• Home Home

Garden expert shares planting method to avoid to protect seedlings from root rot: 'I did not know that'

"I always [did this] — no wonder they rarely grow."

"I always [did this] — no wonder they rarely grow."

Photo Credit: TikTok

U.K. gardener Simon Akeroyd (@simonakeroydgardener) shared a simple — and yet easily overlooked — tip for growing better plants from large seeds: sow them on their sides.

The scoop

In a video, Simon explained, "because pumpkins, squashes, courgettes and marrows have big seeds," they can begin "rotting as water sits on top of them."

@simonakeroydgardener Quick #gardening tip for you! Because pumpkins, squashes, courgettes and marrows have big seeds they can rot if planted flat. The water can just sit on top of the seed. Instead push them below the surface of the compost on their sides. Pumpkins, squashes, melons, courgettes, marrows, cucumbers, melons etc belong to the cucurbit family. They are all slightly tender so don't plant them outside until the risk of frost is over. #growyourown #growyourgroceries #gardeningforbeginners ♬ Never Tear Us Apart - INXS

Instead, as he demonstrates, gardeners can sow the seeds on their sides. He shows a thriving tray of his "edge-sown pumpkins," concluding, "enjoy your homegrown veg!"

This method applies to anything with large seeds, such as pumpkins, squashes, melons, courgettes, marrows, cucumbers, and more.

How it's working

Food gardening in the U.S. and the U.K. is on the rise, with more than a third of adults in the U.K. reporting that they grow at least some of their own food.

Accounts like Simon's make it easy and approachable; he's shared tips previously on how to grow endless supplies of kitchen staples like celery, herbs, salad greens, sweet potatoes, and more.

There are also many ways to recycle everyday items to help your garden flourish — like growing carrots in a shoebox, microgreens in a milk jug, and lentils in a microwave meal container. 

The best part is that you don't need to buy any seeds or starter plants. As Simon demonstrates in several other videos, using supermarket produce as starters is an easy, affordable way to begin growing your own food

Not only will food gardening lower your grocery bills, but it'll also make you healthier. Produce loses its nutritional value the longer it's in transit, so homegrown food has more nutrients than anything you'll find at the store. One study showed reconstituted orange juice lost nearly 50% of its Vitamin C during the study period.

Additionally, the practice of tending to a garden has been shown to improve mental health.

But the benefits don't stop there. By keeping dollars out of the industrial agriculture industry, especially non-organic brands that use toxic pesticides, you can munch guilt-free, knowing that you're lessening your environmental impact. That includes cutting fuel that's burned to get the food from its origin to your kitchen, too. 

What people are saying

Viewers were eager to try Simon's handy tip.

"Your videos are fabulous! I always planted my pumpkin seeds flat — no wonder they rarely grow," one person wrote. "Thanks again!"

"I did not know that, thanks for sharing!" another enthused.

Some had already been using his tips and had found great success. "Sowed white, green, and yellow [Peter Pan squashes] this year!" one person wrote.

For more tips on how to start growing your own food, check out TCD's guide.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider