07 April 2009


I had a bit of a crisis in the tomato-seed-starting department, when I realised that the lovely new seed trays/flats that I'd bought here in Canada would not fit inside my purchased-in-England electric propagator. Which I had to buy a voltage transformer to get to work here. Is everything is bigger here (except for voltage), or is it that everything is smaller in England? I noticed that kitchen rolls in England looked tiny on my recent trip back.

Now that I'm aware of this seed-tray disparity, I'm using my smaller, English, trays for the seeds that need that extra bit of help from the propagator to get started. However, my large tray of mixed tomato seeds (seven different varieties!) had already been sown before I realised my problem.

Now you may have noticed from my earlier post today that we're back in winter at the moment. Consequently, we had lit the woodburning stove in the kitchen. Which has a large flat area on the top of it. I had a conversation with my aunt this afternoon in which the need for 'bottom-heat' for tomato seeds was mentioned. Later on it occurred to me that today I might be able to provide those seeds with the warmth that they really need.

Now obviously, putting the plastic seed tray directly on to a stove that is capable of boiling a kettle would be foolish, so I experimented with kitchen equipment until I came up with an arrangement which seemed to provide a reasonable level of warmth without creating a melting mess. At this point, the fire in the stove is not being added to, so the whole affair will be gradually cooling over the next few hours.

I will report back on whether this unorthodox arrangement has the desired effect.


Esther Montgomery said...

My airing cupboard seems to work fail-safe as a propagator.

It's what to do with the clothes and towels that would otherwise be in there which is the problem at this time of year.

Esther Montgomery

Linda said...

Creative! I confess I've copped out and ordered tomato plants - they are organic, tho...

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Love the way you are thinking "outside the box"
I would have probably just cried or moved back to England (in my case Wales) or blown the budget and brought a new Canadian propagator.

Barbarapc said...

I used to use the top of my fridge - Ansel Adams, the cat wasn't overly pleased to share - but it did seem to have just enough heat.