About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Effects of different soil nutrients?

This wasn't an experiment, so I'm just guessing what's going on here. I don't usually bother too much about what I sow my seeds into. In theory, seeds don't mind much where they germinate, as they have their own little store of food to get them started. It's only after they've got going that the soil nutrients make a difference, or so I've heard. If you prick the seedlings out into new homes as soon as possible, the seed tray compost/soil shouldn't matter much. Of course, that's a big If.

Two trays of basil seedlings

Since I don't pay much attention to what I put in my seed trays, I can't be sure what I've got here, but I do know that for some of the trays I used some garden compost from the year-before-last heap, which by now has a fine texture and was conveniently available. These two trays of basil were planted at the same time, using seeds from the same packet, and kept side by side in the greenhouse, so the number of variables that could account for the difference is fairly small. I'm guessing that the tray on the left got old soil, which might have been used to germinate other seeds already, whereas the tray on the right is presumably full of garden compost.

Of course I knew that soil nutrients are important, but seeing the contrast in these seedlings really brought it home to me. I shall make more effort now to ensure that my plants are well fed.


  1. Holy Moly! That is rather impressive, isn't it? BTW, I wanted to tell you that I LOVE your new background photo!

  2. Isn't it just? If I'd planned this as an experiment, I'd be delighted with such clear results! And thanks :-)


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