Sow with love

03_10_13_Seeds and Pots (18)

British gardener and broadcaster Christine Walkden on  BBC Radio 4 the other week spoke passionately about gardening and growing but what really grabbed my attention were her comments about sowing seeds;  she drew a parallel with growing and the need to look after your seedlings as you would a fellow human or an animal. Sounds a bit extreme? Well let’s think about it a bit more. Put them out in boiling hot sun and they will bake and burn, out in the freezing cold and yes you guessed it they will freeze and shiver. Walkden likened it to putting a child in a pram outside on a boiling hot or sub-zero day – you wouldn’t do that to a baby so why do it to seeds? An exaggeration? I don’t think so but maybe you have other ideas!

As the garden centres start to fill up with Spring time temptations of seed packets and trays of seedlings show them some love and attention and they will reward you –  fresh herbs to hand, or flowers to enjoy, some peas to pick or a lettuce to crunch on.

Whatever you sow, sow it with love in mind.



  • Oh I am so happy that spring is on the way! I have been planning a little larger spot to grow vegetables this year and am looking forward my new adventure. Can’t wait to watch the progress in your garden(s). With two allotments you’ll keep busy!

  • My family always complain that I spend more time looking after my plants than I do them, (although I’ve forgotten to water the plants once in a while, but never the children)! I’m looking forward to getting going with lots of seed sowing – once the spring weather arrives… it’s snowing heavily again here today.

  • I have found that plants do seem to do better when you view them as beings. We had our first big taste of spring this weekend, and guess I’d better get to the sowing!

  • I don’t care how it comes, being reminded to love is a good thing. I must confess to loving the things I grow be they plants or relationships.

  • Claire, that’s the beauty of being able to nurture these little green creatures, with a big payoff in a relatively short time. I sing to my seeds while I’m planting them; maybe they can’t hear me but it makes me feel better. 🙂

    • Sometimes it’s actually getting started that takes the effort – once I’m up and running it’s easier, but right now the planting list seem sto be at the expanding stage!

  • Wonderful, Claire…
    Our Girl is so careful about watering her little seedlings in the office that it’s almost like watching her care for her baby dolls… 🙂

  • Christine is fabulous – I love her passion and honesty. Gardening gives me the opportunity to nurture and fuss over things and by doing this it nurtures me. I know I’m a bit soft but I don’t even like to thin out carrots…. it seems cruel LOL!!! 🙂

  • I think that’s really great advice, Claire! A few years of experience has now taught us that seeds and seedlings need a little coddling – they do much better once they’re bigger and in the garden, but they’re just so vulnerable at the beginning!

  • such good advice claire … we saw another loving plant care trick on Gardening Australia … when transplanting volunteers (such as lettuce, spinach, etc …do you have them in England too?) just pop the plant into seaweed solution while carrying it to it’s new position in the garden … protecting those delicate little roots from drying out and bathing them in nutrients to minimise transplant shock … we always have a big seaweed tea on the go so this went in to practice yesterday when starting to rework the summer garden 🙂

    • I hadn’t heard of that tip Christine, thank you – makes sense to me – gives them some nutrients and care at the same time. Do you make your own seaweed tea – it’ s pretty stinky stuff isn’t it !!

  • Sound advice, Claire. I’m still a couple weeks away from sowing but have just about all of the supplies I need. If only we could coax Old Man Winter to leave a tad early …

  • There is such joy and mystery too, watching a plant emerge from the seed… Here’s to a beautiful and enlightening spring, with freedom as its flag.

    • Thank you Shimon, a beautiful and enlightening Spring with freedom as its flag is just simply perfect.
      The mystery and joy you write of is one of the reasons I keep going back to the garden – all that inbuilt knowledge the seeds contain – all that information needed to create the flower or the colour or the leaves. remarkable .

  • (How beautiful the comment from Shimon above!) Claire I loved reading this…I’m sure you’ve read of experiments (my daughter even did one in middle school) where seeds are planted in all the same conditions except for one – one group is spoken to with words of affection, the other is spoken to critically – and of course we can all guess which set of seedlings thrives and which does not…and we’d be right! 🙂
    You’ve inspired me here, I thought you should know. A friend and I are taking an organic soil-building class in the next week or two and then will be planting at my house in terraced beds and sharing all that comes by way of grace and luck — and love. Thank you for this place!

    • I’d recommend popping over to see Shimon’s blog – a beautiful place if ever – full of wonderful words, thoughts and images from Israel, Truly captivating.
      and how wonderful to inspire (blushes 🙂 ) And I’m looking forward to seeing how your gardening goes, and grows – I know it will be fun and I know that the produce you grow will taste AMAZING. So thank you for joining in on the growing your own veggies – by the way it’s kind of addictive!!

      • Claire, I so enjoy Shimon’s blog! Have been following for only several months but always look forward to what he has to say!
        I’m fully prepared to become addicted…I only wonder what will suffer because of the time spent in the garden! (Perhaps I need someone to do our laundry or chase the dust bunnies! 🙂 )

  • I grow a few things on my kitchen window, herbs mostly but this year I am trying tomatoes and lettuce.
    To tell you th truth I am afraid of starting from seeds. I usually go to the nursery and buy the little timy plants and plant those. Maybe next year , with a little more experience I will try the seeds

    • Don’t be afraid starting from seeds especially lettuce – it’s so simple, literally a pinch and cover it lightly with some compost, water very gently and away you go! If you did want to try lettuce from seed I think you would enjoy growing ‘cut and come again’ / mesculun / baby salad leaves – you literally buy a seed mix, sow a few every few weeks and when they get to a few cm high you snip away and back they grow. You can cut them down about 4 times before they totally stop growing again. I’ll be doing some soon at home so I’ll try and take some photos .
      Nothing beats homegrown – especially those fresh herbs you grow!

    • How lovely! I realise I’ve been missing some of my favourite reads over winter so it’s great to catch up now Spring is around the corner

  • We are having the first warm days here so I am getting the “fever” to start planting and doing a bit of digging and sowing with love. Lovely post.

  • What an interesting way to think about seed sowing, but how true! I just never thought about it before. It is definitely the time of year when I get the itch that brings about compulsive seed planting. My husband has requested that I hold back a little and not take on the need to grow vegetables for the entire community this year! We’ll see how that works out! 🙂

    • Growing veggies for the community – now you know I’d approve of that 😉 But seriously I pass on my spares to neighbours, friends, family and of course allotment swaps. So it all get’s used in the end. That’s what I tell myself when I sow way too many tomatoes…….
      Looking forward to seeing your Spring and Summer progress

  • Love this time of year! Big Man is about to attack the front garden of our new place…wel’ll have to keep it very simple though as we won’t be here all the time. I hear there is a beer festival this weekend in Bexhill…do you fancy it? Sorry, have a new laptop and seem to have lost e-mail addresses but drop me a line and then we can talk!

  • Love it! A great way to think of starting seedlings and one that all of us humans can easily identify with! I’m just getting ready to start some of my own so I’ll keep this tidbit top of mind!

  • I treat my seedlings like little green children until they get planted in the ground. I keep them warm, take them out of the potting shed into the sun for a breath of fresh air, and even talk to them. Once in the ground, I treat them more like teenagers, given them room to grow and become adults. 🙂

  • It is so true. I did bake my little basil seeds. Dried and cracked soil one day that promised to be gray and dreary turned into a hothouse scorcher! I love my little green babies. Wasn’t so attached to the non-germintated but am gutted when I abandon the 2-5 inchers.

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