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Talkback: Early seed sowing

I have sown some tomato seeds this weekend and sweet pea. It is just great to be out in the garden, and it is lovely to walk into a lovely w...

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I have sown some tomato seeds this weekend and sweet pea. It is just great to be out in the garden, and it is lovely to walk into a lovely warm greenhouse. I have my little heaters in my greenhouses and it keeps them nice and warm. My fuchsias are staring to put out green shoots along with several other plants. I just love the spring and the start of a new gardening year.
Absolutely! My hellebores, primroses, early daffs and snowdrops are all blooming away. I've got toms, peppers, sweet peas, mange tout and broad beans coming up in the gh. I've especially enjoyed the 'surprise' clumps of snowdrops popping up where I divided clumps in the green last year. Hoping to get some more seeds going in the gh tomorrow- leeks, calendula and Brassicas. Some of last year's calendula have overwintered out in the garden though, so I guess I'll have some self- seeders to look out for.
Hello, yes I agree. Lovely to get sowing isn't it? May I ask your opinion though pls? I planted some tomato seeds last week and they are up already. I had them in a utility room. It has a window put not mega bright. They looked like they were stretching for light so I put them in the greenhouse.....but it's not heated and I'm worried that the little seedlings might freeze. Is it best to bring them back in especially with the cold weather coming? Or do you think they'll be ok in the greenhouse?

Bring them in-they will not survive in a cold greenhouse until April at the earliest-especially as they are just seedlings-they need warmth and good light


Thanks sotongeoff. How do I stop them going too leggy? I love learning from experienced folk! Thank you muchly.

Tomatoes aren't so bad-when you prick out the seedlings you can bury the stems up to the first true leaves-you can do that with a lot of seedlins-not cucumbers definitely

But they need good all round light -that is the snag if you start too early

Thanks again sotongeoff. You are a gardening guru! Fab tips. Cheers!
Just wondering when to start my chilli seeds off thanks for info
Thanks Swiss sue!

try growing your tomatoes in acid peat  this year instead of ordinary peat or garden soil. you will find that the true flavour of the toms. wil come out and you will be surprised how good they taste. oh bye the way dont be in such a hurry to start growing plants too early they al need daylight to grow strongly apart from the fact that you wil always get late frosts which can kill off tomatoes if sown too early.i have grown all kinds of plants for the last 20 years and from experience i have found that if you wait till march the plants will grow just as strong with less heat required.

denise bailey wrote (see)
Just wondering when to start my chilli seeds off thanks for info

They can take up to 3 weeks to germinate-so longer than tomatoes-would start in a couple of weeks or so

I grow my crops in a unheated greenhouse, so i sow seeds in a propogator in the conservatory and on a window ledge in a spare bedroom.My sweet peas were sown 10 days ago and are up and running, i will be sowing sweet peppers, chilli peppers and tomatoes in the next 10 days.
This year i will try for the first time, sweet pepper LanyF1, Fuego F1 chilli and BanemiF1 tomatoe.
My broad beans Masterpiece green longpod were sown in the greenhouse 14 days ago and are still thinking about making an appearance.
Regards PG
Ballydavis, your advice re acid compost is interesting. I always assumed tomatoes needed lime. Is ericaceous John innes mixed with perlite something you recommend?


yes john  innes with perlite is fine the acidic peat gives the sharper bite to the tomato plants and their true flavour. i have been growing toms. in acid peat for years and get brillant flavour every time.long lost tip worth tying.

I have had some success with seeds but a lot end up in the bin. I only have window ledges to grow them on this time of the year. Have been successful sometimes with bizzie Lizzies and cosmos. Mind you I grew some hydrangeas from seed last year.
I think some of my failures may be due to sewing too early and maybe not enough light.
Have collected some loo rolls so will have a go at sewing some sweet peas in them. My first batch have flopped......very tall with not a leaf in sight. They were about 6" tall.....ha ha....definitely a problem.....I think the root of success is not to give up and to keep
trying.......but there again it's also recognising what you can achieve and what you can't.
I've just posted onto the wrong conversation, should have post on to sewing seeds indoors....never mind, am not writing it out again....think I will make myself a Cup of tea.....I must need it!
gardenning granny

I treated myself to a super-seven seed tray system - seven little seed trays, each with a clear cover, which sits on a capillary matting on a long window sill tray.  This enables me to raise at least seven types of seed easily, and I can turn thetrtays round daily once the seeds come through.  They don't go up to my unheated greenhouse until they get pricked out into larger trays or individual modules, and even tghen I continue to put a clear plastic lid on until they have hardened of a bit.  I have had great success with almost everything I have planted in this way abnd the little trays are really easy to use .  You just water into the window sill tray when the matting begins to dry out.  For larger seed I add a  layer of fine gravel on top which helps keep the soil moist withough makiong the seedlings damp off.

I shall be planting tonight and tomorrow for my early start.  If I need to water, I use one of those little bottle-top sprinklers.

Good luck evberybody.

flowerbird=. try sowing sweet pea in october in your loo rolls and leave them till now in a light spot but out of direct sunlight. when they get to the three leaf stage nip them back to one leaf and ou get a much stronger plant and also more stems and more flowers later on in the year.go on and give it a try there is no such thing as failure just lost seedlings.bye the way when u decide to grow seedlings plant just what u need with a few extra in tay modules.that way you wont have to throw surplus out.when u are growing seedlings always water the trays or containers from the root up less losses and little damping off.bye the way has anybody noticed how the big organisations who produce new varities of bizzi lizzies have now left us with a hugh problem with them literally dying off when in full flower. This has only come about in the last two years, so be warned the beautyful bizzi lizzi is on the way out through to much messing with their jenes.