Kids Go Gardening - sow seeds in pots

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Springtime is seed time!

In spring the soil is damp after winter rain, the weather is getting warmer and we have months of long warm days to come. That makes spring the perfect time for seeds to burst into life!

Many seeds like to be sown straight into the garden, but sometimes the soil still too wet and cold and we don’t want to wait! In early spring the seeds we sow in pots can grow faster because they’re warmer. The tricky thing is that some plants don’t like having their roots disturbed and they get ‘transplanting shock’ when we move them from their pot to the garden. A seedling with transplanting shock can get ‘sulky’ and stops growing until its roots settle down.

That’s why biodegradable pots come in handy! If we grow a seedling in a biodegradable pot we don't need to disturb its roots at all. We can just plant it into the garden pot-and-all! The biodegradable pot turns to compost and the roots grow straight through it.

Germination magic!
As the weather warms up, a seed soaks up water from the soil and expands. Its seed coat softens and cracks. A little embryo (a teeny plant waiting inside the seed) grows its first root and then a shoot which grows up towards the light and gets its first leaves. The seedling is on its way to becoming a grownup plant which will grow flowers and seeds of its own.

Spring seed project

You will need:

  • Biodegradable pots
  • Seed raising mix
  • Seeds
  • Water
  1. Fill your pots with seed raising mix.
  2. Water thoroughly so that the pots are wet all over.
  3. Sow your seeds. Cover seeds with about twice their depth in seed raising mix. (Read the instructions on your seed packet).
  4. Place your pots in a sunny sheltered spot.
  5. Check every day and water as necessary to keep them moist.
  6. When your seedlings are growing strongly and the risk of frost is over, plant your seedings (pot-and-all) into the garden or a bigger container. Make sure the pot is covered by soil then water thoroughly. Don’t let your pot dry out!
  7. To keep your seedlings growing strongly, feed once every week or two with liquid fertiliser If you plant them in the garden, mix in some compost and fertiliser before you plant.

TIP: Add some mulch, such as straw, around your plants. This will stop the sun and wind from stealing the precious moisture from your soil, especially on hot summer days.

What’s in a pot?

Biodegradable pots often have peat in them. Peat is a special kind of compost, made by nature, with an amazing ability to hold water and nutrients. It can hold several times its own weight in water. Peat also stores nutrients so that they aren’t so easily washed away when you water. And that means peat is great for gardeners. Plus it’s 100% organic! However …

Peat comes from a bog or ‘wetland’. It is very old, formed from decomposed plants over thousands or millions of years. Peat bogs are extremely valuable in our environment for many reasons, including climate change.

Biodegradable pots can also be made from ‘renewable’ or waste products such as wood fibre or paper. Try making your own biodegradable pots from empty toilet rolls or newspaper.

Look for these products, tips and advice at a Go Gardening Store near you.

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kids seeds
Fill your pots with seed raising mix

kids seeds
Sow your seeds

kids seeds pots
Make your oen biodegradable pot