Some books tend to make sowing sound unnecessarily complicated, so many novice gardeners prefer to buy trays of seedlings from the nursery. There’s nothing wrong with doing this but it can never equal the sheer joy of a garden filled with flowers and vegetables that you have sown yourself.
There are three reasons for disaster:
Buy the right seeds, store them correctly.
The seeds of most annual and perennial garden flowers, herbs and vegetables are sold at nurseries, hardware stores and supermarkets. They offer excellent value for money because, thanks to one packet of tomato seeds, a family of four can give the supermarket’s tomato shelf a miss for at least one season. If you want a carpet of colour in your flowerbeds, it’s much cheaper to sow annuals such as alyssum, marigolds, summer vygies, cosmos and cornflowers yourself. Some flower types for example devil-in-the-bush (Nigella ‘Persian Jewels’, also known as love-in-the-mist and fennel flower) and Irish bells can only be sown.
Seed packets are swopped on store shelves according to the growing season to ensure the seeds are fresh. The packets carry handy information about the sowing time and depth, the plant position and correct distance between plants, and about whether the seeds can be sown in boxes or directly into a flowerbed.
Words and image: Home magazine