There are several reasons why we may want to grow our plants instead of buying them. The first is that we can get them in abundance at a very low price. The second is that the autochthonous organic seeds catalogs offer a greater assortment of shapes and colors, the third is that we can program their germination to be able to have them when we need them, depending on the climate of our area.
In winter, it is essential to set up the bio-seedling, one of the key pieces of the bio jardiniere. If possible use polytunnels to keep your garden safe.
Bio-seed Box Drawer For the Orchard-garden
Necessary Material for Sowing Seeds
- Chest of drawers: Chest of drawers are wooden frames made up of four boards. They serve to support the windows. The front board is 22 cm high and the back one about 30 cm. The two sideboards are 1.30 m long and join the front and rear boards together, the drawers must face south-west.
- Windows: The windows are made of wood. They are placed on the drawers. Its measurements are 1 m. X 1.30 m. But it can be assembled so that the measurements correspond to the dimensions of the drawers you have.
- Straw mats: Straw mats are used to cover drawers in very cold weather.
- Horse manure
Preparation of the Inside of the Chest of Drawers for Sowing Seeds
The basic material to make the inside of the chest of drawers is fresh horse manure, which is mixed thoroughly with a variable proportion of straw. This mixture is packed into a layer of uniform thickness of 40 to 60 cm. The layer should be tight and damp, without being soggy, as then it would not heat up. Determining a good dosage between horse manure, straw, and water is a matter of touch and comes with practice. The heat released from the interior will be proportional to the amount of horse manure used.
The interior will be thicker the further we go into winter; the first layers laid in January and February should be 50 to 60 cm thick. While for the interior made after February 15, a thickness of 40 cm will be sufficient.
When the interior has been made, a 20 cm layer of mulch is put on, the windows are closed and the straw mats are placed on top. Fermentation then starts quickly and the temperature inside reaches, after about ten days, the temperature of 60º to 70º C in what is called the “calentón”. Then the temperature gradually drops. We will wait to sow that the “calentón” has passed and that the temperature in the drawer has dropped to about 25º.
To avoid cooling the inside of the bio-seed box, the sides of the chest are lined with horse manure: they are what are called heaters. They can be renewed periodically if the temperature inside is observed to drop.
Tracing the Temperature
The temperature of the beds should be monitored regularly by means of a thermometer sunk in the mulch. The temperature must be kept between 20º and 25º. If it is too high, we will open the windows slightly during the day. If the temperature is too low, we will renew the heaters and it will be necessary to bear in mind to place the straw mats in the afternoons. The beds should be aired as soon as a ray of sunlight penetrates, except in the case of exceptional cold, since plants raised in drawers suffer more from excess heat and humidity than from cold, especially in early spring. Straw mats should be removed early in the morning, especially in sunny weather, to prevent the plants from cooking.
Also Read: Top 10 Gardening Tools to Buy in 2020
Direct Seeding in Nest Circles
Nests in a Warm Bed
Sowing in a warm bed will make it easier for us to consume products in the orchard-garden in cold seasons. To make a warm bed, we first choose a place that is as sunny as possible, and we begin to prepare small nest circles of 80 x 80 cm. Next, we deposit a layer of well-matured manure 30 cm thick. We add another layer of 30 cm of soil and finally 15 cm of compost. We give all this material a small elevation in the shape of a hill.
Then we sow and then we water with a fine rosette watering can, it is important that the water we use is sunny and not cold.
Mature manure, either cow or horse manure, located in the first layer of the raised hill achieves the stove effect. When the seeds begin to germinate, they receive the heat from below, cushioning the effect of the cold. It is important to apply a mulch of straw, wood shavings, or coconut fiber. Preserves from frost and protects from cold. It is watered once a week in winter and twice when we enter the spring.
Sowing Seeds in Tacos
The sowing of seeds in blocks to obtain seedlings favors 100% the success of each plant grown in the block and transplanted to the orchard-garden. For this purpose we can use many types of containers, from the trays manufactured for this purpose, of materials such as recycled plastic or cardboard; to coconut fiber studs, great for adapting to the earth. These organic containers have the advantage that when the plant is ready for transplantation to the garden, it can be planted with a plug included. With the humidity of the earth and the roots, the cardboard container or coconut fiber bursts, which contribute natural organic matter to the earth and further promote the success of the plant.
In order to correctly plant in blocks, we fill half of the block with soil rich in humus. Next, we place the seed in the center and finish filling it with soil to its edge. Then we water gently with a watering can that has a fine rosette, giving it a point of humidity. Irrigation is repeated according to the humidity of the environment. With recycled containers, we will have to consider making a hole in the base for the circulation of water. The technique is the same as with the trays.