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Grow Your Seeds

Thank you for visiting the Visit Harrogate stand at the 2018 Harrogate Spring Flower Show.  We hope you had a great show, and found some wonderful ideas for your garden this year.

For individual instructions on how to grow your seeds please click the seed type below.

• Pea (Mangetout) – Carouby de Maussance
• Beetroot – Boltardy
• Borage
• Sunflower – Autumn Beauty

Find more great ideas for you garden, and explore fantastic gardens in the heart of Yorkshire on our Gardens page, featuring some of the best gardens in Yorkshire.

We have great Gardens Events taking place throughout the year, from NGS open gardens to Flower shows and more.

Mangetout Pea – Carouby de Maussance

This flat podded pea gives delicious pods that stay tender and flat for several days on the plant – so are forgiving of more occasional picking.  They can be eaten whole or even raw, delicious as a side vegetable or as ingredient to stir fries or pasta dishes.

In a peat free multipurpose compost plant your pea seeds in pairs, and cover with a cm more compost.  Keep moist and place on a window sill or in a greenhouse.  The ideal pot would be 5 – 7 cm wide, but you can use root trainers or a non-plastic alternative such as loo roll tubes, or paper pots.

Germination should take around 7 – 10 days.  Move your seedlings to a sunny location, and once 15cm tall place outside during the day to adapt them to the outdoor conditions.

Once 20 cm tall nip off the tops (you can throw these in a salad) to promote more shoots and plant on to final growing location.  This can be a prepared bed, or a large, deep container where you can plant all ten seedlings, and give them some supports to grow up – this can be a lattice, twigs and branches from around the garden, or interwoven sticks, fill any gaps with twine, as peas like to reach out and grab hold to keep themselves steady.

Your peas will grow to around 1.2 m tall, pick regularly and accumulate pods in a paper bag in the fridge to encourage continued cropping and accumulate good volumes of this delicious vegetable.

Let the last few pods reach maturity and swell, then pick and dry for your own seeds you can use next year.

Beetroot – Boltardy

This is a dependable crop that will deliver tasty beets and be a source of colourful salad leaves throughout summer.

Beetroots grow well in clumps so split your seeds between two small pots or modules filled with peat-free multipurpose compost with five/six seeds in each.  Cover lightly with soil and water and keep on a warm windowsill or in a sheltered position outside.  Germination takes 14 to 21 days.

Keep the seedlings in their containers until they have a second pair of leaves each, and roots protruding from the bottom of the pot.  If the clump of plants will come easily out of the pot and hold together with a good root system now is the time to transfer them to a container filled with rich compost or a well prepared bed and water well.

You can pick young leaves to add colour and interest to your salads through the summer, and pick the beetroots as they become a significant size.  As the numbers in the clumps reduce, and you can let them grow larger, your last beetroots may reach the size of a small orange!

Borage

A rich and heavily flowering bee friendly flower that is edible, traditionally added to salads, or jugs of Pimms.

Now we are into the end of April Borage plants will germinate easily in a tray of either seed compost, or sieved peat free multipurpose.  Cover them lightly in compost and keep moist, germination will be quite quick in around seven days.

Once the second pair of leaves starts to appear you can gently transfer each seedling to its own pot, holding by the leaves, not the stem and place in a sunny position.  Keep well-watered over the next weeks, and the plants should come on quickly, once 15 to 20 cm tall you can transfer to their final location. 

Flowers should come in the next month and intensify through to September; supports maybe required as plants can become top heavy and prone to flop over, plants will grow to around 1m in height.

Borage plants are very effective at self-seeding so once planted in an area you will get borage seedlings in early spring the following year which you can pick out and pot on, or leave to grow where they are.  Collect seeds from the flower heads once they turn dark and sow in Feb the following year to get an early start!

Sunflower – Autumn Beauty

This late flowering sunflower comes in a range of colours and provides important food for bees as the build their stores for winter, as well as looking beautiful in your garden.

Sow individually in small pots of peat-free compost, and cover to a depth of 1 cm.

Place in a warm location and keep moist, germination can take 10 to 14 days.  Grow on in original pot in a sunny location, greenhouse or cold frame being ideal to discourage the seedlings becoming leggy.  If your plants do get too tall to support themselves and fall over, give them a garden cane and gradually tie them into a straight shape over a week or so.

Once roots are protruding from the pot and the plant has reached 20 to 25 cm in height, pot on to a larger pot, or if in late spring, plant straight out to the flowering position.

Sunflowers can be grow in containers that are large and deep, or in most soil types, straight into the ground and will perform best in a location that gets full sun. 

Sunflowers rotate their heads to follow sun through the day, so if possible take this into account when planting so you get the full benefit of their colour. 

Plants will reach around 1.8m and flower, and you can collect seeds from the first flower heads to grow again next year.  You can store the seed bearing flower heads and either hang or lay out for birds in the late autumn and winter.

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