Since there has been such a spike in demand for seeds and seedlings, and we have received tremendous interest in our seed display at the Farm Shop, we have decided to tap into our farm team’s knowledge and bring you a quick series of tips, tricks and resources to help you up your backyard veggie game. We will structure the posts around the questions customers most frequently ask us. Our farmers have such a huge wealth of knowledge and experience to share, that we are also busy preparing to launch a hands-on course for customers.
Should I Start with Seeds or Seedlings?
You can grow anything directly from seed, but there is something rewarding about starting with good strong healthy seedlings. It does require patience and applying a few key principles, but once you understand that, the process of raising seedlings becomes an art and a joy in itself. Deciding whether to buy seeds or seedlings is really dependent on how quickly you need to see results, and how much time and attention you are able to give to the plants when they are at their most delicate. We stock seeds supplied by Eden Seeds and Select Organic. Seeds are of course cheaper than seedlings, but that saving will not be realised if you do not take good care of the little babies as they germinate.
For the most part, Warrah’s crops grow from seedlings started in our nursery through our Social Therapeutic Nursery Program. Our only real exceptions to this are carrots, radish, beans and peas, which we sow directly where they are to grow because they do not transplant well. Seedlings grown in the nursery generally have a 4-8 week head start on any weeds that emerge in the field and it is so much easier for us to manage thousands of plants at that delicate new growth stage, in the nursery rather than out in the field. So your choice to sow seeds directly will depend on how many plants you want to germinate at a time, how exposed your veggie patch is to the elements, your pets, birds and bugs, and whether or not you have a more sheltered space available to set up as a nursery.
Either way, your seeds will require the right kind of soil. Ready-made seed raising mixes are available at all garden centres. Keeping an even level of moisture is the key to germination. Also, as a general rule of thumb, you want to sow the seed at a depth roughly twice the size of the seed.
Watch this space of more on growing your own backyard veggies.