Sunday, 2 September 2012

Here Comes the Sun

Spring has finally arrived in the Southern Hemisphere! Daffodils, jonquils, and snowdrops have appeared all over our garden, and I can see blossoms swelling ready to burst on the apple and peach trees. I am so glad that winter is over, and the weather has begun to warm up, as I can get out into the garden and begin sowing, planting, and growing delicious food again. We've had some lovely warm days in the last couple of weeks, although the nights have been very cold. Yesterday I got up and the water pipes had frozen overnight, so the Beloved decided the best method would be to get my kitchen blowtorch and thaw the pipe out LOL! It did work, but it just goes to show that tender seedlings can't be put out just yet...

I have been busy putting seed into punnets and thinning out seedlings already sprouted in my propagation units. The mini greenhouses have sat on the heat mats for two weeks and already I'm having success with some early tomatoes, eggplants, and luffa. All of these guys need a fairly long growing season, so starting them off indoors, and then thinning out into bigger pots will give me a great start. Eventually I'll be able to harden them off and put them out after the frosts have finished. 


Today I did round two, which was sowing tomatillos, pumpkins, melon, corn, and cucumbers, all which will go on the heat mats for a couple of weeks. If you live in a cooler climate, I highly recommend investing in one of these. Some people put seed trays on top of their water heater, which is fine if you have one inside, but ours is outdoors. Without the boost, I wouldn't get as many plants. I could buy some of course, but the heirloom varieties are pretty hard to come by as ready to plant seedlings.

If you haven't thought about the garden yet, get cracking! Leave it too late and all the good seed varieties will  have run out! Don't forget to check through last years seed packets and see what's left. Most of them will still be viable, but if you aren't sure, or you have a mixture of seeds and don't know what they are, get a tray full of seed raising mix, and sow some, watering well. See what pops up, and thin out as they get stronger. By the time the true leaves appear, you should be able to work out what plant is which, or at least which family they belong to, and plant out accordingly. You may not need to buy any new seed at all!

Happy Spring!

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