Tag Archives: seedlings

Seeds go Postal

9 Jul

A bit of a thrill today when seeds arrived via courier. The reasons I ordered them online were:

  • I was getting cross at the lack of herbs my local garden shop supplied (they’re great with veges and flowers though). Three times I went there looking for German Chamomile, with no luck for seeds or seedlings.
  • Getting things in the mail that aren’t bills is exciting.
  • It’s inexpensive.

It’s good to know there is no excuse for not planting your favourite herbs. It’s also a lovely winter thing to do so you can get some of the spring planting planned.




2 Jul

More seed planting tonight while the oven heated up for lazy bread. The reasons for this were:

  • So I don’t have to splash out a small fortune on seedlings in the spring
  • To supplement my (so far very lazy) chickens’ feed
  • To provide me with something to trade with over the coming months (esp. for lemons)

I chucked seed raising mix into 3 punnets and planted more basil, silverbeet, and bok choy. These three punnets get the sunny spot on the lounge windowsill. The seedlings that were there go in the cold frame outside, and one of the punnets from the cold frame is now hardening up under the eaves. Bit like musical chairs. One is always left out in the cold.

It helps that all this is done within an eight metre radius. Not too much walking required. Then the bread went into the oven. Whammo. Sustainability Wench-ness achieved, thus cancelling out the takeaways we had for dinner (no actual scientific evidence in this theory).


Snow Prep

18 Jun

Apparently it’s going to snow lots over the next few days. Christchurch as a city gets a bit panicky in the snow. We’ve had snow in the city every winter for the past few years – not a whole lot – but it’s still a big novelty. Most things shut down. Which must be hugely entertaining for the Canadians I think.

I thought it best to get the garden ready this afternoon. The thing about gardening though, is that weather happens. You can only do so much to help the plants. Sometimes they die. That’s life.  My task list was pretty small:

  • stake all the large broadbeans (a couple of months ago it snowed and they got hammered). They look a bit wonky in the pic below. That’s because I ran out of tights to tie them up. I will have cold legs.
  • pick all the ripe limes, lemons and mandarins
  • tuck the seedlings away in their house
  • put the shovel and secateurs close to the garage entrance
  • admire my winter garden while it still looks good . . . because next week it may all be under water
  • open the doors of the house to give it a big dose of fresh air before we hunker down


What’s quite good about this Sustainability Wench bizzo, is that if the shops shut, I can:

The hardest bit will be keeping the small fry entertained.

Homemade Coldframe for Snuggly Plants

18 May


I’d been wanting to make a coldframe for seeds, seedlings, and cuttings for some time. The benefits of making your own coldframe are:

  • You get to use tools and speak like a builder
  • You can start propogating things earlier and get them into the ground faster
  • You can upcycle stuff that would normally be dumped
  • You can grow plants for free (cuttings) with more success
  • You can grow more from seed, which is far more economical than buying baby plants

Our neighbour (who has an awning-making business) gave me loads of thick clear plastic offcuts the other day. It looks like the stuff that windows in those big 1970s family tents are made from. Perfect for keeping warmth in and frost out. I had seen the stuff in use as an awning during Friday arvo drinks with the School Mums a while back, and specifically asked for any free bits with a coldframe in mind. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.

I found an old bookshelf and suitcase at EcoShop yesterday. This morning we (I made this into a family event) flipped the bookshelf on its back, removed the extra slats, repositioned a piece to help keep the plastic up in case of snow, and screwed the plastic onto one side of the case. We used a manual screwdriver as the shelf is just pine. I can fold the plastic back or prop it up at the sides on warm days to keep it ventilated, and cover it back up at night. It’s very heavy, so it won’t blow around.


I haven’t quite figured out how to dismantle the suitcase yet, so in the meantime I’ve chucked my taller cuttings in it and it’s positioned under the porch.

If you don’t have a neighbour who has an awning business, you can use cheap windows from a reclamation yard, although you need to be able to move them aside on hot days. If you Google ‘Coldframe’ images, you can see loads of ideas.

No-Brainer Watering Bottle

17 May


This Sustainability Wench Tip is a simple one that re-uses rubbish and benefits your garden.

Throughout the year I have seedlings and cuttings in various spots around the house. The number one rule is not to let them dry out. Sometimes I do let them dry out because I am lazy and put off watering until it’s too late – especially in the winter when the cooler weather fools you into thinking the punnets under the porch are damp enough.

Today I made a couple of watering bottles to keep on hand right next to the plants:

  • Grab large empty plastic bottle.
  • Punch holes in the lid with stabby little scissors. I use ones I borrowed from my parent’s medicine cabinet twenty years ago.
  • Fill bottle up with water, put lid on.
  • Water the plants by giving the bottle a bit of a squeeze in their direction.

By watering through little holes, you avoid that tsunami-effect on the little seedlings. If you fill the bottle up to the top, you don’t have to refill it straight away (depending on how many plants you’ve got to water).