Seed sowing guide
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.
What is a seed?
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.
Key to Seed Abbreviations
Seeds are divided into categories and these are shown by using initials. This is a shorthand way of describing a plants growing characteristics.
Undercover and Direct Sowing
Not sure how to sow seeds undercover or direct into the ground? Preparation is an important factor in successful seed raising.
Covering topics like coping with small seeds using vermiculite or pre-chilling, this useful section will help you with some of the more specialised techniques.
What to Sow and When
The time to sow your seeds will vary from season to season and also with the area in which you live.
Pricking Out and Hardening Off
Not sure when to prick out or harden off seedlings? The following page will give you helpful hints and tips.
Sowing Biennials and Perennials
Although every garden should have its summer display of annual flowers, there should always be room for biennials and perennials.
Raising F1 Hybrid Geraniums
The following page provides advice on when and how to sow F1 hybrid geraniums, including aftercare hints and tips.
Hanging Baskets from Seed
Hanging baskets add a whole new dimension to gardening, helping to utilise all the available space.
There are four popular ways of drying flowers: Air drying, glycerine, moist drying and by using a desiccant.
Trees and Shrubs from Seed
The following article explains how to sow and grow tree and shrubs including pruning and trimming hints and tips.
View More Of Our Gardening Guides
Browse our gardening guides section for detailed growing advice, gardening hints and tips, and plenty of horticultural help from Thompson & Morgan’s experts.
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This guide to germinating seeds, which has been compiled by our own horticultural experts in the US and the UK
XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is part of the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System and is a restricted use pesticide. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its labeling. XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology and products with XtendFlex® Technology may not be approved in all states and may be subject to use restrictions in some states. Check with your local product dealer or representative or U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency for the product registration status and additional restrictions in your state. For approved tank-mix products and nozzles visit XtendiMaxApplicationRequirements.com.
Commercialization is dependent on multiple factors, including successful conclusion of the regulatory process. The information presented herein is provided for educational purposes only, and is not and shall not be construed as an offer to sell, or a recommendation to use, any unregistered pesticide for any purpose whatsoever. It is a violation of federal law to promote or offer to sell an unregistered pesticide.
Do not export Roundup Ready® Alfalfa seed or crop, including hay or hay products, to China pending import approval. In addition, due to the unique cropping practices do not plant Roundup Ready® Alfalfa in Imperial County, California, pending import approvals and until Forage Genetics International, LLC (FGI) grants express permission for such planting.
Forage Genetics International, LLC (“FGI”) is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). FGI products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with FGI’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. Certain products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Growers should refer to http://www.biotradestatus.com/ for any updated information on import country approvals. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Biotechnology Industry Organization.
Roundup Ready technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Agricultural herbicides containing glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate.
Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. This product has been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship.
XtendFlex® soybeans have received full approval for planting in the United States but are pending approval in certain export markets. For 2020, XtendFlex® soybeans will be available as part of a stewarded introduction only to growers who have signed a 2020 XtendFlex® Stewardship Agreement and agree to follow the stewardship requirements.
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS FOR USE ON PESTICIDE LABELING. IT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAW to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its labeling. NOT ALL formulations of dicamba or glyphosate are approved for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans. ONLY USE FORMULATIONS THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY LABELED FOR SUCH USES AND APPROVED FOR SUCH USE IN THE STATE OF APPLICATION. Contact the U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans.
Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. Glufosinate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glufosinate. Contact your Monsanto dealer or refer to Monsanto’s Technology Use Guide for recommended weed control programs.
B.t. products may not yet be registered in all states. Check with your Monsanto representative for the registration status in your state.
IMPORTANT IRM INFORMATION: RIB Complete® corn blend products do not require the planting of a structured refuge except in the Cotton-Growing Area where corn earworm is a significant pest. SmartStax® RIB Complete® corn blend is not allowed to be sold for planting in the Cotton-Growing Area. See the IRM/Grower Guide for additional information. Always read and follow IRM requirements.
Performance may vary, from location to location and from year to year, as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible and should consider the impacts of these conditions on the grower’s fields.
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ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Acceleron®, DroughtGard®, FortiField™, HDS®, LibertyLink®, NemaStrike™, Poncho®, QuickRoots®, RIB Complete and Design®, RIB Complete®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready PLUS®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup®, SmartStax®, Stone Seed and Design™, Stone Seed™, TagTeam®, VaporGrip®, VOTiVO®, VT Double PRO®, VT Triple PRO®, the Water Droplet Design®, and XtendiMax® are trademarks of Bayer Group. Climate FieldView™ is a trademark of The Climate Corporation. Herculex® is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Respect the Refuge and Corn Design® and Respect the Refuge® are registered trademarks of National Corn Growers Association. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2020 Bayer Group, All Rights Reserved.
Seed guide XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is part of the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System and is a restricted use pesticide. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS.