To sow or not to sow.

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To sow or not to sow.

Postby Cosmic » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:39 am

We'll be back home in a couple days and ready to plant our spring plantings. I have to decide how to do it this year. Previously I've grown my own seedlings in containers from seed with variable results. They never look like the punnets of seedlings you get from the nursery no matter what medium I use. Economically it is cheaper from seed but not all do well direct sown either and sowing some produce direct is wasteful when you have to thin stuff out. I'm tempted by the punnets in nurseries but some of them are expensive in the break down. How do others do it? Do you have any foolproof ways to grow seedlings without ending up with puny ones. I've used seed raising mixture of various kinds, potting mix of various kinds, coir and growpots all with less than nursery standard results!
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Re: To sow or not to sow.

Postby karyn » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:09 pm

I tend to direct sow onions, spring onions, beetroot, carrot, beans, peas, spinach, silverbeet. I buy seedlings of tomatoes, zucchinis, capsicums, broccoli, cabbage, annual flowers and sometimes button squash (only because I couldn't get seed for ages). I'd like to save more seed, but I forget, then it gets messy, and I pull it up and compost it! I've tried cabbage and broc seed, but they just didn't really do much, same with marigolds, asters, and a few others. Punnets here are about $4.50 now, and I share some with my family. Of course, if the snails come along and bite through your stems a few times, punnets become expensive! I think I like the instant gratification aspect of seedlings as well, and because of work, I've found that my seeds tend to dry out and die on hot days if I'm not there.
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Re: To sow or not to sow.

Postby palerider » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:06 am

I've been to a commercial nursery, Pohlmans, you could never get the results they do. Their setup is beyond human . They have automatic misters, controlled sunlight and fertiliser etc. Like Karen, I tend to plant quite a few things direct. Tomatoes grow well in seed mix, as do lettuce, basil etc. My problems start with brassicas, and root crops. I just direct grow these now, and thin them out.
I use Searles Seed Raising Mix. Not sure if it's better or worse, but it works really well for me.
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Re: To sow or not to sow.

Postby tam » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:02 pm

We have a stall at the local markets that sell seedlings 10c each. They are strong plants that don't wilt when planted out.
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Re: To sow or not to sow.

Postby Cosmic » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:56 pm

Thanks, it's interesting to know what others do. I've used jiffy pots for pumpkins, zukes,cukes, eggplants and capsicums and sown punnets of lettuce, chicory, tomatoes and rocket, will be direct sowing root veg soon. It's the first time I used jiffy pots so it will be intesresting to see how they go. I have brassicas already growing and tend not to grow them over this season because we get a lot of cabbage moth in summer. So we'll hopefully crop before they strike. Love this time of year!
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