Diggers to the rescue….

Here in the burbs we get one very cold snap of weather every winter and this is it at the moment, the one time every year where there is snow at Mount Lofty or Mt. Barker is happening now.  It started last week on Thursday, the same day I received my Diggers seed annual in the mail, whoo hoo!!!  I was saved by Diggers.

photos 462

I decided Sunday was the best looking day to head over to the Diggers shop which is in our Botanical Gardens, we are very lucky to have a shop in our state otherwise it is mail order.  Every day I would re-read the seed annual taking mental notes of what I wanted.  It is a ritual for me, spreading it out over the days and then making the list on the Sunday morning.

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  • Pink Bumblee Bee tomato which won at the great tomato test in March 2015
  • A re-introduction of an Australian heirloom lettuce- yellow leaf
  • A new chilli called Maui Purple, midnight black chillies turn red when ripe

They were the only vege garden seeds I picked up they were all new releases for this year, I have plenty of everything else I need but I did get lots of flower seeds to attract more bees and other beneficial insects to the garden which I will inter-plant and I also want to do some meadow seeding.

  • Wildflowers for Bees- a mix of cornflower,dill,poppies,flax,salvia and others
  • Helichrysum an everlasting mix
  • Echinacea magic box a mixture of 3 colours
  • Borage
  • Summer meadows-zinnias, poppies,cornflower,cosmos,barley and others
  • A white corn cockle- ocean pearl
  • Salvia Blue Monday – I had to get it that was my fav song song from the 80’s
  • Rudbeckia Indian Summer- a tall variety
  • A mixture of Scabiosa or Pincushions
  • Queens Anne’s Lace

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I also visited the new vege garden at the gardens, the tee-pee like structure is a resting spot there are tree stumps in there to sit on.  The scarecrows look great and the winter veg was huge!

It was a great day out and I’m feeling excited…….

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A gardening short holiday

melb6

I’m not sure if gardening and holiday are usually in the same sentence…. They are for me! Over the next 3 days I’m off to the Melbourne International Flower & Garden show held in the Carlton Gardens and the heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building.  For 5 days from 25 – 29 March the gardens will be blooming with plenty of attractions for visitors like me, some of the things I am looking forward to :

  • Award winning displays
  • Boutique garden displays
  • Children’s gardens
  • Great hall of flowers
  • Diggers club

I am taking my camera and notepad and will have lots of news to share with you all.  I am sharing some photo’s courtesy of their faceboook page, a teaser of what I am looking forward to seeing.

Is anyone else going?

Poppies

jelly beans

californian jelly beans

I am determined to have more poppies in my garden over the coming months and have started sowing their tiny seeds.  It does say to sow them direct, I can see why,  the Iceland seedlings are so small I’m not sure how I will get them out of the punnets.  That will be another post!

These seeds are available from Diggers.

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?

Seeds or Seedlings…. that is the question

I love seeds, when you see that first show of life, a little green head poking out, for me it is one of the most exciting things!

This time of year in both hemispheres of the world fellow gardeners and bloggers are getting their seed fixes.  I have seen magnificent seed charts, read a great story about obsessive seed disorder (O-Seed-D) and spent hours deciding what seeds to plant myself. All that time I have spent deciding and looking has made me late in planting the seeds I need for my autumn/winter harvest.

Hello seedlings!  The saviors of my garden for those many times when:

  • I have been late in planting seeds
  • Or when I have neglected my seeds and they have dried out
  • Not many have germinated
  • I just need 1 or 2 more for that spot
  • They have been reduced!  I can almost never refuse a seedling in need of a loving home…

So in my garden both seed and seedling have a place, how about in yours?