Sowing Seeds – A Fast How-To Information To Sowing Backyard Seeds

Growing new plants from seed is the cheapest way to fill your garden with blooms, and now’s the time to get started. Not sure where to begin? Follow this quick and simple guide to sowing seeds.

Sowing seeds: what you’ll need

It’s advisable to use 10cm pots for sprinkling small seeds or sowing larger individual seeds. Biodegradable coir pots will gradually disintegrate, so seedlings can be left in these when you plant them out. If you want to grow large crops, we’d recommend going for trays of square cells.

Grow it Round Fibre Pots

Gardman
amazon.co.uk

£9.99

Garden Grow Fibre Grow Pots

Garden Grow Fibre Grow Pots

thompson-morgan.com

£8.99

20 Pack of Biodegradable Plant Pots

20 Pack of Biodegradable Plant Pots

Tech-Garden
amazon.co.uk

£9.99

Teracotta coloured Grow Pots

Teracotta coloured Grow Pots

thompson-morgan.com

£6.99

5 Pcs Seedling Tray

5 Pcs Seedling Tray

You’s Auto
amazon.co.uk

£7.99

144 Cell Black Plastic Seed Tray

144 Cell Black Plastic Seed Tray

thompson-morgan.com

£9.99

Shuttle Trays and Pots

Shuttle Trays and Pots

Shuttle
thompson-morgan.com

£7.99

Rigid gravel/seed tray

How to sow seeds

You should fill each pot to the top with peat-free seed compost and tap the base on the table. Give the compost a good watering, wait a few minutes, and then sow the seeds.

Tiny seeds, such as begonias and busy lizzies, need to lie on the surface, while medium seeds should be buried to take up moisture from the soil. Tap seeds onto the soil, then sieve compost over the top of them. Large seeds, such as sunflowers, should be planted individually and pushed into the soil.

fingers hold a small seed of hot pepper ready for sowing in a pot with soil at home gardening and botanical concept

Emilija RandjelovicGetty Images

sowing seeds, planting spinach seeds

Will HeapGetty Images

All seeds can stay in pots on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse until it is time to prick out. It’s a good idea to label the pots with details of the seeds and the date you planted them.

Sowing seeds: next steps

Once the first pair of leaves is large enough to hold, move them to another pot to develop individually – or in small clumps if they’re tiny. Select plants with short stems and intact roots, and discard any damaged seedlings. Use a stick to make a hole in fresh compost for the roots, then push the soil around the roots and water. Once the frosts have passed, plant your seedlings out.

propagation seed pot with soil and pepper chili or paprika seedlings or sprouts in growth

miriam-doerrGetty Images

What to plant and when

Annuals, such as love-in-a- mist and snapdragons, and perennials, such as columbines and verbena, can be sown from February or March to flower this year. Biennials sown from May to July can be planted in the autumn to be enjoyed next year.

In April, sow pea seeds, either in open ground or, if conditions are still wet and
cold, trays or pots in a greenhouse or on the windowsill. The end of April is also the time to sow carrots in open ground. If the soil is still too wet or cold, delay until conditions improve.

Cloches, mini-tunnels and cold frames can all really help to get the planting party started during the winter season, even in February. The slight protection they offer from the frost makes it possible to sow a huge variety of seeds directly into the ground, but for example, lettuces and sweet peas do best planted into individual pots and placed into a cold frame. As the sun gains strength, keep an eye on the temperatures underneath the glass or plastic – it’ll soon be warm enough that you’ll need to open up the frame or cloche during the day.

Begonia Semperflorens Options Mixed

Begonia Semperflorens Options Mixed

Thompson & Morgan
amazon.co.uk

£3.49

Busy Lizzie 'Beacon Mixed'

Busy Lizzie ‘Beacon Mixed’

thompson-morgan.com

£2.99

Sunflower 'Van Gogh'

Sunflower ‘Van Gogh’

thompson-morgan.com

£3.69

Nigella damascena 'Miss Jekyll'

Nigella damascena ‘Miss Jekyll’

Antirrhinum Snapdragon Mixed Flower Seeds

Antirrhinum Snapdragon Mixed Flower Seeds

Jamieson Brothers
amazon.co.uk

£1.49

Aquilegia caerulea

Aquilegia caerulea

thompson-morgan.com

£2.99

Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis

thompson-morgan.com

£2.99

Pea Seeds - Proval

Carrot 'Mixed'

Beetroot 'Rainbow Beet' (Globe) Beta vulgaris

Beetroot ‘Rainbow Beet’ (Globe) Beta vulgaris

thompson-morgan.com

£2.29

Vegetables: seeds or plugs?

