When to plant
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The time to plant will vary in or across the hemispheres. The people living in the Southern Hemisphere will
begin to plant as soon as it gets warm after winter. This is usually towards the end of July and the beginning of
August. The best guide to see when one should begin to plant is nature.
Because trees have a longer root system that grass they will begin earlier in their growth. This has to do with
the movement of sap. I have been watching my peach trees. I have a white peach that is one of the first trees to
sprout. They begin towards the end of June beginning July and by the time August comes along they are in full
bloom. On the other hand, the other peach trees have not even begun to flower.
I therefore take my cue from these trees which tell me that the season has changed and that it is getting
It is then that I begin to plant my seeds. I use seed trays. These are the un-expensive kind. They lie
around at any green grocer. They are your common tomato boxes. What i do with them is to place compost in them from
my compost heap. Before placing the compost in the boxes, I line the bottom of the boxes with news paper. This is
not to allow any of the compost to fall out of the tray. Also the paper is bio-degradable.
After having lined the trays with paper I add the compost and level it out. I then give it a first watering
to settle the soil. The next day I plant my seeds in rows. This eliminates the act of planting to much seed. In one
box i plant 15 - 18 seeds of any variety of vegetables. I usually get 18 seeds in a box. This could be cabbage,
spinach, beetroot, etc.
This gives me an idea of how many plants will germinate and also how big a space i will need to prepare for the
seedlings. Once the plants have germinated, it is vital that a protected covering is placed over them. I planted my
seeds but did not place a covering over them. As a result the birds had a good feast on them especially the cabbage
plants which are the first to go.
To make a protective covering, take a onion sack or any sack and cut down the one seem to open the sack. Next
cut along the bottom of the sack also along the seem. This should then allow you to open the sack. Once you have
done this you can then drape the sack over the plants so that the birds do not get to them. As the sacks are
porous, sunlight still gets to the plants for them to become healthy and green.
One should not forget to keep the soil moist at all times. When the seedlings begin to get their secondary
leaves then the time of transplanting them is near.
Point of interest. Spinach and beetroot seeds, although planted with one seed, yet when they gerimant can
produce 2 - 3 seedlings from the one seed. Therefore keep in mind that if you plant 15 - 18 seeds of Spinach or
Beetroot, you could end up with double or tripple the amount of plants that are required.
Also, if you have excess seedlings and do not have space to plant them, keep them in the seed tray or give them
to family to plant out. Never through away any seedlings that are excess.