Today opened from 09:00 until 17:30

Your independent Plant Centre
for all the Family

  • All our sausages are made by our own Butcher

  • Enjoy tea, coffee and home-made lunches in our Cafe

  • Our Plant Centre has all you need for Autumn garden maintenance

  • We stock Regatta outdoor men's and womenswear

    Get ready for sowing vegetables

    Get ready for sowing vegetables

    Get ready for sowing vegetables by making a 'stale seedbed' – an area of ground which you've prepared and then covered with clear polythene to warm it up ready for your seeds. It's an old market gardening trick which gets your seedlings off to a flying start.

    Start by digging over the area to a fork's depth, bashing any clods with the back of your fork so they break up. Then rake the area thoroughly in two different directions to create a lovely crumbly bed for your seeds. You're aiming for a texture similar to that of breadcrumbs.

    Now lay clear polythene, available in handy packets or off the roll in your favourite garden centre, on the soil and weight down the edges with bricks. This captures every drop of warmth from the sun and traps it at ground level, where it slowly brings the soil temperature up by several degrees compared to uncovered ground.

    You'll find a green carpet of annual weeds germinates in the unexpected warmth. This is actually a benefit of the technique: just before you need to sow, lift the polythene and hoe the weeds off, eliminating the competition as far as your seedlings are concerned and giving them a head start on the year.