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Planting seeds, very confusing

I am not a very good gardener, have tried to learn and must admit a lot of plants have thrived but more luck than expertise I think. This year I decided to try my hand at planting seeds for herbs and flowers in pots and planters for my patio.  Think I have taken on more than I can chew.  Ordered various seed trays, pots and containers and loads of seeds and am now completely baffled. 

Have googled for help but even just for one seed 'basil' it says plant indoors March to May, Jan to April, Feb to April.  Planting outside ranges from May to July and time for seeds germinating varies from 7 to 18 days.

That is before I even consider the pots, I have got cardboard ones that break down, open seed trays and ones segregated into small pots.

Is this as complicated as it seems to me in which case I think I will give away to someone more experienced or is there a simple way of explaining all this, have watched loads of you tube videos but they offer differing advice

Would really welcome some basic very simple advice


  • Thank you B3.  I will give it a go.  Would really like to get it right but with garden it was hit and miss and seemed to work.  Seeds I am not so sure
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,955
    What seeds have you got?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • gjautosgjautos Posts: 427
    Gardening should be enjoyable. Try not to worry too much about 'getting things right'. I love my garden but some would say it is horrid. I've had more failures than successes with seeds, but it really doesn't matter. The fun is in the trying😊
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,350
    It's not rocket science. It's more like whatever you do, it will work, more or less. Basil dislikes cold - sow 4-6 weeks before it would be reasonable to move it outside in your area. If you are too soon, keep it inside. If you are too late, nothing happens, you just will have basil later. It's even easier from cuttings - if you have shop-bought basil, place some stems in a glass of water, they will grow roots in one to two weeks.
  • The dates given on the packs are the range of dates you can use.  Something like basil can be sown and grown in small batches to get a succession over several months. Seeds sown in April should be ready to plant out in late May / June & harvested a few weeks later. Another batch sown in late May will be 6-8 weeks later  and so on across the  season.  As the season ends and the days start to shorten the time from sowing to harvest gets longer until the weather becomes too cold to grow any more.  
    Hope this helps. 
    AB Still learning

  • Thanks for all your replies.  Have filled all my trays and pots with soil and trying to work out now which ones to plant first. 
    Have got every herb I can think of a few packets of flowers.  Fingers crossed things go ok. 
    Am bound to get something from all this as I have thousands of seeds
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,955
    Good luck. You only need a small proportion of the seeds to actually grow or you'll be begging people to relieve you of the plants😉
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • HeliosHelios Posts: 212
    Another word of advice. I find it’s better to not sow immediately into cold compost at this time of year but to fill the pots then bring them indoors to raise the temperature a bit (or use tepid water to dampen the soil ). Keep us updated.
  • Thanks for advice about the compost.  I do not have a greenhouse so have moved a shelving unit into a corner of my kitchen where I will keep them till weather gets better.  Does'nt look great haha but is only for a couple months.  If I succeed will let you know but if nothing grows I will just keep quiet :)
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