Spring has now officially sprung and the new moon is waxing so it is the perfect time to plant the seeds of flowers and of all the leafy greens. Next week it will be time to plant the fruiting vegetables - tomatoes, capsicum and peas for September. Yesterday afternoon I spent a half hour filling twenty five seedling punnets with a mixture of potting mix, worm castings and seed raising mix. This morning I planted hundreds of seeds, just scattering them on top of the soil, adding a thin layer of seed raising mix over the top and watering them in with a seaweed-based liquid fertiliser. In a couple of weeks when they have germinated I will transplant them into trays with individual cells for each seedling to grow in, and will take them to my friend Tanya's greenhouse for a few weeks. Popping them in punnets now means I can fit them on my dining room table in the warmth until they germinate.
I did a big seed clear out, so some of these punnets are experimental. The dill seeds, for instance, are from 2003. Last year Paul gave me a bucket of seeds he had been storing for over a decade in his garden shed, which is not ideal as far as seed storage goes, but it's always worth the experiment.. we'll see what comes up. All the vegetable seeds were from Paul, left over from last year, or saved from the garden. I did have a tiny splurge and bought 12 packets of flower seeds from a Victorian seed company. They were extremely cheap, at an average of a dollar a packet, so I will report back on the germination rate and write a little review for my Australian readers, because if they germinate well it will be very good value indeed. I am hoping for fields of flowers this summer!
I have seized today as the perfect window for covering the kitchen table with seeds (as you can see, I have housed the punnets in my casserole dishes and cheese platters. Using what we have) as we had a little Father's Day afternoon tea for my dad here on Sunday, and Posy moved the dozen or so plants that usually live on the dining room table to make room for all the food. So there was a bare table with no plants on it. Tables without plants look so sad and bare! So I quickly installed twenty five seedling punnets before Posy had time to move her succulent collection back.
Posy's rehoused succulent collection. All of them have names..
Paul came to the party as well, with a trailer-load of wood for me, and then it started to rain, so we had to abandon our cups of tea and fruitcake in order to run up to the street and bring the wood in. My dad was very sporting about this interruption to the festivities, and entered into the unloading with enthusiasm. We throw the split logs over the fence where they theoretically land in front of the woodshed door, and theoretically don't break all my plant pots. Dad heaved logs over with great abandon, and only slightly dented the tin tub full of aspidistras. Luckily aspidistras can survive almost anything.
So, gardening on the dining room table is my fun project to celebrate spring. Tell me what you are doing to mark the change of the season..