Pricking out time (Swiss Chard and Sweet Sultan seedlings)




Transplanting seedlings, pricking out

Amidst the warming sun of spring, my garden is eagerly anticipating summer’s blossoming. To keep up with its anticipation, I have filled every window sill in sight with trays full of young seedlings – a foreshadowing of late May when they will be planted into their beautiful beds outdoors!

What is Pricking Out?

Gardeners carefully ‘prick out’ seedlings, transplanting each one into its own pot to give it the best chance at growing strong and healthy. This process of separating baby plants is key for helping them reach their full potential!

The art of growing seedlings is a delicate craft that requires skillful precision. To achieve this, gardeners use small devices resembling needles to carefully separate these tiny plants – sometimes an old pencil can do the trick!

The Sweet Sultan Flowers

Last year, I was blessed with a gift of nature when family friend Jane passed down her bundle of Sweet Sultan flower seeds. After carefully selecting some bee-friendly plants from the selection, I sowed them and watched in wonder as my very first garden bloomed before me – something that would have never been possible without Jane’s generous act!

Spring was in full bloom this year, as I lovingly nurtured a beautiful mix of Sweet Sultan and Cosmos Seashells flowers. After carefully pricking out the 22 seedlings from my pot, two additional seeds were added to fill up each spot on my 24 plug tray – providing plenty of space for further growth!

The Swiss Chard

With seeds in the soil and excited anticipation, my ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard began to sprout up from the compost. In just 10 days they had grown into vibrant seedlings with stems resembling rhubarb! Although still too young for outdoor planting, I had to carefully move them so that they could keep growing- eagerly awaiting their transformation into delectable treats come July. While this is my first year of producing these tasty greens, caution will be needed as harvesting an abundance may cause me no small amount of boredom by summertime’s end!

After finally completing the demolition of an old shed to clear some ground space and make use of the wood for raised beds, I pulled out my trusty HB pencil to lovingly “dib” each seedling into its own plug tray. Ready to get their start indoors on a windowsill feastin’ up all that natural light before they go outside in search of sunshine! Soon enough these sprouts will be standing tall against whatever life throws at them as one by one, these little plants flourish from individual plugs all around.

My parents have just moved into a house with an untouched garden, and I’m inspired to brighten it up. Secretly stealing away some chard plants, they’ll start their own vegetable patch full of vibrant raised beds and containers!

Months of effort and patience have finally come to fruition, with vibrant Cleome ‘Colour Fountain’ seedlings pricked out, as well as Parsley ‘Laura’ already potted on. April is the time for gardeners to make sure all their hard work throughout the winter has paid off by keeping up in these crucial weeks; otherwise we could end up spending too much time trying to recover lost ground – literally! Despite this week’s rain forecast, wishing everyone a happy gardening experience ahead nonetheless.

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