There‘s a new seed sowing phenomenon gracing our gardening stores in the form of seed tape and seed discs or mats.
Now I know that these are not completely new ideas as seedtape has been available for a while now, but they seem to be on sale in great quantities with much wider varieties. I remember seeing these for vegetable seeds such as carrots or lettuces where the seeds are really tiny and require lots of thinning, but I fail to see why anyone would want to use them for all of their vegetables.
- Are we that pushed for time in our daily lives that we can’t sprinkle a few seeds in the ground for ourselves?
- Does everything nowadays have to be done for us and we pay over the odds for the privilege?
I don’t think that they are good value for money, unless you buy them from the discounted stores, but even then you don’t get as many seeds in a pack as you would if you were to buy them loose.
The basic principle of these items are that you place the tape or mats on top of your soil, cover with a little soil and water. The seeds are supposed to be spaced correctly to remove the need for thinning to allow space between the plants. I can see the benefit of using these for flowering hanging baskets, as I have done in the past due to the fiddly seeds and the selection of plants within the mats, but I really don’t see the need for using them with many allotment grown veg.
A steady hand when sowing seeds can help to alleviate the need for thinning on a later basis. If my plants are spaced too closely together after germination, I simply remove them and transplant them elsewhere without any detrimental effect to the plant. Most gardening books think that transplanting certain vegetables after germination is wrong, especially when referring to root vegetables, In some ways I agree, but as long as the transplanting is not left too late then the plants doesn’t really suffer and should perform just as well as the ones that haven’t been moved.
I for one, hate the thought of discarding perfectly useable plants that are spaced too closely. In my opinion, if the plant has taken it’s time to germinate and grow, who am I to say that it doesn’t deserve to grow into a healthy specimen! Transplants can easily be moved and grown elsewhere rather than being thrown away. As long as you are gentle when handling and move the plant with minimum root disturbance, then the plant should be fine. Most vegetables, if transplanted early, do quite well. After all, if you were going to throw the transplant away anyway, what do you have to lose by seeing if it performs just as well in a new location!
Yeah! I usually replant my seedlings else where when I need to thin, also! It feels so horribly wrong to throw away potentially good food.
I’m so glad that someone else agrees with me. I think like you in that it is a waste if perfectly good food.
I can always find room for transplants. Better to have too much than not enough.
My overflow has been making its way to pots. I am still seeing what plants I can successfully grow in pots, and the success is middling, though I am eager to try to grow carrots in pots like its shown here:http://www.vegetable-garden-guide.com/growing-carrots.html I currently have five or so brussel sprout plants in pots, but muggins here chose small pots so I need to either put ’em in the garden or into bigger pots, doh!
I grew most of my carrots in pots last year as I didn’t have the ground space and they did really well. I sowed them in succession so that I had a good supply for a few months. As I have my allotment now I plan on growing the majority of my carrots in the ground in the raised beds that I have already prepared, however I will still grow some in pots at home and I will compare the difference in yields. I’ll let you know how I get on. In regards to your Brussels, give them a bit more room!!:-)
I can’t wait to hear about the carrots, and yes ma’am, I’ll fix the brussel sprouts :S
I’ve never heard of those before, but they do seem to miss the point of making the effort to grow your own vegetables. If you’re looking for quick and easy then surely the supermarket is your best bet, why take the fun part out of it?
Thanks for your comment. I can see how some people would be tempted to use them. I have used a mat for flower seeds (big hands and tiny seeds not a good combination!), in the past but was so disappointed with the results that I would never use these type of products again. They take the fun out of growing your own from seed and watching your products grow into big, healthy specimens. Debb