Let’s get growing!

Herb garden

Many of us who are stuck at home have turned our thoughts to our gardens. I have been at the bottom of my own garden over the weekend. It’s amazing what you can achieve in a few hours with determination and a flame thrower! Well, actually just a garden fork.

But even if you have little or no outdoor space you can still enjoy witnessing the miracle that is germination! Whether you are sowing seeds with the kids indoors to distract them from their incarceration or planning your plot if you are fortunate enough to have a flower or vegetable garden, now is the time to be sowing seeds.

Garden before
Garden before
Garden after
Garden after

Now, I could produce a long-winded photo guide to sowing seeds but there are ever so many of these on the internet that will get you started if you are a beginner. Type ‘seed sowing guide’ into your search engine and take your pick! I liked the one by Capital Gardens and of course the RHS can be trusted to give reliable information. Equally, most seed packets have all the information you need to get started.

Basically whatever your seeds are they will need:

  1. A plant pot or seed tray with drainage holes (could even be an egg carton)
  2. Some compost or soil – no additional food (as it’s all there in the seed)
  3. A little water to get them started. Water them gently and thoroughly when you sow your seeds and then check each day and keep the surface of the compost moist. Be careful not to give them so much that they rot before they get a chance to germinate!
  4. A nice consistent source of daylight – which is why windowsills are perfect. Take care that your windowsill is not too shady; which will make your seedlings long and gangly and equally not excessively sunny so that it fries them as they emerge.
  5. Enough warmth for them to appreciate that it’s time to grow, so indoors is a great place to get them started.

If you’re sowing seeds with children, why not make it a competition? Sunflowers and runner beans are great for this as they are nice big seeds, fairly quick to germinate and go like the clappers once they get started. The top image shows herbs grown indoors by a Trinity Hall staff member who is, in her own words, “abysmal with plants”. She has grown parsley, rosemary and basil on her window sill using left over compost and a few terracotta pots.

We may even have a Trinity Hall grow your own contest, what do you think?