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Growing seeds...

Janie BJanie B LincolnshirePosts: 835
I've never really grown from seed, or when I have I've not had too much success, but am going to give it another go. Is there any advantage to planting in seed trays, and then pricking out into individual pots, over planting three or four seeds directly into individual pots (which seems more effort-effective, tbh). When each packet contains 100+ seeds, I'm sure I could chuck the excess out if they all germinate in the pots. Many thanks. 
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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,397
    seeds are all so different in their requirements. What are you trying to grow?
  • Janie BJanie B LincolnshirePosts: 835
    sorry... cosmos to start with, as I've read they're easy!
  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,270
    Yes cosmos are pretty easy to grow and race away very quickly. Make sure they have plenty of light once germinated or they can get very leggy. You could sow at least half a dozen into a small pot, then pot on. The speed they grow, I personally wouldn't sow any until at least March.
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    I agree........end of February at the very earliest would be about the time to start planting seeds........under cover.
    Sunflowers, sweet peas, calendula and dahlias...........I have found to be the easiest to germinate and grow.  While cosmos are great, sometimes they don't flower until very late in the season.
    Good luck!!
  • Some plants need a long growing period, chillies for example, also onions. A lot of perennial flowers if sown early, will flower the same year, if sown in Spring you have to wait until the following year.

    The main problem with sowing early is space, temperature control and lack of natural light. Cosmos germinate very quickly but soon become very leggy and spindly and then do not make strong plants for moving outside.

    Most seed will keep for a couple of years, parsnips being an exception. You should buy fresh parsnip seed each year. If you do not need 1,000 seedlings of one plant just sow a small pinch in a pot and then pot on individually when two proper leaves have formed, not the first two seed leaves. Seed trays are fine but the seedlings need to be potted on much earlier than if sown in deeper pots as there is no depth of soil for the roots to grow. I like modular trays as each one can be popped out easily with minimum root disturbance. 

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,016
    Seeds often fail because they are planted too deep especially small ones. As a rule of thumb cover them no more than their own depth with compost or vermiculite etc. Small seeds soon run out of energy if they can't get their first leaves up to the light & start making food quickly. 
    AB Still learning

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,951
    There are a lot of seeds you don’t cover at all, foxgloves for one. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Janie BJanie B LincolnshirePosts: 835
    Thanks for all your tips... very useful! X
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,016
    Lyn said:
    There are a lot of seeds you don’t cover at all, foxgloves for one. 
    Absolutely, some need the light, so you have to know the conditions required according to what you are sowing.
    AB Still learning

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,951
    Veronica’s need dark, so shut away in a cupboard.  They all need different treatments. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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