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Homeschool Garden Club - The First Sowing of the Year

The time has come to stop looking at the seed catalogs and get some seeds started off. This week, I am batch sowing onions and leeks, aubergines and two different types of sweet peas.

I have never grown onions from seeds before, I usually use onion sets. So, this is a new adventure for me. I started by getting all the equipment I needed together. Then I filled the seed tray up with some seed compost.

The seeds are really small. Therefore, I first put some in to my hand.

This means I can pinch up a few and sprinkle them carefully. This way they don't clump together all in one place and are better spread out. I only want to grow a few at a time. Last year, we experienced a bit of a glut of courgettes, when they all grew and started producing courgettes all at the same time. We had to get creative with recipes, to use them all up. So, this week, I only want to grow about 1/4 of the seeds in the packet. I will then sow another 1/4 in about 2 or 3 weeks time.

I then covered them with a light sprinkle of compost.

I then gently pressed everything down. I don't have a fancy seed tapper, so I used my hands to make sure the seed made good contact with the compost. I haven't watered this tray as the compost was already very wet when I opened the bag.

Sowing aubergines next. These seeds are slightly larger and so I was able to use the tip of the pencil to control the amount going in to the modules. I grew aubergines last year, but I was a bit late getting them in to ground. This meant I had a few plants late in the year with fruit that were just not going to ripen for us to eat. I am going to grow these much earlier this year, to see if that makes a difference.

Finally, I have also sown sweet peas. I will be starting to sow theses every week in batches of 6 and 7's. Last year, one of you lovely learners gave me a pot of very old fashioned sweet peas that have been growing in your family for a very long time (so long that you have forgotten the name of them). I fell in love with them and I am going to grow them from now on because they were great for all the bees visiting the garden. I saved the seeds from last year, and will sow some of these each week. I am putting these into toilet roll tubes. These can be planted, toilet roll and all, straight into the ground or pot without disturbing the roots.

However, without knowing the name of them I can't buy any more of these. So, I had decided to increase my chances of success, this year, with a highly recommended variety called 'Confetti'. I am I planting these in modules. You can see these seeds are much bigger and easier to handle.

I have read the instructions on the packets and the seed trays, toilet rolls and models are in different places around the house as different rooms and different areas of the rooms are warmer or cooler than others. The seeds need different temperatures to germinate so the onions and leeks are on the kitchen window cill for the moment. The sweet peas are by the back door and the aubergines which need a warmer temperature are in the family room.

How are you getting along with your garden planning this week. Let us know and don't forget to look out for our seed swop coming up towards then end of this month. We are under covid-19 rules so we can either keep these and pass them on, post them to our study buddies or pot them up and grow them on and swop when we are allowed to do so.

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