The joys of seed sowing are many, but probably the most joyous thing, is how these little seeds will, within a matter of weeks be transformed into plants.
There are plenty of other reasons:
- Seed is very cheap compared to buying plants.
- There’s the immense satisfaction of growing your own plants from just a speck of seed.
- We’re helping the planet, re-using plastic pots rather than bringing in new ones, we can choose peat-free compost & reduce transportation. I don’t know how much carbon that reduces, but it all helps.
- Buying online, rather than from big Garden Centres, gives much more choice. You can find smaller suppliers who generally have a wider range & certainly sell more unusual stuff.
The practical things to do to raise plants from seed are:
Use clean pots, boring I know, but unwashed ones may harbour diseases, which is the worst start for a tiny plant.
There’s a better chance of success using fresh seed, or seed that’s been kept in cool dry conditions. The viability of stored seeds can be tested, saving the effort of sowing them in compost & waiting days or a couple of weeks to see if they germinate.
- Simply spread about 5 or 10 seeds onto damp kitchen paper, or cloth.
- Cover them if they don’t need light to germinate.
- Keep the paper/cloth damp & place them on a warm windowsill.
- After 3 or 4 days there should be some signs of growth if the seed is good. & wait to see what happens.
This year I’m trying proper seed compost, I usually use multi-purpose compost. I’m not sure if it’ll make a difference, but given the investment of time & money that goes into seed-sowing, it’s worth going all out to make growing as successful as possible.
You know that sinking feeling that happens, when you make all that effort to sow, label, water, nurture … & hardly any seeds germinate? Well, all the above will help avoid that.
Happy gardening & have a good weekend wherever you are.
all photos: Jill Anderson.