DON'T have a very good success rate when it comes to germinating
seed in punnets. What is a good home-made potting mix to make? Also,
what is the best green crop you can use in the north?
seed sowing, you are best to buy a ready-made seed raising mix like
Yates Black Magic. It has a fungicide added to stop problems such
as damping off, which will kill your seedlings. It has also been
If you make your own
seed raising mix, you run the risks of introducing a raft of fungal
problems, and you may not get the consistency of the mix right either
- it needs to be light and fine enough for the seedlings to emerge
When sowing seeds, stick
to varieties that are easy to germinate, not too fine and fiddly,
and will give good rewards. Don't baby them too much, just let them
do their thing. If the packet says up in seven to ten days, expect
some to still be germinating after 15 days. If the conditions are
not right, the seeds will come up when they're ready.
It sometimes helps to
place a sheet of newspaper and glass over the top of the seed tray.
Keep the tray moist, not wet or too damp, and place it in the hot
water cupboard or in a sunny place if you do not have a glasshouse.
As for green crops, it
is certainly that time of year again. The two most common green
crops are mustard and lupins. You should be fine to sow either of
these in Whangarei. Try to get your seed in before it gets too wet
to walk on the ground. Dig or rotary hoe the green crop back into
the soil when it's about 40cm tall. If it gets too tall, it will
become too hard to dig in.
Gardener, Issue 100, 2002, Page 20
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.