I do not put ads on my blog but do have a counter that shows me how many visits the pages get. (The stats. count is just there so I can see if I am 'talking' to myself, luckily so far this has not happened.) By continuing your visit here you are consenting to the stats. counter tracking cookies. Cookies, that sounds like something nice to eat but not that exciting.

Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Planting seeds in plant-able pots and where I buy seeds apart from online

After trying the more expensive vegetable seeds and the cheaper ones; I cannot see as much difference in them as when I have tried to cut costs on seed potatoes in the past. I am happy to plant seeds from Aldis or even the £1 shop as I have had no problem with them in the past.

Some of the vegetable seeds I am planting in plant-able pots, so that we can nurture them before planting them out. These use to be called peat pots but I guess they do not have much peat content in them now.

I think they give the plants a good start and planting them out does not disturb the roots. I am using plantable pots from the cheaper stores such as the £1 shop. The only downside so far is they seem to have been stacked too tightly for me to separate them easily. Which means it is  bit of a battle each time I want some to use.

If you over water these pots that were in the past called peat pots they can start to go mouldy. I just take a bit of care with that. It seems to happen more with the smaller ones that are like little square cells joined together than the larger individual pots.

When I say here - planting seeds in compost in plant-able pots or seed trays - the compost I am referring to is purchased seed compost.

Young seedlings do not often thrive in the sort of compost that comes in grow bags or even the compost that you take directly from a compost heap. You can use home made compost in this way as seed compost but only after further storage and sieving. The compost taken direct from the compost heap is probably not best used for this and valuable on our impoverished soil of the allotment that we are still trying to improve year on year.

We have allotment soil with such fine particles that when it is walked into the house and dries on door mats it shakes out like the finest particles of sand with really small grains.  The compost and well rotted horse muck is used by adding it to 'beef up' the soil on the allotment where we grow our vegetables. The areas already given such treatment retain the moisture from rain fall better, are easier to weed and seem to be more productive now than before we began adding the soil enrichment.

One day we may have reached a level where we can begin to use the vegetable plot as a no dig plot but  that will take time to achieve and lots more compost and manure added over the years.

Seed compost is specially formulated to develop healthy growth in the seedlings once they have germinated. With compost from something such as grow bags the contents are cheaper but it is usually a bit too rich for the seedlings. Although I have used it in the past when nothing else was available for some types of seeds, it is not ideal though.

The type of bagged compost that you can use for when you thin and transplant your growing seedlings says on the bag it is suitable for this type of use.  Often this potting on type of compost is also the one you buy for use when taking cuttings.

a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote