Sunday, April 08, 2007

Seed sowing

Today has seen the beginning of our seed sowing. I used to sow seeds far too early - champing at the bit in February - forcing seeds to germinate and then having to nurse the seedlings through frosty March and April.

Now I sow only 6 weeks before the last frost (here that is Mid May) so that the seedlings will fill a 9 cm pot just at the right time to go straight out into the garden.

I sow most of my hardy and half hardy annuals into coir jiffy pellets - they are low in nutrients so ideal for seed germination. I line up the pellets in old wooden seedtrays (I bought a load of 1950s seed trays that came from an old nursery - I use most of them but some are available for sale) - 35 to a tray and then put them into a poly bag in the boiler cupboard until they germinate. After germination they go into the tunnel so that they can get a lot of light. If it is going to be frosty I cover them with fleece, but otherwise they get no coddling.

The main problem with the coir is that they dry out quickly - one of the reasons that I squeeze them into the seed trays rather than using wider spaced plastic trays they come with - so you have to be on hand with water a lot. This is also why I pot on - into 9cm pots - as soon as I can see roots.

Euan and the girls are in charge of the vegetable plots this year - so yesterday they got weeding.


Gigibird said...

How lovely to see everyone mucking in.

clairesgarden said...

its that weeding time of year! i am itching to plant stuff and making myself hold back, all this nice sunshine? and the early morning frosts!!

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

What a cheerful family photo! Spring has finally arrived! =)

Anonymous said...

I sowed some seeds on Tuesday and they are up already. Its brilliant. Zinnias...I love them!

weirdbunny said...

I sowed my flower seesds a day or so ago. WE've also taken 2 samll sections of the vegtable garden to have a special boy's versus girls competion on the vegtables this year!
( I had a lot of frantic emails this morning saying that my blog last night was open to invitaion readers only. Well I've sorted that now and the blogs back to normal today, open to all - Julia x)

Kate said...

It's that time of year ... it was interesting to learn how you start your seeds. This year, my niece helped me sow seeds into newspaper pots we fashioned. It was a labour of love, even if I'm not at all sure which seeds ended up in what pot.

The veggie garden looks like an inviting place for children!