The most popular and common method of propagation is by seed. In most cases, we allow our plants to set seed in situ once the blooms have gone over. However, this is not always a feasible and sought-after, as we lose control with the number of flowers that develop in that area and plants that self-seed often become invasive to companion plants. If we do not wish for our plants to self-seed and we aim to regain control of where our plants are positioned, it is best to collect seeds before the flowers fade.
Sowing seed indoors enables you to raise seedlings during early spring, creating larger and stronger plants to fill empty spaces as they arise.
Step 1 – Fill either seed trays or pots with compost, leaving half an inch from the top of the pot. Water well to moisten, taking care not to saturate.
Step 2 – Place seeds onto the surface of the compost leaving sufficient growing room between each seed. Apply a thin layer of compost to cover and settle your seeds into position.
Step 3 – Place your pots or trays into a large and clear polythene bag as this will act as miniature greenhouse, conserving moisture and place in a well-lit area and temperate environment.
Step 4 – Once you start to see your seeds emerge from the surface of the compost, remove the polythene bag and continue to keep in a warm environment indoors. When you start to see several leaves form, your seedlings are ready to be ‘pricked out’.
Step 5 – Prick out seedlings with care and lift by the leaves. Transplant into a seed tray with compost and submerge your seedlings where the compost is level with the base of the young leaves.
Step 6 – After a fortnight in new seed trays, your plants should be large enough to transfer into 7-9cm pots where they should be treated like ordinary young plants. Keep in pots for 4-6 weeks where they will grow to a suitable size and strength to plant straight out into the garden.
The warmth the coincides with summer enables you to grow seeds directly into the ground outdoors, subject to the ground being weed free, well dug and raked.
Step 1 – Create a shallow ditch in the soil where you wish to position your seeds. If you wish to create a perfect straight line, use a suitable tool with act as a guide when creating the ditch.
Step 2 – Sow seeds in the lowest part of the ditch, spacing them at an appropriate space apart, taking into consideration the mature spread of the plants.
Step 3 – Take soil from either side of the ditch and fill in the planting hole, breaking up any clumps as you do so. Firm the soil in place and water thoroughly. Keep soil moist as your seed starts to germinate, removing debris and weeds.
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