Growing Tips & Instructions
Posted by Eli C. on 10th Mar 2022
Tips: To maintain the viability of the seeds for a long time, store the seeds in a dry, dark, cool place. Opened and unused seeds should be kept in their original package (it’s a food grade hermetic packet that provides max protection for the seeds). Place the packet/s of seeds inside the ziplock bag or airtight container and keep inside the refrigerator/wine fridge.
To speed up the germination of the seeds, you can use the moist paper towel method by simply adding some seeds on a moist (not wet) paper towel, folding it and placing it inside a ziplock bag. The bag should be kept in a dark location from a few days up to a week and during this time checked regularly if the towel isn’t dried, adding more moisture if needed. Once seeds germinate, they can be transferred to their permanent growing place. This method can be used for tomatoes/cucumbers/lettuce/basils/some flowers/kales/mustards & many others, yet not suitable for all seeds. Please contact us if advice is needed.
Detailed growing instructions:
1.Light: Most vegetables, herbs and flowers need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight (if afternoon sun is too hot, it’s good to provide some shade). Plants that we grow for their leaves—including leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, chard, and spinach—and plants that we grow for their storage roots (such as radishes, turnips, and beets) can be grown in as little as six hours of sunlight but do much better with eight hours or more. Plants that we grow for their fruit, including tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers, need at least eight and do better with 10 hours of sunlight. Most flowers will be happy with 6-8h of light.
2. Soil: While needs of soil varies for different plants, most do best in light, fertile, well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Heavy, soggy soils usually cause poor water drainage that makes seeds/roots of the plants rot.
3. Depth of sowing the seeds: Plant seeds only two to three times as deep as the greatest diameter of the seed. Cover the seed and firm the soil lightly to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. Big seeds, such as corn, squash, beans etc are planted deeper, while tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, herbs within 0.5cm deep and many flowers that have very tiny seeds sown on the surface of the soil barely covering them.
4. Watering: Too little and the plant will wilt and may never recover, or plants may be stunted. Leaves may also fall prematurely and produce a poor yield. Similarly, too much water can cause water logging, root rot, and depletion of oxygen in soil or edema. Best to water in moderation letting the water dry up before the next watering. Once soil starts to feel dry to the touch, it’s a good time to add more water. Some plants, like rosemary, thyme, lavender, oregano prefer dryer conditions and should be watered very moderately. Water the soil, not the plant. Many diseases are spread by water splashing on the leaves. Overwatering can also lead to insect and disease problems as well as washing nutrients away, converting a valuable garden resource into pollution in nearby streams.
5.Fertilizing: Fertilize only as needed following the recommendations on your soil analysis. Crops with long growing seasons, such as corn and tomatoes, may need additional fertilizer partway through the growing season. Watch for symptoms of nitrogen and other nutrient deficiency (including leaves turning yellow and slow growth). Deficiencies in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium will impair the growth of the plant. It is crucial to feed your plants with fertilizer, also ensuring you feed them trace minerals.
6. Temperature: Every plant has its optimal temperature to thrive. High temperatures can result in heat stress, while excess sun exposure causes leaf burn and sun scald in some plants. If it is a case of too much sun, consider the use of shade cloth. Alternatively, growing sun-loving, vining plants on an overhead trellis to offer shade to your other plants. Plants that naturally thrive in temperate climates are best to be grown indoors with controlled temp and humidity levels.
7. Atmosphere – If the environment is too hot and dry, the soil can dry out. Too wet and mould and mildew can be a problem. It is a good idea to create the right microclimate for your plants for it to be happy. If the weather is drying out your soil, mulch using coir fibre or leaves. This protects the soil from drying out, and can also deter weeds from popping up around your plant. To reduce the likelihood of mildew, look at improving air circulation around your plants.