Australians are turning to gardening in droves during the pandemic but there are pitfalls for new gardeners.
Help is at hand of course, and there are ways to keep gardening evening when things return to normal and gardeners may have less time to devote to their plants.
Let’s find out all about what to do.
I'm talking with Josh Byrne, presenter for Gardening Australia TV presenterand environmental scientist.
5. It’s easy to get disheartened after a couple of failures, for example seed raising, plants getting eaten by bugs. What’s your advice?
If you have any questions of course, why not email firstname.lastname@example.org or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.
- Today a how to of getting those seeds to germinate?
- You probably would know that all seeds have particular temperature ranges, and light requirements to germinate.
- All seeds germinate when light, temperatures
and moisture are close to what they prefer to survive.
- So know when the best time of year to sow your seeds by checking the information on the back of the packet.
- All seeds have a seed coat that varies in hardness. Some need a little help to germinate faster and you can do this yourself several ways.
- The process of softening the seed coat is called scarification.
- Seeds have a food store for the embryo which emerges.
- If you plant your seeds too deep, the food store runs out before the plant reaches sunlight.
- After that all green plant seedlings need access to light so that they can make their own food (through photosynthesis) and continue to grow.
- The other problem is if you plant them too shallow, then they’ll dry out and die before they get anywhere.
|Cucumber and lettuce seedlings|
- My tip if you’re having trouble, is to cover your seeds with a layer of vermiculite, and spray that with water to make sure it’s really wet.
- ***Vermicullite let’s in plenty of light in and I mostly get success with seeds that way.
- I also like to use a mini greenhouse for at least the first week if the weather’s not quite right for the seeds that I’m trying to grow.
- In any case, if you buy a packet of seeds and can’t germinate them, you can ring up the company and they’ll send you a fresh pack.
Another question I was often asked about, was why are some seeds coated with a fungicide called Thiram? This usually makes the seed pink.
- This is to prevent the seed from rotting when you put it into the ground. Sometimes seeds are prone to fungal attack and are treated that way because of that, or in some cases, the seed supplier doesn’t have a particular certification and the seed company then coats them.
- Plants grown from this treated seed aren’t poisonous. The only thing that’s poisonous is that pink coating on the seed.
- What you need is a sheet of paper towelling, clear plastic bag to fit or one of those plastic take away containers and spray bottle of water.
- Spray paper towel so it’s completely moist but not dripping.
- Add 10 seeds from your packet and space them out on one half of the paper towel. This is doing a seed sample. If 7 or 8 seeds sprout then you have 70 -80% germination rate. If you have only 3-4 seeds sprouting, that means a low germination rate. Either use more seeds to get what you want or not use them at all.
- Take the other half of the paper towel and fold over the seeds.
- Spray towel again.
- Put this in the take away container and close the lid.
- Put this into a warm environment such as a cupboard or a desk drawer for about a week.
- Check on it every 2-3 days to make sure that it remains moist.
- After a few days, fresh seeds will have sprouted if the seeds are fresh.