It's late January, all the gardening books and magazines are talking about digging and buying seed potatoes and holding off on sowing anything until at least early February. BUT I CANNOT WAIT! My green fingers are raring to go. So much so that I have largely ignored advice and started sowing (the seed packets said so...). I have tomatoes in my mini windowsill propagator (non-heated) that I got in the sale at the garden centre, I have sweetpeas to replace the ones that didn't survive the Great Greenhouse Disaster, aubergines (best to get an early start for a long growing season... no?) and I have asparagus (having only had a garden for a year I am still a way off eating any spears from the crowns I planted last spring).
Only about half of my tomatoes have germinated and the ones which have are a bit leggy and weak-looking, the sweetpeas are mostly germinated but about 5 inches tall with almost no leaves, the aubergines are a no-show and I can't decide whether the hair-thin shoots coming out of the asparagus pots are in fact asparagus seedlings or just weeds.
So lesson learned, even if the seed packets are optimistic and say things can be started in January, it's ALWAYS best to wait those few extra weeks because whatever you sow in February will catch up with your heat and light deprived January attempts.
Last year I held of sowing anything until after the Seedy Sunday seed swap (first weekend of Feb) in Hove and most things were pretty successful. I will be making a note of this date in my gardening journal and I'll be sure not to be lured by those seed packets before that second week of February again.