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Veggi patch


I'm new to gardening really and am trying to turn my back garden plots into a veggi garden. In very early April I planted eight rows of seed potatoes 2 carrots 2 beetroot 1 lettuce 1 corn some broccoli some spinach and one or two other rows. I planted from seed as I don't have much time or space. I've seen my mother do it this way too when I was a kid. Anyway, it was very dry for the first 4 weeks so I watered as much as last could although I only had bottles and pans. 

The potatoes have come up really well and I think I should get a decent crop. The problem is that NONE of the seeds have come through even though it has been wet for a few days now. I wondered if I had planted too early and hoped as the soil warmed and/or the rain set in I'd get some seedlings sprouting. 

I'm left wondering if I should give up on the veggi seeds and just plant a load more potatoes or do I wait a week or two to see if anything comes up. What is strange is that NO seedlngs have germinated from probably 2000+ seeds. I thought that even if I had messed up SOMETHING would have come up just by chance if nothing else.

What do you think? Should I wait or plant seeds potatoes? I'm worried that if I plant spuds I might get random veggies springing up everywhere and it becomes a right mess but if I just wait I might end up with just soul and weeds. Could I try planting rows of potatoes in between the rows of seeds? 

The seeds were put in at an ok depth and I would have thought I'd have got a few by chance if I'd done it wrong somehow.

Thanks in advance



  • a1154a1154 Posts: 806

    Hi Ned, you should have posted this in fruit and veg category for lots more response! 

    I would have thought you would have something. It could be a frost, or mice, or maybe a bad batch of seeds (did you buy them? Did you check dates?). You may be over zealous with watering too.

    what is your soil like? Did you try anything to improve it before starting the seeds? 

    if you can see nothing, i would cut my losses, hoe over the area and start again. Look for quick germinating crops. Beans are usually reliable. try some different veg plugs from the garden centre maybe? 

    its not the right time now, but garlic is easy and onion sets are easy. Get some success with something (your potatoes sound great) then try different things, something will go well. Dont give up! 

  • KatfishKatfish Posts: 56


    I've grown veg from seed for years and have just taken over a new bit of allotment.  Similarly I put some seeds in early April (my usual time) and then had that long patch of dry weather.  Not a single seed has germinated from that batch.  But I also put some in seed trays and kept a close eye on those.  Those ones did come.

    It is possible that the soil was not suitable for the seeds, but I suspect the unseasonably dry weather has played a large part in the loss of the seeds.  Usually, even with rubbish soil a few would find their way through.

    Similarly I had to water the seeds (I have never had to do this before for outdoor sowings in April).  But I suspect that this just wasn't right for the seeds to come.

    I always keep some of my seeds back.  Partly so that I can do later sowings and partly just in case something goes wrong.  So now we've had a few days of rainy weather to wetten the soil through I'll be trying some more seeds in the allotment.

    I've never had this happen before so I'm blaming that dry spell.

    If you didn't keep any of the seeds in the packet, then I would get a couple more packets to try again now that we've had some rain.  Perhaps also start growing a few in modular seed trays with seed compost to see how they do.  Once they start they can be transplanted into your garden.

    Good luck, and don't be put off by this.  It was a particularly dry spring.

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,913

    I started growing veg about 7 years ago and in all that time have never had much success direct sowing seeds. I think you need very good soil - very fine - and perfect weather. The ones that germinated rarely made it past seedling stage. Pigeons pulled up the seedlings so I netted them which made it easier for the slugs to wander around with impunity (birds couldn't get them and nor could I easily). Mice and voles dug up pea and bean and corn seeds. So now I start everything in modules either in my teeny polytunnel (known as the 'walk-in cloche') or on shelves around the outside of my Heath Robinson shed. My OH calls my shed 'Catweazle's Den' because it is covered in scavenged bits of shelving and plastic pots and anything else I could adapt to hold seed pots or trays off the ground until they are big enough to survive. From February to May you can't get to our windows for the trays of seedlings on every sill. 

    The only things I 'sow' direct are garlic, potatoes, parsnips and carrots. I have risked a row of beetroot this year but have back ups in modules in case of (usually) total failure. 

    If you're in the UK you could still start again with french beans, chard or beetroot, carrots, lettuce, spinach (you'll need a bolt resistant variety now, or wait until later in the year - it doesn't do well in hot weather). Either in modules or try again in the ground or - my advice - some of each.

    “This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.”
    ― Terry Pratchett
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  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 3,757

    You have to really improve the soil first off, we manure in autumn, more in spring for the beans/peas, I direct sow some, but apart from salad, I found it better to use little module seed trays, grow the stuff a few inches high and then plant out, or i like sarah ravens idea, sow your veg seeds in open plastic guttering then slide the seeds onto the soil.  Unfortunately, its all trial and error.  I have never managed decent carrots here.  Bit late to plant more spuds now. Where abouts are you?

  • KatfishKatfish Posts: 56

    Ooh I like the guttering idea. I never seem to have any when I want it though.

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