Leigh Hunt is Principal Horticultural Advisor at the Royal Horticultural Society.
Here are his tips for green-fingered success.
7 STEPS TO SUCCESS
There's nothing like potting in the
garden, particularly with a
relaxing task like seed sowing.
There are loads to try in the garden
centres now, from scented sweet peas
to tasty salads.
• Seed of your choice
• Seed pots or trays
• Seed or multipurpose compost
• Plant labels
• Watering can with a rose-head
attached to the spout
HOW TO SOW...
1. Fill the pots or trays with compost.
Make them firm and level using the
bottom of another pot or tray
2. Water the compost well using the
fine drops from the watering can's
rose-head. Allow to drain for
a few moments
3. Open the seed packet and
scatter the seed thinly on the surface
of the compost
4. Just cover the seed with a
little more compost
5. Write the name of the plant you're
growing on the label with a pencil and
position in the pot or tray
6. Put the pots and trays somewhere
very light, like a windowsill or
7. Keep the compost just damp
8. Pot on the seedling into little pots
of their own when they are large
enough to handle
KEEP YOUR FLOWERS
• When you get a bouquet, cut at
least 1.5cm off the base of the stems.
This will allow them to take up water
• Add flower food to the water
-you'll often get a sachet with the flowers
• Change the water in the vase every
three to four days
• Place the flowers somewhere light
but not too warm to prolong their life
• Plant trees and shrubs now (as long
as the ground isn't waterlogged!)
• Put food out for the birds
• Mulch borders to keep out the
weeds this summer
• Keep off wet lawns
• Pot up containers with pansies and
primroses for spring colour