Be prepared, some jobs you will need to do before you can start planting.
Buy your seeds, if this is your first time growing an edible garden, check our Hertitage Seed Collection for recommendations of what to grow.
Think about what to grow, its easy to get overwhelmed when choosing seeds, start with the things you like to eat, its so much more exciting growing something you know well, especially when it tastes better than its ever tasted before You can move onto the exotic and unusual later.
Calculate your sowing dates, a little planning here will set you up for a successful season ahead.
Organise your supplies so that you are ready to plant.
What you'll need, my top tips.
Containers, seeds can be sown in a variety of containers, but our Living Larder raised planters are the best.
Soil, the best material for germinating seeds is a high-quality organic compost. Prepared compost is free of disease causing contaminants often present in garden soil.
Labels, don’t forget to label what you’ve planted to avoid confusion, especially if you need to transplant your seedlings, I use lolly sticks for mine.
Seed Covers, you will need to cover your seeds after planting to retain warmth and moisture, essential to help delicate seeds germinate and thrive. Our Cloches are designed to fit your Living Larder raised garden or can be used as a row cover in your vegetable garden. If you are planting indoors a sheet of clear plastic will speed up the germination process.
Water, room-temperature water is best. Watering needs to be gentle so that you do not disturb the seeds or damage seedlings. A watering can that has a spray nosel is ideal.
Light Source, growing seedlings calls for steady, consistent light. Choose a sunny spot that has bright sun for most of the day.
Jump start your seedlings, and beat the great British weather.
To give your seeds a jump start on the growing season you can start them indoors in containers or if you have a conservatory sow directly into your Living Larder raised planter and lift it outside when the weather warms.
Fill your container or Living Larder with compost lightly packed and moistened.
Use a pencil to press holes into the compost at the correct depth for your seeds (you will find this information on the back of the seed packet). If you have been given seeds and don’t have instructions, a good tip is to cover the seeds to a depth equal to four times their diameter.
Then add one to two seeds per hole spaced about 10cm apart.
Cover lightly with compost.
Label each row with the plants name and the sowing date.
Now carefully water the compost.
To speed up the germination process cover the compost with a plastic sheet, if you are using a small container you can place the whole container into a plastic bag.
Place your container into a warm draft free place until the seeds germinate, you don’t need a light source until they begin to sprout.
If your containers are well insulated you probably won’t need to water them again until your seeds sprout, when you move them into a sunny area to continue growing.
It typically takes 7 to 14 days for your seeds to sprout. When you see sprouts emerging, remove the plastic and move your containers to a draft free place where there is plenty of light.
If you are using a Living Larder raised garden now is the time to use your Cloche.
If your containers are too far away from the light your seedlings will have to reach for the light and this will cause them to be leggy and weak. Rotate your container from time to time to ensure the light is reaching them evenly.
Check your seedlings daily to make sure that the soil is moist (not wet).
When your plants are well established and the weather has warmed you are ready to move them outside. If you are using a Living Larder raised planter then move the complete garden outside to a sheltered sunny spot, you can keep using your Cloche until the days are warmer, and even then it is a good idea to use at night.