By now you will be itching to get sowing
seeds, and getting stuck into the greenhouse
and the garden.
Well, patience is a virtue!
It wonít be long before you are starting
off your sweet peas, and broad beans, but
for now, preparation is the key!!!
Examine your propagation gear.
Seed trays, pots, electric propagators,
labels (and markers for writing on) and
compost are all essential items, and now
is the time to get them in good nick for
the coming deluge of new plants that will
be bursting the seams of your house and
Firstly, hygiene is extremely important.
Using seed trays and pots over and
over again does save money, but making sure
they are clean and free of disease is very
If they have been used the year before,
give them a wash.
Dipping them in a tub of detergent
and a bit of bleach will ensue their cleanliness.
Let them drain, and stack them tidily.
If you use the white plastic labels,
collect the ones you used last year and
with a brillo pad, scrub them.
If you have resident children, or
teenagers, the offer of monetary gain to
clean them for you is often cheaper than
buying new ones!!
Dig out your electric propagators,
clean and dry them and plug them in.
Check they work.
If they donít, call the manufacturers.
A very well known manufacturer of
electric propagators replaced the bottom
tray of a propagator free of charge.
Complete with plug to mains!
Donít expect miracles, but sometimes
they do happen!!
If you donít ask, you donít get.
Check your label markers.
If they donít work, get new ones.
If you have compost
from last year, use it for potting on, or
For seed sowing, get fresh compost.
Whether you like to use special seed
compost, or good old multi-purpose, get
Old compost will have had time to
harbour all sorts of bugs and fungus!
One thing very handy is to have an
old plastic swing top kitchen bin in a corner
of the greenhouse for compost.
Not out in the rain and cold, and
as it is dry, easier to sieve out lumps
for seed sowing.
by Sue Welford