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To get the maximum number of plants in your garden, growing from seed is cost effective and easy
Read the information on your seed packet to find out the best time to sow seed January to March is quite common. The correct temperature for germination is usually around 18-20ºC (65-68ºF).
Fill your seed tray or seed modules with moist compost to the brim, ensuring that all corners are filled.
Gently firm compost with another tray or a block of wood, to give a flat surface to sow on, leaving a small gap from the top of the tray (around 10mm).
Sow seed thinly, leaving space around each seed. Use your finger and thumb to gently scatter seed from the packet.
Cover the seed lightly by sieving seed compost over the top - usually no more than the depth of the seed.
Water with a gentle spray - an upside down rose helps to create a finer spray. Too heavy a spray and you will disturb the seed.
Label the container with the name of the seed and the date sown.
Cover the container with clear glass, plastic or cling film.
Place the seed in a warm spot to germinate such as a windowsill or greenhouse (see seed packet for temperatures).
Keep an eye on the seed tray - germinating seedlings will soon emerge.
Your seedlings have now germinated and are ready for the next step.
See our information on seedling care
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.