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Hi peeps, being relatively new to gardening i've been doing a lot of research and reading up, but the more i read the more contradictions i find, here's a few questions... Do broken crocs in the bottom of a plant-pot aid drainage?... Should i soak my sweet pea seeds overnight?...Should i use hormone rooting powder when potting up my cuttings?...Yes would be the accepted answer to those three questions but i've found plenty of reputable sites contradicting the accepted advice, so what is the right advice? or is it more of a whatever works for you kind of thing, no right or wrong answer...



  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    It's partly a case of whatever works for you. Crocks usually help with drainage; I personally don't soak sweet peas any more as it doesn't seem to improve germination for me; and hormone rooting powder may help "difficult" plants, but most do fine without it.

  • Thanks Alina, your explanations do make sense, you weren't a politician in another life were you?..image

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    The crocks idea was all about the old fashioned clay pots -one drainage hole, soil based composts and the crocks stopped the hole blocking

    With plastics pots,more drainage holes and lighter soilless composts, extra drainage is not needed

    Haven't used rooting powder for years- a lot of plants don't need it

    Soaking sweetpea seeds has always been contentious -some do- some don't

    There are no rights or wrongs really- it is just what works for you-gardening is not an exact science.

  • Thanks guys, i guess a lot of it is just down to experience and personal preferences..Darn it's to late to take my rooting gel and powder back to B&Q..

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    As an old gardener I only crock pots where the plants will be in the pot a while, if I know I will be potting on I do not bother.
    I never soak any seed but damp the compost before sowing and let it drain, sow the seed and water in again then leave. I never sow sweet pea seed before February finding it is not worth the bother of looking after them for the extra two or three months then getting the same result in the end.
    Never used hormone powder for years, the correct mix of compost washed sand and grit plus planting cuttings round the edge of the pot will give you as good if not better result.
    Gardening like cooking or maintaining the car are what works for you, I check oil and fluids once a month because I was an engineer, the chap over the road never looks under the bonnet and gets a once a year service, both our cars work and do not let us down (touch wood) so you find a way and stick to it. Ten gardeners will give the same advice only with ten variations on the theme.


  • Yes, conflicting advice must be confusing to those just setting out.

    Soaking sweet pea seeds is unnecessary, as is chipping them, which will probably result in a few expletives, not to mention cut fingers.

    Experience has taught me to just 'crock' pots filled with soil based compost.

    Hormone powder can be useful when taking some cuttings, but not all.

    Because parsley is notoriously difficult to germinate (6 to 8 weeks) I personally think it is a good idea to soak the seeds overnight in warm water before sowing, or alternatively, pour freshly boiled water along the seed drills just before sowing......others may disagree.

    Beetroot is another seed that soaking aids (IMHO) germination. Before sowing I soak the seeds in water for an hour or so. This softens the seedcase & removes any chemicals present which has so far stopped them growing.


  • Thanks for giving me the benefit of your experience guys..


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