February is the perfect time to begin sowing seeds as we look ahead to spring. Sarah Raven has shared a successional seed sowing tip that will allow you to keep your garden productive and full of life.
Whether you're just learning how to grow flowers from seeds or are an experienced gardener, using gutters when sowing seeds will help you to get seedlings off to a strong start.
Sarah Raven is an English gardener, cook and writer. You can buy seeds, plants, bulbs, and gardening kits on her website (opens in new tab).
Planting seeds in gutters
Sarah is a fan of sowing into gutters, which you can get cheaply from builders’ merchants. You might want to try this cheap garden idea indoors, or in a potting shed to avoid wind or bad winter weather.
Gutters are ideal to use instead of direct sowing into the soil, especially if you live in an area with heavy clay soil. They are great for plants that don’t like their roots to be disturbed, and for successional sowing – for example, parsley, lettuce and salads.
With pea tips or beetroot, Sarah will sow clumps of seed in stations along the gutter, not covering until all the seed has been placed. Then, she will lightly press in or cover seeds with a light dusting of compost.
When planting out in flower beds or raised garden beds, place hands between plants gently and push the seedling out of the mouth of the gutter and into a prepared row in the garden. Next, move the gutter along and push out the next plant, spaced about 10in (25cm) apart.
Sarah says that sowing seeds in a gutter is also a good mind jogger for successional sowing. Once a gutter has been planted, you can go back and sow more seed.
This is a great way of ensuring a good succession of plants all the way through the growing season. Whether you're growing vegetables and salad or flowers, a gutter is a handy seed-sowing tool that serves as a visual reminder to plant more and keep your garden blooming.
Lots of half-sown seed packets hidden at the back of the drawer? Sorting out your seeds in time for sowing is one of the best February gardening jobs to tick off when preparing your garden for spring.
Will you be trying out Sarah Ravens successional seed sowing tip?
Millie Hurst has worked in digital journalism for five years, having previously worked as a Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team in early 2021, working across several brands, including Gardeningetc. Now, she is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles aimed at inspiring people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces.
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