Seeds in coir and peat pots

Zucchini, pumpkin and cucumbers go into peat pots with potting mix

I’ve had great fun over the last few weeks planting seed and watching them come up. I love the fact that more and more now it is possible to buy organic seed. This means that not only are my plants grown organically, but they are organic right from the beginning. I would urge everyone to support the seed suppliers who sell organic seed. There are many small suppliers and  bigger suppliers who are now sourcing and selling Organic Seeds (see the list at the end of the article).

Yates now has a range of organic seed.

Seeds sown in punnets

Seeds sown in punnets in seed raising mix

Diggers lists those seed that are organically certified, as do Green Harvest and now Yates have released a range of Organic seed too. I try to grow seed from a range of different suppliers, so those pictured come from a several sources. They are all good and all seem to sprout reliably.

I grow smaller seeds in punnets in seed raising mixture, and bigger ones like zucchini and pumpkins in potting mix, in individual small pots, often peat or coir (coconut husk). I like these pots because the seedlings go straight into the ground, pot and all, and this minimizes root disturbance. The trick with these is to make sure the whole pot and seedling is very wet before planting, and that the pot is completely buried under the soil. This stops the pot from drying out, which would kill the roots trying to grow through it.

Any plastic pots that are being reused need to be carefully cleaned. I wash them with a Eucalyptus based wool wash, mainly because I always have some and because the Eucalyptus oil is a strong antiseptic and fungicide that will kill any bacteria or fungi on the pots. I also carefully inspect the surfaces of my potting area to make sure that there are no slugs or snails hidded in any crevices, and then put copper bands around the legs of the tables to stop and slugs or snails making their way up to my tender seedlings and snacking on them for lunch. Finally each pot or punnet is carefully labelled.

The seedlings are pushing their way through

The seedlings are pushing their way through

Gently touch the tops of the seedlings to stop them becoming leggy

I’ve had a great strike rate this year and have way too many seedlings for the spaces in the garden, but I’ll give some away (tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, pumpkin and zucchini), plant some more thickly and then harvest every second or third when still small, leaving room for the others to reach full size (lettuce, mizuna, Chinese greens) and put the flowers into every corner I can find. For everything else I will find a grow bag or pot, fill it with soil, plant and hope for the best. It really is a lovely time of year, full of renewal and hope.

Tomato seedlings are coming through

These small green tops are a great way to water

These suppliers sell both organic and non-organic seeds. Generally organic seeds are labelled as such.

Green Harvest
Greenpatch Organic Seeds
Southern Harvest