Early spring is an ideal time to sow new plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables from seed. It is easy, fun to do and most importantly an inexpensive method to grow a lot of flowering and edible plants for your garden. Seeds can be started off indoors on a warm bright window sill or in a heated propagator. Both of these methods create the ideal conditions to germinate a wide range of garden plants.
You will need a good selection of quality seeds and Paraic uses the Thompson and Morgan seed range when selecting the ideal plants to grow for his garden. They add new varieties each year, but also keep a wide selection of the most popular and best performing varieties.
Items you will need for the perfect seed raising project:
1. Growise Seed & Cutting compost
2. Perlite or vermiculite for top dressing
3. Selection of Thompson and Morgan flower and vegetable seeds
4. Clean or new seed trays
5. Vitax Bordeaux mixture – prevents disease on young seedlings
6. Plastic cover, Cling film or clear polythene
7. Organic Slug control
8. Heated window sill propagator OR a warm window sill
Full instructions for sowing and planting are contained on the seed packed.
Key Points to Remember.
- Follow the instructions carefully which are clearly provided on the back of the seed packet.
- Fill the Seed trays up to 0.5inch from the top, settle the compost, and water the compost with tepid water where some Bordeaux fungicide has been added. The fungicide will help to prevent ‘damping off’ diseases from affecting the young seedlings.
- Sow the seeds lightly spreading them evenly over the surface area.
- Up to Approx 100 to 300 seeds per standard Seed trays.
- Lightly cover with perlite or vermiculite which will help in the germinating process and also help to keep the young seedlings from drying out.
- Cover the seed tray with a polythene cover or cling film and place in a warm location, such as a heated seed tray, warm windowsill or patio.
- Some seeds do require light to germinate and this will be indicated on the packet.
- Carefully examine the seed trays on a daily basis. Once germination has occurred place the trays in full light in a cool, but frost-free, location. Remove the cling film and allow the seeds to grow on.
- Once large enough, approx 1 inch , transplant into small plant containers to grow on using Growise potting compost with added John Innes and feed with a liquid fertiliser every three weeks
- Plant out of doors when all risk of frost has passed.
- Some seeds hardy annuals and perennials can be sown out of doors directly into the flower borders– Look for the term hardy annual /biennial / perennial on the backs of packets and follow instructions.
Have a go, sowing your own plants from seed is a fantastic challenge and is ideal for getting your children involved in growing their own plants.
Horkans recommend the F1 ranges from Thompson & Morgan seed