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Know Your Veg Simple Guide to Growing Fun Things To Do Stuck? Ask the Expert Dots
Know your Veg
Recommended equipment
Picking Out Make your own Room to grow  
Seed collection for a variety of vegetable growing options.

Clean pots and trays to sow the plants into.

Compost suitable for seeds and young plants.

Seed labels and waterproof pen

Propagators to provide a stable and warm growing environment

Budding Gardener Childrens Tools to plant seeds

Childrens Gardening Gloves for the pupils

Watering can with a fine rose

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Where and When?
If you are doing this task outside, choose a day which is not windy, or find a sheltered spot.

Use pots for large seeds like cucumber, courgette, pumpkin or runner bean. Trays are best for smaller seeds like beetroot, lettuce and dwarf beans. Pots can be hand made using newspaper with the aid of the Paper Potter. These have the advantage that they can be placed straight into a planting hole in the ground. The paper will naturally decompose.  This means the roots are not disturbed while planting.
Top Tips For Sowing
• Fill the chosen container three quarters full with compost.

• Place seeds on top of compost.

• Put no more than three seeds evenly spaced apart in a triangle if using a pot.

• To sow small seed, pour a little onto a piece of paper.  Pull up the sides of the paper to make a fold with the seed in the middle.  Gently tap the edge of the paper as you move it across the seed tray.  This will allow the seed to fall out evenly in rows.

• Large seeds can be carefully placed on the compost using fingers. Do not squeeze or break the seed. Space the seeds evenly in rows across the seed tray.

• Cucumber and squash seeds should be placed on edge when planting.

• Cover the seed with a thin layer of compost. Water lightly & write the name of the seed on a label. Put the label in the pot and place in a greenhouse.

• Check the instructions on the seed packet. Some seeds like tomato need to be placed in the warmth to germinate. A warm dark cupboard works well.

• Bean, pea, pumpkin, cucumber and squash seeds should be covered with netting to prevent mice eating the seeds.

• Check the seeds daily to see if the compost is drying out and needs more water.

• Seeds being germinated in the dark should be removed as soon as shoots begin to appear and placed in a warm, light spot.
Electric propagators are a useful way of maintaining a steady temperature to ensure even germination. These propagators have a base heated by integral electric coils and a clear plastic cover. Small propagators can be used on windowsills, larger ones need space on a table.  Allow plants grown in a propagator a little time to harden off before you move them to individual pots.

Germination is usually faster in a propagator. It has the advantage that several different crops can be raised quickly from seed during a growing season. By quickly transferring the young plants as soon as they are large enough to handle into pots, other seeds can be sown in the propagator.

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Fact Sheets - Getting Started

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