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Hello fellow Gardeners

Life around my garden is slowly coming to life.

Looking at the ground we are very wet under foot but do you think that’s going to stop the weeds from growing I wish all my mulched boarders have perennial weeds growing also I have noticed my lawn is getting thicker. With winter bulbs like Daffodil, tulips breaking soil and gravel into the freedom of light spring is on its way. But please don’t be fooled in to thinking the freezing winds and frost and snow will not arrive because I’m sure it will, it’s just a matter of time. OK that said it’s not going to stop me from sowing seed and buying plugs and plants.

First on my list of seeds to grow this year is Red Geranium in fact it’s called sprit red these will be planted with white geranium plug plants  I bought way back in September, of  which I have just woken up by starting to water them from the bottom up.

For the first time I have used jiffy peat pot in a unheated propagator made for these little peat pot that just swell up and grow in size when you water them. Now I don’t really like these little post as I think the netting restricts the growth of mature plants especially the stems, with that in mind I’m going to slice the netting before I pot on.

Next on my list of seeds to sow is Trailing lobelia, trailing Pentunia, white & pink. To aid sowing of these fine seed I’ve enlisted the help of a seed sower as pictured below.

So the first step in sowing is the mix some sowing compost, now I normally just fill a seed tray and firm down and throw the seeds in then struggle to thin out.

But not this year No Sir I’m going to work smarter and not harder so I treated myself to some plug cells, I have cut the cells down to fit inside a standard seed tray for supporting the plug tray

 Back to mixing the compost. I’m using Growise seeding compost mixed with perlite 2:1 and a top dressing of vermiculite which will be watered before seed sowing from the bottom.

Here are my first seedlings of the year with lots more to come. Geranium sprint red with a good germination success of 99 % but I removed the tray top to early and one of the seedlings must of got cold overnight and died off, still 18 out of 20 seeds germinated is still a good result  I used a jiffy propagator in my living room window.

So now what am I going to do well it’s too wet outside to work on my greenhouse but I do have all materials for the footing and with just the mixer to hire that will do for now. While I’m waiting for the greenhouse I’m going to build a temporary hot bed/propagator out of one grow bag trays as time waits for no man and with very little money left for this month’s exploits temporary is all I can afford.

On with a budget heated propagator

Materials needed for this project

Grow bag tray …………………………… deep as you can find I had a spare one but can pick up for £2.99

Fine sand …………………………………….25kg should do a grow bag tray £2.00

Heated cable ………………………………….5 meters £18.99 35 watt rating so cheaper to run than a reading light

A thermostat…………………………………I bought mine from ebay at about £7.00

Blue tack to plug up the cable hole

Tools needed

Tape or cable clips to hold the cable in place

Two pieces of wood to set the depth of you sand and a tamper

A drill with a drill bit to match your heated cable

total cost £32.00 and is working quite well

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