Every year in the garden, the see-saw tips from ‘I have no idea what I’m doing’ to ‘I think I’m beginning to understand’. And then, just as quickly, tips back to ‘I have no idea what I’m doing’ as the next predicament arises. In any field of learning it’s a cycle that takes you from being completely baffled, to feeling like Einstein, and then being baffled all over again. So, I’m starting 2016 having learnt so much in the two years since I started the garden, but knowing there is still so much to learn. The first lesson will start with seeds.
For the past two years I’ve sown my seeds outdoors when the weather starts to warm a little. But this year, after discovering the wonderful Gary Pilarchik from The Rusted Garden on YouTube, and his video demonstrating how to make a simple indoor grow box, I wanted to try with some starts inside.
Gary does a great job with his demo so I’ll leave that for you to watch. (The follow up is also useful.) The only small change I made in the design was to cut a round hole in the top (measuring 2″ across) instead of a long slit. I removed half of the clamp, and the other part rests on the top to hold the lamp in place.
Another first for this year is seed soaking. For a seed to sprout, it needs to take in moisture which it does from the soil. Soaking it first is like giving it a huge glass of water in one go, instead of the sips it takes from the earth, so germination is much faster. The general rule is don’t soak anything for longer than 24 hours, but I discovered some seeds need much less and started to swell after 12. You want to avoid sprouting before planting as the seeds as very delicate once that starts to happen and are likely to be damaged if you pick them up. I didn’t catch some of the broccoli seeds in time so I had to be very careful when planting them.
So I didn’t have to stick labels on my glasses, I lay them on a labelled paper towel.
The seed packets will tell you when is the best time to sow your seeds indoors. I could have been earlier with some of them, but next year I’ll do better, tipping that see-saw once again from ‘I have no idea what I’m doing’ to ‘I think I’m beginning to understand’,
For now though, it’s time to hurry up and wait.