I left Vancouver UK bound last week excited for my vacation but disappointed to be leaving just when things are hotting up on the seed sowing front! Spring weather seems to have come early in Vancouver this year and with the Spring equinox last week where hours of daylight finally match hours of darkness and Vancouver’s last frost date being March 28th, I feel like my trip is holding me back!!! I think I am feeling what most new gardeners feel….they can’t wait to get sowing!
I couldn’t help myself and probably all in vain, I got started last week before I left. I decided I had enough seed to sow some hardy and half-hardy annuals in my new little green house as well as a few rows of hardy annuals direct in my beds. A good decision? Who knows, but I figure worst case scenario nothing germinates and I can start again when I get back.
For my greenhouse seeds, I decided to make my own peat free potting soil as I couldn’t get hold of any in Vancouver. I sieved some green waste compost left over from my raised beds that has been heat-treated, and on the advice of Georgie Newbery from Common Farm, to a barrow full of soil I added a quarter again of sand for drainage and a handful or so of vermiculite for water retention. An oxymoron on paper but apparently the correct formula for successful germination.
I then decided to follow the advice of Benjamin Higgledy from Higgledy Garden and sowed my seeds in individual square 3 inch pots, giving the seedlings room enough to grow without having to pot on too many times. I put the pots in trays with no holes so they can be watered from underneath thus protecting the seedlings as they grow. My lovely neighbour will be watering my seeds when I am gone.
As for the direct sowing, I mixed a barrow full of home-made garden compost to the soil in my raised beds and then raked, and raked, and raked until I felt there were no pieces of soil bigger than about a die. I sowed the seeds as recommended on the seed packages, and marked the line with some sand so I can easily detect new seedlings.
The day after I planted my seeds it hammered down with rain! HAMMERED! Who knows if they will ever germinate! Only time will tell.