Prepare your garden for winter blooms

Published: October 6, 2010

Plant your seeds in a tray or an open plot PHOTO: ZAHRA ALI

Once you have decided which crops and flowers you want in your garden this fall,  get ready to plant some seeds for your winter garden.

When to sow seeds?

For a winter harvest, sow your seeds as soon as fall begins. For people living in Karachi and Lahore the last week of September and beginning of October is ideal. Read your seed packs to find out more about the temperatures required for the germination of seeds. Most vegetables will be ready to be harvested in 60-80 days.

Where to sow seeds?

You have three options here. Select according to your skill level and plant requirement.

1. Direct Sow: Some plants do not like to be transplanted. Sow the vegetables/herbs and flowers directly where you plan them to grow.

2. Seed trays: You can start seedlings in seed trays. Plant seeds in individual cells. Later on, you will need to transplant them to bigger containers or to a plot of land.

3. Large containers: They are an alternative for seed trays.

How to sow seeds?

1.  Read your seed pack and find out the depth at which the seed need to be sown.

2.  Take a seed tray and cover the drainage holes with a piece of newspaper.

3.  Fill each cell with a good mixture of soil (70%) and manure/compost (30%).

4.  Put the seed on the surface.

5.  Lightly cover with sieved manure (most vegetables and herbs will be covered a quarter of an inch deep).

6. Water with a soft shower and put it in the sun.

7.  Do not forget to put tags!

I have used a three-inch seed tray and used wooden sticks as tags. I sowed my seeds on September 17th. Most of the seedlings emerged by the following week. It is time to transplant some of them.  Which seeds are you sowing this time?

zahra.ali

Zahra Ali

A freelance writer, gardening teacher and environmentalist. She has been spreading the message of natural living through her blog 'Crops in Pots' since 2008

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    Came up at the right time…My mom is planning to give a new look to our little lawn……Recommend

  • Sam A

    Brilliant stuff. Please keep it up. Recommend

  • Maryam

    hey zahra…

    i want to plant some flowers in flower pots and in flower beds…
    please suggest me which ones should i plant according to the weather of islamabad.Recommend

  • http://www.cropsinpots.blogspot.com Zahra Ali

    Thanks everyone:)

    @ Maryam, You can grow any seasonal flowers that you can find in your city depending on the design of your garden. Dahlias, asters, zinnias, lilies, tulips and many more!!Recommend

  • Omais

    Oh Gardener is back again! lolz….

    Well .. . let those already sowed be grown first lol,, thy are still baby plants,,, and nw u come up wid new scheme, ur schemes are like Pakistan’s several mini budgets :p Recommend

  • http://www.cropsinpots.blogspot.com Zahra Ali

    @ omais, this is part two of the previous post. First one told you how to plan for the garden. This one tells you how to sow the seeds following the same plan.

    ps. I am two steps ahead of this post. My plants are already blooming:)Recommend

  • omais

    @Zahra ,,, lolz,, ye as i said b4 even,, hw cud a person wid such a busy schedules manage time to lookafter these natural creatures… i think i shud better get a proper “Maali” to do dis Job.. Recommend

  • http://www.cropsinpots.blogspot.com zahra

    :) then mali will have all the fun !Recommend

  • omais

    lol.. ye at least this will serve the purpose .. in da end wat your main concern in Fun not a green environment? :p m i right?? Recommend

  • http://www.cropsinpots.blogspot.com zahra

    the idea is to get involved in something good while having fun and not to pay someone to do the good on your behave:)Recommend

  • omais

    Ye,, but by paying someone u are still doing something good on other chapter :P…. u know unemployment these days . . lolz… newayz,, wherr are the steps to grow Pomelozzzzz??? m still waiting for dat!Recommend

  • http://www.cropsinpots.blogspot.com zahra

    clever. Who do you need the guide to grow pomelos for? you or the mali?Recommend

  • omais

    Ofcourse maali :p but as a matter of fact therr is no Graduate Maali around,, so would work as an intermediary resource to communicate the maali in better & effective way itself :p Recommend

  • http://www.cropsinpots.blogspot.com Zahra

    then you dont need to worry about him. He would know how to grow those. Recommend

  • omais

    lolzz.. do pomelozzz are tht diffcult to grow? :pRecommend

  • http://www.cropsinpots.blogspot.com zahra

    Yes for someone with no gardening skills and time.Recommend

  • omais

    Who said no time for Pomeloozzz?? i would like to grow them my own… :)Recommend

  • sookoo

    where can one buy seed trays ?Recommend

  • http://www.cropsinpots.blogspot.com Zahra

    okay will share soon:)

    @ sookoo , any horticulture store.Recommend

  • Yousaf

    very much needed action by our women in order to save the kitchen cost and have own healthiest vegetables…. I am in great support of gardening and plantation of vegetables at home level.

    Also it gives you a lot of rejoice and happiness when you see new plants coming out of dust and later giving you the fruits.Recommend