Newbie from Australia. So much I don't understand...
I've popped over from the Antique Roses forum to ask some questions about raising seeds. It will be winter here in two weeks, so I have been thinking about trying this WS method. Normally I just DS and see what happens, but I've had pretty poor results with that method, so I need a new approach.
But there is a lot of info on WS practices that doesn't make sense to me, or perhaps doesn't work in the Austrtalian climate. Obviously we don't have a freeze/thaw cycle in most parts of Australia (my region included), so I will have to press the seeds in to the soil. We don't get snow where I am, but we do get the occasional frost overnight. For reference, I'm in one of the colder regions of Australia, where it's possible to grow high-chill stone fruits like cherries, but we can also raise winter crops like brassica and leafy greens outdoors during winter.
My main question though is about watering. How do you water your seeds/keep the soil moist over the winter months when you have taped the lids on your containers? I'm sure if I did that the soil would have dried out completely within a week or two.
My other question related to direct sowing, so this may not be the right place to ask, but I bet you folks are fairly knowledgeable about that too! It's regarding the use of mulch. Here in Australia it's pretty much accepted practice to mulch garden beds with bark and leaves or woodchips (or a combination) to about 6" deep throughout the year. This is done primarily to keep roots cool and to retain moisture, but also to prevent weeds. I don't know of anything that would germinate under 6" of mulch! Is it possible to sow seeds directly into the mulch, rather than into the soil beneath? Or do you folks remove mulch, then direct sow, then replace mulch around the newly germinated plants?
I do apologise if my questions are really basic! I'm just hoping to have some nice companion plants for my rose beds this year...and less room for weeds.
Thanks in advance.