Gardening: Sarah Raven’s ‘gutter’ hack for sowing seeds in February – ‘ideal place’

Gardeners' World: Monty Don interrupted by dog sowing seeds

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February is a great month to start preparing the garden for spring and summer. While it may seem too cold and rainy, there are plenty of jobs that can be done in February. Gardening expert Sarah Raven has shared her advice on how to best sow seeds to achieve a garden full of flowers, vegetables and salad leaves.

Sarah, who is the author of The Cutting Garden, loves growing from seed because it’s rewarding and sustainable and provides a wide variety of plants for less money.

One of Sarah’s hacks included using a “gutter” to sow seeds.

She sows seeds into gutters which can be found at builders’ merchants.

The gardening expert and author said gutters are the “ideal” place to sow seeds instead of into soil.

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This is also handy for people with gardens that have a high clay content.

Sarah said gutters are “great” for plants that don’t like their roots to be disturbed such as parsley, lettuce and salads.

The gardening expert also sows clumps of pea and beetroot seeds in “stations” along the gutter.

She suggests not covering the seeds until it has been placed.

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Then, gardeners should lightly press and cover the seeds with a light dusting of compost.

Sarah has explained her technique for planting out the plants once they’re established.

She said: “When planting out, place hands between plants gently and push the seedling out of the mouth of gutter into a prepared row in the garden.

“Then move the gutter along and push out the next plant, spaced about 10 inches apart.

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“It’s a good mind jogger for successional sowing, once a gutter has been planted you go back and sow more seed.

“This is a great way of ensuring a good of succession of plants all the way through the growing season.”

For those who don’t fancy using a gutter, a seed tray is just fine.

Sarah suggested using seeds out into a white surface and placing them individually into a tray so they are visible.

Once placed into the tray, they can then be gently pushed into the compost or lightly covered, depending on the packet instructions.

Another tip from the gardening expert is to only cover the seeds once they’re in position.

This ensures no mistakes are made or steps repeated.

Sarah’s complete guide to sowing seeds can be found on the latest episode of her gardening podcast, Grow, Cook, Eat, Arrange on Sarah

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