Tiny tip no. 1 (meaning the first of a series, not the top tip for success!) for new gardeners is simple and perhaps obvious: don’t fill pots all the way to the top with soil, even if it does look nicer.
RB and I have planted a whole load of seed this year, ranging from herbs to vegetables to bee-attracting flowers, and by now they have pretty much all graduated into the seedling category. We’ve grown from seed before, but we’ve never had much land to play with so it’s safe to say this year we are going agricultural by comparison.
Before we knew peat-based products were gardening’s equivalent to serving jellied eels to your friends for dinner (so uncool and there are plenty of alternatives), we bought hundreds of tiny peat pots in addition to traditional seed trays.
Now here’s the tip: soil does not absorb water straight away, so if you’ve put soil all the way to the top and you have a seed or two sitting there, the water is going to make it initially overflow and probably make the seeds go with it. So give the pot a little space to fill up with water while is starts to absorb it.