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It’s always exciting to rip open those first packets of seed in spring and Joyce Russell has some top tips to help you get the best germination

It’s that time of year again – when seed packets start to line up in boxes and gardeners’ minds turn to the business of sowing. There’s a temptation to sow too early of course and especially so if the sun starts to shine as days lengthen out. There’s little to gain from sowing seeds in cold soil, or trying to keep seedlings warm without the right equipment, but there is a lot to gain from knowing the best time to sow and learning a bit about what will help seeds to germinate and grow into strong and healthy young plants.


If you look at the back of a seed packet it will show which months are good for sowing the seeds. This is usually a block of time over three or more months, depending on what plant you are growing. As a general rule: the early and later dates can be pushed a little further in order to extend the growing season for some favourite crops, but you may have to give a bit more care and attention so seeds get adequate heat and light for good germination and growth. You may also need to provide a protected growing environment as the plants get bigger.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Welcome to Kitchen Garden Magazine In this issue: On the Veg Patch Joyce Russell’s top March jobs include planting onion sets and potatoes, sowing and buying in pollinating plants and strawberries In the Greenhouse Yorkshire-based gardener Martin Fish pots citrus, harvests curly kale, pricks out tender crops and sows seeds in the border Rekha's Garden and Kitchen Diary (New Series) In her first KG article Rekha, former contestant on BBC’s The Big Allotment Challenge, takes us through her gardening month And much more!