April is the best time to sow a wide variety of vegetables from seed, but always follow the instructions on the packet, especially for sowing times. Don’t jump the gun though. If the packet says sow from May onwards, do that. A seedling that develops in low cold light will never recover.

vegetable seed packets

Jake WymanGetty Images

For beginners, a more successful route might be plug plants where the tricky, intensive work of keeping the seedlings going has been done for you and you can put a more robust, small, young plant in the soil.

Our advice would be to use seeds where they can be sown directly into the soil – so things like beetroot, beans and carrots – but try plugs for trickier plants and those that need to be sown indoors and then transplanted outside, such as peppers, strawberries, courgettes and cucumbers.

Sowing seeds indoors

You can plant a huge variety of seeds indoors if you have some sort of seed propagator. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just a seed tray with a cover that has ventilation, placed in a warm spot. Go for lobelia, cosmos, geraniums, kale and tomatoes. Once the seeds have germinated, move them to the brightest place you can, as they need plenty of sunlight to keep them from getting leggy.

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

SIGN UP

Love what you’re reading? Enjoy House Beautiful magazine delivered straight to your door every month with Free UK delivery. Buy direct from the publisher for the lowest price and never miss an issue!

SUBSCRIBE

16 great books for gardening and indoor plant inspiration

RHS How to Create your Garden: Ideas and Advice for Transforming your Outdoor Space

Garden book

RHS How to Create your Garden: Ideas and Advice for Transforming your Outdoor Space

Adam Frost’s practical, no-nonsense approach will help you plan and build a garden that works for you. The Gardeners’ World presenter takes you step by step through the whole process, from simple garden design ideas to a full garden makeover.

Modern Container Gardening: How to Create a Stylish Small-Space Garden Anywhere

Garden book

Modern Container Gardening: How to Create a Stylish Small-Space Garden Anywhere

Isabelle Palmer shows you how to make the most of every little space with a series of projects for small gardens, singular containers and window boxes, that can be completed in a day or weekend. Perfect for novice gardeners, Modern Container Gardening offers beautiful photography and clear step-by-step instructions.

National Trust School of Gardening: Practical Advice from the Experts

Garden book

National Trust School of Gardening: Practical Advice from the Experts

National Trust
amazon.co.uk

£15.15

The National Trust employs over 500 gardeners with an extraordinary wealth of expertise. And now, in this in-depth guide, they pass on their wisdom and provide the answers any new and seasoned gardener is looking for. This book is intended to give you inspiration and confidence to make the most of your garden, without being overwhelmed with unnecessary technical detail.

Veg in One Bed: How to Grow an Abundance of Food in One Raised Bed, Month by Month

Garden book

Veg in One Bed: How to Grow an Abundance of Food in One Raised Bed, Month by Month

Veg In One Bed explains how to build your bed and grow from seed, as well advice on planting, feeding, and harvesting. YouTube gardening star Huw Richards shows how to guarantee early success by starting off young plants on a windowsill and suggests what to grow in each part of the bed.

The Complete Gardener: A Practical, Imaginative Guide to Every Aspect of Gardening

Garden book

The Complete Gardener: A Practical, Imaginative Guide to Every Aspect of Gardening

Monty Don offers straightforward gardening advice in this book, revealing the secrets of growing vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs, while respecting the needs of the environment by gardening organically. You can also enjoy a tour of his Herefordshire garden, including his flower garden, herb garden, kitchen garden, and more.

RHS Practical House Plant Book

Plants book

RHS Practical House Plant Book

The Practical House Plant Book by the RHS contains a dozen step-by-step projects to help you assemble an eye-catching terrarium, create a floating kokedama ‘string garden’, or propagate succulents. Complete with 175 in-depth plant profiles, this is an essential practical guide for indoor gardeners.

