Get those seeds sown

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.

Step 1

Seeds are removed from the fridge (I always store seeds in packs that have been opened or seed that has been saved from the garden in the fridge). A good clean work surface is a must … trust me.
The work area … nice and tidy, very unlike me!
Heirloom seeds from various suppliers …

 Step 2

Grab a pair of scissors to snip the packet of seeds – make sure that you don’t snip off the ‘name’ of the seed and ideally cut it above the name so that it can be read easily in storage.
Snip the top off carefully…

Step 3

Next, I shake out some seed into my hand and carefully pinch the seed with my thumb and forefinger and carefully drop them evenly into the row. You might find it easier to carefully hold the packet above your respective rows tipping the seed out. I have to be honest here, I have had seeds tumble from the pack before, so I tend not to dispense of them in this manner, remember once they are in the dirt they are super hard to dig out!
Gardening hands … Zinnia seed – from our own garden!

Step 4

So we are nearly there – you need to be able to identify your seed and don’t think for one moment that you will remember what went where. You won’t trust me! So you need to name that seed. I use ice block sticks, or slice up plastic milk bottles – on these I write the name of the seed and the date that it was sown.
Seeds all ready to be covered with soil

Step 5

Cover that seed with some of the planting mix (you may wish to carefully tip it in via a sieve). Firm it down gently with your hand. Now is the time to get out the sprayer and carefully give it a good soak.  I then pop my tray onto my heat pad (yep I’m cheating).
 Remember, you must spray your seeds daily or they will dry out … I also need to cover mine  to keep my cats off.  I had a disaster a few years back when they decided to use my seed tray as a toilet!
I was devastated …

Step 6

Pop those seeds back in the fridge in an airtight vessel. Go wash your hands and make yourself a
cuppa you deserve it!
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’)

2 thoughts

  1. Pingback: Bacon and eggs | Frog Pond Farm

  2. Pingback: Garden Share Collective – September | Frog Pond Farm

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