Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Gardening Tips from GIY Ireland

Sow On


By Michael Kelly

I absolutely love being a GIYer at this time of the year. It’s hard not to feel full of hope about life in general when one sees a little green seedling emerging from the cold, brown earth. I want to talk a little about seed sowing, which can be such a challenge when you’re starting out with your GIYing, but is relatively straightforward once you get a bit of a system going.

In particular I want to talk about seed sowing “indoors” – that is, those seeds that are sown in protected conditions rather than sown directly in the soil outside.  So, here’s how it breaks down.  I sow the following vegetables directly in the soil outside in the vegetable patch: potatoes, onions, garlic, shallots, peas, beans, parsnips and carrots.  Pretty much everything else I sow indoors first and then (usually about 4-6 weeks later when the seedlings are a little bit hardy), I plant them out in the soil.  The vegetables I sow this way include lettuce, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, sweetcorn, broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, celeriac, beetroot, spring onions, courgette, cucumber, kale, pumpkin, squash, spinach and turnip.

Sowing seeds indoors for later transplanting is of course more time-consuming than sowing direct, so why do we bring extra work on ourselves?  Put simply, it’s far more effective.  A seed sown in the soil outside has a lot to contend with in that difficult first 8 weeks of its life – among other things: frost, snow, rain, wind, weeds, slugs, snails and birds.  By sowing indoors you are giving the seedling a chance to get itself established and sturdy before it has to deal with these threats.  As a result, you’re more likely to convert your seed sowing...READ MORE. 

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