Even if it's still rather cold and you may not have the heart for it yet, know that since the end of February and this for a large part of the varieties of the vegetable garden, we are in the ideal period. to start your seedlings indoors!
If you're here, it's probably because you're from the "Locavore" team and you want to eat what you grow, but if it's because you're a little too worried about the news and you prefer to make arrangements 😏 no worries, here is our mini guide for urban gardeners.
To get started, don't hesitate to bring a sowing calendar 🗓️ , because some varieties will be sown now but for others it will be later, see much later, you'll understand it all depends on the season. It's also important not to start too early, especially if you live like us in a city in the North-East of France, where the cold sometimes wreaks havoc.
Among the gardeners, 3 saints 😇 are a landmark: Saint Mamert (May 11), Saint Pancrace (May 12) and Saint Servais (May 13), these are the ice saints! It is said that after these dates the gardener has nothing to fear from frost. So in reality it's not so much these 3 days that you should be wary of, but especially the first half of May when we sometimes see cold air descents.
Now that you have spotted the varieties that interest you, you will have to know which is the exposure of your terrace or your balcony.
This is important because the shade of due north or the overwhelming heat of a concrete due south will not suit everyone. Tomatoes or aubergines will love the full south, but much less herbs! Watering is also a parameter to take into account, in the south, it will be necessary to water every 2 days, or even almost every day in the middle of summer. For northern exposures, it's also difficult for plantations, you'll have to make sure you have a few rays of sunshine during the day and you'll normally be able to afford cabbage, carrots or radishes. After these few lines, of course you have understood that East and West are the queen exposures in an urban environment.
Now that we have checked these different parameters, we will have to gather the equipment, here is a list of what will be useful to start sowing:
- Seeds 🌱: On our side, we work with the seed company Alsagarden, whose seed quality is simply exceptional.
- Suitable potting soil : For seedlings you need a rather fine potting soil, this is the reason why we advise you either to provide yourself with a special "seedling" potting soil, or to pass the universal potting soil through a sieve. It is necessary to facilitate the hatching 😊
- Biodegradable pots or coconut pellets, it is possible to start them simply with a box of eggs but the results are less convincing.
- A mini greenhouse : Indeed, having a small greenhouse greatly facilitates the success of sowing, it allows you to create a microclimate and regulate humidity, which is essential for good germination.
- A fogger is much gentler for seedlings
And here we go, you can start your seedlings, it's going to be very simple and it's in 4 steps:
1) Fill the small buckets with moist soil and make a small hole with your fingers, or a seed drill is even better.
2) We insert 2 or 3 seeds each time and gently close the small hole with a little potting soil.
3) We can place everything in the mini-greenhouse .
4) We mist every day and we are careful not to aim at the leaves to avoid any risk of rotting
And after a few weeks, when your plant will be taller, around 10-15cm, you will have to transplant everything into a larger place (a large pot or a planter for example) and tadaaaaam the plant will continue to grow and soon you will be able to consume what you have grown.
Do not hesitate to come and see us in store if you have any other questions. 😊