Posted: 16 March 2021
February and March are great months for starting seeds off indoors, especially with the temperatures being too cold to directly sow outside still. A propagator is perfect for this if you have one. However, a windowsill that is warm and bright can also offer an excellent spot for sowing seeds.
What You’ll Need
Preparing your Container
Fill your container with seed compost. At Smith’s we stock Seed and Cutting Compost* perfect for sowing into. Starting with a fresh compost will help ensure healthy seedlings.
Sowing your Seeds
Now you can sprinkle your seeds evenly over the surface of your compost. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, the smaller the seed, the less soil you will need. You’ll need to double check on the seed packet though, as some larger seeds prefer to be buried into the soil. You can also cover your seeds with Vermiculite and add Perlite to the compost for drainage.
Using a mister or a small watering can, moisten the newly planted seeds. Using a plant label, write out the name of the plant with its variety and place it in the seed tray.
Covering your Seeds
If you can, cover the seeds with clear plastic in order to maintain temperature for germination. This will also help to keep the moisture in. If you have a propagator, it usually comes with its own lid – perfect for this!
Remove the cover as soon as your seeds have germinated – You’ll be able to see little seedlings growing out of the compost. You can continue to grow them on indoors at this stage. However, if they are at a window, you may need to move them during the night to a warmer environment as early March temperatures can still be very low at times.
Your young plants will be ready to ‘pricked out’ when the second pair of leaves emerge. Pricking out is when you move a young plant into a larger pot in order for it to grow bigger.
When pricking out, be sure to handle the plants with their leaves rather than the stem, and plant them into a new container about 5cm apart. Bury them up to the base of their first pair of leaves.
When pricking out/growing on, the seedlings need to be kept on the dryer side. They will rot quickly if they are too wet. Ones to keep an eye on are cucumbers and peppers.
After a couple of weeks, your young plants will be ready to be potted on into their own individual pots or outside as temperatures will be much milder. When repotting, handle the plant with care, and firmly press the compost around them.
*currently awaiting our next delivery