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Top tip: Germinating seeds


Styling: Lucy Gough | Photography: Oliver Perrott

This top tip is for all those people who want to grow things from seed. It is so simple to do!

For people who don’t do any gardening because they don’t know how to…. never fear! I will help you. I knew diddly squat two years ago and now it is one of my favourite things to help me chill out.

I kept accumulating free packets of seeds from the covers of magazines and never knew what to do with them. So what I started to do was to put some compost in an ice cube tray and when they had sprouted, I would dig them out with a spoon and put them in the ground. This would result in me losing half my seedlings because they are so delicate.

What I do now (and here is where the Top Tip comes in), is the same as I would with the ice cube tray but in toilet rolls. This means I can plant them straight into the ground because the cardboard decomposes!

Step one: fill toilet roll with compost.

Step two: drop a few seeds into each one and sprinkle with compost so they are fully covered.

Step three: place the toilet rolls on a tray and put the whole tray inside a plastic bag and tie a knot in it.

Step four: place on a window sill (inside the house or shed) so it gets sunlight and the act of putting the plastic bag around it means that they stay moist with condensation.

Step five: take a step back and watch your seedlings germinate in a couple of weeks.

Step six: if there is no frost about, you can put the whole toilet roll in a hole in the ground and the plant will continue to grow! (you will always need to check a seed packet for timings)

Voila! I love a bit of seedling success.

Enjoy x

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4 Responses
  • Marg
    September 26, 2013

    Lucy you are so clever! I am about to plant my basil seeds from last years crop. I would normally plant in one big pot then separate out before planting into the ground and several end up damaged but not any more! Fabulous tip!

  • LucyGough
    September 27, 2013

    I’m so glad you like it Marg! Let’s catch up soon x

  • Hillda
    September 27, 2013

    I love this tip Lucy!
    Cant wait for Spring – will start to hoard empty toilet rolls in anticipation..

  • Angie
    September 25, 2015

    Hi Lucy,

    Great little ‘top tip’ Lucy. I’m going to have a go, as I have sooo many seeds, and this will make it easier to keep them … where you want them, but I can still make it look rather random.
    Love your styling, blogs and top tips. Congratulations on winning a shortlist place and wish you every success with the Amara awards. Fingers Crossed for you xxx

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