Sowing Seeds | Allotment Gardening

Sowing Seeds

Sowing in seed trays
Fill the tray with compost to ¼ inch from the top, and lightly firm the surface level, a wooden block is useful here, about the size of a cigarette packet.

Water the surface of the compost with a fine rose fitted to a watering can,and allow the tray to drain.

Sow the seeds on the surface of the compost, either broadcasting evenly or spacing larger seed individually. Lightly cover the seeds with sieved compost to about the same depth as the seed is wide.
If the compost is particuly dry, use a small hand spray to water the surface, taking care not to wash the seeds out of place.

Some seeds need light to germinate, in this case don’t cover with compost but give a extra attention to spraying the surface.

18-01-10_1154Cover the seed tray with a purpose made plastic propagator lid or a piece of glass to keep in the moisture.


Sowing in Cells
Cells are moulded plastic trays that fit into a standard seed tray. These are ideal for sowing larger seeds.

Seed Tray InsertSeed Tray Insert seeds sownSizes:
40 cell tray, Each cell is approx 1″x1″,
24 cell tray, Each cell is approx 2″x2″,
15 cell tray, each cell is approx 3″x3″,

Cell trays are filled the same as a seed tray,  a hole the same depth as the seed to be sown is made in the middle of each cell. The seed is then covered with compost and the whole tray well watered.

Sowing in individual pots
This is very similar to sowing in cells, but ideal if there are only a few seeds or the seedling needs individual care/watering. I use black 3×3 inch square pots, as these provide the seedling enough room to develop for a few weeks after germination.

Sowing out Doors
Before sowing seeds where the are to mature the ground needs to be prepared. Remove any stones and break down large lumps of soil, rake over the area to give a smooth surface and a fine tilth.
Draw out a seed drill about half inch deep with a stick or the edge of a hoe, small seeds are sprinkled thinly and evenly along the row. Larger seeds can be individually space sow a few inches apart by hand.

Rake soil back over the seeds, lightly firm the soil along the row with the back of the rake. Water the seeds well, taking care not to wash them out of the drill.

Successful Seed Sowing:

  • Use fresh compost and clean trays/pots.
  • label the seeds, variety name and date sown.
  • Never let them dry out.
  • Don’t over water them.