As winter begins to loosen its grip on the UK, gardeners eagerly prepare for the upcoming growing season. January and February may seem like frosty months, but for the keen horticulturist, it's the perfect time to start sowing seeds indoors and outdoors. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the wide array of seeds that can be planted during these chilly months to ensure a bountiful and vibrant garden in the coming months.
Indoor Seed Sowing:
What do I need?
Germinating seeds indoors requires a controlled environment to provide optimal conditions for seedling development. Here's what you need to germinate seeds indoors successfully:
Containers or Seed Trays:
We recommend the ROOT!T Propagator Tray as you can easily punch small drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. When coupled with the ROOT!T Propagator Lid, it will help create the ideal humid environment for germination.
It's important to use a light, well-draining medium that promotes seed germination and early seedling growth. Jiffy PRO7 Light Mix is a favourite amongst many gardeners due to its quality blend and aerated structure. If you're not looking to get your hands too dirty, check out the ROOT!T Propagation Sponges and inserts!
It's no secret that seeds germinate better in a warm environment. For this reason, you'd greatly benefit from the ROOT!T Heat Mat & Thermostat to help keep your seedlings within optimal temperature range during this vital stage of the growth cycle.
When you start to see your seeds germinating, it's time to open the vents of the Propagator Lid! This will help circulate the air, preventing the growth or moulds and harmful bacteria. It's always a good idea to take the lid off periodically as well to allow larger volumes of fresh air in.
What should I sow?
January marks the beginning of tomato seed sowing season. Start these seeds indoors in a propagator or on a sunny windowsill. This early start ensures robust plants ready for transplanting once the threat of frost has passed.
Similar to tomatoes, peppers benefit from an early start indoors. (Particularly the hotter varieties) Use a good-quality seed compost and provide a warm environment to encourage germination. These heat-loving plants will be ready for transplantation once temperatures rise.
Growing herbs indoors during the colder months is a great way to have fresh flavours on hand. Sow seeds in small pots or trays, ensuring they receive plenty of light. Herbs like basil and parsley thrive in a sunny windowsill.
Members of the cabbage family are hardy and can withstand the cold. Start seeds indoors for an early start, and later transplant them outdoors when the soil is workable.
Lettuce is a cool-season crop that can be started indoors in January for a head start. Transplant seedlings outdoors once the risk of frost has diminished.
Outdoor Seed Sowing
Hardy peas can be sown directly into the ground in February. Choose a well-drained, fertile soil and provide support for climbing varieties. These early sowings will yield sweet and crisp peas in late spring.
Another robust crop, beans, can be sown directly outdoors in February. These plants tolerate cold temperatures well and can be harvested early for a tasty addition to spring meals.
Carrots can be sown directly into the soil in February. Choose a well-prepared bed with fine soil for straight, healthy roots. Cover with fleece or cloches to protect against frost.
Radishes are a quick-growing crop ideal for early sowing. Plant directly in the ground in February for a peppery addition to salads in just a few weeks.
Varieties to consider: American.
Spinach is a cold-hardy leafy green that can be sown directly outdoors in February. Choose a well-drained spot and enjoy nutrient-rich leaves for salads and cooking.
January and February may be chilly months in the UK, but they mark the beginning of an exciting gardening season. By sowing seeds both indoors and outdoors, gardeners can ensure a diverse and flourishing harvest in the months to come. From vibrant tomatoes and peppers to robust peas and carrots, the options are plenty for those who are eager to get their hands dirty and embark on a successful gardening journey. So, gather your seeds, prepare your soil, and get ready to witness the fruits of your labour as spring unfolds. Happy gardening!