Sowing Your Seeds
Tips & Tricks for successful seed sowing.
Seed Sowing Advice
PREPARATION FOR SEED SOWING:
Clean saved seedling punnets before using, by washing in hot water, and then rinse in container of water containing 1 part household bleach to 10 parts of water. Leave to drip dry.
Get a bag of good quality seed raising mix at your local nursery or hardware store.
Store seeds in a cool, dry place until you are ready to sow.
Get a water container large enough to place your seedling tray in (to water your seedling punnets from below).
Get a 1 litre water spray bottle. Fill with water left over from boiling the kettle. Allow to cool.
Get a roll of cling wrap.
Get some labels & waterproof pen for making punnet labels – plant name & date sown.
SIMPLE SCATTER SEED TECHNIQUE:
Many seeds are very quick and easy to germinate. They can just be scattered in the garden where you wish them to grow, and just leave them to get on with it as weather conditions suit.
You can make them even more comfortable by scattering some seed raising mix on the surface of the garden area before sowing the seed. Give the seed area a gentle watering when required.
See our Scatter Seed Mixes – quick & easy seeds suitable to sow directly in the garden
COTTAGE GARDEN SCATTER SEED MIX
A mix of over 20 varieties of old fashioned, hardy favourites, perennial and biennial flowers.
Sow directly in the garden to give a mass of old world flowers.
EDIBLE FLOWERS SCATTER MIX
A mix of flowers that are all edible. Perfect in the veggie garden or herb patch.Use the flowers in salads, cakes, drinks, for edible decoration and food garnish. Sow directly in the garden.
FRAGRANT FLOWERS SCATTER MIX
A mix of over 20 varieties of perennial and biennial flowers – all fragrant, with the best of perfumes and delicious scents. Sow directly in the garden.
CUT FLOWERS SCATTER MIX
A mix of over 20 varieties of perennial and biennial flowers – all providing lovely and long-lasting cut flowers for vases. Sow directly in the garden.
BEE SCATTER MIX
A mix of over 20 varieties of perennial and biennial flowers – all providing ample nectar and pollen, to feed the bees and attract beneficial pollinating insects. Sow directly in the garden.
Or choose individual varieties marked “Quick & Easy” – to sow directly in the garden.
SIMPLE SEED RAISING INDOORS FOR EARLY PLANTS
Many seeds are quick and easy to germinate indoors, and don’t require any special equipment.
They can simply be raised on a window ledge or a well-lit corner of a warm room.
Use clean punnets.
Fill punnets with seed raising mix, and gently pat surface to smooth.
Scatter seeds on the surface of the mix, then follow instructions on individual pack for covering seeds.
(Some need to be covered with mix, some not
Place punnets in water container. Fill water level to below top of punnets, with cooled water previously boiled (save from your kettle). Allow water to soak mix through from below, until moist through to top (takes just a few minutes). Drain.
Place punnets on window sill or warm well lit spot.
Spray mix surface from water bottle as required, so mix surface does not dry out. Keep moist but not saturated until seedlings emerge.
Prick seedlings out when they have developed their first set of true leaves.
FAST SEED RAISING WITH A HEAT MAT
For seeds that need a warm temperature for a quick start and earlier plants.
Follow steps 1 to 5 above.
Place sown punnets in a seedling tray on a temperature-controlled heat mat.
Make sure heat mat is set to a suitable temperature range for your plant varieties, as shown on the individual seed pack instructions.
Spray mix surface from water bottle as required, so mix surface does not dry out.
Keep moist but not saturated until seedlings emerge.
FOR SEEDS THAT NEED A PRETEND WINTER CHILLING
If seed instructions require a period of chilling for best germination results – wrap sown, moist punnet completely in cling wrap. Place in fridge (not freezer) for period suggested on the seed pack.
After chilling period is finished, remove punnet from fridge, unwrap, discard wrap.
Return punnet to room or heat mat at suggested temperature range on packet until seedlings emerge.
Check detailed packet instructions to see if seed needs well lit position (but not in direct sunlight) or if seeds need dark to germinate. If dark is needed – cover punnet with cardboard or black plastic.
PRICKING OUT YOUR SEEDLINGS
Seedlings can be pricked out of their punnet, and potted on to grow, as soon as the first set of true leaves develop (the very first set of what seem to be leaves, are actually “Cotyledons” – they are part of the embryo of the seed, and will be round, very simple leaves – wait for the next set which will be true leaves).
Handle seedlings by their leaves only. Do not hold by their stems or this may crush the cell structure.
Gently ease seedlings out of punnet mix, using the point of a knife or a pen point to get underneath them, so the roots are not broken.
Dibble a hole in the potting mix with the pen point or knife, in the new pot.
Gently lower seedling into new pot and fill around with potting mix. Firm in.
Water in with seaweed / fish emulsion product.
Grow on in a warm, sheltered spot outdoors. Plant out in the garden when ready.
Happy gardening – Merryle, David & Noel.