I'm taking a new approach to my seed-raising this year. I've realised little bit more TLC is needed if I'm to improve my success rate.
Thank-you Jane for your suggestion to try biodegradable jiffy pots. I ended up ordering them via eBay and they arrived in just 2 days (Jane mentioned that they are also available at BigW and I would imagine the large hardware stores - if you live a bit closer to town than us!). Less root disturbance will surely help with my transplanting issues!
Secondly, no more straight-from-the-bag seed-raising mix. Using the combined wisdom from a few expert sources, I made a mix of composted cow manure, mushroom compost, potting mix and soil, and then sieved it through a colander to result in a nice fine mixture.
My trusty helper assisted with filling all the little jiffy pots. Then we planted:
4 varieties of tomatoes
and giant russian sunflowers.
(As you may suspect, I raided the kids' craft drawers for the icypole sticks.)
I've also been advised to use a weak solution of seaweed extract in a spray bottle for watering the seedlings as they emerge and grow.
Early September and I'm feeling pretty organised for once! And I just love the next bit where we wait for the first shoots to appear, yay!