Since I pre-sowed my peppers and sweet peppers at home last month, I’ve been thinking a lot about my vegetable garden plan. I can’t fit all my vegetable garden plants inside, otherwise we won’t be able to sit at the breakfast table because it’s filled with trays and pots of all shapes and sizes. So I use my ACD® greenhouse as a pre-sowing place. Too cold you say? No, several vegetables and flowers can take a beating. Some even need a cold period to germinate, like chives. Sow peas indoors and they will shoot up as lanky plants. So I now put these, and several other vegetables, in pots in the greenhouse.

The trays in which I sow, I put on a folding table. This is now an integral part of the design of my greenhouse: When the tomatoes go in May, I push 2 buttons and the table clicks right down. This way I don’t have to work with bolts and nuts every year to get the table out. Good riddance!

What can you pre-sow in the greenhouse?

  • Fragrant peas (lathyrus) with their beautiful flowers, like to grow slowly, and are therefore ideal to sow now so that they are strong in the spring. They grow about 2 meters tall in the summer, so provide a climbing frame or bamboo poles outside for them to cling to.
  • Broad beans . Do not confuse them with French beans, which you can only sow around May and do not like the cold at all. Broad beans can be planted out in the garden from 5cm high. You also have less chance of aphids if you pre-sow them early. Win-win.
  • Summer leeks: can be planted out in your vegetable garden as soon as they are pencil-thick.
    Shelled and slumbering peas: show their first green after about two weeks, and can be planted out from mid-March onwards.
  • Cabbages: choose early varieties. This is mentioned on the seed packet.

With severe night frost, you can put a fleece over the plants, to protect the tops. Otherwise they may start to fall flat, weakening them (and it doesn’t look nice either).

How to pre-sow correctly?

Pre-sowing is done in plastic (reusable) seed trays, in empty egg cartons or rolls of kitchen or toilet paper. Always use seed and cutting soil, which is less fertilized and ideal for gentle growth.  Do not water too often, only when the potting soil feels dried out. Stop watering temporarily in case of heavy (night) frost.

I hope you experience as much satisfaction and fun with pre-sowing as I do!

Written by Sofie Maes

Outdoor person with a passion for natural vegetable gardening with quality materials and products. Fond of tomatoes, peppers and pumpkins of all shapes and colors. Chicken lover and cuddler, the eggs are a nice touch. Enjoys getting her hands dirty with her 2 daughters and then cooking delicious meals with the bountiful harvest.
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