Leave those winter blues behind and get back out into your gardens ready for spring. Now is a good time to start thinking about sowing some hardy annuals and greenhouse vegetables; sowing now means you can enjoy your produce or blooms for an extended period of the year.  There are plenty of seeds that can be sown early in the season, and plenty of equipment to help them out to ensure you get the best germination possible.

Here are our recommendations…

How to sow seeds

  1. Ensure whatever you’re sowing in is new, clean or sterilised
  2. Fill trays almost completely with seed compost and then water the compost with a watering can with a fine rose before planting the seeds to avoid any disturbance of the seeds after they’ve been planted – use tap water, this help reduce infection.
  3. Sow seeds sparingly to make pricking out easier later
  4. The seed packet will tell you how deep the seeds need to be sown, but generally seeds need to be planted 1 ½ times deep as they are in size
  5. Cover lightly with compost
  6. Remember to write labels with variety and date planted so you don’t forget
  7. Cover tray with a piece of glass, sheet of newspaper or a purpose transparent lid until seeds start to germinate
  8. Ongoing watering: water from above (with a watering can with fine rose), try to avoid getting the seedlings wet. You can also water from below by standing pots in a tray and pouring water into the tray for the soil to soak up.

Pricking out/ Potting on

  1. Once seedling have produced their second set of leave (4-5 weeks after sowing on average) they should be large enough to pot on to give them more space to develop
  2. Have the new pot ready to transplant in to
  3. Hold on to one of the lower leaves (never handle by stems as they bruise easily) and gently work the roots our so as not to damage them
  4. Use a dibber or finger to make a hole in the compost in the new pot and tuck the roots down in to the hole, then gently press the soil in around it
  5. Don’t forget to water

Hardening off

  1. Gradually acclimatise seedlings to being outdoors over the course of around 10 days
  2. Put trays/ pots in a sheltered position (sheltered from wind and direct sunlight) for a few hours during daylight. Don’t leave them out all day/ night
  3. Gradually increase amount of time spent outside
  4. Can use a cold frame for hardening off

Vegetables to plant –

Kale

Sow indoors, or outdoors if the weather is warm.

Tomatoes

Start off in a propagator on a sunny windowsill.

Potatoes

Start chitting potatoes on sunny windowsills.

Aubergines

Good to sow early as it increases the chance of time they have to fruit.

Basil

Start off in a propagator on a sunny windowsill.

Broad Beans

You can sow broad beans directly outside if the weather is mild, or if soil has been warmed with cloches.

Flowers to plant –

Anemones

Start them off inside on a sunny windowsill.

Hardy Geraniums

Fantastic flowers that provide food for pollinators.

Sweet Peas

Sow in a propagator and keep on a sunny windowsill to germinate.

Lavender

Sow in a propagator to start off.

Cosmos

Sow indoors to start off on a sunny windowsill.

Agapanthus

Sow and start off inside under cover.

Want to find out more or have questions then please do come and talk to our experts

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