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Growing from seed without potting on?

ShepsSheps Posts: 2,105

Morning everyone...this will be my first year of growing plants from seed, and I was wondering if you can do this without potting on, as in plant the seed in a larger pot to start with?

Or, is the potting on stage a fundamental part of the growing process?



  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,645

    Generally speaking, potting composts for seed sowing are very low in nutrients but are otherwise designed to be a good medium for germination.   Many seeds are so small it's difficult to sow thinly enough to give them space to grow and spread their roots.

    Potting on into compost with more nutrients and into  a cell or small pot which gives them space to grow on and get strong is therefore a tried and tested way to grow new plants.  It also lets you discard the weak and spindly ones.   Sometimes babies need potting on again until they're big enough to cope outside in the borders or the weather is suitable if they're a bit tender.

    Even plants with big seeds like sweet peas, beans, squashes which can be sown into individual pots or root trainers need potting on to give them room and food to grow.

    Last edited: 20 February 2018 10:53:56

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    I normally sow seed in a seed tray if I have a lot or just into a pot. They are then pricked out into another seed tray and once they have outgrown that, I will pot them on singly. I do have a couple of big seed trays that are double the normal depth and usually use them for cosmos rather than potting singly. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • ShepsSheps Posts: 2,105

    Thanks both, great information and advice, looks like I now need to buy seed trays image

  • LynLyn Posts: 22,870

    Depends how many of each plant you want, I use muller rice/yogurt pots, about 20 seeds of a 100 or more different varieties. You can save little meat trays or similar, no need for expensive seed trays. 

    I sow runner beans and sweet peas in root trainers, I don’t use seed compost so they stay in that until they’re ready to plant out. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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  • FireFire Posts: 17,363

    I use rolled up layers of newspaper to make long seed pots. It works pretty well. You can put the whole little pot into the soil when the roots are well developed.

  • LynLyn Posts: 22,870
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,718

    I use saved plastic meat and mushroom trays, the ones everything from the supermarket seems to come in, If I had unlimited space I would probably sow into large pots, but it's just not feasible for me to do. I don't think it would harm the plant in anyway however, after all most things that can be direct sown do better if they are.

  • LynLyn Posts: 22,870

    Reported the free advertisement! 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FireFire Posts: 17,363

    But useful to know about them

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