June 6, 2019 - Wendy Finders
How do you mix a tomato seed with the “eat me” Gerbera?’
A garden in the kitchen, backyard or pot can be the choice of starting your own Gerbera Daisy garden, as long as you have all the materials to help you along the way, and a balance of time for soil, soil amendments and watering the seeds. Prior to hoeing, composting, mulching or transplanting, a great time to do your germination research is with a family dinner, says Currie Labrie of daisiesnow. He would love to hear what you had to say, as the suggestions are very useful. “Try to keep the tips consistent as they may help some and hinder others. Be honest with yourself about what you think the options are. If you don’t like tomato seeds you might not like crème seed, not too please him. At the end of the day you do what you can,” says Labrie. Labrie says a good method is to buy a grow bag before you purchase seeds. Buy them in one set and they can work in your garden easily. You can sow seeds in a mixture of lightly compacted earthworms, or if using soil “Ethanso” or mix a bag of potting soil and gunge with enough compost to cover what is of high quality. Make sure to rotate the soil, and add four peppercorns as a “love” for their stone-and-pear perfume, says Labrie. Labrie says the second most important task is preparing the soil. “You have to work the soil and play with it if you want to get a decent germination rate.
Most soils need to be treated on a very heavy duty way to take away a good percentage of nitrogen and other trace minerals needed for germination. When you work the soil, add another cup of vermiculite or coarser soil. If you don’t have worms, you can use a natural fertilizer like rat manure that works better.” To help with germination rates, you will want to water the plants daily. If you have a container with small potting soil, you can get away with adding a little water while the plants are drying off. In larger containers, follow the beaker method to keep your plants moist. When planting, try to let the plants flower in the container as the seeds release more light. When germination rates aren’t at their desired level, Labrie advises you not to grow too many leaves, the main plant for pest control, and to cut the “wide-tailed” plant back as soon as it starts bearing beans or any of the other early ripening crops. “Keep working, and you will see it come to fruition,” he says.
The next step is to transplant the new seedlings to the garden where the soil needs to be soaked regularly. Labrie suggests buying a packet of seedlings to look at and also then planting them in a lot less potting soil. You should look at their vigour, whether they have a nice central stalk or have a bit of a bit of branch that is providing nourishment to the stem. Labrie says there are always exceptions. If you plan to use more seeds in the planter, there will be no need to water. If you are looking for specialty seeds, choose seeds like Beaufort Blue tomatoes. These have distinctive anthocyanin, which the potted Gardener’s Club gardeners in Limmud Talmid first found out about at a tour in Australia. “Beaufort Blue is so great to look at, you will want to buy one just to look at,” says Labrie. Planting further down will be a good way to find out if your seeds will have a good germination rate and become a garden gem. You can still buy organic germination advice at daisiesnow. It is a very accessible place. Enjoy gardening, no matter how short you can give yourself. www.daisiesnow.com