OURDOOR LIVING SALE NOW ON | Up to 60% off

A guide to seed sowing

Growing from seed is both the cheapest and most rewarding way to grow your own – all it takes is a little patience. And, with prices constantly on the rise, there’s no better time to give it a grow!

Whether sowing into seed trays and propagators, or directly into the ground, have a go yourself this year and see what you can achieve – you might surprise yourself!

HERE ARE 8 BASIC STEPS TO SOWING SEEDS!

1. Choose a container

You can sow seeds in a seed tray bought in store or alternatively, you can make do with a biscuit tin, an old flower pot, empty food container or something similar. Just be sure they have adequate drainage holes!

2. Fill with quality compost

Sow seeds in sterile, seed-starting mix or potting compost – we’d recommend John Innes Seed Sowing Compost. It’s important to keep soil consistently moist but avoid overwatering. An easy way to avoid overwatering is to bottom water your seedlings by dipping the base of your containers in water and allowing the soil to absorb exactly what it needs.

3. Sprinkle your seeds

Sprinkle small seeds over the compost from the palm of your hand using your finger but be careful not to cover small seeds with soil, as it can smother them. Larger seeds can be placed one by one into the compost. Precise tips for planting can be found on the seed packet! 

4. Cover your pots

Cover your pots with a clear polythene bag or plastic wrap to help maintain an even temperature for germination and then place your pots on a well-lit windowsill or in a heated propagator.

5. Give your seeds lots of light

Seedlings need a lot of light. If you’re growing on a window, choose a south-facing window and be sure to rotate the pots regularly to keep plants from getting too leggy.

6. Feed your seeds

Start feeding your seedlings after they develop their second set of true leaves, applying a half-strength liquid fertilizer weekly.

7. Transfer your seedlings

Once seedlings have grown a few pairs of “true leaves” and are big enough to handle without damage, they can be transferred into individual pots or trays.

8. Harden off and plant out

Once your plants have reached the stage where their roots are starting to emerge from the bottom of the pot, they can be planted out to their final location.

OUR TEAM’S FAVOURITE SEEDS

Have a go yourself at growing your own by sowing a few of our favourites this year!

FRUIT & VEG

Mr. Fothergills Courgette Zucchini

Country Value Pepper Mixed Chilli

RHS Carrot Maestro F1

Unwins Lettuce Butterhead

HERBS & SALAD

Unwins Sweet Basil

Mr. Fothergills Coriander

Thompson & Morgan Parsley

Unwins Rocket

FLOWERS

Mr. Fothergills Antirrihum

Thompson & Morgan Marigold Colossus

Unwins Sweet Pea Berry Kiss

Mr. Fothergills Dwarf Dahlia

*All subject to availability

OUR MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SEED SOWING

Can I sow seeds straight into the ground?
Do I need to use seed sowing compost?
Do I need a greenhouse to grow my seeds?
How often do I water my seeds?

GROW YOUR OWN POTATOES

Read More

OUR TOP 10 SUMMER BEDDING PLANTS!

Read More

Book Online