Categories: Garden Care

Sowing seeds – A beginner’s guide

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Sowing seeds – the first signs

This is the first, of hopefully many video posts from The Allotment Garden. During the 2 minute video, I’ll guide you through the basics of sowing seeds in compost and how to get the very best from your germination using a propagator.

This is for the absolute beginner sower and will hopefully prove, once and for all that you don’t need green fingers to sow from seed, just a simple methodical approach to this relaxing garden activity. I’m sure that if you are new to sowing seeds, that when they emerge from the compost in a couple of weeks, you’ll be well and truly hooked.

Additional tips of sowing seeds

  • Cleanliness: If you are using pots or trays from last season, ensure that they are clean by washing them in hot water to reduce the risk of the spread of plant diseases. You will also need to clean your propagator.
  • Labelling: Label each pot or tray so you don’t forget what seed varieties you have sown.
  • Light or dark? Most seeds need to be placed in a bright position to aid germination. However, there are some that prefer the opposite. Always read the instructions on the packet.
  • Spacing: Ensure that your seeds well spread when sown. Overcrowded seedlings will soon become weak as they fight for light and nutrients.
  • Transplant: Don’t leave your seedlings in the pot or tray for too long. As soon as they start to produce their secondary (true) leaves or are big enough to easily handle, gently transplant them into individuals pots or plugs. Gardeners call this ‘picking out’. As you lift, it’s important to hold the seedling by the leaves and not the stem. Holding by the stem could fatally damage a seedling. The Gardener’s World website has a great video post on pricking out seedlings. What is now.
James Middleton

An obsessive gardener since 1982. Day-time job - web designer and developer and University lecturer.

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