This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Seed Sowing Methods

My little, inexpensive $14.99 greenhouse with plastic cover is a big success; I only wish I had three of them as they make an excellent, cosy environment for sowing seed! The trouble will be planting-on as my green house is quite full already. I think I'll try to harden off some plants this week and then cover them if we get cold weather later this month. I'm assuming the onions (bottom shelf) can now go into the ground. Maybe Sue at Green Lane Allotments can advise. (I'm new to onion growing.)

With the recent better weather I've decided to use a raised veg box (pictured below) as a trial seed bed and I've sown a variety of  seed including different types of lettuce, radish, as well as leek, turnip, nasturtium, and calendula outside to see if the seeds will germinate. I've had difficulties in the past getting seed to germinate when sown outside due to a range of challenges such as poor weather conditions / too much rain, or hungry-munching slugs. However I thought I'd give it a go this year and see what happens; plus I have lots of seeds that need used. I'm wondering what sort of success rate I'll have (if any) sowing direct outside. (The soil was covered and warmed for several weeks beforehand.)
The seeds sown above - I've placed bamboo canes strategically across the area to deter cats - otherwise they'd be using the area as their outdoor powder room and digging pit.

My seed list for 2013 can be seen by clicking here.

Happy Seed Sowing!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. Funnily enough I'm going to post about planting out our onions today - so yes get planting!

  2. Any sort of covering I think is a bonus, I know I'm grateful for my greenhouse. Good luck with keeping the cats off your newly planted bed.

  3. So far we've planted broad beans and garlic outside and not onions, but I guess it's time to do so. A few tomatoes have been planted directly into the ground in the allotment greenhouse. The little greenhouse with the plastic cover has been useful I bought it for my husband's birthday last year. The only problem was when we had gale force winds and realised we needed to fix it down securely even though it's in a sheltered corner of our small garden!

  4. Those little plastic greenhouses are great. I use mine inside my proper greenhouse early on in the year to give early sown seedlings some extra protection as I don't heat my greenhouse, then later in the season it's moved outside and gives me extra room for my seedlings. The only trouble with them seems to be in strong winds, so I usually anchor mine down with a bag of compost on the bottom shelf.

  5. I agree, those little greenhouses are great. The frame of mine is stored away at the moment as the cover ripped, but I will be replacing it as they are so handy for seedlings and hardening off plants.

  6. You've quite a good start on growing seedlings in the greenhouse. The plastic greenhouse really works great! I wonder if a sprinkle of cayenne pepper deter cats,too around the perimeter of the raised bed? Might be worth a try.

    1. The cayenne pepper to deter cats from my veg beds might work, I'll have to try it.

  7. It is a lot less trouble if you can sow direct into the soil but I have found that these days isn't always successful so the little grow houses are great for extra seed sowing. You have certainly got lots of things on the go - hope everything is successful for you.

  8. I too love those plastic greenhouses! I go for the 2-tier ones though, because I find the taller ones too prone to wind-damage. Re protection from cats, I find that nets are the only answer. I tried sticks, but the cats/foxes/badgers/whatever just pushed them aside.

  9. My greenhouse is still in boxes.
    Lot of stuff not unpack yet.
    Good idea to deter cats.