Sowing seeds indoors

by Jane Moore

The wet weekend was far more suited to sowing seeds indoors than pluckily plodding on outside.

Squash seedlings growing in a potEaster weekend in Bath was beset by bad weather. We had some dull, dreary and drizzly days to contend with, which certainly slowed momentum on the plot. The wet weekend was far more suited to sowing seeds indoors than pluckily plodding on outside.

There's something really inspiring about setting yourself up with seed trays, pots, compost and a big box of seeds indoors, as the rain lashes against the window pane.

I like to sow seed of a few plants indoors. Tender crops, such as courgettes and butternut squashes are best sown under cover to give them a good start. A few weeks in the greenhouse and they'll grow into big, healthy plants that should withstand the attentions of slugs once they've been planted out.

Before I had my greenhouse, I had a production line of veg seedlings set up on the window sill. The one in the living room was perfect it's south-facing, so is bright and well lit. The trick with growing plants on a window sill is to turn them regularly so they don't grow towards the light in one direction.

As the plants mature, I harden them off in a sheltered cold frame, leaving it open during the day and closing it at night. After a week or so, I leave the frame open at night, exposing them to the low temperatures they'll experience when in the ground outside. But that's a few weeks away yet before then things are going to get very crowded in the greenhouse!

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Gardeners' World Web User 17/04/2009 at 12:26

Every year I have veg seeds leftover from the season and I store them in a tin box, saying that I will use them next year. Then Spring the following year comes, and I start to worry about viability, and I buy all new packets! Which veg seeds are worth saving, and which are you better replacing each year? I'd love some practical guidelines!

Gardeners' World Web User 17/04/2009 at 12:52

I've sown veg seeds from packets I opened 2 yrs ago and prob get about a 60% germination rate. Best bet is to sow 3-4 seeds per cell.... egde your bets

Gardeners' World Web User 17/04/2009 at 14:54

Ive just sown my peas and tomatoes indoors (The tomatoes from the new BBc's dig in campain). Everything is starting to look good now, hopefully by next week the shoots will have started to apear.

Gardeners' World Web User 17/04/2009 at 17:15

does anyone know if i can sow sweet corn in the cold frame now .

Gardeners' World Web User 17/04/2009 at 21:24

iwas repotting my grape vines in one i found about 50 vine weevle grubs.i picked them out by hand washed roots then put in fresh compost then took great plesure feeding grubs to birds ,hope this dosent make me a bad person ,can any one tell me why one vine has weevle the other none thay are kept on sam part off garden .stephen

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