Sowing herbaceous seeds

Seeds should be sown in pans (dwarf pots) or seed trays, depending on the quantity of seed available. If the seeds are slow to germinate, fill the container with a loam-based compost, which will maintain its structure over a long period despite being exposed to natural weather conditions. Peat-based compost will suffice for seeds sown in spring.

Firm the compost to the corners and the base of container; then strike off the compost.

Compost Presser Board

4 Firm the seeds gently into the compost with a presser board.

5 Cover seeds with grit or sieved compost, according to their requirements.

6 Strike off grit until it is level with the rim of the container.

With a pressor board, firm the compost to in below the rim. If seeds are large, station sow at recommended spacing. Otherwise, broadcast sow the seeds. After sowing, firm them into contact with the compost; then cover with grit if they are to stand out for the winter, or with sieved compost if germination will occur quickly. Label the container and water in the seeds. Stand out on any well-drained surface, if the seeds need chilling. Otherwise place container in a warm (2T'C/70°F) environment.

Seedlings of herbaceous plants are susceptible to the various damping-off diseases. It is therefore important to water the emerging seedlings at regular intervals with a dilute solution of Captan or a copper fungicide.

As soon as herbaceous plant seedlings are large enough to handle prick off into individual pots.

1 Heap some compost into a container. Firm gently; then strike off level with rim.

2 Firm compost to within fin of rim using a presser board.

3 Station sow large seeds at recommended spacing. Broadcast sow small seeds.

7 Label container. Water in seeds. Stand container out on well-drained surface.

8 Apply fungicide to emerging seedlings at regular intervals.

9 Prick out seedlings into individual pots once they can be handled.

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Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

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