Unwins Seeds

Creating a life- the satisfaction of sowing seeds

20 July 2018 | Posted in Gardening by The Unwins Family


I find the joy of seed-sowing is down to the fact you are creating a new life. Indeed we are all after the end result of crops that we can harvest for the kitchen table or flowers in full bloom but even before that there’s that great feeling just from seeing the first signs of life emerging from a germinating seed.

If you’re new to sowing and feel a little daunted I recommend that you go for flowers or crops that have large seeds. Here is list of a few plants with big seeds that I find easy enough to handle individually.

Flowers with big seeds;


Germination time (sowing to first shoot)

Nasturtium Crimson Emperor (red)

10 days

Nasturtium Peach Melba (yellow)

10 days

Sunflower King Kong

14 days

Sunflower Velvet Queen

14 days

Sunflower Ginger Nut

14 days

Sweet pea Daphne (mauve)

14 days

Sweet pea Flame (pink)

14 days

Sweet pea Aphrodite (white)

14 days


Edibles with big seeds


Germination time (sowing to first shoot)

Pumpkin Spellbound

7 days

Sweetcorn Lark

10 days

Courgette Tuscany

10 days

Broad bean Robin Hood

14 days


You can pop all the seed varieties above into seed modules (that’s basically a small version of a plant pot to you and me) that look a bit like ice cube makers.

Take a look at the back of the seed packet (or on the website) to see what time of year to best sow them. If it’s the right time of year it’s time to get these essentials and try your hand at sowing seeds.

Getting in the basics

I recommend that you get the following equipment together;

84-seed trays
Watering tray
Dalefoot Wool Compost for seeds
Labels and pens

Sowing the seeds….

Fill your 84-seed tray to the top with the Dalefoot Wool Compost for seeds. Tap them on the bench or table top to settle the compost.

SeedlingsProd a seed into the compost to about half a thumb’s depth and tap the 84-seed tray again to cover the seed.

Place your seed tray in a watering tray filled with water. The soil soaks up the water over time which is best for the newly-sown seed. Watering from a watering can from above can unsettle the compost unnecessarily.

Write the date and flower / vegetable variety on the label and pop into the side of the pot. This gives you a record of how long your seed takes to germinate which is useful later down the line.

Pop on a light windowsill and keep an eye on how dry the soil is over the coming weeks. If it’s dry and dusty to touch on the surface top up the water in the water tray below.

Once your seeds have germinated consider placing a plastic bag over each pot to give your seedlings a humid atmosphere which gives them a good start or use a plastic lid that acts as a greenhouse.

Keep an eye on your seeds and tend to them each morning. Trouble-shooting

No activity even after a couple of weeks? This maybe because the soil is too cold or there is too much soil for the seed. Either warm the soil a bit by moving your pots into a sunny position or transfer your seeds to smaller pots (e.g. 7cm pots).

Watering seedsTap the soil surface. Is it moist to touch? Yes? Hold off watering until at least checking the next morning or evening. Not moist? Water onto the soil surface of each pot until you see water dripping out the drainage holes in the bottom.

Seedlings becoming long, lanky and floppy? Your seeds are look for the light and you need to move them to a lighter or sunnier position. You can always turn the pots too every so often so the seeds move towards the sun and remain more upright.

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