Sunday, 16 April 2017
Hopefully you've all been busy outside, planting your seeds, feeding the soil, cutting firewood and foraging free and wild food!
Not everyone has green fingers, but I think everyone - especially those of us with children- who have space to grow should give it a go.
Ideally you should be looking for heritage seeds - our North American friends call them Heirloom seeds so look out for these too. Heritage seed varieties have a long history and plants are often much closer related to their wild ancestors than the F1 hybrids.You can save the seed from a heirloom variety and they will regrow year after year. And here is an important lesson - If you crossbreed them the strain is lost and the line destroyed. Many folk rightly seed save and seed share, thus the strain is protected. It is such a shame that the same principles are not applied to people! Why are people so ignorant to assume these simple laws of nature don't apply to us? Preserve your heritage!
Anyway, back to the seeds! I was in my local garden centre and I was very pleased to see them selling heritage plants, which makes planting even easier as they've already done the germination for you. So now there can be no excuses :)
Here are some tips for newbies.
If you are not sure how deep to plant a seed - plant the seed as deep into the soil as the size of the seed you have. So beans can be planted an inch or so under the soil. Fine seeds can be simply cast over the soil.
Water seeds planted in pots from above - but once they have germinated, place the pot into a tray and pour water into the tray so it soaks up from the bottom. Some plants stems rot easy when young.
Always say no to GMO.
Local and native varieties will always grow better in your patch.
You need bees and insects to pollinate your plants. No pollination - no food. Encourage bees so also plant bee friendly flowers. Save the bees not refugees.
Weeds can be a problem - however if your weed is edible or has health boosting properties, it isn't a weed - use it!
Plant a fruit tree. Okay, it might take five years or more before you get fruit, but once you do, you'll get the best fruit every year for a very long time. A tree you plant will be a sacred thing. Use the wood to carve runes. Hang bird feeders from it and give a little back.
top - this is whats left of my winter crops
above - some of the heritage plants form a garden centre.