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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Monday, 5 March 2018

Sowing For Success.

This post is an attempt to write something a little more meaningful, rather than my usual show and tell of what is going on at our little homestead.  

I have a number of copies of Country Smallholding magazine donated to me by friends. I really do love reading them, even though lots of subjects are alien to me but lots of things are very useful, like advice about seed sowing...

The time people choose to start seed sowing can vary greatly. If you have a poly tunnel, propagator, heat mat etc. you can often  start things a lot earlier than those who are without these items. Some people like to get things in super early, and lots of them, to make sure they get a good harvest. Others have to wait because of lack of space, like myself with my Poly House being out of action. 

Charles Dowding wrote an article saying, amongst other things, that rather than starting seeds off early it is sometimes better to start a bit later. He says "the amount of suitable sowings in late summer is considerable, while their timing becomes more important with each week that passes". However he advises that May sowings benefit from some delays. Many gardeners like to start sowing in March time, and before. Charles says that late sowing in June of warmth-loving crops means cucumbers and courgettes have time to catch up as the weather gradually gets warmer and the days get longer. 

A good point he makes that I am going to take on board is to sow beetroot in June - he says the 10th - for a November harvest and also to store. He points out that larger routes are not often woody but are firm and less juicy and will store well until early Spring should you wish.

He mentioned some little gems of information; 
- May is too late to sow aubergines but the perfect month for planting them
- June is too late for sowing leeks but is is the best time to plant them
- July 1 is the latest month to sow cucumber to give the best harvest over a long period.
- up to early July is best to sow swede as they suffer less disease.

Still being relatively new, and as enthusiastic as ever, I am always looking for the optimum time to sow seeds to get the best results; maybe these hints and tips will help me this year.
I would appreciate any comments on this post because I am always open to help.

Bye for now.



  1. Great post Lou and from a source I don’t have access to so really helpful, thank you. Last night I popped in some tomatoes as I lost my first lot with the cold and lack of water. Interesting re the cucumbers as I have some in already and they are the ones that have survived so far. Also beetroot is interesting as I didn’t realise they were such a late crop. I appreciate there will be different varieties of course. GYO always has timely seeds doesn’t it, so I’ll throw some of those in too. It’s starting to feel a lot like spring!!!

    1. I think it is great to see how people garden differently. Kim Stoddart I think her name is a bit of a rogue gardener and I like reading her stuff, too.

  2. I down beetroot in damp tissue, works everytime. No waiting and wonderfulNg if germination has taken place in the soil.


Thank you so much for finding the time to comment. I really appreciate it and will always try to reply.xx