Spring Seed Sowing

March 09, 2016

{Last year's pickings, a bucket like this once every few days!}
Around this time last year, I wrote this post on creating a mini cutting garden using just a few packets of seeds and some compost. We have both our garden {posts here and here} and the allotment {posts here and here} to utilise for a cutting garden, although this year with moving I think we'll be planting most seeds at the allotment until we've sorted the new garden out! Over the last couple of weekends we've started sorting out all of our packets of seeds {top tip, at the end of summer buy up all the garden centres reduced seeds, all of ours were just 50p per pack, even the Sarah Raven pretties!} and have started planting. This year.. 

... I'm focusing on sweet peas, cosmos, delphiniums, dahlias and daisies! These are just a few packets out of our chest of drawers full of seeds. But I just don't know if we've got room to start everything off right now. Luckily some don't need starting yet like a lot of the summer allotment veg seeds.

Everything is trial and error, last year my larkspur were crap despite putting them in the freezer before sowing like you're meant to. I am trying them again this year but if they don't come to much then bye bye larkspur. 

It really depends on the weather, last year was one of the worst seasons for growing everything and anything across the country. Late April and early May were still very cold which meant seedlings took longer to get going, leaving them more susceptible to pests but when they did get going a hot drought came for a few weeks! Then weeks of wet weather in August. So fingers crossed for a better 2016. 

Whatever the weather though it's still worth sowing some seeds if you have the room. Our loft right now is taken over with propagators filled with compost and seedlings. We've got both flowers and veg seeds to start off. But even just a couple of window sills would be enough to start seedlings off. As long as you have somewhere temperate, not too hot or too cold and with plenty of light, some good seed compost and pots, you can't go wrong. 

In the next house we're planning a greenhouse which will be much easier to start everything off. At the moment we have access to Ben's Mum's greenhouse at the allotment but as we only visit once a week at the moment, and with it still being quite cold and wintry it's easier and better if we start seeds in our loft room to water them regularly etc. So far I've planted sweet peas in deep pots, larkspur, tomatoes, goji berries and brussel sprouts. A random mix to start with but once they've germinated we'll plant the next lot. Cosmos are next on my list, they flower for months in the summer and like sweet peas, you have to keep cutting them to get more flowers. Plus they're super pretty. 

{Sweet peas}
{Last summer's colours. Cosmos and dahlias}
I need to go through my collection and see what else we need to plant soon. Check the back of the packets as they all need sowing at different times. Also check the temperatures for germination, some will need to be warmer than others. And don't be surprised if they take a couple of weeks to appear although others may shoot up straight away. Once they're a bit bigger you'll need to prick them out and transplant them into bigger pots before hardening off at the end of April and then planting out around the start of May once the frost risk has gone. Another tip is once they've germinated to remove them from a heat source or they'll become too leggy too quickly, you want strong growth. And remember to pinch out the tops of sweet peas once they've got 4 leaves. 

Dahlias are another matter completely, onto those next week I think! 

Roll on long summer evenings for picking these pretties again. But yay for Gardener's World being back on our TV screens if you're a fellow flower addict like me. Garden wise it's such a bad time for us to move house! I think the flowers will have to take their chances a bit this summer while we focus on the renovations.

Have a read through last year's post for more cutting garden info. And let me know if you have any questions. You can see all garden and growing related posts here.

R <3 xx 

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