This morning I caught sight of the very first Calendula officinalis seedling and I hope that its appearance may be due in part to my adding paraffin into the mix.. What am I talking about? Well, I was worried about maintaining the temperature in my greenhouse to a level that would induce seeds to germinate. So after having chatted my concerns through with a dear friend and neighbour, Ray, very kindly lent me his old paraffin heater.. and what a difference it makes. I have recorded temperatures at 6am being 9 C / 48 F, which is fantastic and certainly seems to make a big difference.

I do need to crank the heat up on the tomato seeds which really do want a temperature of 15 – 20 C (60 – 68 F) so I am back out into the greenhouse to raise the wick inside the paraffin heater and shall later on monitor the temperature again. On sunny days the heat inside the greenhouse is phenomenal and just last week (yep, still in February) with sun on the glass the temperature soared to a toasty 30 C /86 F!

I am growing these seeds to act as ‘sacrificial planting’ and plan to grow them next to the Borlotti beans ‘solista’ (French climbing bean) as they draw a crowd, particularly by green and black fly. You could also use Nasturtuim for the same purpose as they too are loved by the same insects.