I am really loving direct-sowing seeds in the raised beds. All of the hard work (not to mention, cost!) of last year (filling the beds with quality top soil, adding both home-made and sheep’s wool compost over winter, protecting the surface with a mulch) is paying off. The beds are ‘clean’ (no weeds), moist, but free-draining (not at all boggy, despite all the rain we’ve had), light and stone-free. And full of worms. All showing that the soil is in great condition for the growing season ahead.
In addition, I have accumulated enough bloomin’ equipment to ensure seed germination isn’t disturbed (hopefully, I won’t need to buy anything else for a while). Cloches and cold-frames not only warm up the beds before germination, they keep the heat in and protect the young seedlings from chilly nights, April downpours, freak hail storms and gusty winds. Together with assorted frames, nets, hoops and meshes, they also help keep out birds, pets and other wildlife that might dig up, eat or sit on the seeds and young plants.
While working as a mulch, the straw-based Strulch also doubles as a barrier to slugs.
To top it all, last weekend I applied a dose of Nemaslug to all the raised beds and the surrounding borders and grass. Anywhere that slugs might lurk. As the weather warms up and the slugs get active, the parasitic nematodes will be lingering in the soil ready for them and, hopefully, help keep the slugs in check during this most vulnerable month of the year.
What more could a humble seed possibly wish for?