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How we grow from seed / compost / tools

Starting seeds off a guide to get growing

I get asked a lot about how I grow from seed her

e at Ystwyth Nursery, there is a lot of over complicated tutorials out there and it seems to be different for each seed well let me tell you it easy and not much different for each one.

Lets start with the basics from tools to planting out 1st seed


metal sift, Pencil, Sharpie, nothing fancy if I had all the proper tools I would be replacing them once a week as I put things down and never to be seen again.

Metal Syft, this is a must in any poly, green house potting bench the plastic ones are not worth it.

The metal one douse not clog as much and you can stick a spade in to brake up the soil if needed


this it a Swiss army knife of seeding, sharpen the point and then brake off, this can be used to make small holes to drop seeds in to, the other end remove the rubber if you have one and using a knife whittle the end to a 6 mm cylinder about 12 mm long this works grate for bigger holes and poking out plugs in seed trays.

Sharpie this can also be used for making holes for bigger seeds and transplanting plugs in to bigger pots but where it shines is writing on pots and sticks to you know what you have in a tray because after 2 weeks a tray of mud looks like a tray of mud no matter how much you sniff and lick it you wont work out what you seeded until

its 3 to 4 inches.


Well this is a loaded one, I love peat compost I know its not right any more but the results speek for them self we will be moving to peat free soon but its finding a constant reliable cost effective compost. Every one has a favored compost and every ones results are different what works for me may not work for you.

peat free compost is still hit and miss for me Sylva grow from Melcourt is my go to as it is consistently good and I have had good luck with it. How ever there are others that are just as good

Bath Gate is also a strong contender as it seems to be the same blend as Melcourt.

some times you need Ericaceous compost not much but some times a bag is always good to have laying around for a cutting or 2 or reporting azalea

, blueberry.

there are other things like Sand Grit and perlight as well as vermiculite but I don't use them as much unless it is a well drained plant of a cutting I am doing. Rosemary lavender


well pots, there are so many. For starting I use the smallest cell I can find for small seeds this helps cut down on materiel's if germination is low and also grows the plant that bit faster as the plant is not filling a big pot with roots so starting small is beneficial to growing.

Big sees work well in bigger pots like sweet peas and runner beans for example as they are bigger for a start and need more feeding as they grow.

Potting on is the next step 9cm pot are my go to ones, when I have a good looking plug the next step is a nursery 9 cm as they have room to grow and I don't have to do much after that.

Perennials go to the 9 cm as well but later go to a 1 or a 1.5 letter or evan a 2 L pot

Veg goes in to strip cells as these are going in to beds and 30 plants take up less space this way especially when you have 1000's of plugs ready but for the home grower 9 cm pots would work well and you can keep them in for a bit longer in the poly if growing from February and I like you tend to get lost in the day to day so that bigger pot gives a bit more time to remember you forgot to put them out as well as the usual weather for us fair weather gardeners.


only advice get good quality seeds and read the packet all the info is there in one place its what works for you. You can get a way with year old seeds and Evan 2 year old seeds the germination drops but they are usable if stored correctly


a must in a poly or a window sill. They create a good environment for seeds and cuttings to start.

I don't use the vent on top personally I just take the top of one a day and change the air in it. And on a warm day take them off all to gather.

Heat mats cant recommend them enough but keep an eye on them and get one with a thermostat so it will turn off at 15,20 degrees in warm weather and not cook the seeds in the propagator as it will act like an oven.

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