Monday, March 18, 2013

Getting my act together

Sowing seeds is so much more fun than just banging in a seedling (but I do admit to being a seedling planter fairly regularly, when I commit one of the three "F"s: forget, fail or fudge). However, this autumn I haven't forgotten or fudged, and only time will tell whether I have failed or not. It pays to be an optimist with seed-sowing, so I'm hoping most of them will do their duty and turn into delicious little herbs and vegies.

The other bonus with sowing seeds is that warm sensation of feeling that you're getting your act together. Oooh gosh, I'm all organised for once!

I do actually know which pot is which, despite the lack of tags.
In with the fresh potting mix, scatter on a layer of seed-raising
mix, then the seeds, then a bit more seed-raising mix to get the
correct sowing depth. Pat down, gentle spray of water. Wait.

One pot is filled with coriander, another with flat-leaf parsley,
another with chervil and the last with a 'micro salad mix' that
worked so nicely last spring that's it's worth another go this
autumn. Both chervil and coriander don't like summer here,
going from leafy to flowery then seedy in no time. Winter's slower
pace suits them both fine, and they'll last for months once they
get going. The old parsley plants had gone to seed, and so
I'm sowing seed again (this time soaking the seed in hot water
for a few hours, to speed up its super-slow germination).

Out in the vegie beds it's the same story. The mulch is mostly
there to slow down the onrush of weeds, which are relentless,
but the dark brown bits are where the seeds went in.

In this vegie bed and the one next door I've sown seed of English
spinach, radish, spring onions, lettuce and Florence fennel. The
Florence fennel in particular detests being transplanted so must
be grown from seed, but the same is basically true of the spinach
and radishes, too. Seeds are best. Both the lettuce and spring onions
aren't fussy about being transplanted, but as everything else is
starting from seed, they have to do it that way, too.
The interesting thing now will be 'seed racing': seeing which seeds will come up first. I can tell you who'll run last – it'll probably be the parsley. 

In this cooling weather the lettuce can come up within a week, often less, so too some of the salad greens in the potted micro-salad mix (which includes corn salad, beet, spinach and amaranthus), the spinach and of course the irrepressible radishes. 

The rest present a packed field that are all likely to come up anywhere between 7 and 20 days. The excitement is bearable, but I'm still interested in keeping track of how they all go, and of course once they do start to come up and thrive in the autumn sunshine, it will all be worth it, because if they all come up, then I've well and truly got my act together this time round!


Alex Krasovskis said...

When watching 'seed racing' as you put it, I always put my money on either the radishes or sunflowers to win :)

Helen Johnstone said...

I do beleive you have hit on why I am a seedaholic - because all those neat trays of seed compost make me feel organised. Theres a thought

LizzyT said...

Hi Jamie, my dad grew Watermelon radish last year ( seeds from Diggers). Yes the colour of ripe watermelon, and a milder flavour than French Breakfast or Round Red .
Lizzy T

Jamie said...


Thanks for the tip, I'm getting some of them soon!