NEW BEGINNINGS: Growing a veggie garden from seed is easier than you think and allows you to enjoy a wider variety of plants.
NEW BEGINNINGS: Growing a veggie garden from seed is easier than you think and allows you to enjoy a wider variety of plants. Alison Paterson

Seeds the start of something big

SPRING is the ideal time to start planting seeds.

It's easy, cheap and allows you to otherwise grow some amazing heritage or unusual varieties which you would never see in a nursery.

Having said that some nurseries have a fabulous range of seeds which would entice any garden-lover to try something new - or old as it may be.

These minuscule promises are a divine treat and watching them flourish and bloom is marvellous.

How exciting that a tiny speck can grow into a massive bunch of spinach, bok-choy or a tomato bush which will feed you all summer long!

In my vegetable patch I have six separate raised beds named after my favourite surf breaks and some long beds along the back fence.

And they are full to bursting because pretty much every seed I planted has come up.

Amongst my veggies I like to grow cornflowers, marigolds, pansies and zinnias - they are beautiful and bright and attract the bees, who help pollinate my fruit trees, several passion-fruit vines which grow along the fence and the pumpkins which are doing their best to take over, well, pretty much everything.

Sharing seeds with your neighbours is also a lovely way to pass on some joy.

The other day a visitor to my patch admired my tall yellow and orange calendulas, so when walking the fierce creature on Sunday I popped a twist of seeds in her letter box.

Some other dog-walkers love my native iris - Dietes robinsoniana - so I'll collect some when they need have a seed pod and pass them on.

If you are starting off growing your own seedlings, then it's a good idea to start off the seeds in punnets.

I simply sift a mix of potting mix and compost into punnet and sprinkle a few seeds, then gently cover with a thin layer.

Remember to attach a label and ensure you keep them moist as so they can dry out easily,

When the seedlings are mature enough, I put them at the depth that they are in the punnet, then surround with mulch.

Then I step back, have a cuppa and watch with amazement.

Tell me about what's going on in your garden alison.paterson@ northernstar.com.au


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