From the Potting Shed

KeithRP210512''Keith Houseman
KeithRP210512''Keith Houseman

Most seeds require a fairly warm temperature of around 60-70f for germination at this time of year. Remove any lid covering from the seeds every day to wipe away the condensation.

Once the seeds have begun to germinate, remove the cover completely the seedling can become leggy.

Provide plenty of light, use artificial lights if sowing in early months January, February, or early March.

Trays that are left on window sills should be turned every couple of days and keep the compost moist, use a fine rose or spray- never use water from the water butt as it can contain fungal spores that can cause them to rot in their early stages of growth.

Use main tap water for seeds and for seedlings, add a copper-based fungicide to the water in order to combat damping off diseases.

Seedlings will eventually need potting if they are sown in trays. When they are large enough to handle, pot them into three-inch pots or a module tray using potting compost or multipurpose plus- John Innes No 1 mixed should do the trick.

Remember to hold them by the seed leaves, never the stem when handling, and they must be fully acclimatised to outdoor life before planting outside.

Sowing outdoors has to be done when the soil is dry and warm enough, possibly around April time.

Rake the soil to a fine tilth, use a straight edge or garden line to mark the row, use the edge of the hoe, rake or cane to make the drill groove in the soil.

Sow at recommended widths, cover with soil and water them well. Label the life expectancy of stored seeds because they can range from one year to up to six.

Happy gardening!