sowing vegetables
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What to consider when sowing vegetables

Pre-germinating vegetables

Ever dreamt of having your own vegetable garden, a lush raised bed or vegetable harvest from the balcony? For a rich and varied vegetable harvest in the summer, certain plants need to be pre-germinated at the beginning of the year. On the other hand, others can be sown directly into the vegetable patch later on. We show you what to consider when sowing vegetables and give you tips for guaranteed success.

sowing vegetables

That's why it's worth the effort

Which vegetables should be pre-germinated?

Plants should always be pre-germinated if the climatic conditions outdoors are not suitable at the time of sowing. It's advisable to grow such plants on a windowsill or in a heated greenhouse. Vegetable seeds usually need evenly warm temperatures and moisture to germinate. The time for sowing and growing varies depending on which vegetables you choose. Under certain circumstances, this may also be during the winter. Other varieties, especially native ones, do not need to be pre-germinated but can be sown directly in the vegetable patch. These include root vegetables such as carrots, radishes or beetroot, for example. They grow very quickly and do not need high temperatures for germination. Since the fruits grow underground, they are not as sensitive to temperature differences as tomatoes are, for example. In addition, the growing season for tomatoes, aubergines and cucumbers is so long that sowing them outdoors for just the warmer months is not enough to ensure a good harvest before the cold season sets in. You can find a summary of the different vegetables and right time to sow them in our sowing calendar:

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COMPO SANA® Potting Soil for Herbs and Seedlings

Special potting soil for sowing and growing, herbs, cuttings and seedlings.

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What's the difference between light and dark germinators?

Seeds are basically divided into light and dark germinators. As the name suggests, light germinators need light to germinate, so you shouldn't cover them with soil when you sow them. You simply put them on the ground and press them a little. On the other hand, dark germinators are inserted a little way into the soil. They need the layer of soil to strip off their husk as they make their way toward the light. Most herb seeds are light germinators and most vegetables are dark germinators. A summary can be found here:

How to grow vegetablesVegetables by type of germinator

Light germinators

Carrot, lettuce, celery, tomato

Dark germinators

Pepper, chilli, cucumber, courgette, aubergine, peas, beans, lamb's lettuce, pumpkin, sweetcorn, radish, beetroot

How to grow your own produce

Vegetable sowing step by step

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    Preparing a planter

    Fill a seed tray or pot with special seed compost and press down gently. Lightly moisten the soil with a little water.

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    Sowing seeds

    Now place the seeds on top of the soil. Light germinators are only placed on top of the soil. On the other hand, dark germinators are gently pressed into the soil. As a rule of thumb, seeds should be put about twice as deep into the soil as their thickness.

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    Cover the container

    Now place a cover on top of the planter and put it somewhere warm and bright. Air the container daily and moisten the soil as soon as it starts to dry. It's advisable to use a spray bottle for this to prevent the seeds from being washed away.

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    Remove the cover

    The cover can be removed as soon as the seeds have germinated and the first cotyledons are visible. The seedlings must now be kept moist and sufficient light is also extremely important.

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    Prick seedlings (optional for seed tray)

    As soon as the plantlets are a little larger and more stable, they can be pricked out. When pricking out, the strongest plantlets are taken out of the seed tray and placed in a separate pot. This provides them with more space to grow and fully exposes them to the light available. The soil in the new pot should also be kept moist.

Distributing fine seeds more effectively

Sowing fine seeds evenly is often a challenge. Accordingly, it's advisable to mix them with dry quartz powder and then to spread this mixture.

sowing vegetables

How to sow in a vegetable patch

It's extremely important to maintain planting distances when sowing directly into a vegetable patch because you won't be repotting the plants again. As the distances depend on the plant's size and root growth, you will usually find this information on the back of your seed bag. To better maintain distances, create furrows of about 1-2 cm deep at the distance specified and then sow the seeds in those.

Creating the right growing conditions

Not too early


Light and heat


Low-nutrient seed compost

Soil and fertilisers

Seed pots and trays




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