Winter is the perfect time for planning your spring garden.
We were featured in an article in the NZ Gardener Magazine back in January where I was interviewed about some of the basics of raising seeds so I thought I would share with you a few tips and tricks for achieving optimum results when sowing from seed.
Raising plants from seed is very rewarding and it is also an inexpensive way to get a jump on the growing season and you also get the opportunity to grow plants that you don't find in your local garden centre and thats what we love about it - you can grow plants that will give your garden its own unique character.
Fill your seed tray or pots with the seed raising mix and firmly tap it on the bench to ensure the soil settles.
Remember: seeds "decide" to germinate when conditions are suitable for plant growth. That means the most important thing throughout the germination process is consistency, in both temperature and moisture. By investing in a few simple garden tools and managing and monitoring the environment, you should be able to vastly improve your germination rates - and grow healthier plants overall.
It is important to harden off you plants before putting them into the garden otherwise the shock of a sudden change in temperature may cause them to perish. Once your seedlings have put on some growth, you can set your trays in a sheltered spot outside once they have the and increase the amount of time they are out each day. This helps the plants to acclimatise to outdoor temperature fluctuations. Once all danger of frost has passed they can be planted into the garden. Make sure that they are watered in well and firmed into the soil to give them the best start in life.
We have a small range of seeds this year with some of our beautiful Sweetpeas in some lovely shades!
You will also need a great pair of fine snips for nipping out the centres of some of your seedlings to encourage them to become nice and bushy. We use the Japanese brand ARS Snips - they are super sharp and will last you a lifetime if you care for them - they are my most used tool. Another helpful little tool are our deadheaders
Photo by Sally Tagg