How to sow salad seeds in guttering

How to sow salad seeds in guttering

Old lengths of guttering can make the perfect seed-sowing medium for crops such as salad leaves. We reveal all.

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

Sowing seed of salad leaves in lengths of guttering can help keep your seedlings safe from slugs and snails, and enable you to transplant the whole row into the soil as and when soil space becomes available. Short, 1m lengths of guttering are convenient and easy to handle. When the salad seeds germinate, simply grow them on for two to four weeks and then slide the plants into their final growing positions.

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You Will Need

  • Salad seeds
  • Lengths of guttering
  • Hand saw
  • Duct tape
  • Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
  • Watering can with rose attachment

Step 1

Adding Gaffa tape to the end of guttering
Adding Gaffa tape to the end of guttering

Saw the guttering to a manageable size and remove any 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

Sowing salad leaf seeds in multi-purpose soil
Sowing salad leaf seeds in multi-purpose soil

Fill the guttering with moist, peat-free, multi-purpose compost and gently firm down. Create a shallow drill in the centre of the compost and sow seeds sparingly along it.

Step 3

Covering the seeds with compost
Covering the seeds with compost

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

Step 4

Watering the compost
Watering the compost

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

Salad seedlings growing in guttering
Salad seedlings growing in guttering

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

Step 6

Transplanting the whole row of salad seedlings in one go
Transplanting the whole row of salad seedlings in one go

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.

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

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