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Top Tips for Sowing Seeds

by User Not Found | Apr 24, 2013

If you are like me and have been putting the garden on hold due to the recent run of unsettled weather, you might be a little behind on some priority gardening tasks for this time of year. One job we can get down to without depending on the weather is the sowing of all our seeds. I am planning to get a good selection of my seeds sown this week and weekend, both bedding and vegetable plants. I will have to keep them indoors until temperatures rise - there are mumbles of an increase in temperatures but I will believe it when I see and feel it!!

Growing from seed is a simple and cost saving way to raise new plants for your garden. Once you've got your seeds, the next step is to sow them. Follow these simple tips to help with your seed sowing and caring for your established seedlings.

Seed Sowing:


  • Firstly, check your seed packet and follow closely the plant’s requirements as outlined.
  • Your seeds can be sown in a seed tray, or in small seed pots. Alternatively you can recycle your yogurt tubs and toilet roll holders using them as planters for your seeds. Toilet roll holders are particularly good as they are biodegradable and can be put directly into the soil when transplanting out your seedlings.
  • Large seeds such as sweet peas and runner beans should be sown individually into single pots.
  • Be sure to label all your sowings.
  • Fill your seed tray or pot with quality pre-moistened seed sowing compost. Simply place your seed on the compost surface and cover with a little more seed sowing compost and firm in lightly.
  • I would advise shading your seed and seedlings from strong sunlight.
Sowing from seed
Sowing Seeds Outdoors
  • Seeds are sown in relatively close rows and young plants are lifted and transplanted into their permanent positions a few weeks after germination.
  • Small seed can often be difficult to sow and can be evenly scattered over the surface of the soil or compost and then lightly raked in.
  • Cloches or crop covers can be used to promote early germination and growth. This systems is ideal for vegetables with a losing growing season, and can save space by not having small plants at their final spacing until they mature.
  • Eliminating weeds during soil preparation is never possible and new weeds will grow alongside your seedlings. If you sow your seeds in long rows of 15cm lengths this will help to identify the plant seedlings and to carefully remove any weeds that appear.

Sowing Seeds Indoors

  • Seeds should be sown in a container, usually pots or trays, in a protected environment such as a green house, cold frame, propagator, or on a window sill.
  • This system is expensive and often labour intensive, yet it is the most flexible as it allows seeds to be sown whatever the weather. It is most commonly used in cooler climates for tender crops such as cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes which cannot be planted out until there is no longer danger of frost or severe weather conditions.
  • Crops with a long growing season, or those which are more valuable when produced earlier (such as celery, celeriac, leeks and onions) as well as these resent root disturbance are grown in this way.

Caring for developing Seedlings
  • Replant your seedlings once they are large enough to handle and give them more space to develop in bigger trays or pots.
  • When replanting only handle your seedling by the leaves and not the stems.
  • Do not attempt to plant out your seedlings until weather conditions are suitable - a late frost could be the end of the tender young plants.
  • The more care and attention a seed is given, the more success rate and the greater the range of plants is possible to grow.
  • Whether you decide to plant out your seeds indoor or outdoor your seedling may require some spacing out to give each plant room to develop fully.

Watering Your Seeds/Seedlings

  • Water little and often. To prevent damage and to ensure that the water is evenly distributed, use a long spouted fine rose watering can to slow down water flow.
If you have any further questions on sowing your own seeds this season please comment on our facebooktwitter page or contact us on For all your gardening needs needs call in-store or visit our online store.

All the best,