How to grow summer bedding from seed

Do it:

Mar, Apr

Takes just:

15 minutes

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Raising summer bedding plants from seed is easy, it saves you money and greatly extends the range of plant varieties you can grow.

The secret of germinating summer bedding seeds is a plentiful supply of warmth and light. Most seeds need a steady heat of 18-21°C to germinate, so do consider investing in a heated propagator to maintain a constant temperature through March and April.

You will need

Good quality seed compost

Pots

Summer bedding seeds

Vermiculite

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Fill pots with seed compost, tap to settle, and lightly press the surface with the base of a pot. Space your seeds evenly over the compost.

Cover seeds thinly with fine, sieved compost, or use a layer of vermiculite, a sterile material perfect for covering seeds.

Germination rates vary between varieties. Wait until the seedlings are well developed with good roots before pricking out.

Handle seedlings by their first leaves to avoid crushing the stem and plant individually into pots of seed compost.

By late May or early June, late frosts should have passed and outdoor conditions will be warm enough to plant your bedding into their final position outside for a bright summer display.

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Water seedlings regularly in order to avoid compost drying out and after 4-6 weeks add a weekly liquid feed using a general fertiliser to promote strong and healthy growth.

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