Sowing your vegetable seeds indoors gives the seedlings and young plants which emerge every chance of success, and greatly increases the odds of their produce making it to the kitchen table. You’ll bypass the many pitfalls and perils of direct sowing and also have the chance to sow seeds when you want, not when the weather dictates.
“It’s such an advantage to start your seeds off under glass. It gives you the freedom to sow what you like when you like, without having to worry about the weather all the time.” Kim Wilde
Keeping one eye permanently on the weather forecast is all part of growing your own vegetables – but it doesn’t have to be like if you’re starting your seeds off indoors. In the greenhouse it’s you who calls the shots and by following our advice on how, why, when and what, you’ll be able to cheat the seasons and pick up a whole new skill-set of gardening techniques along the way.
Sowing your vegetable seeds indoors gives the little guys a real head start in life and for some sun-loving summer crops – such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and courgettes it’s essential. If you consider what a tiny seed is up against when planted outside – cold and wet soil; birds; mice and unpredictable weather are just a few of the vagaries they have to contend with – it’s a wonder any germinate at all! The fact is of course that they do – but the results are far better indoors. Let’s take a look why...
Firstly, it’s much easier to control the environment inside. We’re not necessarily talking about a greenhouse here – but if you have one, it’s a real bonus – as a sunny windowsill, table, bench or something along those lines inside the house will do just as well. Seeds of all types will germinate more uniformly when you can regulate the essential elements of air, warmth, moisture and light. This is the time to use your imagination, set aside a small area of a room and turn it into your growing headquarters!
Also, the plants that grow and develop will generally be stronger than their outdoor counterparts and therefore likely to survive the inevitable attacks from pests and diseases. Sowing indoors also gives you the chance to take on nature and win for once, by raising crops much earlier than is possible outside – this ultimately results in more vegetables over a longer period; ‘extending the growing season’ is the phrase we like to use!
See the Greenhouse section for a range of products to for successful indoor growing.