Get your seeds and seedlings off to a great start by taking a look at our top tips. These handy hints come courtesy of some of our favourite gardening bloggers – advice from experienced growers and bloggers who know what they’re talking about.
Check the weather
While of course it’s always a good idea to read the instructions on the back of the packet before planting your seeds, do also take a look out of your window to see what the weather’s doing. Sue from Green Lane Allotments says “let the weather and the soil tell you when it is time to plant.”
The same goes for planting inside – leave it until the weather begins to warm up, because seedlings started off too soon, “will grow weak and leggy before the conditions are right for planting out in the ground,” Sue says.
Alison Marsden from Gardening by Design also recommends planting a little later, saying:
“One of the basic facts about plants is that they grow more quickly as the temperature rises. So if you wait and sow seeds later from late March into April, the plants can soon be moved into a cold frame or greenhouse where they will form strong plants that quickly catch up.
Check for happy accidents
“Never weed out seedlings you don’t know,” says Julie of Garden Without Doors: “They may turn out to be plants / wildflowers you (or the bees) would be happy to have in your garden.”
That’s good advice with which Flora at Wild Dye Garden agrees. She also says to wait and see before weeding out your flower beds because there “may be some fun surprises brought in by birds or other animals.”
Also, wait before throwing out seed trays containing seeds that didn’t germinate. Julie says she puts them in a secluded spot in the garden and leaves them to see what happens:
“Some seeds will surprise you months later with bonus seedlings you weren’t expecting.
Pete at Weeds Up to Me Knees says you can’t beat a seed swap for a cheap and cheerful way to experiment with new plants. He reckons they’re “a great thing to go to and to help at too as you meet some great people there and find some excellent stuff to swap for your surplus seeds.”
Seed sowing tips
If you’re like Paul at the Green Fingered Blog, having a “senior moment” when sowing your peas or beans in modules can make you forget where you’ve sown and where you haven’t. His solution is to: “Fill them all with compost, make a hole in each and drop a seed in each. But don’t cover any of them over until you’ve sown a seed in every hole.”
Growing carrots this year? Lee from the popular YouTube channel My Project Diaries says:
“Another good way to grow carrots is to use 50% sand and 50% sifted compost. That will give you an extremely light soil to grow carrots in but you will need more fertiliser doing this way.
And don’t forget to stagger your sowing so you don’t get a glut come harvest time – Belinda at Plot 7 Marsh Lane swears by it: “Succession growing spreads the harvest.” Still, if you do have an overabundance of fruit and veg, sharing it is a great way to get to know your neighbours.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our seed and seedling tips. We’re always on the lookout for more inside info from the people who know best – you. So do drop us a line and let us know your hints for getting the most from your garden or allotment. Just head to our Facebook page and drop us a line.