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First Time Sower

In three weeks time I've got a week off to get the spring grunt work done and for the first time since growing cress at school, I'm going to have a crack at planting some seeds. I figured it could help fill some space whilst waiting for the shrubs to grow as they're quite young.

I'm going to be growing them in these which I'm going to be keeping in this as I don't have a proper greenhouse.

The ones I have are:

Calendulas: Playtime, Coffee Cream, Touch of Red
Sunflower: Magic Roundabout
Amaranthus: Hot Biscuits
Thunbergia: African Sunset, Sunset Shades
Rudbeckia: Sahara
Molucccella Laevis
Panicum: Frosted Explosion.

 I'd love some advice when it comes to growing seeds to improve my chances of success.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,450
    The only thing I'd say is that - that plastic cloche isn't going to have much room in it.
    You'll only get a handful of pots in there. 
    You'd be better getting something bigger. The plastic greenhouses aren't great, but you can get them with several shelves for not much more money, and you'd then have more room if all the seed you sow germinates. It all has to get pricked out and potted on, and that's where the problems lie. They don't offer much warmth - just protection from rough weather  - as long as you tie them down well enough  ;)
    Unless you really want something fancy, those seed trays are pretty expensive too. Most supermarkets and diy places sell similar things for a few quid.  :)
    Or - any pots or containers  will do too - and you can use poly bags or plastic bottles cut in half as mini cloches.  The trays you buy meat in are good as trays for under pots too:)

    The sunflowers could just be sown later outside to save room.  :)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Strangely they fit in more than I'd expected. At the moment, this is what I have in there.

    I do have two of them although there's only one real spot that's big enough, sheltered enough and doesn't restrict hedgehog access (please excuse the untidiness 😂).

    Unfortunately that's also the only spot in the garden where I can put seating so I can't put anything bigger in there because it'll need to be put away in my small and already jampacked shed once the weather gets warmer. I'm pretty certain one of the taller plastic greenhouses would also prove too much of a temptation for local cats jumping down from the fence. I can just imagine one of them thinking it's secure to jump on and then finding out that it isn't, sending the contents all over the place! Wouldn't be surprised if the little sods scratched the sheeting either. I did look to see if I could find any small shelves because the height of the pop up greenhouses I have do mean there's a lot of wasted space in there. Admittedly I don't think I looked all that hard 😳 

    How do you think a fleece jacket would fare over the top? I do have some spare.

    Life would be so much easier if my garden were bigger!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,450
    You'll have to be very sparing with the amount of seeds you sow. There's a current thread about sowing, and you'll see by the posts the problem re having adequate room for growing plants on.
    If you have 6 seeds germinating, you'll need 6x 3inch pots within a short while, and if they outgrow those before the weather is suitable to have them outdoors with no protection, you'll then need room for 6x 4 or 5 inch pots. That's where the problems lie.  :)
    If you have very little room, it's probably better to wait until it's warm enough that you can sow some of the seed and keep it outside, or at least sow them undercover but late enough that they can then be grown on outside. Most of those aren't hardy annuals, which makes it more difficult because they need protection for much longer, even in warmer areas of the country.
    If you even had a simple shelf you could put inside, that would give you another tier. A bit of wood on bricks would do.
    I've never used fleece. I don't grow many half hardy plants, but if I do, I don't sow until much later [on a windowsill] so that I don't have to faff around with them. By the time they would be ready to go in the wee greenhouse to grow on, it would be too late because I'd have the tomatoes in there.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks 🙂 I'll postpone it for a month, I also have Easter week off 😁
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,450
    It might be worth getting some hardy annuals - nasturtiums or something. They're nice and easy, and you wouldn't have to worry about conditions so much. 

    You'll get lots of suggestions if you start a thread asking for ideas.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I'm limited by my colour scheme as I've gone for copper so creams, oranges yellows and browns but nothing too bright. I'm trying to stick more to muted shades as I've got Helenium Moerheim Beauty which is lovely but a bit bolder than I'd intended. Can't bring myself to pull it up though, the bees love it too much. 

    I've told myself I'm not allowed to buy any more seeds this year so an ideas thread will have to be put on hold. I don't need any more temptation this year!
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