I love growing things in my garden but I’ve been putting off getting started this year, due to the cold weather and some trips away when seedlings could have reached a critical stage and died. However, spring is here and I’ve finally begun getting seeds ready to plant in the garden.
Many seeds can be given a head start by chitting them: putting them into a warm damp environment to kick start germination. Last night I got some tomatoes (Garden Pearl, a bush variety) and lettuce (Lollo rossa) underway. In a few days they should start to sprout, by which point I need to have some small pots to plant them into.
This approach has worked well for me in the past couple of years. In particular, it helps with the problem of dud seeds. If you sow directly into the ground, you don’t know what is going on until seedlings start to break the surface. With chitting, I can see how the seeds are doing, rejecting the ones that fail to germinate and making sure the rest have plenty of room for the next stage of their growth
I’m trying one thing differently this year. In the past, I’ve used a single sheet of kitchen towel under the seeds. This time I’ve cut out small squares so that each seed has an individual carpet. I’m hoping this will make it easier to transplant them on rather than having to break apart the kitchen towel while avoiding damage to the seedlings!
Now I need to wait a few days to see how that pans out but, finally, I’ve made start!