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Sowing seeds in trays

I spent a few hours the other day sowing seeds in trays, which will need to be kept inside as I haven’t got a greenhouse, though I have a cold frame. I am a novice gardener so learning along the way, however I think I have overwatered them. I did what Monty said to do which was to put them in a sink to take the water from underneath, but the soil is now soaking. 

Shall I start again or will the trays dry out. Would it be okay to put them in my cold frame? 

Thanks.



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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,146
    What did you use to sow the seeds in?
    Most seeds do best with a nice gritty mix, so that they don't get waterlogged so easily, and that's best all the way through when potting on, until they're in their final pots. It's very easy for tiny seeds and seedlings to rot if they're kept too wet long term. 
    As long as you don't continue to water them while they're still wet, they should dry out if they're on a sunny-ish windowsill.  :)
    Some plants will cope better than others with wetter conditions, so it also depends on what you're sowing. 
    Whether you can put them in your cold frame will also depend on what they are  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • CrazybeeladyCrazybeelady WarwickshirePosts: 395
    I wouldn't worry too much about the wet soil, it'll probably be ok, just don't water for a bit.  What type of seeds are they?  Will probably depend on the hardiness of the plant as to whether they'll germinate in the coldframe - I would personally keep on a window sill.
  • DaisypicDaisypic Posts: 51
    I planted Cosmos, Zinnia Rudbeckia. Just noticed the Cosmos has already started to sprout, I only planted them the day before yesterday! Thanks all for your reassurance, think I will leave them be and hope they all grow!🤞🤞🤞
  • DaisypicDaisypic Posts: 51
    The Cosmos has already started sprouting but they look a bit leggy, shall I just leave them in the hope they grow into strong plants? What actually causes this, is the soil too moist or are they getting too much light at an early stage? Any advice would be appreciated please? 


  • MessynessyMessynessy Posts: 60
    It’s my understanding that they become leggy when they don’t get enough light so they are reaching up to it too much. 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,577
    Yes, Cosmos have a habit of appearing within a few days and getting quite leggy. If you can keep them in a well lit position and turn the tray a couple of times a day (or if you're at work, as soon as you get back home), that will help to stop them practically falling over.
    As soon as the first true leaves appear, (as opposed to the first pair of seed leaves), you can think about potting them on. When you put them into separate pots, you can bury the stems up to or close to the seed leaves.
  • Kate 7Kate 7 Posts: 141
    Seedlings need a lot of light. Sunniest windowsill needed. Sowing in 3” square pots will take up much less space, I think seed trays are a waste of space and compost.
  • DaisypicDaisypic Posts: 51
    Thanks all for your advice, it’s good to have forums like this as you all have a wealth of knowledge to help us newbies!! 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,146
    Too much heat as well. A light windowsill, but not exposed to lots of sun. That fries seedlings, and causes excess growth too. Something west to north facing will be better.
    Cosmos are quick, as said already, which is a nuisance, but with a bit of attention re the amount of sun, they'll slow a bit, so try and get a happy medium with them, and do as @AnniD describes re turning and future potting on  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DaisypicDaisypic Posts: 51
    They are probably getting too much sun then @Fairygirl as I think some of them look scorched. I didn’t realise there was so much to think about!! 
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