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24 Jun 2016

Starting Seedlings in Eggshells


I tried getting my seedlings started in eggshells for the first time this year and I'd say it has been a great success. It's a really simple process and one that I hope to do with my twins next year. Also a great way to teach your children about    planting, composting and recycling. Nothing goes to waste and you don't need to buy any wasteful plastic modules or pots to gets your seeds going.

Start off by saving up eggshells and their cartons for a few weeks before you intend to start planting. Try to be mindful of how you crack the eggs - I tried to crack just the top third off then discard that bit in the compost bin so I had a fairly large remaining shell.

Take a small pin and poke a few drainage holes in the bottom of each shell, from inside the shell to out. It doesn't matter if you break a few, just chuck them in the compost or save them up to put around your plants in the garden to stop the slugs eating your young plants!

Next fill the eggshell with compost then plant a couple of seeds as per the packet instructions. I experimented with lots of different herbs, tomatoes, varieties of flowers, cucumbers etc.

You can keep the eggshells contained neatly in an egg carton. Just be careful when you water them as the carton can get waterlogged/ disintegrate very easily. These fit neatly on a windowsill and can be moved around easily!

Once the seeds start growing, pull out the weaker of the two and give the strong seedling space to grow. When large enough either transplant into your garden or a larger pot. Just crack the shell slightly and remove a a bit at the bottom so that the roots have space to escape. The shell will decompose over time and add calcium to the soil.

Cherry Tomatoes
I think this was a sunflower

Tomato seedling a few weeks after the seed was planted

21 Jun 2016

Allotment Update: June 2016

It has been raining relentlessly for what feels like about six weeks now. Despite the odd day of glorious sunshine, we are still waiting for the summer to arrive. My allotment definitely feels it and is crying out for some sun!

Despite the rain, I am happy to report that the slugs haven't eaten my two pumpkin plants and that the latest 4 zucchini plants (after 12 others being eaten) have survived. I think it is because I changed tactics and planted them right next to the border of the garden where my neighbour put down slug pellets on the other side.

The romanesco have also not been touched and the cucumbers and cucamelons are coming along nicely.  The redcurrants are close to turning ripe and the plums are growing in size. I am feeling a lot more optimistic that we'll have some homegrown veg, just a little bit later this year. Also planted some swedes, phacelia and Swiss chard in the space where the tulips were.


Nigella in bloom, self-seeded from last year

Productive plum tree

I think this is a cornflower bud

Cornflowers almost ready to bloom. I had planted a whole row but the rest were eaten by slugs

Cucamelon looking good!

Cucumber growing well but needs some sun

More rhubarb

Tomato plants looking good. Just need to figure a way to keep the cats out...

Rhubarb patch needs weeding

Pumpkin has survived! Put some woodchip round as extra slug protection.

Found these things that the previous owner left and they are helping my cucumbers to survive!

Lonely looking Eschscholzia that survived the slugs

Cut the hedge that was growing wild

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