My seeds arrived in the mail today, and just in time, since this is the optimum time for me to sow seeds of plants that produce flowers, fruit or edible leaves above ground ( though not yet a good time for root crops )
this is if you like to follow planting by the Gardening Moon Calendar.
I try to whenever possible, as I have always noted a difference in the speed of germination, especially in plants like tomatoes, chillies, capsicums etc that take up to 20 days to pop up.
Though regardless of the moon calendar, now is the time of year to get a head start.....I know that looking outside for many of you it may not look it... but starting them off indoors will give you a great start to the growing season, and stop the need to part with alot of cash for punnets when summer time draws nearer.
Around here, I like to use my hotwater cupboard to kick start my heat loving plants.......so for a couple of weeks it transforms into my nursery.
But of course not everyone has one these days.....so setting up an area by a sunny north facing window is a good place.
I had friends by Mt Ruapehu who made stacked shelves against their window, even with late snow and harsh frosts they managed to get a head start and successfully grow a bumper crop of Tomatoes.
Calendula and Hollyhocks from seed I saved last year
I have a set routine now for sowing my seeds, which always gives me successful results....you may already do this, but if not...there's no harm in sharing.
Before getting started, I always wash out my trays with soap and water to kill any lurking fungus and to prevent seeds from damping off....
then I fill with seed raising mix to 3/4 full and using a flat hard surface ( usually another tray )
I compress the soil.....then I thoroughly soak the soil. Once thats done I sow my seeds.....because my trays are large I often sow similar seed species together, eg tomatoes and eggplants...I section them off by pressing a line in the soil between them....then once the seeds are sprinkled with just enough soil to cover ( don't cover tiny seed like Basil ) I compress the soil again....this helps the seed make contact with soil and aid in germination. Then I spritz them with water ( it's enough since you've already pre soaked the soil ) and if I'm putting them in my hot water cupboard I cover with cling film.
If you're doing this by a window sill I suggest also covering your trays with newspaper until the majority of the seeds germinate.
Once they do, I move them to a cold frame,
or depending on your climate inside in a warm spot in the sun.
And according to the moon calendar, now until the 18th is the perfect time to sow....but if you think its still too early for you to try sowing those heat loving edibles, you could always sow some peas directly now and in any climate it would be fine.....by late September you should be able to enjoy your first crop....and while you're at it pop in some sweet peas...
boy do they have such a heavenly smell!