Feb 15, 2009

Using drawers as 'seedling flats'

This year I've been sprouting my own seeds and actually successfully coaxing them into seedlings and then into actual plants in the garden! This is very exciting and a big advance on my prior attempts to grow from seed - usually I'd forget about them and they'd either fail to sprout, or sprout and wither due to neglect.

Not this year

I've been roughly following the instructions given by John Jeavons in his How to Grow More... book. Instead of making my own seed sprouting mix, or using my own, rather poor, soil, I bit the bullet and bought potting mix from the garden centre.

Step one is to fill your seedling flat with soil and lay out your seeds, then water etc and generally look after them (sorry, this is not a step by step how to sprout seedlings - but there are lots of those on the internet :)

My cool innovation was to use discarded dresser drawers as my seed-sprouting containers. These are small enough for me to lift easily, and hold a sensible amount of seed for our small vege patch (while still allowing me to give excess away to friends). I drilled drainage holes in the bottom, but otherwise use them unmodified.

They are not painted in any way, or I'd be a bit cautious about lead paint.

The reason this has worked so much better than any other attempt I've made to grow from seed is that I've got them set up right outside my back door. So any time I exit the house I can see my little plants and give them a water and some TLC if they look like they need it. This is good. As a result we've already feasted off lettuce this year and this week I've got cabbage, turnip, kale, kohl-rabi and red cabbage to transplant into little re-used yoghurt pottles to get bigger and tougher before putting them in the garden.

So there you go. Works for me. All pretty exciting stuff :)

Sorry, it's too dark for photos just now but I'll take some tomorrow and update during the week.


alecat said...

Hello from OZ!
I'd like to share an award with you in appreciation of your writing/blogging. If you come by my blog you can pick it up. :)
Kindest regards,

home handymum said...

Thanks alecat!

I'm not sure what to do with awards, but I'll check it out :)

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