We may still be trying to wave goodbye to winter, but if you’re even remotely green-fingered your thoughts are bound to be turning to what plants you want to grow this year. I’ve already spent a lovely afternoon with the kids planning what to grow on their plots, and a couple of evenings working out what I want to grow in our garden and allotment over the coming months. I’ve done my seed order and now it’s a case of waiting for the weather to oblige – roll on spring!
If you’re going to grow any plants from seed, you can make life easier and increase your chances of success by having the right basic kit before you start. While you’re impatiently waiting to get started on the planting, it’s a good time to review your kit and make any additions if required. Here are my top tips for what you need when it comes to growing seeds.
Basic pots and seed trays in a range of sizes are essential – I never seem to have enough. Please, please try to avoid plastic, there are alternatives widely available now and the more we choose them, the more pressure we create on suppliers to stop using plastic themselves. If you’ve already got a collection of plastic pots, re-use them as much as possible to limit their impact on the environment.
This is a recent addition to my gardening kit, and I really can’t believe I’ve managed for so long without one. It’s a very simple piece of kit which keeps your pots, compost and tools in one place for easy access, with a shelf for smaller items like seed packets and plant markers. It’s light and portable so you can move it around easily and set it up at the right height for the kids to use as well.
You can’t fill pots with compost without one of these – well you can, but your hands will get pretty mucky! Try to choose one with a strong scoop and a smooth handle which feels comfortable in your hand.
If you’re gardening with children, make sure you have some smaller tools that they can handle easily – a trowel and a fork are usually enough. These smaller tools also come in handy for adult use when you’re working on things like small pots; I always pinch Lily’s little trowel for fiddly jobs as it gets the compost just where I want it without so much spillage. Children’s gardening gloves are a must-have too, I’m always quite jealous of the fab patterns they tend to have.
Brilliant for dusting a light layer of compost on top of your seeds.
Unless you want to play a guessing game when your precious seedlings emerge, make sure you label every pot you plant up. You could even get crafty with the kids and make your own plant markers – have a look at my garden craft pinterest board for lots of ideas.
Your seeds will need watering gently to avoid washing them away or damaging young shoots, so you will need a ‘rose’ head attachment on your watering can. This is another area where tools aimed at kids come in handy; I always water seeds and seedlings with Lily’s mini version, you can see just how much use it has had!
I can’t wait to get really stuck into the seed growing for this year. What are your tips for the best kit when growing from seed?