Kathu Kat

South African Blogger and Podcaster who dabbles in black magic. #kidding

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Gardening in August

The frost is over here in Kathu and I couldn’t wait any longer to start gardening, so today I planted a few things! And because I’m such a generous person, I decided to share with you what I did.

3D Printed Plant Markers

First, I went through all the seeds that I have and I checked which of them I would be able to plant now. I picked six of those and then I made identifying markers for them. As you can see I’ve chosen to plant chives, lavender, basil, parsley, garlic chives, and vygies (mesembryanthemum). The last time I planted anything I ran out of markers and I spent half my time guessing what I planted. It’s not very smart, seeing as you don’t know if whatever you planted needs sun or shade!

My nifty little plant markers I designed and 3D printed

Rock Wool

Next, I repurposed some of last years rock wool (also called mineral wool or stone wool) and I pre-soaked them before putting them into the seed trays. Rock wool is made by heating basalt rock and chalk to extremely high temperatures and spinning them in chambers that turn them into fibres. The mass of fibres is compressed into mats and cut into slabs and cubes for use in indoor gardens. Rock wool is popular with hydroponic growers because it is purified by heat, pH-neutral, lightweight, drains well and can be reused.

rock wool
Rock wool
Seed trays and rock wool soaking in water

Planting

After the rock wool has soaked for about 10 minutes, I placed them into the seed trays. I took out all the seeds that I was going to plant to make sure I’m planting the right ones. Then I made small holes in the rock wool using a metal chopstick. You can use anything you want that makes a small hole. A screwdriver works as well!

Organising the seeds
That’s not sushi!?

After holes were made in all the rock wool, I put the markers into their designated seed trays to know what I should plant where. I learned this hot tip from Laura of Garden Answer because if you plant first you WILL definitely forget what you planted as soon as you did, so that is why I put the markers in first.

Chives seeds

I planted two seeds in every hole that I made (also learned this from Laura!). The reasoning behind this is just to increase the probability of having at least one of the seeds germinate. In the best-case scenario, both seeds germinate and you have more plants. Who can argue with that?

Closing the hole
Planted and closed

After dropping two seeds into each hole, you can pinch or press the hole closed if you want. This is not a necessary step, but I feel that it keeps the seeds moist and in the dark for them to germinate better.

Gardening is always better with a companion
All done!

Now The Waiting Starts

Now that everything is planted the wait begins! I have put all the seed trays outside on the porch and out of the sun. I’ll be checking them every few days to make sure they’re moist. Seeds need darkness and moisture to germinate. As soon as you see your new plants popping their little heads out, you can move them into the sun so they can start producing their own food.

New to gardening? Why not buy one of these!

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