19th May 2020 by Matthew Broughton

Barbour x Country Attire Guide: Sowing Seeds Outside with Rob Smith

There’s something magical about growing your own — putting food on the table that you produced from a tiny seed. So, we teamed up with our friends over at Barbour, alongside gardening expert Rob Smith, to bring you an easy-to-follow expert guide on sowing seeds outside. Just sit back, take a read and enjoy learning something new. Over to Rob…  
There's no better time to get sowing and growing in the garden, and with my 5 simple steps you’ll be sure to produce some tasty veg no matter what you plant.     When it comes to sowing seeds, there are a few different methods you can use to help you succeed every time.  

Method One: Sowing Seeds Singly

This method is usually used for the bigger seeds you handle with ease, such as squash, courgettes and pumpkin.    Create a hole with a trowel or your hand (as deep as advised on the seed packet) and sit the seed in the hole on its side as if it was your hand doing a karate chop. By sowing the seed on its side like this, it has less chance of rotting and more chance of producing a great little plant. Cover the seed carefully so that you don’t knock it over as you fill the hole, water and wait. Your seed should be up within 2 weeks.  

Method Two: Sowing in a Drill

For this method, create a shallow channel in the soil to sow seeds into. A drill is normally used for things that you see growing in straight lines, such as carrots, radish and beetroot.  You can use the side of a trowel, a cane/stick or even your finger to make a drill; simply scrape the soil away in a line to form a channel (about 1-2cm deep), sprinkle the seed in so it’s 1-2cm apart and cover them back over with soil.     This is a great way to garden with kids as you don’t need to make straight lines, you can create any shape drill you like, so why not do a few different shapes or even have a go at a face! 

Three: Sowing in a Flat Bottomed Drill

This is just a wider version of a drill and usually made with a trowel, hoe or spade; it’s normally used for peas. Scrape the soil away in a line around 10cm wide and 2cm deep, then sow the pea seeds in a zig-zag pattern — this will allow a thicker line of peas to grow in less space, plus as they grow they help hold each other upright with their tendrils. Cover the seeds over and depending on the height your chosen pea variety will grow, you may need to push a few sticks or canes in near them for support. 

Four: Sowing with a Dibber, or your Finger

This method involves making multiple holes with a dibber (sort of like a stick) or your finger — perfect to drop bean or corn seeds into. When using a dibber or your finger, aim to make the hole around 5cm deep (this is roughly up to the second knuckle on your index finger). By doing this, and giving a wiggle, you create a hole big enough for the larger seeds of beans and corn. Follow the sowing distances on the packet and make sure to cover the holes back over with soil before you give them water. 

Method Five: Scatter Sowing

This is exactly what it sounds like — you scatter the seeds. Don’t be too heavy handed when scattering the seeds, you want them to land about 2-3cm apart if they are lettuce, but it won’t matter if they are closer. After sowing, you need to gently cover the seeds by ruffling your fingertips through the soil and then patting it flat. Try this method of growing in any container with drainage holes, even old ice-cream tubs can be used if you don’t have any seed trays. 
No matter if you only want to grow a few carrots in your garden for the kids, or go the whole way to self-sufficiency, sowing seeds is the beginning to a beautiful, productive and tasty garden, so why not give it a go! Happy Gardening! 
Stay tuned to the Country Attire & Barbour blog series, for more heart-warming, exciting and educational guides that are sure to keep you entertained at home. 
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