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Seeds & seed sowing

Help solve your gardening problem. Here are the answers to some commonly asked gardening questions about seeds and seed sowing with hints, tips and advice.

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I have some lupin seeds saved from last years' plants. Can I sow them indoors, and if so what is the best way to do this?

The seeds can be sown any time during the spring. But, be aware that the the plants won't necessarily produce flowers in the same colour as the plants they were taken from.

Lupins dislike root disturbance, so I would sow them singly in small pots or cell trays.

They can be difficult to germinate, so I would sow one-third as they are; one-third I'd soak in cold water for 24 hours prior to sowing, and the last third I would wear down the seed coat using sand paper close to the eye.

Sow in John Innes compost at a temperature of 15C (60F).

Can I keep excess seeds from year to year?

You can keep seeds from one year to the next. You need to keep them cool, dark and dry. Keep them in their foil packs and place in an airtight plastic container in the fridge. Don't freeze them as you may kill them.

Using silica gel (sold at pharmacies or they come in sachets with a wide range of small electrical goods) will help absorb moisture and so help keep the seeds dry. Or you could place water-retention crystals in the plastic container, which will also help mop up any moisture.


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