered these they actually recommended for pots. I also planted these on the 11th April. The plastic crate is to deter Mr Blackbird.

Baby leaf spice mix lettuce
Baby leaf spice mix lettuce
Baby leaf spicy mix lettuce -24-20
Baby leaf spicy mix lettuce seedlings -24-20

Lettuce – Batavia De Paris

I believe there is safety in numbers so I planted the Batavia de Paris variety directly in this large container and covered with a plastic mini cloche (recycled fridge draw) to aid germination.

Batavia de Paris seedlings
Batavia de Paris seedlings
Batavia de Paris lettuce-24-04-20
Batavia de Paris lettuce seedlings-24-04-20

2. Melon Seedlings

Green Melons

I don’t know what variety as a friend gave me some seeds. Planted 31st March.

green melon seedlings-24-04-20
green melon seedlings-24-04-20


Galia F1 Melon Seedlings

I love Galia melons so as they are quite expensive in the shops I thought I’d try to grow my own from seed. Planted 11th April.

Galia F1 Seeds
Galia F1 Seeds
Melon-Galia F1-24-04-20
Melon-Galia seedlings F1-24-04-20

3. Butternut Squash Seedlings

I have a couple of varieties of squash so I am going to plant both. Planted 11th April

butternut squash seeds
butternut squash seeds
Butternut squash-24-04-20
Butternut squash-seedlings -24-04-20

4. Courgette – Diamant F1

My original crop of courgettes have perked up and I’ve already harvested thre courgettes with several more in various stages of development. these were planted 11th April.

Diamant F1 courgette seeds
Diamant F1 courgette seeds
Courgette Diamont F1-24-04-20
Courgette Diamont seedlings F1-24-04-20

5. Aubergine Mix  Seedlings – Solanum Melongena L.

I’m not sure what to expect with ‘a variety’, we will see. Planted 31st March. As they are slow to germinate I will plant another batch of a different variety at the end of May.

Solanum Melongena L. - aubergine seeds
Solanum Melongena L. – aubergine seeds
aubergines seedlings 24-04-20
aubergines seedlings 24-04-20

6. Spinach Seedlings – Matador

This spinach grows like a weed! I planted these on April 5th and another batch of seeds in the same pot on the 15th. I don’t cook them but use the young leaves in salads.

Matador Spinach Seeds
Matador Spinach Seeds
Matador Spinach seedlings-24-04
Matador Spinach seedlings-24-04

That’s my six for this Saturday. Why not pop across to the Propagators Blog to touch base with other garden bloggers.

34 thoughts on “Garden Diary: Fruit and Vegetable Seedlings – 24th -25th April

Add yours

  1. Are you able to plant some of your veg plants in your borders with your ornamental plants? Pop in the odd courgette plant here and there or have your climbing beans or artichokes adding height to the border. It’s quite a trendy thing I understand.


  2. the only thing I can think of is that salad doesn’t like it too hot. not sure what your temperatures are at the moment, anything over 30 degrees they will likely struggle in.


  3. Like you, I have never figured out why lettuces do not do well here. I have not tried any of the heading sort in many years. I know that the seasons are brief for them here, either ins spring or autumn, but some of them do not even survive more than a few days after germination. Some never germinate. Some of the leafy lettuces can be somewhat productive. To compensate for the brief seasons, we do not expect them to grow very big, but instead plant them thickly, and just pluck the leaves while still quite small.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are lucky in that we have a long season here. I don’t understand why everything else grew fine in the seed compost but not the lettuce. I don’t let the lettuce mature as i don’t have the space so like you I pluck the leaves while they are still quite small

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I happened to sow some for this year. I expect it to finish before summer gets too warm. However, if some of it continues through summer, I will let it go as late as it wants too, just to see what it does. Lettuces are main crops in the Salinas Valley, which is not very far away. The climate here is more like those of the Salinas Valley than like those of the Santa Clara Valley, where I am accustomed to growing vegetables. I assumed that we get two brief seasons for lettuce, rather than only long season, but I really do not know.


        1. Which variety have you got? Mine is Calabrese. You can plant April to Nov but they do take 90 days to harvest according to the packet. So maybe I better wait until I’ve finished harvesting the carrots in the raised beds.


  4. As we say in Australia – good’on’ya ! All the needed may have cost a few more euros than you intended spending, but . . . it is not just the harvest at the end of the season, it is not just a matter of filling in time, it is not just a better mindset . . . but look at the physical health benefits – the better mobility and the extra vit D for the bones . . . slowly, slowly . . . . put every large plastic pot into play . . . . when you can get around again . . . any garage sales in your area ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks, Eha. I have been enjoying the challenge and now the produce. 🙂 WE don’t have garage sales here as such. People tend to dump unwanted plastic pots and containers at the local rubbish bins, so it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I better send my Gnome out on bin patrol when he goes for his daily walk 🙂


  5. Well, you’re going to have a cornucopia when all these seeds come to fruition! Another SoSer, N20, mentioned the haphazard nature of germination and I have the same problem, so don’t feel alone. The seeds I planted nearly a month ago are very slow, except for rocket (arugula) which has, well, rocketed out of the soil.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you’re going to eat a lot of salads! 😂
    Everything looks good. Glad to see your vegetable growing
    The Galia melon is also a favourite but I don’t have any seeds this year. I will rather be growing watermelon this summer. Next year, it will be the melons!
    My aubergines are on the way and I just planted them this afternoon in the greenhouse. My butternut and courgette seedlings are like yours.
    Keep us posted about the progress 🤞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, we will see if any of the letttuce grows. My first attempt with the DT BRown seedlings is a fail … I keep talking to the seedlings but I think I will need to cut my losses and accept defeat and they will be binned along with the seeds.

      If I had any stamps I’d send you some galia melon seeds, Fred, as I have a spare packet.

      Liked by 1 person

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