Sunday, August 11, 2013

Starting seedlings

So the garden plan is done, the seeds bought in...now you need to get them started...

Seeds are generally planted in the following ways:

Big seeds and root crops planted directly outdoors in the correct season.

Small seeds and ones that yield above ground started in some form of container.

Let's start with direct sowing...

Dig your bed over, remove weeds and add compost. Simply plant your chosen seeds in the correct spacing either in rows or if you have chosen the square foot system in your blocks. Seeds that like to be sown directly are:

Beans incl Broad Beans
Peas
Beetroot
Turnips
Corn
Carrots - Just remember to plant carrots in beds that have a high sand content and one that HAS NOT had any compost added for at least one growing season.
Spinach (can also start early in seedling trays)
Onions
Radish
Squashes and pumpkins

For sowing other seeds, what we do is start them in newspaper pots. We have tried other methods but this works well enough IF you do not leave them too long before planting out. Reading that post hyperlinked above has other tips for starting seedlings.

Large seeds take longer to germinate than small seeds so you need to be patient and mark where you have planted what...remember my corn tragedy?

Plants that like to be started in pots are:

Tomatoes (these like to be repotted slightly deeper about 3 times before going into the beds)
Chillies
Brassicas
Lettuce
Asparagus (be prepared to wait 4 yrs!)
Herbs
Aubergines

Plants that need to be started now for spring are (Western Cape):

Lettuce
Onions
Carrot
Spinach
Asian greens
Peas
Potatoes
Sweet Potato

My friend Elastic Mom has a great post on starting seeds...and this video below also has some handy tips.



How are you doing with your spring planning?



8 comments:

Meg said...

I need to hurry up! I just went through my seeds and ordered the ones I was missing, so I will be starting seeds soon.

Kelly-Anne said...

I've been working on my garden plan for the last few weeks now - this is my first real garden here, so lots of work needs to be done before we can plant! My seeds are probably waiting at the post office and I'm hoping to make my hot box tomorrow!

Much love,
Kelly-Anne

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Well done Kelly-Anne, its very exciting to make the plans and order the seeds. And Meg, glad you are also on your way!

Cath said...

Thanks my friend for the link-up. My seedlings are doing fairly well. Not all the heirloom seeds germinated, some of the packets were quite old. But I tend my 'babies' regularly every day, and can't wait to see how they do.

Emily Grobler said...

I've planted beet, radish (just sprouted out the ground today!), carrots, peas and swiss chard. How do you recommend planting and growing sweet potato?

Jonathan Young said...

Hi Emily

We had great success growing from tubers that had sprouted in our veggie cupboard. I simply cut the potatoes into sections making sure each section had a good growing sprout and then planted them in rich soil. The next year we took some vines from the ground and did this: http://its-our-life-for-six.blogspot.com/2009/04/growing-sweet-potatoes.html which also worked well.

Thanks for visiting my blog,
Wendy

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Ooops, I see my son was signed in! That was from me :)

Emily Grobler said...

That's super cool, thank you so much. I'm going to try it - my favourite "vegetable"!! All my other seeds have sprouted now - all within 1 1/2 weeks! Very exciting...