Category: self-sufficiency

3 secrets to growing seeds successfully

Today, we are planting seedlings that we grew ourselves from seed. They have grown large enough to be transplanted in our large bed and it is the right time of the month to do it.

 

seedlings

Most people would say it’s very difficult to grow plants from seed and in all honesty, it can be a challenge. But once you have worked out how to do it, it is actually really easy and very economical.

What you need are good quality seeds. Not the hybrid kind from Bunnings or any other big company. You want Heirloom seeds from places like Eden Seeds or Diggers.

Secondly, very important is that we plant those seeds in a good quality vegetable mix, not a seed raising mix. I have not had any success with growing a viable seedling in seed raising mix, EVER! Seed raising mix does not have enough nutrients to sustain the growing plant. My friend Kathryn from The Homegrown Country Life got me onto growing seeds in normal soil. Great success!

Thirdly, you should plant according to the cycles of the moon. It makes a huge difference in how your seeds turn out. I bought my Moon Planting Calendar from Diggers.

Once the seeds are sown you need to make sure the soil is damp. I use a spray bottle to water. Once the plants are a bit bigger I will use a regular watering can to water them. You have to make sure not to drown them with water. Using a large pot is helpful because it retains the moisture but also drains the water nicely to the bottom away from the roots.  The small black containers in which you would buy seedlings from Bunnings are not that great as they can be overwatered. So, I now use a large orange pot and I am very happy with the results.

Once your seedlings have developed their second set of leaves you can transpant them into your garden bed.

seedlings1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the new seedlings are in their bed make sure you give them a sprinkle of water and very importantly, cover the soil with mulch. This retains the moisture in the soil.

There you go, I hope this may make your seed sowing adventure a successful one too!

An update on my veggie patch

photo8 weeks ago I installed my vegetable garden and filled it up with the most luscious of winter vegetables. Can you believe we are already eating from it?  I tell you what, it is so worth it to plant a few things as there is nothing more enjoyable than picking your breakfast fresh out of your garden. My silverbeet and eggs come straight out of my backyard and in the morning I saute my greens and poach my eggs. The other week we picked up half a trailer load of mushroom compost from my friends house and dumped it in our garden beds at the front of the house. The funny thing is that mushrooms still grow in it! So after collecting the eggs and picking off some fresh silverbeet leaves, I walk out the front and pick some fresh mushrooms. Breakfast done!

Last week we just finished eating all the bok choy and have already allocated that space to a whole 2 rows of broccoli. Planning your vegetable garden properly, beats going to the shops.

vegepatch

At the front you can see the parsley has taken off, together with the kale and silverbeet. Behind the parsley are 3 rows of endive which will be eaten over the next few weeks in salads, juices and cooked meals. Right at the end is more kale, a huge coriander plant and some mint. The empty spaces have been filled with recently transplanted seedlings of more kale, broccoli and silverbeet. Next fortnight I will add seedlings of fennel and beetroot. All of these vegetables I chose because I love juicing with them to and of course kale has some amazing amounts of nutrients. For example; per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk (90 grams per serving) and is also better absorbed by the body than dairy. So there you go, hale the kale!

Want an easy start to your veggie patch?

If you want to start your own veggie patch, just keep it simple. Get some untreated wood or hardwood from your local timber mill and build a box with it. 6 x 1 mtr is a great size to start with. Of course you can build longer if you have the space, but wider can pose problems as reaching in to plant or harvest can become challenging.

Make sure to fill your box with some excellent quality veggie mix from your local garden centre. Buying a tonne at the time is much cheaper than buying bags.  And believe me a tonne doesn’t really go all that far.

If you want to plant straight away you can buy seedlings from your local garden centre and plant them right away. Make sure to water them in nicely and cover the soil well with some sugar cane mulch. This allows the water to be retained in the soil and the mulch also supplies nutrients to the soil.

Now go and have some fun!!