If you’re a green-fingered person you will know all about the benefits of growing from seed. Some plants will simply take better to being grown straight from seed into the soil, it’s cheaper, you’ll know exactly where your plant has come from, and most of all it’s enjoyable to raise it.
If you would like to learn more about growing from seed then we have good news for you. We’ve called in some expert help from, Alys Flower. Read on to hear her tips…
Alys’ top tips when growing from seed
– You can grow anywhere! Turn take-away cartons into seed trays (punch holes in the base), or cut the bottoms of large, clear plastic drinks bottles to improvise as small cloches
– Interested in growing herbs? Start with a small herb garden and plant oregano, thyme and sage in a sunny spot.
– On a warm windowsill, sow seeds of tender herbs such as basil and coriander and plant out when large enough, after the last frosts.
– Chives can be sown directly into the garden when the soil has warmed up or divide large pots to use as path edging.
– Spring is the best time to start to sow hardy annuals such as love-in-the-mist, cornflowers and marigolds, scattering directly into open ground. For a succession of flowers all summer long, sow at fortnightly intervals for a period of eight weeks.
– Early outdoor sowings will germinate quicker if covered with a layer of horticultural fleece, cloches or even a pane of glass propped up on bricks.
– When you sow salad varieties such as ‘Salad Bowl’ you’ll be cutting leaves within a few weeks. Germinate them on a sunny windowsill, hardening off in a cold frame once 5cm (2in) high, before planting them in warm, open ground.
– Establish self-seeding plants such as Granny’s bonnets, alchemilla, honesty, opium poppies and sweet rocket. Scatter seed onto bare soil in early spring or autumn and they will return unbidden year-on-year.
Alys Flower: Fact File
Alys Fowler, is an author and TV presenter, who loves everything about growing from seed, whether it be edible flowers or crops. When talking about her garden we learnt that Alys initially planted quite a few perennials such as oriental poppies, astrantias, centaureas and sedums, but they gradually disappeared as more vegetables appeared. She shared: ‘Each year, my friends tell me my garden looks different, but that’s inevitable when you grow a lot of annuals.’