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How to sow salad seeds in modules

You will need

Lettuce seeds

Seed modules and trays

Seed compost

Vermiculite (optional)

Clear plastic lid or clear plastic bag

7.5cm pots

Multi-purpose compost

Dibber or pencil

Do it: spring, summer
Takes just: 30 minutes


Tall lettuces such as 'Bionda' or hearting lettuces like 'Webb's Wonderful' are best started off in seed modules – they will grow into neat, easy-to-handle plug plants that you can plant out in the garden at a later date.

Baby leaf mixes and herbs such as parsley are best sown in seed trays, where they can be sown more densely. They can be planted out later in clumps, rather than as individual plants.

Here's how to start off salad seeds in modules.

How to do it

Sow seeds


Fill modules generously with seed compost and level off so they're filled to the brim, then sow one or two seeds in each – you can always pinch out surplus seedlings later.

Sit the tray in water


Sprinkle vermiculite or sieved compost to cover the seeds, then sit the tray in an inch of water to soak till the surface feels damp. Remove the tray from the water. Cover with a clear plastic lid or clear plastic bag. Put in a warm place to germinate.

Prick out the seedlings


Pot on seedlings once the second pair of leaves (or 'true' leaves) appear. Ease each seedling out with a dibber or pencil, handling by the leaves to avoid breaking the stems. Pot each one into a 7.5cm pot of multi-purpose compost.

Protect from frosts


Protect young plants from spring frosts if necessary, by placing in a greenhouse or porch until the soil has warmed up. Grow on young plants for a few weeks, until they have developed a good root system and are ready to plant out in the garden.

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