The Art of Early Planting
Egg Shell Planters! Styrofoam Seedling Containers! Peat Cups!
Planting early can give yourself a valuable head-start to Newfoundland & Labrador's rather short growing season. So what's the trick to planting early?
Plant in Easy-to-Remove Containers!
It is important when starting seeds to be sure to plant them in containers that can come away from the roots easily, or needn't be removed at all when the seedling is ready to be transplanted, as to not disturb the seedling roots. There are several methods to doing this, and everyone has their favourites. Some variations include:
- Peat Cups simply disintegrate in the soil when the new sprouts are set out and are available from any of your local gardening retailers.
- Egg Cartons are a cheap variation of Peat Cups, where you can cut apart the carton and plant approximately one seed per cup (if you are fairly certain they will all germinate), which can be planted 'as is' at the transplanting time since the paper fiber will soon rot in the damp ground. This method does require you to water the seedlings often since moisture isn't well retained by the soft cardboard, and the containers may begin to disintegrate before you want them to. To avoid this, you can use an eggshell in the carton as a sort of liner - simply plant the seeds in the shells which you can set in the cartons for convenience. The minerals in the shell are beneficial to the soil, and as the roots grow, they will crack the shell open!
- Styrofoam Cups for planting seeds is a great way to reuse this rather non-environmentally friendly product. Styrofoam retains moisture well and insulates the seedlings from sudden changes of temperature, besides peeling off is easy when it comes time to set the plants out.
Other Options? You can use pretty much anything that is temporarily waterproof and easy to remove - Yogurt Containers, cut-down milk cartons, toilet paper tubes, etc. - What is your favourite?
A Chance to Rehearse with Ross Traverse!
Thursday, May 21st at 7:30 pm
Admiralty House Museum, 23 Old Placentia Rd, Mt. Pearl, $3
Ross Traverse, of VOWR radio gardening program, will be sharing tips & tricks on how to keep your garden beautiful and will offer you the opportunity to ask him all of your gardening questions!