Last weekend was fab to get outdoors and do some serious gardening …
Andrew had a massive day trimming pine trees on Sunday that were sited on the hill above our duck pond. The limbs he removed were huge, so no surprise that they were blocking out much of the afternoon sun. I suspect that the growth of the flax and plants surrounding the duckpond will now be amazing … they will grow like mad! Good.
Me, well I was busy tidying up flax which we have growing by the creek. Fabulous stuff, encourages loads of native birds, makes a terrific filler if you have space and is also good at providing shelter … the downside is that it may get rust (ours does) and it requires trimming back. I don’t know how many times I have got it entwined in my petrol weed eater … It is incredibly fibrous, tough stuff and takes an eternity to decompose in the compost.
So after my day by the creek the sun had given my cheeks a nice red glow … so much for my skin protection!
I was hoping to get my seeds in over the weekend but didn’t, so today is the day. I’ve sown an array of seed, heirloom tomatoes, chilli, peppers, beetroot and lettuce and a stack of flowers. Members of the nightshade family (toms, chilli, peppers) take a good 6 – 8 weeks before they can be planted out, so they are going in earlier than the bulk of my other vege which will be sown in October. Believe me, sowing seeds is all about timing and I’m not even talking about gardening by the moon either!
Using a commercial seed tray donated by a neighbour, I will pop in some paper at the base to slow down any water loss. Usually I like to make my own seed growing mix, but I have over time opted for the easy route here and that is to buy it from the nursery, sounds slack I know, but one less job to do.
The container is then filled with the soil mix – about half full. Based on the number of seeds that you wish to sow you will need to make rows – I used my finger (ungloved). Usually the depth of each row is about the size of the seed that you intend to sow.
When sowing seed I always sow much more than I need. I’m always happy to give away my seedlings to neighbours … or you may also find that some seed won’t germinate. Seed like everything else does have a use by date. It is important also to ‘read’ the seed packet, to ensure that you are sowing at the correct time of year.
|The work area … nice and tidy, very unlike me!|
|Heirloom seeds from various suppliers …|
|Snip the top off carefully…|
|Gardening hands … Zinnia seed – from our own garden!|
|Seeds all ready to be covered with soil|
|Ready to go back into the fridge|
Just for your info … I planted the following:-
Toms – Heirloom
Tommy Toe, Black Krim, Purple Cherokee
Chili – Heirloom
Cayenne, Hot Thai
Peppers – Heirloom
Yellow Banana Pepper
Beetroot – Heirloom
Bulls Blood, Chioggia
Lettuce – Heirloom
Paris White Cos, Great Lakes
Flowers … Anise hyssop, Lemon Bergamot (my favourite), Echinacea, Marigolds, Zinnia (another favourite, Sunflowers Teddy bear (small … divine), Cleome (fab plant great as a ‘catch crop’)