Saturday, 18 August 2012

Starting with seeds

It's mid-August and here in Melbourne it's still cold and wintery, but I am itching to start getting my spring garden going. Most years I leave it too late, and by the time the plants have grown big enough and are starting to flower, the hot temperatures tend to kill everything. My other problem is that everything tends to ripen at once, so I'll have a few weeks of vegetables and nothing for the rest of the year.

This year, I am thinking of doing things differently and plan to plant several crops, each about a month apart. While it's still too cold outside to get things growing in the garden, I've decided to start the first batch of seedlings early and keep them inside until they are strong enough and the weather is warm enough to move outdoors. I'll only plant a few of each variety and if they don't grow then I've not really lost anything and will know what not to do next year!

The other benefits of starting seedlings inside is that:
a) They are free from the pests that usually get to young seedlings
b) They are out of the wind (I've had seed trays blow away in the past)
c) I can water them daily without having to go out into the cold
d) Out of the wind they are less likely to dry out
e) Having them in my living room means they'll get a lot more attention, I can see how they're progressing each day, and if I'm feeling lonely I can have a chat with them :-)

I started with 4 seed trays and filled them with some seed raising mix. Amazingly, they managed to fit perfectly on a square tray I had lying around, so I don't have to worry about any water dripping onto the floor.

Round one seedlings include:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Zucchini
- Dwarf beans
- Climbing beans
- Coriander
- Spinach
- Basil
- Rocket

These will now sit by my back door, hopefully receiving enough light and water without getting too cold. I also picked up the perfect watering accessory last weekend at The Diggers Club - it turns any water bottle into a gentle watering can, exactly what i need for watering seedlings!

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