Country Living (UK)


Everything you need to know to get the most from your plot

- Words by paula mcwaters

WHATEVER THE EARLY SPRING WEATHER THROWS at us, it’s time to get busy if we’re to have a chance of keeping up with all the jobs that are coming our way. There are borders to be tidied and mulched, cornus and buddleja to be hard pruned and, most pressing of all, flower seeds to be sown. A light, portable potting tray with a wide, flat working surface and high-sided surround is ideal as it can be moved to wherever you have space to work, whether in the shed, greenhouse or even at the kitchen table. Compost mix needs to provide good aeration and free drainage – Dalefoot wool compost for seeds has a good texture (dalefootco­, as does Sylvagrow sustainabl­e growing medium ( Keeping it somewhere warm for a few days before sowing will give seeds a cosier start.

Once everything is to hand, fill clean pots and trays with compost and tamp them down so it sits beneath the rim, then sow seeds onto the surface and cover with a fine layer of horticultu­ral grit, which prevents mosses forming. With tiny seeds, it’s easier if you empty them onto a white plate first. Label, date and very gently water using a watering can with an upward-facing rose. Put them in a cold frame or propagator and keep an eye on them while you wait for results. The promise of things to come.

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