Saturday, April 24, 2010

Planting Seedlings

Ever feel frustrated by the loss of the beautiful seedlings you purchased at the garden centre?  Here are a few tips that might help out.

First thing I do is soak the punnet, briefly in a bucket of very mild seaweed solution. (Maybe a cap to a 5 litre bucket).  This makes them easy to take out.  Make some holes for them and then squeeze the base of the punnet.  NEVER grab a seedling by its stem, if you squeeze it won't be able to daw up water and nutrients and will die.  Pop the seedling into the ground and pack in firmly around it.  Then water with the seaweed solution, carefully and
re pack if the water has loosened things up.  As you give them this watering you say the magic words: (No I'm not kidding, I do this every time and I feel very weird if I don't do it).  Where was I?  Yes, say the magic words: "Grow little plant. Grow, grow".  So after a punnet or so this is how things look.
These are spinach seedlings I put in yesterday.

OK, you're not finished yet.  The first 48 hours are critical and so you want to protect your seedlings from harsh sun, wind, rain etc.  To do this you add covers.  Now I find old large yoghurt containers work a treat.  You pop them over the seedlings and leave them for two days.  No, they won't die, they will thrive.

Finally, you need to protect them from slugs and snails, who just adore new seedlings.  My old friend Brenda gave me a great snail bat recipe.  Of course beer is best but I find Lovely really objects to me pouring his beer into a container and popping it into the garden to catch snails!  So use a mix of 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of yeast and 1 drop of detergent.  Pop this into some containers close to the seedlings and the slugs will head for them in preference to your seedlings.  They crawl in and drown.  I also add upturned orange skin halves as the little blighters love to hide underneath them when morning comes and so are easy to collect and dispose of. 

Happy planting.

1 comment:

  1. Love your "gang" and thanks for the tip on the snails, will give it a try


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