Posts Tagged ‘growing’

Make Your Own Seed Starting Mix

March 5th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

It’s that time of year again: seed sowing time. Sowing the first seeds of the growing season is always incredibly exciting. Think about all the fresh, home-grown products to come.

If you are planning on starting to sow in containers, you will need seed starting mix. And since buying this is often quite expensive, we will show you how to make your own.

 

Seed starting Mix

The perfect seed starting mix, should not be too high in nutrients, which could harm delicate seedlings. The mix should also hold on to moister without becoming soggy. Overly wet conditions can rot seeds and encourage fungal diseases such as damping off.

Here is a very simple recipe: It’s a soilless recipe so it’s beautifully light and fluffy. All the ingredients are natural too, promoting good strong growth and healthy, happy seedlings.

Seed-starting-mixBegin with 2 parts compost as your base. All parts measured by volume; So it doesn’t matter what you use to measure your ingredients, as long as you are consistent.

The compost adds slowly released nutrients to the mix, which will help to feed seedlings as they grow. You can use your own garden compost or buy some.

Break up clumps with your hands or screen/sift it to get a fine even texture.

Then add 2 parts coir or coconut fiber. If your coirs come in a block, rehydrate it first by soaking it in a bucket of water until you can easily break it apart. If you prefer you could substitute well-rotted leafmould instead of the coir.

Finally, add 1 part perlite, which will both lighten the mix and improve its air content. You can substitute perlite with sand, but it will give you a heavier mixture.

Mix all the ingredients together, create a consistent mix with all the ingredients evenly distributed. Once done, store the seed starter mix in a lidded container or in a plastic sac. Store your mix in a dry cool place.

 

Using your seed starting mix

Moisture your seed starting mix a little bit before using it, for it to be damp but not sodden. You can use your mix for sowing into plug trays, plastic pots, seeds trays or any other container suitable for seed sowing.

Gently press down your seed starting mix as you fill your container and take particular care to properly fill out the corners. Top up with more mix if required. Sow your seeds according to the package’s instructions and water. Watering requires some care if you don’t want to blast the mix out of the container.

Once the seedlings have germinated, it is best to water them from below. Put your containers in shallow trays of water, until the surface of the mix is moist.

Marigold-young-plants

 

Potting on

Many seedlings need potting on into larger containers at least once before it’s time to plant them out. Most will be happy in the same seed starting mix. But for hungrier seedlings like tomato for example, they will appreciate something a bit richer. Adding some worm compost, gives it the nutritional boost for after.

 

Container Potting Mixes

Try this potting mix for plants to be grown in larger containers.

Combine 2 parts garden compost with 1 part coir or leamould. Now add some perlite for drainage. 2-3 generous handfuls to every 10 gallons or 40 liters of the coir/compost mix. A similar amount of worm compost can also be added for hungry plants. Or incorporate a slow release organic fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Plants grown in the same container for a very long time need a potting mix that holds its structure. Loam or good quality garden soil offers this.

Simply combine 1 part loam or garden soil with 1 part garden compost. Then add some slow releasing organic fertilizer.

 

Making your own potting mix will save you a lot of money, but the other benefit of these recipes is that they can also be tweaked depending on what you are growing.

 

 

These are just a few tips and ideas to help you create your own sowing mix. If you have any additonal tips let us know which ones in the comments below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter page and tell us what you would recomend.

Growing Chard from Sowing to Harvest

September 28th, 2016 | The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Growing chard - 'Vulcan' chardChard has many benefits – it looks lovely, it’s easy to grow and it’s extremely versatile when it comes to cooking. If you’re intrigued by chard then be sure to read this post. We offer tips on sowing, growing and enjoying a crop of chard. Read this post to discover how wonderful growing chard can be. 

  • Swish chard and perpetual spinach are very easy to grow, this makes them a great choice for beginner gardeners. If you’d like a no-fuss crop, then get started on these.
  • Chard has broad, thick steams which are available in a vibrant variety of colours; white, yellow and pink. Chard if great for brightening up the vegetable garden.
  • Both chard and perpetual spinach love sunny, open spaces in the garden. The soil for these crops should be moist and fertile, ensuring strong productivity.
  • Plants can stay in the same position for many months. Therefore you should ensure that no other crops require this space.
  • A week before sowing your chard seeds, scatter general purpose organic fertilizer. Following this, rake the soil to a fine tilth.
  • Sowing chard seeds can be done any time from spring to late summer. You can often squeeze in a quick late-season crop.
  • When you’re ready to sow, mark out seed drills with a trowel. They should be around an inch deep, with 16 inches between rows.
  • Sow larger seeds one by one, spacing them around 1-2 inches apart. Cover these with soil and water along the rows.

These tips will assist with the sowing process of chard. If you’d like to find out more about growing and harvesting chard, be sure to watch the instructional video below. Let us know if you have any tips for growing chard.

GrowVeg – Growing Chard from Sowing to Harvest

Growing Chard from Sowing to Harvest