Raising Seeds into Seedlings
By Nicola Galloway
This year I decided it was time to get serious about my garden beyond the culinary herbs. I have planted seedlings in the past with varying degrees of success, likely due to unhealthy soil. But with my no-dig garden in full swing and its nutrient-dense soil, I decided to raise healthy plants from seed. Firstly, I planned what I wanted to grow from the selection of organic seed available*. After narrowing it down to a selection of plants suitable to my garden space and climate I eagerly awaited their arrival in the post.
Then it was time to get sowing. It is best to sow seeds early - mid spring for summer produce including tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, beans, squash etc. Ensure they are kept out of any late season frosts as the delicate seedlings will not withstand the cold temperature. A glass house is helpful or a sunny sheltered corner of the garden.
You will need
What to do
If raising seeds in trays they will need to be planted out into larger containers so to give the plant roots space and access to more nutrients. Ideally do this once the seedlings are 4-5cm high. Some vegetables such as vines or ground creepers - zucchini, pumpkin, squash, watermelon, cucumber, peas and beans - are best sown individually in small containers from the start as they don't like being replanted too many times.
Tip: peas, beans and corn germinate well in toilet rolls and can be planted straight into the ground still in the roll.
About the author
Nicola Galloway is a trained chef with a diploma in natural nutrition (Canada) who is passionate about the benefits of healthy and flavoursome food. Raised by two doctors, her focus on health was never far behind her love for creating good food.
She is the author of two recipe books; Alive - Food for Health and Vitality, and Cooking for your Child - healthy recipes from first foods to school lunches.
Nicola's mission in life is to inspire others to make healthy food choices and enjoy the art of cooking. She lives in Nelson, New Zealand with her family.
For more information go to www.nicolagalloway.com