The start of Spring is a pretty exciting moment, for me (and, I imagine, for most Melbourne-ites who are sick of grey and wearing neutrals). I can’t wait to get out in the sun and get tanned. What’s the point of this Spanish heritage if I can’t be wonderfully brown? And singlets – so good for showing off the circus muscles. And! All my tattoos are below shirt and trouser lines!! So I can get ’em out! Everybody wins!
Everybody except for (dramatic music) the plants. We put in lots o’ seedlings at A’s place, and on Friday, one of the first days over 20 degrees in ever so long, we came home and boy, did they look sad. They were wilted. They were slug munched. They were buried by cats and birds kicking around the mulch. So we went to town with the new soil wetting fertiliser brought out by seasol, and then I made some plant guards. It’s a good recycling project, too. DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW?
We had heaps of empty seedling pots that I chose to use, but you can use any suitable size container. Yoghurt tubs, plastic bottles, whatever! My mum used recycled plastic cups after a staff function.
The long punnets weren’t so great, but the tubes and square containers are just the size to start with. The six inch pots are good for the bigger babies, like the more established tomatoes.
cut a slit down the side of the pot, and cut the bottom off. The slit down the side is for removing the guard when the plant gets big enough.
Then! Whack your brand spanking new plant guard around your beautiful babies. Wiggle them down a bit into the soil and readjust the mulch. The benefits of this: You’ll know exactly where your plants are; the critters won’t kick mulch over them so you lose them and they die, forgotten and alone; you can water them specifically into the pots (although you need to be careful to make sure that it does get water); AND the slugs and bugs and earwigs will find it harder to get to them, and hopefully they will make it out of baby-hood into big, hardy, swarthy food producers. Or flower producers. Whatever floats your boat.
If you don’t have enough tubes and tubs, and you live in Melbourne, head to CERES. The nursery there has a bin where people drop off pots and sundry. and the little ones rarely get taken. This is our swag, and I barely scratched the surface. While you’re there, you can get a truckload of organic seedlings and dream of deliciousity. Hooray for gardens!
Now all I need to do is win against the aphids.
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