Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

Sowing Grass seed – How to sow a lawn from seed

September 9, 2016

Preparing and Sowing a Lawn

LAWN & GRASS SEED MIXTURES

Seeding a lawn – A basic guide to preparing the ground, sowing the grass seed and looking after your lawn in the following years.

Prepare the ground by removing all rubbish, stones, bricks, weeds and plants. Improve drainage wherever possible, deep digging will help. The finer the prepared seed bed the better the lawn will be.
For lawns on a heavy soil incorporate more sand while digging this will help improve drainage. On light and sandy soil incorporating a good amount of peat into the soil will prevent drying out and loss of nutrients.
Level the site taking care not to remove too much topsoil from any one area. If possible the digging of the ground should be done in the autumn and left to stand for the witer, where the rain and frost will break down the large lumps and leave it crumbly. As the soil starts to dry out in the spring is the best time to prepare the fine seedbed. Roll or rake the ground, or tread and rake it in both directions, keep working it until you achieve a firm level seedbed. It is a good idea to rake in a pre-seeding fertiliser, this helps promote root growth and provide the essential early feed for your lawn.

Sowing grass seed into heavy soil / covering seed
Should you need to mix the soil due to it being too heavy to sow the seed into, it is recommended that you use peat to break it down, or to sow the seed into as it retains more moisture and nutrients to enable seed germination.

Sowing grass seed
Seed can be sown from mid March until early October, as long as during dry periods the seedbed is kept constantly moist until the lawn is approx 5cm high. Water the seed bed with a fine spray to prevent the seeds or seedlings being displaced. During periods of drought it may be necessary to water continually to aid germination and avoid the young seedlings being scorched and killed off.
A general rule of thumb to get a good established lawn is 50 grams of seed per square metre, allowing a little extra for filling in or patching at a later date. A small area can be sown to be used as patching turf if required for any repair work later.
To sow the seed it is best to divide the area into easily manageable sections, then divide the seed accordingly. Sow half the seed for one section from left to right of the section, the other half of the seed over the first sowing but from front to back of the section. This will ensure an even spread of the types of seed over the section.

Mowing the Lawn
The first mowing’s are very important for good establishment of the lawn. When the lawn is 5-8cm it should be cut for the first time. Trim the lawn lightly and gradually lower the blades to the recommended mowing height of the lawn seed mixture used. Mow regularly but try not to remove more than a third of the growth at any one cutting. Do not mow the lawn when it is damp. After the first cut the lawn may be rolled, this encourages lateral growth and makes a closely knit turf.
A lawn is best mown little and often, that way you do not remove more than a third of the growth. Towards the end of the season gradually raise the cutting height of the blades. Always remove the cuttings.

Nicky’s seeds

Sow vegetable seeds – a beginners guide to a veg patch

October 18, 2013

Sick of paying supermarket prices for your greens? Then why not sow vegetable seeds and start your own vegetable patch!

Not only is growing your own little vegetable haven a great thing to keep you occupied but it can save you money too. Those tomatoes you need to cook your favourite meal? No need to go and fork out lots of money at the supermarket, just head to your garden!

For many though, the prospect of starting a veg patch can be a little daunting. That’s why we’ve put together a little beginner’s guide to creating your own vegetable plot, sowing vegetables seeds is easy and fun even if you only have a small veg plot. We hope you find it useful! What would you like to grow? Before you do anything you need to decide what it is you would like to grow. As a beginner I recommend you start small. Putting too much on your plate means that you’re going to be overwhelmed with trying to manage and maintain everything in your plot.

Remember that things like tomatoes and peppers will continue to provide throughout the season. Things like carrots and corn however will only produce once, so you may need to plant more of these.

A favourite is baby leaf vegetable seeds where you can sow the salad leaf mixtures found on the supermarket shelves, make your own mixtures up from some of the following or add your own, Lettuce, Corn Salad, Rocket, Cress, Radicchio, Pak Choi, Mizuna, Lambs Lettuce, Baby Spinach, Endive, Chervil, Mustard Greens, Dandelion

It’s all about what you and your family will eat. There’s no point planting peppers if nobody is going to eat them!

Do you have the room? Now you know exactly what it is you’re growing you can start to estimate the kind of space you’re going to need. You aren’t going to need a lot of space. Heck, you don’t even need a garden. You could grow veg in some containers on your balcony!

There are a few things that the vegetables do need to flourish though:

  • Plenty of sun. Less sun means that they might not produce as much food and they may be more susceptible to diseases.
  • Lots of water. Like everything, your plants need water to grow. If you’re in a bit of a dry spell, make sure that you give them plenty.
  • Quality soil. Regardless of what you’re growing quality soil is a must. The majority of veg perform well in rich well drained soil.

Test the soil So, how do you test if your soil is up to the challenge? Well soak the soil with a hose and then leave it over night. The next morning head out into the garden grab a handful and squeeze. If water is streaming out then you’re going to want to add compost to help improve the drain.

If the soil hasn’t congealed in your hand then it may be too sandy. Adding organic matter will help this.

Now you’re soil is ready, plant your vegetable seeds!

Keep the weeds at bay Unsurprisingly, weeds are as unwelcome in the veg patch as they would be anywhere else in the garden. These pests compete with your veg for sun, water and nutrients. Once a week head out to your patch and pull out all the weeds you can.

You should also look into veg fertilizers to make the most of your crop.

Patience and proper care should mean that your veg yield plenty for you and the family!

Good luck!

When to sow Vegetable Seeds

May 9, 2010

Vegetable seeds sowing calendar
When to sow vegetables, approximate time to plant out the young plants, time for harvesting the crop.


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