Small Garden Style: A Design Guide for Outdoor Rooms and Containers

Garden book

Small Garden Style: A Design Guide for Outdoor Rooms and Containers

Ten Speed Press
amazon.co.uk

£12.27

A small garden space – an urban patio, a tiny backyard, or even just a pot by your door – doesn’t have to sacrifice style. In Small Garden Style, garden designer Isa Hendry Eaton and lifestyle writer Jennifer Blaise Kramer show you how to use good design to create a joyful, elegant, and exciting yet compact outdoor living space.

Charles Dowding's No Dig Gardening: From Weeds to Vegetables Easily and Quickly: Course 1

Garden book

Charles Dowding’s No Dig Gardening: From Weeds to Vegetables Easily and Quickly: Course 1

No Dig Garden
amazon.co.uk

£19.49

Charles Dowding, innovator of no dig, teaches you everything you need to know about this method of organic gardening. With 19 chapters, you’ll learn how to use no dig on different soil types, recognise and massively reduce the different types of weeds, know the difference between soil and types of compost, and grow an abundance of vegetables using the no dig method. 

In Bloom: Growing, harvesting and arranging flowers all year round

Plants book

In Bloom: Growing, harvesting and arranging flowers all year round

Kyle Books
amazon.co.uk

£16.28

Get all the inspiration you need for planting cut flowers, and fill your home with colour and the gorgeous scent of the garden year-round with In Bloom. Clare Nolan reveals her secrets for growing a bountiful harvest as well as styling spectacular homegrown displays in this beautifully designed book.

RHS Complete Gardener's Manual

Garden book

RHS Complete Gardener’s Manual

The RHS’ Complete Gardener’s Manual will help you choose plants that will thrive in your space, design a border for year-round colour, grasp different pruning techniques, discover how to protect your veg patch from pests, and make the best compost.

Wildlife Gardening: For Everyone and Everything

Garden book

Wildlife Gardening: For Everyone and Everything

Bloomsbury Wildlife
amazon.co.uk

£10.21

Do you want to attract more bees, birds, frogs and hedgehogs into your garden? In Wildlife Gardening for Everyone and Everything, Kate Bradbury teams up with the Wildlife Trusts and the RHS to help you discover how you can make your garden, balcony, doorstep or patio a haven for garden wildlife. You’ll find handy charts, practical projects and fact files. 

My House Plant Changed My Life: Green wellbeing for the great indoors

Plants book

My House Plant Changed My Life: Green wellbeing for the great indoors

Gardener and TV presenter David Domoney is a firm believer that indoor plants can make ‘a practical and emotional contribution to our wellbeing’. In this book, David explains the hard science behind the positive effect of the humble houseplant on wellness, and provides expert tips on how to keep your plants thriving, plus shares his top 50 life-enhancing houseplants.

RHS Encyclopedia of Garden Design: Planning, Building and Planting Your Perfect Outdoor Space

Garden book

RHS Encyclopedia of Garden Design: Planning, Building and Planting Your Perfect Outdoor Space

If you’re looking for new garden ideas, the RHS Encyclopedia of Garden Design will guide you from planning to planting, such as choosing the correct materials for your structures and assessing your drainage, to laying patios, making ponds, and planting perennials.

How to Create an Eco Garden: The practical guide to sustainable and greener gardening

Garden book

How to Create an Eco Garden: The practical guide to sustainable and greener gardening

Lorenz Books
amazon.co.uk

£13.16

This planet-friendly book is filled with ideas for creating your own eco garden on any scale, from a small courtyard to a large garden or allotment. Discover organic techniques that improve biodiversity, learn the value of using recycled and reclaimed materials for landscaping, and take on simple projects such as making a pond and a wildlife hotel.

RHS Encyclopedia Of Plants and Flowers

Plants book

RHS Encyclopedia Of Plants and Flowers

Drawing on expert advice from the RHS, this best-selling reference book – organised by colour, size, and type, rather than as an A-Z directory – will help you select the right varieties for your outdoor space.

Build a Better Vegetable Garden: 30 DIY Projects to Improve your Harvest

Garden book

Build a Better Vegetable Garden: 30 DIY Projects to Improve your Harvest

Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
amazon.co.uk

£12.99

Joyce and Ben Russell have devised 30 kitchen garden projects, devised to either extend the season, protect crops from pests or improve yields. These projects transform your vegetable plot into somewhere more productive, more attractive and more secure.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Comments are closed.