Whether you’re new to growing or a seasoned expert, now is the time to sow some seeds, and as long as you keep them under cover, you can do this straight into your Vegepod, no greenhouse required! Whilst some of us are just happy to see our plants sprouting after a few weeks, did you know there are seed-sowing techniques that can help with germination and success for your veg patch?
First Time Seed Sowing Checklist:
If you're new to sowing seeds, here's a checklist of what you'll need to get you started for the first time:
- Multi-purpose compost is usually fine for most seeds, but you should get specialist seed compost, which is useful if you’re sowing very small seeds and for added nutrients needed for germination.
- Sow seeds 1cm-1.5cm deep.
- When you’ve sown your seeds, cover them with a thin layer of compost.
- Make sure to keep the Vegepod covered with the VegeCover and Polytunnel Cover (formerly called the Hothouse or Winter Cover). This is important to protect your seeds and soon to be seedlings from cold winds, frost and snow, but it also creates a micro-climate to enhance their growth. A thin layer of fleece can add extra warmth and protection overnight.
- Keep the compost moist – this is easy with the Vegepod, which comes with a self-watering system. The first time you plant your seeds, you’ll need to give them a good and gentle water using the mist spray. Be careful not to flood or soak your seeds otherwise they will get washed away.
For more information and ideas, check out our Spring planting guide here.
Let’s take a look at a few of the sowing methods that the experts use.
1. Broadcast Sowing
A popular method of seed sowing, broadcast sowing involves spreading lots of seeds over the surface of the soil, increasing the chances of germination. It works best with crops that don’t require thinning, as many will happily germinate. Nearly all plants do well with this method – because you’re spreading many seeds, it should result in a high success rate.
2. Station Sowing
Like stations on a railway, station sowing is about planning the placement of your seeds in a straight line. If you like an organised and methodical vegetable garden, this is the technique for you! Station sowing is excellent for crops that will grow to be on the larger side such as beans, or those that don’t require thinning out. It’s also wallet friendly, as you’re not wasting seeds in the hope that they will germinate. You can even sow multiple seeds in one ‘station’ to maximise your growing success.
3. Drill Sowing
Like station sowing, drill sowing is done in lines but rather than just planting one or two seeds each time, a continuous stream of seeds is sprinkled into a ready-made channel – so the space between the seeds isn’t uniform. The channel depth is determined by the type of seed you’re using. Lettuces and carrots are often sown in this way, at around 13mm deep.
Two weeks into #GrowWithVegepod and we are seeing some fantastic results! Please share your progress with us or tag us into your posts.
Picture: Two weeks after sowing seeds, they come to life! Ahhh the joy.
Growing Tip: Make sure you label your seeds so you don't forget what you've sown! If you're feeling organised, why not draft up a growing grid like ours?
We hope that this has given you some inspiration about what you can start growing in your Vegepod this month, as well as some practical advice about how best to do it. Don’t forget to check out our other blogs for more tips and ideas – and do send us some pictures of your progress!
In the next newsletter, we'll talk next steps for your growing grid, catch cropping and succession sowing!