How to sow seeds outdoors

Do it:

Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

Takes just:

30 minutes

The warmth of spring and summer allows you to sow vegetable seeds outdoors in the soil. Here they'll quickly germinate to produce crops to enjoy this season. Try easy-to-grow salads such as radish, spring onion and salad bowl lettuce. You can also use this technique to grow flowering perennials and biennials as well as hardy annuals to brighten up you beds and borders. Sow into weed-free soil that has been dug, forked and raked to create a fine surface structure or 'tilth'.

You will need

  • Seeds
  • Area of prepared soil
  • Trowel
  • Length of timber to use as a straight edge
  • Watering can or hose

Advertisement

Make a shallow groove or 'drill' in prepared soil using the end of a trowel or bamboo cane. Use a length of timber to create straight drills. As a rule, the smaller the seed, the shallower the drill should be, but follow the instructions on the seed packet.

Sow seeds along the drill at the space suggested on the seed packet. Fine seeds can be thinned if you do end up sowing them too thickly.

Push soil in from either side of the drill to cover over the seed, breaking up any large lumps of soil as you go. Pat the surface of the soil to lightly firm it in place.

Dribble water along the drill using a watering can or hose to settle the soil. Keep soil moist as seed germinates and establish, removing any weeds that appear.

Advertisement

Mix fine seeds with a dry silver sand and dribble it into the drill from a folded piece of paper.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Choosing compost for propagation

Winter veg crops to sow in August

How to save calendula seed

Related offers

FREE P&P

Grow your own kale

Enjoy free p&p, worth £4.95, when you buy kale 'Nero di Toscana' - you can buy 30 plants for just £10.90. It's easy to grow with a delicious flavour.

Use code: GWD17JUN

Order now

FREE P&P

Broccoli 'Ironman'

Broccoli 'Ironman' has excellent disease resistance, uniform heads and great flavour. Enjoy free p&p, worth £4.95, when you buy this variety at DT Brown.

Use code: GWD17MAY

Order now

Offer

Subscriber only content

Save £6 on strawberries

Heavy-cropping mid-summer variety 'Sweetheart', and new late-season 'Cupid', together will produce an extra long crop of delicious strawberries. Save £6 on the collection with this offer.

Unlock now