One of the things I love to do most in the garden is grow new plants. Whether it’s from seeds or cuttings, there’s something wonderful about going from a tray of soil to a collection of fully grown plants. I sew a lot in my raised beds, but I’ve been short of somewhere warm so I can start the growing season early. Eventually I plan to add a greenhouse, but this year I’ve gone for a little temporary construction that will give me plenty of shelves to propagate plants for much of the year. I’ve saved up plenty of old plastic containers when I’ve bought plants and given them a good clean. It makes no sense to me to throw these out as you can use them again and again without wasting the plastic.
I’ve already sewn a few things that can start early, including salad leaves and tarragon, but also spent quite a while gathering up self-sewn seedlings, so I can bring them on and plant them out round the garden later in the year.
My first job, at 12 years old, was working for a tree nursery, fillling rows on rows of cells in plastic trays with all kinds of tree seeds for days on end. I still remember the heat in the polytunnels and they way it plummeted every time there was a rain shower. When I worry I about my carbon footprint I remember just how many trees I must’ve planted over those summers and it helps just a little! But with all that time working with those trays, I never came across Carol Klein’s trick of using chopsticks to place seedlings. It works amazingly well and I’m never going back. They’re now some of my most loved garden tools.
And now I have plenty of filled shelves and am ready to get sewing over the next few months…!