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29/03/2014 at 19:17

I normally don't direct sow seeds but thought I would give it a try. The packaging stated between march and may for most but then I have read conflicting advice such as leave it till after the last frost. I have the following

Candytuft

Nasturtium

Night scented stock

Godietia

Californian poppy (Eschscholzia)

Cornflower

I live in the northeast but close to coast which does keep us a little warmer and less frosty in the winter. Will it do harm to sow any now or am I best to wait.

Thanks for any help

29/03/2014 at 19:46

They're hardy annuals but as with any seed they will germinate better when the soil has warmed up, they are all quick growers so unless you're thinking of covering them with fleece or cloches I would wait a couple of weeks.

As the day length increases the soil will warm up so should be good around Easter.

29/03/2014 at 20:07

I think the packaging advice is meant to be interpreted with a degree of gardening experience.  So for instance, last year, when winter went on for weeks and weeks, and there wasn't a hint of spring till April, some of the seeds that claimed to be plantable in Feb and March, really shouldn't have been planted.  On the other hand this year, so far, a February or March planting might do well (obviously we don't know whether Arctic conditions will appear in a fortnight, and having seen snow in May one year, I am surprised by very little).  But you have to see the planting instructions as a broad guide, so that when it says 'plant outside Feb-April' what it actually means is that if you plant in Feb, and we have a mild year, you might just get away with it, so why not give it a go?  You have to go with your gut.  I got my potatoes in early this year cos I have a gut feeling that the weather pattern of a mild spring is not going to change because of the jet stream, BUT I could be looking very stupid in a fortnight and doing a lot of things with fleece!!

29/03/2014 at 20:13

We had a strange winter but I can't see it getting very cold now. I'd sow anything hardy

29/03/2014 at 20:19

Thanks for all the advice I may sow half a packet and failing any germination sow the other half much later on.

29/03/2014 at 20:43

I think that's a good bet - sow some, save some.  If the ones you sow early all come through, you can save the leftover seed till next year.  When you grow vegetables, that's what everyone does anyway so they have  a succession of produce.  Only other issue to think about is whether the ground is waterlogged, which will depend on your location.  That has been the main problem for people this year, not the frost.  Make sure the soil is draining okay. 

29/03/2014 at 21:44

To be honest although it has rained a lot we have had no flooding where I live its seems the unfortunate people in the south bore the brunt of it. It has been the mildest winter I can remember. I have only had to de-ice my car for work a handful of times. My fuchsias all still have their leaves and some of my roses were flowering in February. I have built the beds up as drainage was an issue so they no longer become waterlogged. I recently visited London on a train and flooding in fields was shocking.

30/03/2014 at 10:14

I am new to planting seeds too and worried if I put them straight into the ground they would not survive so I have planted them indoors in seed trays with plastic lids on do not no if this is correct but will let you know how I get on with them if they don't work this way then next year will try straight into the garden and probably would do the same as you and leave half the packet. Also my garden is been planted from scratch so I am still getting a lot of weed roots when I dig it over so was worried this year for seeds good luck with yours.

30/03/2014 at 12:10

Hi Little Bee

Great to sow seeds in trays with lids, but do take the lids off when the shoots appear.

As to sowing outdoors, that's fine too, but it does depend what they are.  Some plants do fine sown outdoors, others benefit from a bit of tlc on the windowsill or wherever.  What are you growing?

Do try and get rid of all the perennial weeds in any bed you want to use as they will come back if you don't. Then weekly hoeing should take care of any weedlings.

Good luck - and do keep asking!

30/03/2014 at 19:47

I'd advise caution,just for a few weeks. It's still on March ( just) .

I'd agree with sowing in batches. If you plant the whole packet in one hit, you might over / underwater at some stage, you might get a late frost etc etc. far better to spread sowing out as an " insurance " against failures.

30/03/2014 at 20:07

I have tried my best to get those pesky weed roots out but they always seem to be there when I dig deep I have now got a few plants in hebes and small shrubs so I just dig round them as careful as I can the flower seeds I am growing indoors are

Cornflower, Silene, Salvia, Coreopsis, Dyers Woed, & Marigolds

So hopefully they work and fill my new garden full of colour Im sure I will make mistakes along the way but that's how we learn things and I am so pleased to have found this website as it is providing me with so much knowledge that I don't have I would be quite lost without it thank you everyone for all your help

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