Seed sowing And How To Prick Out Seedlings

The weather has been beautiful over the weekend here in Leicester.  Yesterday I was actually working in a short sleeved T-shirt.

I noticed quite a few ladybirds moving about and one or two early bumblebees on my daffodils.  I also saw this lovely butterfly basking in the sun right at the back of my plot:

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The sunshine is a timely reminder that it will soon be time to sow or plant vegetables outside (though it is still too early yet as my soil is still too cold), so I have been finishing off digging manure or compost in beds that needed it.

I have also been feeding my fruit bushes, strawberries and trees with ‘potash’ which is great for fruiting plants.  It is also great for flowers too, so I have also used it to feed my flower beds.

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I sprinkle a handful around the trees and bushes and then hoe it in.  I will also mulch the plants with some homemade compost too when I get around to it.

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Since my last blog post, I have been sowing the following seeds at home:

Brussels

Red Cabbage

Greenhouse Cucumbers

Coriander

Mixed Salad Leaves

Lettuce – Webbs Wonderful

I germinate the seeds in unheated propagators next to my window.  When the seeds have germinated, I take the lids off the propagator and move the seeds to my heated greenhouse.  I keep my greenhouse at a minimum temperature of 10C which is just right for most of my seeds, though this weekend in the sunshine the temperature has reached well over 30C with the door and window open.

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And I have also sown a couple of rows of Lollo Rosso lettuce and a row of radish in my polytunnel, just to test how warm the soil is in there.

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I have also been busy making plant lables using old plastic milk bottles.  They are free and easy to make.  All you do is wash the plastic milk bottle and cut them to the right shape.  I use a permanent marker to write on them, the same way I would normally write on a shop brought plant label:

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I sowed some greenhouse tomatoes (Moneymaker) and some cauliflowers on the 14th of February and they were both ready to transplant.

Any plants that need a bit of extra heat (like my peppers) I leave them next to the window with some silver foil wrapped around cardboard, behind them.  This helps reflect the light which helps to stop the seedlings leaning towards the window so much.

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Just in case you are new to growing your vegetables from seed, I have written below how to transplant seedlings:

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How to transplant seedlings:

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First use a ‘dibber’ or an old pencil to ease up your seedlings from out of your pot.  Try and ease the seedling up from the bottom by going underneath the roots with the dibber.  Hold the seedling only by its seed leaves.

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Fill a clean pot with compost and make a hole in the compost with your dibber.

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Ease the root into the hole using the dibber and ease the compost around it gently.

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Water and move to a warm place, out of the sun for a few days.

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Then watch your seedling grow!

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Just to finish off, last week I dug lots of compost into my dad’s bed at the front of my fourth plot, ready for him to plant into soon.

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Unfortunately, he has been having more and more problems with his back and legs and after discussing this at length with him, he has decided to just use his garden at home to grow his vegetables in.  I must say this is a relief to me as I have been worrying about this area being too much for him, but I also feel sad as I will miss him at my allotment.

 April 2012

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Friday at my usual time.

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18 thoughts on “Seed sowing And How To Prick Out Seedlings

  1. Sorry to hear you father`s finding his joints a hindrance my fathers the same………the minds willing but the body`s not so forthcoming! I just wanted to say thank you for a down to earth blog I have tried to follow others but they come across too high tech, yours strikes a cord as it`s down to earth. Many thanks I look forwards to what you post
    Kind Regards
    Mummy G

    • Hi Mummut G, thank you for saying that as it’s exactly what I try to do and it’s lovely to hear it comes across like this. Like you say, there is lots of ‘hard to under’ information out there and I sometimes think people make it sound hard to make themselves sound more intelligent lol

  2. I agree with Lorna. It was a very friendly and informative post and also love the milk bottle garden label idea am slightly annoyed at myself for not thinking of it but thank you as I am sure it will save a lot of pennies over the years to come. xXx

    • Yes he could Sue, but he is getting more and more unsteady on his legs. Last year he fell over ‘nothing’ twice at my allotment, so I made sure I was always there when he came down to the plot. I am really going to miss him there.

  3. Brilliant post as usual sad for you that your dad has had to give up his bit of the allotment, my father-in-law used to come along but sit and advised as “chairman of the board” we called him, it was such a warm sunday i was in t-shirt too weeding the garden.
    Sue

  4. A lovely post, and a great tip about making labels. You’ve reminded me that I need to sow some cucumbers as well. Such a shame your dad can’t do his piece oft he plot, but it will be nice to have him visit you there sometimes. I went to mine for the first time in ages on Sunday, and again yesterday. I remembered why I love it so much. There were birds, bees, butterflies and lots of other allotment folk as well. And best of all, the plot didn’t feel too much out of control!

  5. My sister keeps reminding me to put our ‘pot ash’ around our fruit trees. Its amazing stuff!
    Your seedlings are perky and full of promise 🙂

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