Now’s the time to sow seeds for our tomatoes for this summer, along with eggplants, capsicums and chillis.
Each year we show in detail how we sow our tomatoes, and this is the method we use for all our seed sowing going forward.
Firstly, if you’re re-using old plastic punnets or containers as we do, wash them out thoroughly in water which has had a good splash of white vinegar added to it. This helps sterilise the containers.
Then we sieve potting mix to make a finer blend for seed sowing and fill our containers.
Using a piece of dowel which has a nice sharp edges we create little troughs for the seeds.
Then I make a list of how many seedlings I want to end up with and add one or two more to the rows, since if you’re using fresh seed or seed that’s been stored in the fridge, you should expect good germination.
Label each lot of seeds with the date of sowing on the back, so you know how long to wait.
And using one of the labels back fill the rows and gently pat the mix down.
We then make a bath and add liquid seaweed and pop all the containers in till they’re fully wet. Then onto a tray and the windowsill to await the arrival of the seedlings.
You’ll see we’re also sowing eggplants and capsicums and cool weather lettuces – Cos and Iceberg.
I’ve created the summer planting plan using crop rotation principles, because it’s important to have space ready to go for your summer crops when the time comes. This plan needs to be refined (too much in one bed there!) but the main point is to make sure types of crops are rotated in the beds. The ideal rotation is nitrogen-fixing to root crops to fruiting crops to leafy greens, but it’s hard to achieve in the home garden.
Last week we did a big trip down to Sarah Frater’s Edible Garden to pick up two pears (Beurre Bosc and Doyenne du Comice), which have had some initial espaliering, to plant in our new patio area. We had to pick them up because they don’t travel well in a courier van. The Desert Road was closed on the way back, so the trip home was long coming up the western side, but what a sight it was!
The trees come bare-rooted so we’ve got them in. The next step is putting up the horizontal wires and tying up the branches, as well as tidying up the paving and planting. Very excited!
The alyssum we sowed, where the roots of the guava were encroaching, is now flowering which will be good for the beneficial insects.
Otherwise growth is slow but satisfactory. Hope you’re keeping warm!
From Jan and Rob