Sowing seeds for your garden really can be make or break time. It is an exciting time and no doubt you will have made some big plans on where the plants are going to go. If you are sowing vegetables, you may already be thinking about the types of meals that you will eat with your home grown vegetables.
As a gardener myself, there are times when seeds just don’t germinate. And this is fine, it is a fact of life. There are also some other pitfalls that you can fall into if you are not careful. Trust me, it is easily done and I’ve been there too.
We’ve listed out some key points for our readers to ensure that you get the very best out of sowing seeds with children!
1Choose the right seeds
This can seem a bit strange at first but it is completely logical when you think about it. Plants require many different growing environments and you must take that into consideration when buying seeds. For example, if you were thinking of growing sunflowers, you are going to want to make sure that you have a really sunny patch for them to thrive. Soil type is also another key ingredient to a successful season.
2Ensure that the seeds are in date
Believe it or not, seeds really do have an expiry date. It is something to bear in mind when buying ‘cheaper’ seeds as they may only have a life span of one growing year. This means that whilst it may seem cheap at the time, you will only have next year to ‘safely’ plant those seeds. If you extend onto the following year, the chances of the seeds not germinating are higher.
The best time to buy the cheaper seeds is at the beginning of the growing season once you have decided on what you are going to grow for the year. This way, you can look for the cheaper seeds on specifically what you want. If you are buying from a reputable seed company, you should always be able to find the ‘sow by’ date on the back of the packet.
3Understand the best place to plant the seeds
Knowing where to plant your seeds is crucial if you want success. For example, if you have a garden that is mostly in the shade, then you won’t want to choose plants that need full sun – such as sunflowers or tomatoes. However, you may want to choose a plant such as spinach that will tolerate an amount of shade. The same goes for where you are going to sow the seeds. Take note of the temperature required and whether light is needed for germination.
4Create a sowing plan
Depending on the amount of plants you plan to sow in your garden, you may want to consider creating a sowing plan. This needn’t be complicated. I’ve always found that the easiest way to do this is to draw some grids with enough space to write your plant name on the left and then have the months going across the top. Add all of your seeds to the list and then using different coloured pens colour in the months that you should be sowing them. Use one colour for indoors and the other for outdoors.
This gives two benefits. One is that you know just how many plants that you are going to have on the windowsill at any one given moment and it also helps you plan to get the outside space ready for the sowing and also the transplanting of the seeds that you have sown indoors.
5Understand the sowing instructions
On the back of each seed packet are sowing instructions. They tell you how deep the seed needs to be sown along with the temperature that the pot will need to be kept in for the seed to germinate. Following these is extremely important if you want your plants to grow.
6Add labels to all seeds that you sow
Alongside all the other points, this one is definitely one to take note of. Any pot that doesn’t have a label, will confuse you further down the line if you are sowing any kind of quantity. You may also not recognise the seedling if you have not grown it before. Labels don’t need to be anything fancy, they could simply be a sticky label on the pot. However, these could get wet and fall off.
Ideally, you will want to buy some of the white plastic variety and write on them with a pencil. This way, you can simply rub it off and use it for something else. We have hundreds of these and they probably get used a few times each year. They are available in all different lengths and shapes – some of them are even quite fancy.
If you have any specific questions about sowing, do drop us a line and we will try our best to help!