How to Sow Seeds, What Compost To Use, How Deep To Sow the Seed, How to Water Seeds, Are Frequent Questions. Here’s How to a Specific Sow Seed, Astrantia.

Astrantia is a beautiful flower

Seeds come in various sizes and sometimes need very specific conditions to grow. So whenever sowing seeds we need to ascertain their specific requirements.

In most cases we sow seed in a well-drained but moisture-retentive, gently firmed soil or compost. We don’t want a soft fluffy compost that will dry out quickly, or a compost that has been compressed so hard the seed can’t get its roots in. We need it just right!

Quinoa seed. An unusual crop to grow in the UK
Quinoa seed. An unusual crop to grow in the UK

But some seed is different. It needs light to be able to germinate. For example the seed of Astrantia, needs plenty of light so I cover it with the merest hint of compost or use a very thin layer of horticultural grit.

Astrantia is one of those seeds that needs a bit off cold then warmth or it will not germinate. I will occasionally germinate it without subjecting it to the cold first, but if it doesn’t germinate within a few weeks then put it in the fridge for 4-5 weeks before bringing it back into the warm.

Alternatively, put the seed tray in a sheltered spot outside and let the winter weather work its magic!

How to Sow Seeds Video Text

Wherever possible I recycle single-use plastic for seed trays

Add compost to the container Gently firm …. I use the base of another container

Don’t over-compress the compost. It needs space for water and air ……and the roots need to be able to penetrate it. Lightly water and leave to drain for a few minutes.

Lightly sprinkle the seed onto the compost leaving space between seeds

The general rule of thumb is to cover the seed with a depth of soil equal to the diameter of the seed. In the case of Astrantia, the seed prefers a bit of light to help it germinate so either add a very fine layer of compost OR better still .. use some horticultural grit.
The other thing Astrantia often needs is cold stratification.

Low temperatures to help it breaks its dormancy. So put the tray in a bag on the fridge for 4-5 weeks OR leave outside in the shade for the winter to do its work.

This post has been about sowing astrantia seeds. But many of the principles, but not all, also apply to all types of seed.

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