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Have I really messed up?


As the username states, this is my first ever garden - always lived in flats before. My father was a keen gardener but it doesn’t seem genetic unfortunately.

I bought some troughs to sow two different varieties of lettuce - one cos and one babyleaf. I put in some John Innes No. 1, moistened it, and sowed the seeds on top before sprinkling over some dry compost.

I have been trying to keep it fairly moist and have a grow house that it’s been transferred to at night with some fleece to ensure it doesn’t freeze.

However, the compost seems clumpy (I kind of raked through it with my fingers before sowing) and most of the seeds seem to have risen to the top?! Have I completely messed this up? I don’t have any seeds to start again so wondering if I can perhaps declump the soil some more without damaging anything that could be potentially growing underneath - although I doubt anything is! I sowed them on Sunday, so would it be okay to play around with them 4 days later? 


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    edited March 2020
    I would leave it alone and just sprinkle a bit more compost over any exposed seeds, just enough to cover them.  If you start re-mixing the compost now, any seed buried more than about half inch deep will not grow.  Good luck with them. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,737
    I agree with @BobTheGardener (as usual). 
    Good luck  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,433
    When you need to water them, use a hand spray mister thing (technical term😉)
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,343
    or water from underneath, soak them in a tray without drainage holes
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,155
    I'd agree with all the advice.
    Sometimes the compost forms a little 'crust' too, so just be vigilant with the watering.
    As @B3 says - sometimes using a little spray bottle can be easier to avoid flooding the compost, which also has the effect of sending all the seeds to one end!
    Once you have some germinated and growing on, you can let some stay in the troughs, to use as 'cut and come again' salad, and take some out  to mature into full plants.
    You can pot those up separately, depending on what you have to put them in, or plant into the ground if it's suitable.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you all so much for your help! Have sprinkled on another thin layer and will water as advised from now on! I’ll grow some green thumbs yet haha.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,332
    No seeds left, sort of indicates that you’ve sown the whole packet,  bear in mind, do you want 500 lettuces all ready to eat in the same week,  best to sprinkle a few seed each week, that way you won’t have any waste. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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