GARDENING

Gardening with James Vaughan: Time to plan ahead in the garden

James Vaughan

Reporter:

James Vaughan

Email:

news@tipperarylive.ie

Gardening with James Vaughan: Time to plan ahead in the garden

Seed trays are perfect for growing seeds. If you can use a heated propagator as it gives better germination results

Seed Catalogues
It is at this time of year that gardeners look and plan ahead. A pleasant task that gardeners can choose this time of year is looking through seed catalogues for new types of flowers and veg. It used to be the case that more flower seeds than vegetable seed was bought every year. This has now been reversed with more veg seeds purchased each year. New varieties are available from seed catalogues as well as the usual varieties. One advantage of buying flower and veg seed on-line is that the postage costs are minimal.


Seed Growing Equipment
There are some pieces of essential equipment if you intend to grow any type of seeds. It is important to have the correct type of compost- seed and cutting compost is best. You then need seed trays in which to place the compost and seeds. Follow the instructions on the back of the seed packet- these will vary for each type of seed. One piece of equipment that I would not be without is a heated propagator. This is basically a plastic seed tray with a heating element in the base. Once plugged in you can feel a gentle heat in with your fingertips. Once compost and seeds are placed in it it gives an ambient heat throughout the entire tray. This gives better germination results than seed grown without a heated propagator. If you wish for a more simplistic way to grow seeds you can sow directly into the soil.
You can grow a flower garden simply by sowing the seed of annual flowers at the start of the season. Starting seed in the garden is easy and inexpensive, but it does require some patience. You won't see many flowers for the first couple of months, but after they start, they will bloom until frost hits. Unlike perennial flowers, which generally take two years to start blooming, annuals are quick growers and very eager to get down to the business of blooming.
Most of the annual flowers will start flowering within two of three months. That might not be as fast as purchased seedlings, but it will be a lot cheaper. You'll also get many more plants, which is perfect if you are trying to fill in spaces in your garden or cover a lot of ground. One final bonus point for starting from seed—most of these plants will reseed, giving you free plants next season.
I myself order seeds from a supplier in the U.K. The choice is extraordinary and the cost of postage is reasonable. There are however, lots of suppliers within Ireland.

Contact James by email: james.vaughan1020@gmail.com