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It’s amazing – no matter how long you’ve been gardening, there’s always something new to try.

I’ve been sowing seeds for my cutting garden (a new development this year), herbaceous garden and of course the tropical bit around the pond courtesy of Ventnor Botanic Gardens.

The tropical seeds were the ones I thought would be trickiest, but in fact they’ve turned out to be pretty straightforward and in many cases don’t even need a propagator. It’s good old lupin seeds that have got me trying something new.

I’ve always heard about sanding seeds and often wondered “what’s all that about then?”. Certainly I’ve never bothered with it – sweet peas, the usual candidates, always germinate fine for me without any special treatment at all. But for once I read the seed packet on my Lupin “Morello Red” seeds for the cutting garden, and was a bit surprised to find they needed sanding and soaking before you sow them. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never had much success germinating lupins before – I always thought it was the slugs…

Anyway, so I’ve taken an old emery board and gently sanded one end of each seed (ooh so fiddly… ) and they’re now soaking in tepid water for a couple of hours before I sow them. Let’s see if it makes a difference.