Friday, March 6, 2015

Germination for the Patch

got your seeds for winter yet?  have your beds planned?  with the changing of the seasons comes the renewal of our patch .... summer crops are dying off and it's time to plan for winter.  its easy to forget about winter if you aren't careful.   there is this mythical air of not being able to grow fabulous veg like you can in summer.  winter is a time to clear out the beds .... manure, dolomite, and mulch .... letting them rest to spring.

i'm here to tell you that it's not the way things have to be.  root crops a plenty, hardy winter veg that just love a crisp morning and bright sun.  you can get so much out of your winter patch .... with just a little bit of effort!

so here is the plan for our autumn/winter planting.

yeah!!!  but now it's time to plant seeds.  and there is only one way i know how to do it ... it's worked for years now and i wouldn't change it for the world.

empty toilet rolls

yup .... they work a treat.  and here is what you do.  first of all .... just collect them.  whether its a bag in your toilet or asking your friends .... just start collecting.  you can never have too many! it's great .... because when the plants are big enuf to plant out .... you just pop the whole toilet roll in the ground .... the roots are not disturbed and you get biodegradable goodness!

time to assemble the elements!

save all those old trays with produce that you get.
they'll serve you well .... a good soapy hot wash
and dry and they are ready to be used!

cut your toilet rolls in half.
try to keep them straight, but not a huge deal if you don't.
you'll always have a straight edge on one end.

the next part is to fill them with some good compost or seed raising mix.  for some this can be quite hard.  but my trick is to make a very thick mud and pack it in.  i hold the flat edge of the toilet roll in the palm of my hand and pack the mud in nice and tight.  this ensure it won't come out.

assemble your sticks and paddle pops.  i tend to plant one type of thing to a tray, or a row .... so one paddle pop per tray is enuf.  but get your stuff all together and you are ready to plant.

the other trick is to get all the seedling holders full before planting with seeds.  once the mud is in, wash and dry your hands.  nothing more frustrating that having these tiny little seeds stick to your hands!  i also tend to use a pencil or some sort of pointy implement to push the seed in and cover up.

the beauty of these trays, beside the fact that you are reusing something! is that you can water from the base.  it means that you don't run the risk of washing away your seeds when you water them.  if you always water from the base it will drink it up as it needs it.

and before you know it .... your germination nursery is started!

ready to go!
i understand that some folk don't feel like they can do it, or that they don't want to wait.  but honestly .... with a little bit of patience and tlc you can save heaps of money and have a prolific amount of produce!

and the reward?  well within three days of a bit of tlc ... you'll have cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower starting to peek through!  woohoo! happy planting!

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