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How to Sow Seeds

This article will take you back to basics – showing you how to sow seeds step by step.

What you will need to sow seeds

Step 1

Using a clean seed tray, pot or module tray. Break up any lumps in the compost. Fill your container whilst shaking the sides of the container to settle the soil. Do not firm with fingers!  Ensure all corners are filled. Use a ruler or flat piece of wood which sits across the sides of the containers and scrape / skim the top removing excess compost to give a fully level surface

Step 2

Gently firm your levelled compost with the base of another container

Step 3

Heavily water the seed tray with a fine rose and let it drain for a few hours

Step 4

Sow the seeds thinly, leaving space around each seed. Scatter in seed trays or sow singly in module trays and pots

Step 5

Cover the seeds lightly with more compost, no more than the depth of the seed

Step 6

Label your container with the name of the seed and date sown, laying the label down at the side of tray for easier covering

Step 7

Cover your container surface with clear glass, plastic or cling film. You should not need to water again. The covering keeps the humidity within the tray and protects against cold draughts

Step 8

Place your sown containers on a flat surface in warm spot to germinate such as a windowsill or greenhouse. Check the seed packets for ideal temperatures.  A constant even temperature warmth is required for best germination.

Tip- place sown containers on a kitchen drinks tray to avoid water leakage.

Step 9

Keep an eye on your seed trays as germinating seedlings will soon appear. Once seedlings become visible remove tray covering allowing the seeds to ‘breathe’.

Tip- Daily finger test the compost to see if it require watering. Damp soil sticks to the finger. Dry soil does not

Step 10

Keep warm and gradually ‘harden off’ plants and prick out or pot on when large enough to handle by leaf tips rather than touching roots

Step 11

Ensure your garden location is warm enough to plant out tender plants into permanent positions. In most areas of the UK this is early June


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