Easy to sow and quick to grow patio veggies

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Multi-Pelleted seeds are simply three or more seeds covered in a dissolvable, pelleted coating. This makes it easier to handle and space the seed, and there is no need to thin it out. Germination is also quicker. It’s mostly used for fine seed like lettuce and other greens.

Originally pelleted seed was introduced to make commercial growing easier. Multi-pelleted seed is now available to home gardeners through the Simply Salad patio veggie range that includes lettuce mixes, Asian greens and mixed kale varieties from the online seed supplier, Gro-Pak.

“Sowing tiny seeds properly in small containers is difficult,” says Kathy Varney of Gro-Pak. “But with larger pelleted seeds, you can decide how many you want per pot, set them on the soil surface, then press them into the potting soil with a pencil. That way you are sure to get one or two seeds per pot, rather than a clump that is difficult to thin.”

It’s also a good product to use when teaching kids how to sow seeds.

 

Pros and cons

While the pros are obvious, one of the limitations of pelleted seed is that it does not have as long a shelf life as raw seed. It’s best to order and sow just what you need. However, storing the pelleted seed in an air-tight container in a dark, cool place will keep it viable for longer.

Once sown, the growing mix must be kept consistently moist during germination. Pelleted seeds either split open or disintegrate on contact with water. The seed can then absorb the water which kickstarts germination. If the growing mix dries out, the pellet may only partially split, stunting the seed’s development.

 

Simply Salad Summer Picnic Mix

This salad mix includes red and green loose-leaf lettuce in each multi-species multi-pellet.

  • Plant one multi-pellet per 15cm diameter pot or bowl. Use a good quality potting mix with added compost and some hydrated palm peat to retain moisture.
  • Once the seed has germinated, feed with a liquid fertiliser, like Margaret Roberts Organic Supercharger, twice a month at half strength.
  • Keep the potting mix moist but not soggy.
  • Place in full sun in cool weather with afternoon shade in hotter weather.

To harvest: Harvest by cutting individual leaves as needed or every three weeks by cutting back to 5cm and allowing the plants to regrow. This can be done several times. Feed with a liquid fertiliser after cutting.

For more information, visit https://www.gropak.co.za/products/summer-picnic-mix

 

Wonder Wok Mix

Wonder Wok Mix consists of a medley of Asian greens including mustard leaves, kale and Pak Choi. If grown as a mesclun crop the baby leaves are ready for harvesting within four weeks or can be left to mature (55 days).

  • Each multi-pellet contains four to five seeds of different varieties.
  • Sowing one multi-pellet in a 15cm container or bowl results in a tight-growing clump of mixed greens. For larger containers sow the multi-pellets 10cm apart to avoid overcrowding.
  • To grow on, follow the above instructions for the Summer Picnic Mix.

For more information, visit https://www.gropak.co.za/products/wonder-wok-mix

 

Kale Storm

Kale Stormproduces a decorative pot of four different kale varieties (per multi-pellet), with purple, green and blue textured leaves, creating a ‘bouquet’ of leaves. Plants grow 60cm high and wide.

  • Sow a single multi-pellet in a 12-25cm pot, at least 10cm deep and the wider the better. In a larger container, or in the ground, space each multi-pellet 15cm apart.
  • Use good quality potting soil with hydrated palm peat and compost added. Water regularly and feed with a liquid fertiliser at half strength twice a month.
  • Place the pots in full sun to partial shade, depending on the temperature.
  • To encourage new growth after harvesting, use a kelp-based tonic as a boost for the next growth spurt.

To harvest: Use scissors to cut everything about 2-5cm from the ground, when the plants are about 10-15cm tall or pick individual leaves as baby leaves when they’re needed. When cut back completely the plants will regrow several times.

For more information, visit https://www.gropak.co.za/products/kale-storm

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