There is cheap and easy way to get some colour this Summer in your garden by sowing seeds indoors this February – April. All they need is soil, water and warmth to get growing and there is a huge selection of flowers that you can choose from.
These seeds can be bought from the Garden Centre, or on the High Street from supermarkets, Wilkinsons or Robert Dyas. Pick what colours you like – don’t worry about what might go together just pick what you like the look of. This year I’ve chosen favourites such as Poppies, Cosmos and Sweet Peas and Sunflowers but added Bergamot, Rudbeckia and Clary to try this year. All you need to get going is:
- Seed compost
- Potting Compost (the normal stuff you would buy for pots)
- 20cm wide pots that are 20cm tall with drainage holes, seed trays or cardboard toilet rolls for the Sweetpeas
- Clear plastic bottles to cover (acting like a greenhouse), clear polythene or glass
Fill the pot or tray with seed compost, shake then firm down the soil. If the seeds are tiny sprinkle them across the surface of the pot or tray and then cover lightly with a fine layer of compost and firm gently again. For Sunflowers or Sweetpeas use the pencil to make a hole in the soil about 3cm deep, drop your seed in and then using the pencil cover it up with the compost. A 20cm pot can take 3-5 seeds and a toilet roll can take 2 seeds. The seeds should be about 2cm apart.
Label your pot or tray and then water. Keep the soil damp throughout, not soggy or boggy though!
Take a clear plastic bottle and cut in half. You then have 2 halves you can put on top of your pot to act as a mini-greenhouse. Clear plastic bags or glass works just as well over pots or over trays (you can buy plastic lids for seed trays to turn them into proper looking greenhouses!) Keep your seeds in a light place but not in direct sunlight.
Within 2 weeks you should see green stems appearing. Once you do remove the plastic or glass.
When your seedlings are big enough to handle (with 3-5 sets of leaves) carefully tease them out of the pot or tray with a pencil and transplant them into bigger pots or trays of potting compost 5cm apart. Keep them indoors or in a greenhouse until the frosts have passed in May. 1 week before planting move the seedlings to a sheltered spot outside to get them used to the outside temperature.
Just have a go – it’s dead easy, kids love sowing seeds too and they begin to appear pretty quickly so it feels like they are growing in front of your eyes! If you have any questions just leave them below or share with me your seeds growing!