Posted: 02/02/2013 at 20:37
There are so many contradictions aren't there and fashions for example to soak or not to soak. I'm starting to think that the best way to learn with gardening things is by trial and error.
I sowed sweet pea seeds a couple of weeks ago. I didn't soak the seeds, made 15 planting tubes out of newspaper (about three inches diameter), filled them with seed compost, watered the 'pots' then made a hole with my finger, popped in a single seed and tucked it in with a bit more compost, I guess approx 1/2" deep max. I kept them by the window in the spare bedroom keeping it at between 10-15 deg Six of them were on the propagator and these germinated within six days when I put them straight into the cold greenhouse. I put the rest of them in the propagator (they had to take it in turns as my prop isn't a big one) and that bit of extra heat germinated them overnight. Now, apart from two that I'm guessing could be duds, all are out in the greenhouse and coming along fine. Oh, I put a polythene sandwich bag over each of them, turning the bag inside out and giving it a shake if they became too wet with condensation. Once they'd germinated I took the bags off completely.
I hope this helps. There is an RHS link on one of my postings above somewhere that I found useful. I'm planning to sow more in mid Feb as an insurance as these are for table posies for my daughter's wedding in August and I don't want to mess it up.
Good luck with yours. Carly