WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY?
Although it’s still a bit chilly and miserable outdoors, now’s the right time to sow some seeds, if only on the windowsill, in a mini greenhouse or greenhouse. There are many vegetables and flowers which can be planted early in the gardening season. So they can germinate, blossom and be harvested at the right time. Prepare now and plant your seeds in the soil. Here you’ll find out what you need to take into account.
EARLY PLANTING SUITS SOME SEEDS
If you want to harvest tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, kohlrabi and radishes or would like horned pansies, snapdragons and cosmos, you need to start now. Remember: the seed packet will show the optimal germination temperature and also the best place for cultivation. Peppers and tomatoes prefer a temperature around 22 degrees Celsius. That’s why they’re happiest on a sunny windowsill. Plants that like cooler temperatures can be sown in the greenhouse or mini greenhouse. The seed packets have tips on germination time and correct sowing depth. Note: make sure light-germinating seeds, such as carrots or celery, are not completely covered with soil.
WINDOW SILL OR GREENHOUSE?
Summer flowers with lovely scents are happy garden guests – they grow quickly, bloom for a long time and are easy to care for. You can grow them on the windowsill or in a greenhouse. This saves money and the available range of seeds is much larger than that of pre-grown vetches. Snapdragons can be sown from January to March. They are light-germinating seeds, so only press the seeds gently into the soil. They can germinate at 20 degrees Celsius on a windowsill. Horned pansies, lupins and sweet william are sown now too. Some plants prefer the cold, like hollyhock, bluebell and granny’s bonnet (common columbine). Their seeds need a few days of cooler temperatures before they can germinate. So put them in the fridge or on a cold terrace. As a rule, however, this applies only seeds that you have grown yourself. Purchased seeds are often pretreated. Some fruits and vegetables are definitely ready to grow: eggplant, root celery, melon, pepper, friggitello, chili and tomato should go on the windowsill first. Radishes and spinach germinate best in greenhouses.
Cauliflower, kohlrabi and leeks flourish in mini greenhouses.
THERE ARE MANY TYPES OF SOIL
The right soil is essential for a healthy plant. Normal potting soil is far too nutritious. The plants will grow too fast and become more susceptible to diseases. Instead, use special bacteria-free soil. It can be purchased at a garden center, but is available at this time of year even in discount stores for a low price. If it doesn’t work the first time – don’t lose patience. The most common problems such as mould or long-growing shoots can be counteracted by optimizing light, temperature and humidity. With a little practice, anyone can become a professional at sowing. Trust us!
TIME TO SOW – TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Before distributing the seeds in a seed tray with moistened soil, some varieties should first be soaked in cold water overnight, for example, paprika. This helps them germinate faster. When the seeds are distributed in the seed tray, cover them lightly with soil – just like it says on the seed packet. It’s best to use a soil strainer for this to prevent lumps forming. Alternatively, you can also cover the seeds with vermiculite. This will retain moisture and inhi mould. But be careful: light-germinating seeds should not be covered with substrate. When the seed is covered, press the soil gently down. You can use a soup spoon or a stamp specially designed for this purpose. These can be found at the garden center. Now you just need to water carefully. Not too much, not too little. Trust your fingertip feeling. It’s easiest to use a water spray or mister for this.
NOW REPOT AND MOVE THE PLANTS INTO THE GARDEN
If, after a few days, one or two pairs of leaves have formed next to the pointed heart leaves, separate the seedlings with a stick and place them in special seed pots with soil. Tip: Place the seedlings a little deeper in the soil, so they can spread their roots and become stronger. After transplanting, you need to make sure to keep the plants moist. However, they can now stand slightly cooler temperatures. You may need to replant them one more time before moving them out.
PRACTICAL HELP FOR SOWING
In well-stocked garden shops you can find wood fibre seed pods. These consist of a number of small depressions, each of which can be used individually. Fill each hole with potting soil and place a seed. The containers decompose later in the ground, leaving no waste. The roots of the plants can grow through them. You can also use leftover egg cartons. Instead of a watering can, you should use the previously mentioned spray or mister to keep the soil moist. It allows watering without the seeds being washed away. Practical: the sowing aid. A board of twelve small spikes. You press it into the seed tray soil and create an even spread of depressions for the seeds. Thanks to the sowing aid, the shoots don’t grow too close to each other and you avoid having to replant them. If you still want to replant the shoots individually, you can use pots made of wood fibres. There they can grow until you place them in the flower bed along with the pot. Just like the seed trays, the pots break down into the ground, leaving no waste.