How to grow your free RHS Urban Show seeds

Growing tips and advice for the Seed Giveaway in Manchester in association with the RHS Urban Show April 18 – 21 2024

Philodendron scrambling over a light

Which seeds did you get?

On 7th March, free packets of seeds were handed out around Manchester to highlight the RHS Urban Show coming to Depot Mayfield in April.  Everyone who cares for a plant is a gardener, even if you don’t have any outside space.

Containing either rocket, coriander or pepper seeds, all are small plants, ideal for any size garden or windowsill. Anyone can sow and grow these seeds with whatever space they have, or share them with friends.

About the RHS Urban Show 

Lex Falleyn, show manager, says: “These seeds give just a small flavour of what the RHS Urban Show is all about as we look forward to supporting the work already happening to make Manchester a greener city and welcoming visitors to the show. The RHS believes that if you have even just one plant, you are a gardener and we hope these seeds and the RHS Urban Show will inspire more people to get growing.”

Growing hints and tips

Whether you are a first time grower or a more experienced gardener, here are some tips to get you sowing.  You can share your successes and setbacks on social media, and see how others are getting on, using the hashtag #RHSUrbanShow.

How to grow your seeds

Guy Barter, RHS Chief Horticulturalist gives his top tips for growing rocket, coriander and pepper seeds:

Rocket Wild Grazia


Rocket Wild Grazia is ideal for balcony and patio gardens:

  • Sow a few seeds in a big pot, leaving 10cm between each seed and keep inside until they have germinated. Sow a few seeds at a time, three weeks apart to allow for a continuous supply of rocket
  • Pick leaves as soon as they are big enough to encourage new growth
  • Leave a few plants to flower to provide nectar and pollen for insects as well as seeds for future crops
Read more about growing rocket >

Coriander ‘Confetti’

Coriander ‘Confetti’
Coriander ‘Confetti’ can be grown both indoors in good light and outside in pots once germinated:

  • Make small sowings three weeks apart as coriander flowers quickly, which ends the supply of flavoursome foliage
  • After flowering, seeds mature in about two months and can be used in cooking or saved for future crops
  • When growing inside, cut as mini leaves when 5–7cm tall to use as a garnish

Read more about growing coriander >

Sweet and chilli peppers 

There are five different varieties of peppers  in the seed givaway. Biquino Red and Anaheim are hot chillis, and California Wonder, Colour Spectrum and Corno di are sweet peppers. They have similar growing requirements but check which type you have before taking a bite.

Peppers are great for urban environments as the extra city heat helps with colour, flavour and speed of growth:

  • Sow pepper seeds as soon as possible as it takes a while to grow to cropping size and keep them inside in a warm, bright spot
  • Pepper plants can be placed outside in a sunny, sheltered spot once warm enough, usually in June
  • Plant pepper seeds in a black pot if you can to absorb the sun’s heat, giving extra warmth which pepper’s love

Find out more about growing sweet peppers >
(California Wonder, Colour Spectum and Corno di)

Find out more about growing chilli peppers >
(Anaheim and Biquino Red)

What you need to grow your seeds

Homemade pots

While rocket and coriander can be sown directly onto prepared soil outdoors, peppers will need to be be started indoors, and growing in containers may work best for your space.

More ideas for budget gardening >

Anything that will hold growing medium and has drainage can be used as a continer. Plastic food packaging can be washed an repurposed into a great seed tray. Paper pots can be made from newspaper, and a glass.  For larger containers, crockery, lined baskets, even old boots can become a mini garden.

For everything else you could need to support your seed adventuer, the RHS Shop has lots of options for containers, growing medium, labels or even more seeds.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.