How to sow salad seeds in guttering

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 at its best in April

Plant is 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 To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do 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

You can never have enough salad in summer, but sowing directly into the soil takes up valuable space in the garden. Keep a regular supply handy by sowing seeds in lengths of plastic guttering to transplant to the soil at a later date. Short, 1m lengths are convenient and easy to handle. When the lettuce seeds germinate, you can grow them on for two to four weeks and then simply slide the plants into their growing positions as soon as space becomes available.

You will need

  • Seeds of mixed salad leaves
  • Plastic guttering
  • Fine-tooth tenon saw or hacksaw
  • Gaffa tape
  • Multi-purpose compost
  • Watering can

Total time:

Step 1

Saw the guttering to a manageable size and remove the ends. Replace each end with a large piece of gaffa tape, which will keep the compost in place but can easily be removed when you transplant the seedings into the soil. 


Step 2

Fill the guttering with moist multipurpose compost and gently firm down. Create a shallow drill in the centre of the compost and sow seeds sparingly along it.


Step 3

Use your thumb and forefinger to replace the compost over the seed and firm gently. 


Step 4

Transfer the lengths of guttering to your greenhouse or cold frame, and water the compost with a watering can with a fine rose attached. 


Step 5

Seed should germinate within a few days. Leave to grow on for up to four weeks before planting out into the soil. Don’t forget to keep plants well watered, especially in hot weather. 


Step 6

Your salad leaf seedlings will be ready to transplant when their roots fill the compost in the guttering. Use a garden trowel to make a wide, shallow drill in prepared soil. Then simply remove the gaff tape from one end of the guttering and gently slide the seedlings in place. Water them in thoroughly.


Sow more seeds at two-week intervals to provide a continuous supply of leaves for salads.