Carol Klein tips: The best way to sow seedlings for beginner gardeners

This Morning: Carol Klein offers advice on gardening in spring

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With spring finally here, now is the best time to start sowing seeds to plant a plethora of vegetables and flowers to transform your garden. Carol Klein has shown gardening fans how to start planting seedlings, especially for beginner gardeners who may just be starting out.

Carol is passionate about gardening and when she appears on her popular TV shows, such as Gardening with Carol Klein and Life in a Cottage Garden, she encourages viewers to be enthusiastic about gardening too.

In a recent episode of Gardening with Carol Klein, the gardening expert demonstrated how to start sowing seedlings from scratch.

“Learning how to grow things from seed is a really important lesson for every gardener,” Carol said.

“Growing plants from seed is an easy and affordable way to fill your garden with lots and lots of lovely plants.

“And once you start it’s hard to stop,” Carol added.

The gardening expert said that “the most fool proof method of sowing seed is to start it off in pots or trays”.

Carol’s favourite way of sowing seeds is to use a half seed tray.

She said: “If you use a big one [tray] you sow far too many, and it’s really important that you sow sparsely and you just sow a few so they don’t crowd each other out.

“For best results, use a seed compost, which you can get in any garden centre,” Carol added.

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If you are a beginner gardener, Carol recommended starting off with rocket seeds as they germinate “very fast”.

Carol took a pinch of seeds and dropped them a couple of inches from the surface of the seed tray.

“If you’re too close you tend to sow your seeds in clumps and you don’t want to do that,” she explained.

“You want to give them a bit of space and then they’ll come across in little rows.”

Carol dropped the seeds around the edge of the tray first, and then in rows through the middle.

Then, she covered the seeds with grit.

“A lot of people would cover their seeds with compost but I never ever do,” Carol said.

She explained that “a thin layer of grit allows the light to get through” to the seeds.

It also keeps the compost moist and protects the seedlings from rotting.

Next, Carol took her “trusty tool” – a wooden presser board – to press down on the grit, ensuring that the seeds are in “proper contact” with the compost.

Carol went on to explain that some seeds are bigger than others and need to be stationed within their own module.

One seed to sow by this method is sweet peas, according to Carol.

The gardening expert took a tray with multiple small compartments, but said that “you can make your own by dividing up a box with bits of cardboard”.

Carol then pushed each sweet pea seed down into the compost.

After sowing your seedlings in trays, it’s important to take good care of them.

Carol said: “While they’re [seeds] in pots and trays they’re completely dependent on you and they’ll need water right away.”

The celebrity gardener put the trays in some shallow water for the seeds to soak up the liquid, and warned against using a watering can.

“Water seedlings daily and never let the compost dry out,” Carol advised.

She also recommended keeping the seeds in a sheltered part of your garden, ensuring that they are protected from the elements until they are ready to be taken out of the trays and planted in your garden.

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