- Fill seed tray or pot with compost, gently firm to eliminate air pockets, water and allow to drain before sowing.
- Place or scatter (depending on seed size) seed thinly over surface.
- Sieve layer of compost over seed. Do not cover exceptionally fine seed.
- Water with fine rosed watering can or stand in water until compost darkens.
- Label with crop and date of sowing.
- Stretch line across intended row.
- Take out a drill by using the corner of a hoe against the line, making a V-shaped drill (For very fine seed the end of a bamboo cane will provide a deep enough drill).
- Water the bottom of the drill and allow to drain.
- Sow seeds very thinly and regularly along it.
- Gently cover the seeds with soil
Crop Protection and supports:
- plastic bottles
- glass lantern
- plastic bells
- Cold frames
- fine netting
- shading mesh
- Leaf mulch
- Root collars
- Pea sticks
- Bamboo canes
- chicken wire
- Root crops: thinning out / keep soil weed free and moist / water dry spells / employ measures to minimise crop specific pests and disease.
- Brassicas: cool weather crop than tends to bolt during hot dry spells / water transplants daily and mature plants once a week during dry spell / cover crop with fleece to prevent butterflies laying eggs / watch for slugs, snails, aphids and whitefly / hand pick off crop or employ necessary control.
- Alliums: after dry spell / keep soil weed free / maintain good air circulation around plants / seedlings more susceptible to onion fly damage then sets.
- Legumes: keep soil weed free / mulch / no need to water before flowering, unless plants are wilting / water generously when flowering starts to encourage pods to set / pinch out growing tips when top of supports.
- Fruiting crops: water well during flowering and fruit development / Cordon tomatoes need tying and sideshoots removed / pinch out growing tip of aubergines and peppers for compact growth / apply liquid fertilizer when fruit set.
To see a full list of all our handy fact sheets click here