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Sowing seeds for summer

As we move into the warmer months of spring, it’s a good time to think about seeds and plants you want to sow for the summer. While some plants can grow in frosty or even freezing temperatures and pop up around March, others require the temperatures to rise before planting.

From beautiful flowers and decorative shrubs to herbs and veggies, you can sow all kinds of seed in the spring and enjoy spectacular results in summer, and in ways that suit any size and style of garden. Find our picks for the ideal seeds to sow in spring and advice on getting started.

  • Seeding
  • Marigolds
  • Lettuce
  • Coriander
Seeding
Seeding

  • You can start your seeds indoors if it’s still a bit chilly for them outdoors. This gives you stronger, more established plants that are ready to be moved outside by the time it starts to get warmer.
  • You can either use seed starting pots or use household items by repurposing things like yoghurt pots, disposable plastic cups and egg cartons and poking drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Similarly, you can either buy or make your own seed starting mix. Add water to your mix and stir until it becomes uniformly damp, with a similar consistency to wet sand. Then use it to fill your starting pots.
  • Sow your seeds and be sure to label the plants, then move your pots to a seed tray before misting them and covering them with a humidity dome or cling film.
  • Store them in the warmest part of your house - light isn’t essential at this point.
  • Once your seedlings sprout, remove your humidity dome or cling film and move them to the sunniest spot in your house.
  • Once they get their first true set of leaves, they’re ready to be moved into a larger container with potting mix. Prepare them for life outside by hardening your seedlings.
  • Once your hardening period is complete, they can be moved to their final home, whether it’s a flower bed or pots and planters on your patio.

Marigolds
Marigolds

  • An ideal annual to sow in the spring, be sure to sow your marigolds as soon as the frosts subside for a beautiful bloom come summer.
  • Add stunning bursts of bright yellow, orange, apricot and cream to your garden, and choose between dwarf and tall varieties based on where you’re growing them.
  • A deterrent of certain pests, they’re an ideal companion for tomatoes to help keep your crops safe.

Lettuce
Lettuce

  • Sowing lettuce seeds in spring will give you an abundance of fresh lettuce for delicious summer salads.
  • If you don’t have space for a bed or vegetable patch, it can be grown just as easily in growbags or containers.
  • From crisphead types like iceberg to Cos, and butterhead; there are a variety of lettuces to choose from, all with different colours, flavours and textures.
  • When a firm heart has formed, or the leaves are big enough to eat on loose-leaf varieties, your lettuce is ready to be harvested and enjoyed.

Coriander
Coriander

  • Start sowing in late March, sown directly rather than in a seed tray to be transplanted, and continue to sow a small amount every 3 weeks or so to achieve a constant supply of leaves all summer long.
  • Once your plant is big enough to cope, pluck or cut the stems. Both the stems and leaves can be used.
  • Coriander is used in a variety of a cuisines, it’s a versatile and distinct herb that can be added to dishes such as curries and pad thai or used as a garnish.

You can find plenty of tips and inspiration at our ideas and advice hub, and get yourself well prepared for spring sowing ahead of summer.