Riverside Garden Centre Clift House Road, Southville,
Bristol, BS3 1RX
Get in touch! 0117 966 7535 Mon-Sat: 9.30-5.30 Sun: 10.30-4.30 0117 966 7535

Gardeners Advice

Growing Guides

Growing Guides

Posted By: Category: Seasonal Advice

We have put together some guides to growing edibles and half-hardy/hardy/tender annuals to get you started. 

If you are unable to see the images (poster jpegs), please scroll down to read the text.








Growing flowers from seed is colourful, quick growing and very straight forward if you have the right equipment and knowhow!

Nearly all annuals require full sun and do not like the soil to be too rich as this will cause lots for leafy growth at the expense of flowers. 



Hardy annuals can survive frost and can be sown outdoors in Autumn while the soil is still warm and indoors from January onwards.  Here are some examples of our favourites to grow and what to plant them in:

Cornflower, Centaurea cyanus -Modules
Queen Anne’s Lace, Ami majus  -Modules
Pot Marigold, Calendula officinalis -Pot
Love in a Mist, Nigella damascena  -Modules
Wild Carrot, Daucus carota  -Modules
Honeywort, Cerinthe major -Seed Tray
(Amazing for Bees!)

Half-hardy annuals tolerate cool temperatures but need protection from frost.  Sow indoors and protect the plant till after the last frosts.  
Examples of these are:

Californian Poppy, Eschscholzia californica Modules
Flanders Poppy, Papaver rhoeas Modules
Opium Poppy, Papaver somniferum Modules
Sweet Pea, Lathyrus oderatus Root Trainers
Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus                           Pot
Snapdragon, Antirrhinum majus Seed Tray
Borage, Borago officinalis                                Modules

Where we have stated sowing in modules - sow small amounts of seed in each to create plugs plants


Tender annuals need it to be warmer to grow succesully, both in the air and soil, with no sign of frost. In the meantime you can sowing them to start growing indoors.
Examples of these are:

Cosmos, Cosmos atrosanguineus Pot
Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus Pot
Ageratum, Ageratum houstonianum Pot
Zinnia,                                                    Pot
Begonia, Begonia Semperflorens Large Pot
Lobelia, Lobelia erinus Seed Tray
Petunia, Seed Tray
Marigold, Calendula officinalis     Seed Tray
Annual Climbers Modules or Pots Mornig Glory, Cobea, Thungbergia
Large Pots - recommended 1litre or 2 litre


Growing from Bulbs & Corms
Bulb and corms need to be potted up in large pots, somwehere undercover, light and frost free.

Freesia, bulb
Begonia, corm
Ranunculus, corm
Dahlia, corm

Extra Tip:
Although dahlias will grow just fine on their own, pinching the stalk when they have 4 sets of leaves, will give you a stronger, bushier plant with more flowers.  



It can be daunting growing your own, however get ready to propagate with our simple guide on what to sow over the next few months.


At the start of the year, you will be starting off indoors, on a light warm windowsill (unless you have a heated greenhouse!)

We have got you covered when it comes to all the equipment you will need, including trays, modules, root trainers and biodegradable pots. We also stock heated propagators that dramatically increase the germination rate (and cut the waiting time too!)

Seeds come in a variety of sizes, which determines how they are sown. Large seeds are generally sown in individual pots, some are sown in modules as they do not like root disturbance, whereas tiny seeds are better scattered in a tray close to the surface. Some seeds have a very long root system, so they are sown in long pots or “trainers”.


Spring Onion Modules
Coriander, Coriandrum sativum  Seed Tray
Parsley, Petroselinum crispum Seed Tray
Salad leaf mixes                          Seed trays/Modules


Broad Beans Root trainers/Pots
Dwarf French Beans          Root trainers/Pots
Basil, Ocimum basilicum Seed Tray
Rocket, Eruca vesicaria    Seed Tray
Chilli Peppers                     Pots
Sweet Peppers                    Pots
Aubergines                         Pots



It is important to keep an eye on weather during this time. Depending on what you are growing you will need to sow your seeds inside or in a protected environment. 

Tomato Pot
Chilli                       Pot
Sweet Pepper          Pot
Broad Beans Root trainer/Pot
Peas Root trainer/Pot
Onions Root trainer/Pot
Garlic                   Root trainer/Pot
Asparagus Root trainer/Pot
Summer Cabbage Seed Tray /Module
Spinach       Seed Tray /Module
All Salad Leaves Seed Tray /Module
(eg. Beetroot, Chard)
Herbs                     Seed Tray
Chives , Coriander, Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Majoram, and many more!
It is still too early for:
Cucumbers, Squash, Runner Beans, Sweetcorn & Aubergines


Getting Potatoes Ready - Chitting
Once you have bought your seed potatoes, they need to be ‘chitted’ – a wonderful gardening term for encouraging shoots to develop in order to give the potato a head start once it is planted. 

Pricking Out and Potting On
‘Pricking out’ means separating out seedlings growing together and transferring them into their own plugs or pots. Plant seedlings into enriched compost. 

flower images
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Riverside Garden Centre, Clift House Road
Southville, Bristol BS3 1RX
Get in touch! 0117 966 7535 Mon-Sat: 9.30-5.30 Sun: 10.30-4.30

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