Simple guide to sowing different types of seed

Sowing seeds is something that some gardeners avoid, but it’s easy when you know how. You just need to give seeds the right conditions, and they’ll germinate.

Germination is triggered by the correct combination of light levels, temperature and moisture – get these right, and the seed will start to grow.
We show you when and where to sow all kinds of seeds, indoors and outdoors, in this sowing guide.

1.Hardy annuals
Including: calendula, cornflower, nasturtium, poppy, sunflower, sweet pea.
Sow under glass: Feb-Mar (soil temp 8-12°C).
Sow outdoors: Mar-April (soil temp 6-12°C).

2.Hardy salads and veg
Including: beetroot, broad bean, chard, lettuce, pea, spring onion, radish, rocket.
Sow under glass: Feb-April (soil temp 10-18°C).
Sow outdoors: March-Sep (soil temp 8-18°C).

3.Half-hardy flowers
Including: cosmos, lobelia, morning glory, nicotiana, snapdragon.
Sow under glass: Mar (soil temp 16-24°C) – seeds must be sown indoors.

4.Tender perennials
Including: begonias, dahlia, fuchsia, heliotrope, pelargonium, salvia.
Sow under glass: Jan-Feb (soil temp 18-24°C) – must be sown under cover.

5.Frost-tender veg
Including: aubergine, chillies, courgette, French/runner bean, pepper, pumpkin, sweetcorn, tomato.
Sow under glass: April (soil temp 16-28°C).
Sow outdoors: May-June (soil temp at least 10°C).

6.Hardy perennials
Including: aquilegia, delphinium, echinacea, hellebore, lupin, rudbeckia, verbascum.
Sow under glass: Jan-Feb (soil temp 18-21°C).
Sow outdoors: April-June (soil temp at least 10°C).

Including: campanula, forget-me-not, foxglove, polyanthus, sweet william, wallflower, winter pansy.
Sow under glass: June (soil temp 12-18°C).
Sow outdoors: April-June (soil temp 10-18°C).

8.Trees and shrubs
Including: abutilon, acer, bonsai, cotoneaster, cytisus (broom), hawthorn, sorbus.
Sow under glass: Sep-Mar (soil temp 4-10°C).
Sow outdoors: Sep-Mar (soil temp 0-12°C).

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