seed sowing trays etc.

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Fishplate42

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seed sowing trays etc.
« on: February 13, 2021, 14:43 »
Life used to be so simple. Packet of seed, a wooden seed try and shake of the hand, job done. Now there are all sorts of trays, inserts, propagators, heaters, grow lights, the list just goes on. Partly, I suspect, this is because we are growing a much wider selection of 'exotic' plants never heard of in my youth when my uncles had plots. My Dad was a record collector and spent all his spare time trawling the record shops of the west end (of London) or locked away in his record room cataloguing his collection. He was not at all interested in growing.

Musty records was not for me. Instead, I spent many a happy day 'helping' my uncles on their various allotments over the years. They never had vast amounts of growing paraphernalia the like of which we seem to have today. They never ate chillies, let alone grow them. It was meat and two veg. in those days of the 1950s and 60s for us living in working-class London.

Now here we are in a totally different world. I wonder what they would have said about 'No-dig'? Actually, I can imagine, but I would not be able to convey it to you here for fear of being reprimanded for using unacceptable language.

This week we have been using the Agralan Plug Plant Trainers. I first was these being used by a guy called Dean on YouTube (Dean's lost the plot) some time ago. I remember thinking at the time that they looked useful, but dismissed them as another newfangled gizmo (that is the trouble with being an old fud). After struggling trying to get the plants out of seed tray cell-inserts last year, I gave in a bought one of the Plug Plant Trainers a few weeks ago. Well I have to say even this old goat was impressed. They really do look as if they will solve lots of problems - they will certainly save space, which is always tight this time of year. 

If there is one thing I have learnt over the years, it is that there is no one solution to where to or what to sow seeds in. In today's market there are plenty of ways of skinning that particular cat.

Going back to those early days around my uncles plots, fifty-plus years ago, I am sure that most, if not all of what they grew was sown direct and as far as I can remember they did not use nets or slug defences - or at least I don't remember them if they did.

Just a few observations while I sit here looking out over a snow-covered, frozen garden. Still, the temperature is set to rise this coming week, so after it all turns into a muddy quagmire, we may be able to get on with some real hands on growing, instead of thinking about it.

Ralph.     
I need more space...

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Christine

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Re: seed sowing trays etc.
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2021, 18:18 »
And thinkink back over your memories, I'd say that plenty of vegetables and fruit resulted. I wasn't allowed to pick raspberries as I ate too many. I didn't love the gooseberry bushes either - or topping and tailing the currants of various sorts. However the training has been good - except I don't do gooseberries cos the family doesn't like. And I don't use a lot of fancy equipment either. Perhaps my uncles would have been a bit confused by the swoe but that's my bit of modern kit.

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Growster...

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Re: seed sowing trays etc.
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2021, 18:26 »
It's even simpler these days, when you know you have to sow some broad beans in pots, but a quick look at the cold and the rain, is the best decider there is!

But it's half-way through Feb, and I haven't done a single thing in the GH, or outside either, so this year's going to be one of the late years!

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Fishplate42

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Re: seed sowing trays etc.
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2021, 17:34 »
... And I don't use a lot of fancy equipment either. Perhaps my uncles would have been a bit confused by the swoe but that's my bit of modern kit.

I like my swoe, but I must admit to having several hoes that I have collected over the years. The swoe was given to me recently, prior to that, it must be more than 30 years since I bought a hoe. I think the biggest investment we have made since getting the plot is a lot of new pots, trays and propagators. Our old stuff has now got to that brittle stage and with three greenhouses (two at home) and a small polytunnel we seem to use a whole lot of pots!

These days we raise as many plants as we can in pots and plant them out when they are mature enough to fend off the slugs. We also net all the brassicas as we have a lot of hungry wood pigeons. I don't remember any of this when I was a kid, or 30 years ago on our old allotment...

...maybe I am getting forgetful in my old age.

Ralph
 

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Fishplate42

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Re: seed sowing trays etc.
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2021, 17:39 »
...But it's half-way through Feb, and I haven't done a single thing in the GH, or outside either, so this year's going to be one of the late years!

That is another thing, we didn't even think about the allotment until the end of March, and even then we only thought about getting the seed-beds ready. Now We are looking for space, and we are only three weeks into February!

Ralph.

Ralph.

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Goosegirl

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Re: seed sowing trays etc.
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2021, 11:25 »
I must admit to being tempted to start sowing veg and flower seeds but all I've done is to put my mini-GH with its cover on inside the main one and got a max-min thermometer, some new seed trays with various sizes of inserts and 6 GH grow pots. I don't bother with propagators or any of the other so-called essentials. I use a thin cane to push my small plug plants out of their trays or an indoor garden mini trowel to remove the larger ones, and my handy little metal dibber is used for all sorts of things. I've saved various plastic yoghurt pots and cut plastic cordial bottles in half to use for bigger seeds and that's about it really.
Spring always comes when we sow the seeds of life.

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Growster...

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Re: seed sowing trays etc.
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 07:55 »
Some years ago, we bought a set of 3" module-pots, which had a tray to take fifteen in a three by five block. They're very flimsy, but when they're filled and collected in the tray, the whole shebang 'locks up', and we have a great sowing position.

Now we have thirty or so of these trays, and despite mentioning above that I hadn't bothered to start anything yet, Ralph's original post got me thinking, so we now have the broad beans (one to a pot), and a load of spring onions (ten to a pot - see Growster passim), and I feel like spring is really here - at last!

Many thanks Ralph - you've got the Growster show on the road!

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rowlandwells

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Re: seed sowing trays etc.
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 18:31 »
yes we are all chomping at the bit getting itchy feet to start gardening in one sort of way or another but lets face it its only February anyway our allotment looks like a paddy field

 its interesting to read you replies and how things have changed i remember when brassicas where grown in beds and pulled when needed my Dad used to say he was going to see someone to get a score of brussels and cabbage plants it wasn't heard of growing seeds in pots in the greenhouse in those days

and i have to say nowadays we bench grow most of our veg seed prior to planting in the allotments i just wonder what the old gardeners would make of these modern gardening ways

so growing veg in the greenhouse then planting it in wooden boxes on the allotments covered with nets and
 no dig not a spade in site for digging the ground spraying the ground with weed killer or covering it with a sheet to kill the weeds instead of digging the weeds out the ground and chucking hands full of chicken manure pellets on the ground what would these old gardeners say to all that :lol:

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Goosegirl

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Re: seed sowing trays etc.
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2021, 14:00 »
They'd probably say "Wish I'd done that years ago as it would have saved a lot of work and back ache."  ;)



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