Freezing temperatures and occasional snow flurries are making gardening impossible at the moment, so I’m more than happy to wrap up warm and head to the greenhouse to get everything ready for seed sowing in a couple of weeks time.
There are a bewildering selection of containers and composts available, so here’s a run-down of what I do:
- Compost: Some gardeners make their own compost from a mix of worm-castes and home-made compost, it’s cheap, but too time-consuming for me at the moment. I buy bags of seed-compost, keeping one in the greenhouse to warm it up so the seeds germinate more quickly. I used to use multi-purpose compost, but seeds like a nice fine soil to push their way through and last years lot was fibrous and lumpy.
- Labels: I get plenty of labels ready at this stage too, because I never remember exactly what I’ve planted. I use cheap, white plastic ones each, cleaning off last years’ writing with a pan-scourer. Writing in pencil works fine and it’s easy to remove.
- Clean plant-pots: All my pots get a quick wash in soapy water and a swish in clean water, it’s worth the small effort to minimise diseases that can easily strike baby seedlings.
- I use different types of containers depending on what I’m growing. Recycling cups makes me happy, and these are nice and deep, perfect for the long roots of growing sweet-peas, I’ll just need to poke a couple of drainage holes in the bottom of each cup.
- Plastic trays from the supermarket are useful, shallow and wide for sprinkling small seeds in, again they need drainage-holes in the bottom.
- I use these small pots to grow things like cosmos and cleome, I put a couple of seeds in each one and pull out the smallest one after they’ve germinated.
- A steaming mug of tea and a radio are essentials.
We’re moving house this week so I haven’t planted any chilli seeds yet, I don’t plant things like cosmos, zinnia, tomatoes etc until next month, so we should be settled in by then and more importantly, I hope to have a new greenhouse for them.
There’ll be more posts about seed-sowing during the next month.