How To Sow Seeds

How To Sow Seeds

How To Sow Seeds: Youâ'll be able to grow your own plants from seeds using these helpful hints on how to sow the smallest, most difficult to handle seeds in containers, and get the seedlings to geminate.

Hello. I'm Mike, and welcome to Camden Garden Center. I'm going to give you some help with some gardening advice.

What you need for this are plant labels and a pencil; a proprietary seed compost, and here I'm using John Innes seed compost; if you've got very fine seeds, then you need some dry silver sand; you need the seeds, of course; and a clean seed container. You don't have to use a seed tray. A little plant pot will do as well, OK? So first of all, I'm going to show you how to sow begonia seed.

Begonia is very, very fine. It's like dust. I'll show you.

And it comes in a little sealed container to keep the moisture out, and within that, a little plastic vial. And that's all the seed you get. And what I'll be doing in a minute is mixing that with some silver sand, because it's far too fine to evenly sow by hand.

By mixing it with some sand, you'll be able to distribute the seeds more easily. Now the first thing to do is write your label, and generally what people do is put the name of the plant and the sowing date. So this is a begonia, and it's a cultivar of begonia called "Tomfoolery mixed"and I'm going to put the date on here.

OK. When you're sowing seeds, all seed packets have got very, very helpful instructions on the back of them that tell you when you can sow them, when the plants should be expected to be ready to be planted out, and in this case (it's a flowering plant,) when it comes into flower. And it gives you all the sowing instructions here: the temperatures that the plants need, the types of compost, whether it needs light or dark, and gives you information about watering them as well.

So I'm now going to fill my seed tray with compost, and it's important to use a seed compost, because these composts are clean. They've been pasteurized so that there are no weed seeds in there, or pests, or diseases. If you were to try and use soil from your garden, I'm afraid you'll be importing a lot of weed seeds and pests and diseases, and also the texture of the compost wouldn't be sufficient for sowing seeds.

It would probably set like concrete, whereas these composts have been specially devised to have a good texture. Now I'm just going to flatten that down. Especially fine seeds, it's important to have an even surface on the compost.

If you've got an uneven surface then the seeds will germinate at different rates. So I've left a little gap in the top for watering later on. I'm now going to mix the begonia seeds with some fine sand.

I'll just pour the seeds back into here. See? You don't get a lot. And now some sand, just a little trickle, and now mix that up.

And when you're sowing seeds, you need to sow them as evenly as possible, so I like to put the seeds in my hand like this. And put your hand very near to the surface of the seed tray, and then we just tap it, you see. And I'm moving my hand over the seed tray all the time.

By getting the seeds as evenly spread on the surface of the compost, it means that each little seedling as it emerges has got the same amount of light and moisture that all the other have, and therefore they'll grow at an even rate. If you've got rather thicker areas and thinner areas, then the ones that are sown too thickly, in a little clump, will compete with each other for air and light and they'll grow unevenly. It's important as well not to over sow, because if you put too many seeds in, there are fungal diseases, called damping-off diseases, which attack young seedlings, and often the seed houses which supply the seeds put an abundance of seeds in their seed packets, and you don't necessarily want to use all of them.

So just sow as many seeds as you need to. And the best place to put unused seeds is in the refrigerator. Not in the freezer, but wrap them up and put them in little plastic sealed containers and you can save the seeds until next year.

Different seeds have got different viability, in othe