Rebel Yell…. When to REALLY sow your seeds!


Everyone is an expert it seems on the subject of when to sow this and when to sow that. I’m really not surprised at all that beginners to growing get so confused by this subject, it’s enough to confuse me and I’ve been growing some years now!

Well just because I’m a bit of a rebel I’m gonna put it straight out there and say, “NO! NO NO, just NOPE!  I am not going to do it this way or your way or any way but my own. And it’s not because I’m actively rebelling, I just know what works best for me and in my climate, in my space and in my day and age.


It’s ok to reference an old vintage book that says sow your broad beans in November for an early crop. Ermm well I did that and well they cropped at the same time as my February sowings which was pretty disappointing. Times have changed and our climate and seasons are ever-changing.  However I found that if I sow my broad beans at the beginning of January (sort of like my new year gift to myself – sorts the itchy green fingers right out) that I get broad beans that romp away. This year they were hardened off for 2 weeks during February and planted out standing at 10 inches at the end of February. Now I’ve looked at other folks over wintered sowings and most are not even half this size. I haven’t done anything spectacular to get these results just sown in modules in an unheated porch and watered, that’s it!


The other thing that really get’s under my skin, is hearing growers who winge on at early sowers about ‘LEGGY PLANTS’ and “Too Early” snide rumbles. You’ve probably heard these remarks here and there. Leggy plants? So what, newbie growers don’t coil in fear!  I sow 5 tomato seeds to an 8 inch pot in a propagator in late January with no grow lights (I did have a vintage one but it broke) and yes they became extremely leggy due to the short days this time of year. But so what, in just a couple of weeks they are going to be potted on anyway. I just submerge the leggy stem into the compost and they grow into fine healthy plants that crop well, problem solved. I do this because I need my windowsill space for my next lot of sowings, so these get potted on then hardened off into the polytunnel where they will stay for the year to crop.

I understand people want to share their growing experience with others and this is great and what makes a fabulous community but sometimes it can come across negative. If you’re new to growing and someone dismisses your efforts that’s a bit of poor play if you ask me and just isn’t necessary. We learn best by trial and error so new gardeners should be encouraged, ask them questions, praise them, share your experiences but don’t tell them what’s the ‘right way’ in a pedantic manner, it’s each to their own. Because you never know, they may just do absolutely marvellous this year with their new flukey cookey methods and who made you Charles Darwin anyway?

I sow and grow by what feels right to me in tune with the current season (which were floods here in Yorkshire last year) and by what I can accommodate in my space. I think the best method of growing is by trial and error and what feels right to you.

So go on, sow away and have a fantastic time doing it. If it doesn’t work just dust off the potting bench and start again, there’s no losses just learning!


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Brightest Blessings Always,

Bo x

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post! I had all that when I took on my first allotment before I was twenty. As a reaction, I took a day release college course and came out with my RHS certification. This, to me, meant I could not only do what I felt was right but I could back it up against folklore and tradition.
    I fully agree that we have a brilliant community in the gardening world but let’s drop the wrong/right attitude. In a hobby built full of colour, nothing should be black and white!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Here, Here! Thank you and brilliant words from yourself too totally agree! 👍😉💚🌱

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you very much 🙂


  2. Horti Hugh says:

    Great stuff Michelle, gardening is such an adventure. Ask 50 gardeners how to sow some onion seeds, and you’ll get 50 different replies! It’s what works for you. Hurry up with the vids 😃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you Hugh you’re always so supportive and encouraging. Appreciate it lots. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very well said! The best way to learn is to make a few mistakes and to experiment with what works. I love flowers and gardening but I’m now really having a go at establishing an allotment and a cut garden and it can be pretty intimidating! Thank you for your encouraging words 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Aww you are very welcome, thank you for reading and giving feedback, I really appreciate it. Good luck with your allotment and cutting garden. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. John Kingdon says:

    I always say “Whatever works for you, do it!” What matters most is that everyone enjoys gardening. You’ll always learn far more from a single mistake than from twenty old fogies telling you how they do it. Though you shouldn’t have given our early sowing secrets away! Letting everyone know we pot leggy things on a bit deeper. I mean, this knowledge is sacred! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Ha Brilliant John, sorry for giving away trade secrets! 😉


  5. Totally agree! The weather varies so much from week to week and year to year and place to place, you simply have to do things when you think its the right time, and it wont be the same time every year. I am in South Wales with no greenhouse or conservatory but a very chilly utility room, so I find I am sowing weeks after everyone else because there is little point until things warm up enough.


  6. Jim Stephens says:

    Yes! The only thing I’d say is that even the “works for me” concept is misleading. Unless they stick to half a dozen predictably easy crops even seasoned growers doing the same thing they’ve done for years will get failures. It happens, quite a lot, move on. And the more adventurous you are the greater the number of failures, but the sweeter the successes too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and really like your attitude to sowing seeds.


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