February is here and that means we are getting ever closer to the start of the 2023 gardening season. Whilst there are still lots of jobs to be done and preparations to be made, we are all most definitely excited for the spring sunshine to arrive.
Spring is always full of excitement and promise, those green shoots bursting through the soil and the spring flowers adding colour again to the bare earth, spring must always bring a smile to the face of any gardener.
As we head through January and into February, we can start to look at seed sorting and even some seed sowing at home. There are lots of different types of flower and vegetable seeds that you can sow at home in February and March as the longer daylight hours appear.
With the weather still being cold and the risk of frost high in the UK normally until the end of April or start of May in some areas of the UK, all the seed sowing will be done inside where it’s a little bit warmer.
You can start seeds off inside your home either on a warm sunny facing windowsill, in non-heated or heated propagators. The earlier you start you seeds the more help the seed will need, so if you decide to sow any seeds in February and March you will ideally need to use a non-heated or heated propagator. If you don’t have this equipment, it is ok to wait until the end of March to sow the majority of your seeds when the weather is warmer and daylight hours are longer. You can then just sow seeds directly into pots/cells on your windowsills without the need of propagators.
Seeds to start sowing in February:
- Sweet peas
- Broad beans
Seeds to start sowing in March:
- Salad seeds- lettuce, radish and spring onion
Seeds to start sowing at the end of March-April:
- Salad seeds- lettuce, radish and spring onion
- Runner beans
- French beans
How to sow your seeds:
Choose your seeds and make sure the labels are written out to start with so you can label the pots straight away, this will save an mix up with the seeds.
Fill up and trays and pots with seed & cutting compost and leave around a 1cm gap to the top of the pot.
*Top tip* is to leave your bag of seed and cutting compost inside your house for around 24-48 hours to allow it to warm up slightly from it being stored out in sheds and garages. This will really help when it comes to the germination of the seeds as the seeds love the warmth.
If you are sowing Chilli’s, Aubergines, sweet peas and cornflowers I would sow 1-2 seeds per cell or small pot. The seeds can be very small and delicate so make sure you are careful when sowing.
Gently press a small dint into the top of the soil with the tip of your finger. Sow your seeds in the little dint made at the top of pot and then cover them with a thin layer of compost on top and gently pressed down.
*Top tip* When you have finished sowing seeds pop the pots in a tray and in their final growing positions on a sunny windowsill. The seeds will need a very gently sprinkling of water to help get them started, make sure at this point you use warm water from the tap, not cold water and this will help aid germination of the seeds as they like the warmth.
The onion seeds can be sown with multiple seeds in one pot and once they are big enough to handle these seedlings they can be split and transplanted into other pots or the straight into ground.
The reason chillies and aubergines are sown 1 or 2 seeds per pot is so they can establish good root systems first, so they won’t be disturbed too much when transplanting them into bigger pots.
*Top tip* peat free compost naturally retains more water in the soil than normal peat-based composts so you may need to water your seeds and plants a little less than normal.
Seed sowing is a wonderful therapeutic gardening job and a great way to get the gardening season started. We will be following up this blog with more information about repotting your seedlings and planting on seedlings/plug plants into your gardens.
Please find more information below about our Brand-New Peat Free Seed and Cutting Compost, we can’t wait to see what you will grow with it in your gardens and on your allotment plots. Tag any of your photos on our Instagram and Facebook pages with the hashtag #rocketgrowers showing us what you are growing using our range of Rocket Gro products to be in with a chance of winning a monthly prize.
Our brand-new product for 2023 is our Peat Free Seed and Cutting compost with added John Innes, perfect for sowing and propagation.
This compost has a silky fine texture and is a bio-active Organic professional grade product that is the perfect stage 1 compost ideal for propagation. Perfect for seedlings/pricking out, cuttings, seed sowing and young plants due to its supportive structure and gentle amount of N:P:K it is 100% peat free and ready to be planted into. The compost has the right structure and fibre content to provide the ideal amount of water retention and air balance to allow a strong health root structure to develop. The Bio-activity adds natural microbes, for better early root and plant growth. The compost is a blend of our soil improver and finely screened composted green waste produced locally from known certified material sources, John Innes, wood chip and bark fines.