Grow bedding from seed

How to grow summer bedding from seed

Brighten up your borders by growing summer bedding from seed. We show you how.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Nothing beats summer bedding for creating a splash of vibrant colour that lasts for months. You can buy bedding plants ready grown in late spring, but it’s much more satisfying and fun to grow bedding from seed – you’ll get a bigger choice of flowers and even save money. Most bedding varieties can be started off in a propagator in January or February in a greenhouse or on a warm windowsill – the earlier you sow the seeds, the better, because bedding takes a few months to get to the flowering stage.

The secret of germinating summer bedding seeds is a good supply of warmth and light. Most seeds need a steady heat of 18-21°C to germinate, so consider investing in a heated propagator to maintain a constant temperature. You may benefit from using a grow lamp, particularly if you’re sowing in January.

Learn how to grow summer bedding from seed, below.

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You Will Need

  • Peat-free seed compost
  • 10cm pots
  • Summer bedding seeds
  • Vermiculite

Step 1

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.

Growing bedding from seed – sowing seed
Growing bedding from seed – sowing seed

Step 2

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

Growing bedding from seed – covering the seed with vermiculite
Growing bedding from seed – covering the seed with vermiculite

Step 3

Make a label that will last until autumn and insert it into each pot. Water well.

Growing bedding from seed – labelling your pots
Growing bedding from seed – labelling your pots

Step 4

Place the pots in a heated propagator to arm the compost ready for germination. Open occasionally to release condensation.

Grow bedding from seed – beeding seedlings growing in a propagator
Grow bedding from seed – beeding seedlings growing in a propagator

Step 5

Prick out the biggest seedlings and pot them on into individul pots, where they can grow without competition.

Grow bedding from seed – pricking out seedlings
Grow bedding from seed – pricking out seedlings
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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.

Red watering can

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Summer bedding plants to sow