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How to sow seeds direct into pots

You will need


Flower seeds

Good quality compost



Slow release fertiliser

Moisture retaining gel


Do it: March - April
At its best: June - September
Takes just: 30 minutes


Growing flowers from seed is a great way of saving money, and summer planting doesn’t get easier than this. You can sow most half-hardy and hardy annuals straight into the container in late March (delay until April if the weather stays cold) - the first shoots often appear within days, with flowers from early June right through until October.

Place the container in full sun where your summer annuals can soak up the warmth, and get enough light to open their petals.

How to do it

Sowing direct into pots: place crocks into the pot


Place a couple of crocks in the base of your pot for drainage.

Sowing direct into pots: mix fertiliser and gel with compost


Following manufacturers’ instructions, add some slow-release fertiliser and moisture-retaining gel to a peat-free, multi-purpose compost with added John Innes.

Sowing direct into pots: top with seed compost


Fill the pot with the compost mix, topping it off with 3cm seed compost. This is not vital, but it does give seedlings a good start. Water with a fine rose.

Sowing direct into pots: divide into thirds


Divide the surface into thirds using sand or vermiculite, one section for each plant. Get 3 verieties of seed and sow them 5cm apart, thinned to 10cm.

Sowing direct into pots: protect with a cloche


Cover with vermiculite and don’t allow to dry out. Protect with a cloche overnight until germinated. Thin any overcrowded seedlings by gently prising out the surplus with a pencil. Firm in the rest.

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