Gardening Equipment

Squash Seeds

For details of the individual seed types I use and where I get them check out the seeds page.


Westland Indoor Plant Compost

I recommend you buy fresh compost for indoor growing. My dad had some old stuff I started with in 2010, but it was full of flies who laid eggs in it, and they ate my seeds before they germinated. Also the one pictured above is lighter, and seems more suited to seedlings who’re trying to burst through the surface.
I used Westland Garden Health Indoor Plant Compost for replanting and sowing new seeds. I purchased this at Dobbies Garden Centre for £3.99 for a 10 litre bag. It actually contains plant food and is enough to keep the plants fed for 6 weeks. This seems to have so far greatly encouraged my seedlings and I intended on sticking with this compost for a while...but I've not been able to find it since.  Now I tend to use just an all-purpose vegetable growing soil mixture, which again often has added fertiliser or nutrients, but I mix 50/50 with Vermiculite when starting seeds off, and then when re-potting I mix in with 50/50 Perlite, which helps with the water absorption. (I buy both of these from Homebase, and they are around £8 a bag)  I have played around a little with adding small stones for drainage, and find this works better with some plants than others.  A lot of plants seemed troubled by it, and had fairly stunted growth, so I'm wondering if there was some sort of coating on the stone mix I bought which has hindered their growth?

Somehow, that trowel everyone made in Craft & Design at school back in 2000 has disappeared from the shed. Oh well, it gave me a chance to invest in a likely better made, sturdy trowel with a good softgrip handle. This one is from Homebase again and was reduced to around £5.99.
At the moment I’ve not got a hand fork, as I don’t really need it for tiny seedlings.  I've got a large spade and fork from Homebase for preparing the raised beds, but they've not actually been used yet.

Gardening Gloves
I purchased the above gloves for £1 from Poundland years ago and lost them, but I since bought 2 pairs for £1 there of lighterweight ones (good for repotting etc if you're trying to stay clean but also need to be able to feel what you're doing) and another sturdier pair for weeding and such (Also £1). 

Seed Pots

I actually don't use the above pictured pots any more.  These are cardboards pots from the Factory Shop (16 for 50p) and they mold and collapse like nobody's business so I find them pretty useless.  I use plastic cups (disposable ones for parties) and cut two holes in the bottoms for drainage, then start seedlings in these.  (Use the transparent ones so you can a) see how the roots are doing and b) make sure maximum light gets in).  I buy most of my pots from Poundland. They supply a wide range of sizes from 9cm to 1' diameter pots, as well as herb planters, with a variety of deepnesses.  They also often have sets together, and my favourite for potting on this year has been 16cm diameter pots which are fairly deep in packs of 10 for £1.   They suit most types of plants which don't need a lot of root space in the first year, or in general (e.g. I always find tomatoes grow better with root restriction than lots of space)


Propagator with 24 Cell Trays
The propagator has 24 cells and has a top layer of 3.5cm deep cells, with a single hole in the bottom of each, and a layer below to catch the excess water. It also comes with a lid to encourage humidity.
With lid
I purchased this for £1.50 from The Factory Shop.  I am gutted that this has been lost in a move, or possibly pinched by my mother while I stored some of my stuff in her attic...

I did use a new propagator in February & March 2013, which had mixed success.  It was meant to be self watering, so it has a reservoir beneath with a capillary mat which draws up water gradually and was highly useful when I went for a 3 week holiday to the Caribbean in March/April and left all my plants alone.  BUT, the issue with it is that it doesn't effectively get enough water to some seed types which need it (the cell trays provided are really deep, so unless you water from the top too initially, nothing happens).  Also, because seeds germinate at different rates, further on seeds would root into the capillary mat and get stuck in it, while others hadn't even germinated.  This made them a nightmare to get out, especially if trying to just pop out a few seedlings without disturbing the other cells.  It also makes the capillary mats harder to re-use.  I would say this is better suited to if you were only planting on type of plant that would likely germinate within a day of each other.

Plant Feed
I used to get a good Westland one, which suited all the plants which don't do well with Tomorite.  I still use Tomorite for Tomatoes, Peppers, Chillis etc, and for everything else I use Miracle Grow Vegetable Plant Food Granules, which work, but I dislike them because I much prefer the liquid fertilizers.  I am looking into other fertilizer types just now which are more organic, like nettle and banana skin cocktails.

Currently I use a big jug rather than a watering can, because it holds more water.  But sometimes I spouted pourer is better, especially when there's a lot of foliage and you want to get to the base of the plants.  Sometimes I even just water the trays which the pots sit on, if I'm worried about overwatering, and then they soak up the water as needed.

1 comment:

  1. I've had bad/inconsistent luck with bagged soil of both cheap and good brand alike so now I bake what I'm using in a casserole dish on high for ten minutes to kill off critters and it's really helped with indoor seed starting I was worried the process would stink up the kitchen but no it's just the same smell as baked potatoes lol