This guide to germinating seeds, which has been compiled by our own horticultural experts in the US and the UK, has been designed to both widen and enhance the pleasure and success you get from growing your own flowers and vegetables from seed. See also our Vegetable Seed Sowing Guide.
A seed in an embryonic plant waiting to get out. It's the pleasurable task of the gardener to turn the seed from dormancy into a living thing by providing warmth, light, air and moisture.
Seeds even have their own food supply to start them off, at least until they can put down roots and draw food and water from the soil.
Some seeds are quite unfussy about the conditions that trigger them into growth and many weed seeds fall into that category. Others are so sensitive they require a carefully controlled environment to germinate.
Fortunately, the great majority of flower and vegetable seeds will emerge from their big sleep quite readily if a few common sense guidelines are followed, and that's the purpose of this guide. It has been compiled by experts in Thompson & Morgan, a company that has been in the business of providing seeds for gardeners for close on 150 years.
The hope is that with the help offered in these pages the pleasure you get from sowing seeds will be both widened and enhanced.
Seeds are divided into categories and these are shown by using initials. This is a shorthand way of describing a plants growing characteristics.
Not sure how to sow seeds undercover or direct into the ground? Preparation is an important factor in successful seed raising.
The time to sow your seeds will vary from season to season and also with the area in which you live.
Not sure when to prick out or harden off seedlings? The following page will give you helpful hints and tips.
The following page provides advice on when and how to sow F1 hybrid geraniums, including aftercare hints and tips.
Hanging baskets add a whole new dimension to gardening, helping to utilise all the available space.