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Posts Tagged ‘raising seedlings’

This book has changed our lives.

Written for Australian conditions, Linda Woodrow’s brilliant text for turning a suburban backyard into a self-sufficient organic garden is full of really clever ideas.  I thought I’d share just one of them with you today.

One of the tenets of Linda’s plan is to plant out advanced seedlings – doing so not only ensures that they’re more likely to survive an attack from marauding pests, but it also reduces the amount of time plants have to spend in the ground.  This in turn enables the garden beds to be planted out up to four times a year.

The seedlings are raised in recycled square-bottomed two-litre milk containers.  Smaller cartons could be used, but the two-litre size enables the seedlings to grow larger before planting out.

The tops and bottoms are cut off the washed containers, then they’re placed side by side in polystyrene boxes and packed with growing mix.  Some seedlings need to be germinated in seed raising mix first and then transferred to these larger punnets, but bigger seeds can be  sown directly.  Here are some sunflowers that we started last week…

Once the seedlings are large enough, they’re put straight into the ground and the plastic slides right off, with absolutely no transplant shock.  If necessary, the sleeve can be left half-on for a week or two to protect the plant from snails and slugs as it settles in.

I took some photos as we were planting out strawberries last week.  Every time we’re working in the garden, I find myself humming the A-Team theme song.  Linda’s guide is so well thought out, and I really do love it when a plan comes together…

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