Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Preparing For and Planting Your Seeds - Sweetcorn

As I said, yesterday I was out in the shed, in the rain I might add planting up some of my newly bought plants! Nice cheap plants too after some birthday presents Gardening Vouchers and my 10% discount card!! One of the main plants that I am going to attempt to grow this year, which will be new for me, is Corn (as in Corn-on-the-cob, butter on your chin, stuck in your teeth!). So planting seeds, you can do this in a series of pots but buy far the easiest is to purchase a seed tray, they are not expensive and are nicely re-usable.
Check the pack of seeds to find out the sowing time, this is usually given as a range of months in my case March - May, I am nicely in the middle.
Fill your seed tray just over half full and press down the soil, don't compact it in, the roots need to be able to get through, but just ensure the soil isn't loose. If the soil is too loose when it comes to watering you will find that you get mud soup with seeds floating about in it! Position the seeds in rows in your seed tray. Now the back of the pack will tell you the rough distance that you need to keep between each plant, although I admit I pack a few more in and just thin them out after the seedlings begin to show. Sprinkle another layer of soil on the top of the seeds and ensure they are completely covered. Again, you probably want to pat the soil down gently to avoid them floating during watering. Correctly label your seed tray, else you will have no idea what is growing where. I use a pack of wooden lolly sticks and a ball point but be as creative as you like.
I find that having a small calendar that has space for notes is handy, just make a note of what you planted when. This is also handy if you have seeds or plants needing attention at different dates, make a note of that in advance and then you will be prepared. This will be handy when we talk about Salad Leaves later this week. A nice calendar site is Printable Calendar this way you can print off months as you need them, but there are plenty of free printables, free promotional or cheap calendars out there.
If you are getting really serious on maintaining a diary/calendar of gardening activity then you can always pick up a Garden Planner pretty cheaply from many bookshops.
Anyway, back to seed trays. Water you seeds gently try to avoid 'monsoons' by using a watering can with the spray head fitted. Ensure that the tray is sitting somewhere were it is free to drain. Although not necessary sitting the tray in something to catch the run off allows the seeds to draw up the excess as they need it, I have found that old baking trays are the perfect size for this!
If you have a green house then put your tray in there, if not a shed will do or even a sunny window ledge. Some seed trays have little 'greenhouse' style lids available which fit on top and provide the warmth of a greenhouse, but in miniature. But I have had equal success with plastic shopping bags, as long as they are white and allow the light through.
Keep an eye on your seeds and don't let them dry out. We will return to the sweetcorn seeds as they progress...

1 comment:

  1. Great information I have to follow you!

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