The easiest way to grow vegetables and flowers is to start with seedlings from the local garden centre. They are already strong enough to cope in the garden and will grow so quickly that you will be harvesting the vegetables or flowers in no time.
- Read the label on the seedling punnet or the Smarty Plants fact sheets to find out where to plant them.
- Put on garden gloves, closed-in shoes, sunscreen and a hat.
- Choose a suitable spot and pull out all of the weeds and remove any rocks.
- Put one big bucket full of compost every square metre.
- Spread it out and then use the garden fork to dig it through the topsoil (the top 15cm of the soil).
- Apply a ‘soil wetter’ to make sure the water stays in the soil. This is available at hardware stores or garden centres.
- Water the soil really well so that it is soaked through.
- Water the seedlings gently so they don’t suffer ‘transplant shock’.
- Use a dibbler or a fat stick to make holes in the ground at the distance apart that it says on the label.
- Take a seedling out of the punnet. To do this, push the cell from underneath so the seedling pops up.
- Put the seedling into one of the hole, making sure that the top of the rootball is equal with the top of the soil.
- Gently push the soil around the root ball but don’t push it too hard.
- Repeat this until all the seedlings are planted.
- Water the seedlings gently.
- Water the seedlings every day and keep an eye out for pests and diseases.
TIP: To get the seedlings off to a great start, water them with a seaweed extract after planting. This will encourage their roots to grow and their leaves to be nice and strong.
This father and son are planting a few seedlings in their vegie patch and make sure they give them a water before finishing.