What is the best seed raising mix?

Beans up in 4 days

Beans up in 4 days

Over the years I have tried different seed raising mixes mainly commercial ones they all look a little different but germination has mostly been the same.  I have been using a homemade mix that has been working well for me and thought I would share it.  Using this my seeds are sprouting really very quickly faster than in the commercial mixes I had been using.

  • Peat   – is coir fibre which I buy in a compressed block add water and let it expand.
  • River sand – or sandpit sand as it is commonly known and sold by the small bag.
  • Mixture is 1:1

Keeping the seedling alive!

This year I am determined not to allow my seedlings to dry out so have devised a plan….

  • I decided to use a wicking like method so the seedlings don’t have to fully rely on     me for survival.
  • I went to my local floor covering store and bought a smallish piece of felt underlay.
  • cut this out to sit on the bottom of my heated tray.
  • The seed trays I use have cut outs in the side and some in the bottom so that moisture when needed is drawn up from the bottom of the felt.
  • Make sure the felt is always moist not too wet or the seeds stay wet and wont germinate, this has happened to my spinach so I have had to re-seed.
  • I have been checking daily and none of my trays have dried out.

So far so good as they say!  I will let you know if I come across any other problems with this method.

Another quick share are these seed watering heads, I love them!  They screw to the top of an old plastic bottle. I Got them from Diggers the spray is gentle and fine and they don’t disturb the soil  and blast your seeds.

seed watering heads

bottle top waterer’s

What seed raising mix are you using for your seeds?

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Autumn…. a welcome relief in the vegetable garden

carrot in seed

Carrot and lettuce in seed for saving.

Autumn is my favourite time in the garden, I can stay outside all day on the weekends digging,weeding, planning and planting, still with a hat on but I don’t have to worry about getting sun-burnt even with sunscreen on!

What I am harvesting from the garden in March:

  • still getting a few roma tomatoes
  • cucumbers, my favourite is the mini muncher
  • bush beans
  • capsicums
  • eggplant – it has just started producing
  • rhubarb
  • beetroot
  • herbs – basil sweet & thai, oregano,thyme,rosemary,mint
  • chillies

Seeds I have planted:

  • Broccoli –  red spouting, De Cicco
  • Mini cabbage
  • Lettuce – freckles & heirloom mix & cos
  • Peas – purple podded dutch pea
  • spinach – bloomsdale
  • carrots
  • Pak choy
  • Poppies
  • Primula
  • beans – sun baby, sex without strings – description from an old seed catalogue reads

“sensuous and tender, the golden curves of this dwarf butter bean are available to all –  with no strings attached.”

To do this month:

  • Remove some Kikuyu from 2 beds for autumn planting
  • Add compost to the beds
  • Add some lime to the beds for the brassicas
  • Do a summer/autumn prune of the fruit trees
carrot in seed

Beds for de-grassing

Perfect time for carrots!

Carrots sown now make good growth and slow down in winter so they can be harvested a few at a time.  Two things to remember about carrots:

  • They love light sandy soils
  • Spread Complete ‘D’ in shallow holes 5cm away from where you have planted them about four weeks after seedlings appear, not at sowing time as high nutrients at germination causes the roots to fork.

Thanks to Malcolm Campbell from 891 talk back gardening Sunday morning for that tip!

I hope that you have had an amazing Summer in the garden and are ready to welcome Autumn. How is your garden going this month?