Flowers To Grow From Seed
Flowers To Grow From Seed
In the Flowers From Seed Happy Hour on the 10th of March, we talked about some annuals that are worth growing from seed. Some of these are hard to find as plants, and some don’t transplant well so they need to sown directly where they are to grow in the ground. I promised those attending that I’d post the list here, with tips for success. You can download that list and bring it into the store; in the near future the recording of this Zoom presentation will be available on our Events page.
At the end of the Happy Hour there wasn’t time to answer all of the questions, so the ones we didn’t get to are answered here.
Q. I’m new at starting seeds but I did start the pepper plants. Most have germinated after 15 days but some have not. I feel like they are getting tall looking for more light. I don’t have lights 🙁 and just depending on window light. Should I give up on any further indoor seed starts.
A. Do you have them in the sunniest window you have, or in front of a south-facing sliding glass door? That’s the best lighting. You can also buy single gro-light bulbs, and put one in a desk lamp or other fixture that you already have, and position that very close to those peppers, leaving it on until 9 or 10 PM. If you want to start more things from seed, wait until early May. The days are longer then, and you’ll even be able to put the plants into real sunlight during the days and bring them in at night. (Note – do this gradually, starting with just a 20 minute time in the real sun, and work up to a few hours so that your tender seedlings don’t get burned.
Q. Last year I had 6-8 large flower pots on my front door steps, filled with pansies (purple, blues, and white coloured) – however, they were eaten by rabbits. To stop them from eating the pansies, I put pointy cactuses flower pots next to the pansies to keep them from being eaten. Is that a good idea? Plus, what should I do for this year’s bloom?
A. Those pointy cacti were an inspired solution! You can also try spraying ornamental plants with Plantskydd – it’s a very long lasting and effective rabbit repellant. Get the liquid and spray it right on the plants. (It’s blood based and can’t be used on edibles.) You could also invert other pots and then place the planted containers on top of those, making the pots too high for the bunnies to get to. (They’d have to be about 3 feet up – rabbits can stretch up at least 2 feet when motivated.)
Q. I want to rearrange and edit a garden bed. When is the best time to do that?
A. I assume that you’re wanting to rearrange perennials and/or shrubs. Late March and early April are the perfect time to get this done.
Q. What is the best way to grow wild flowers from seed?
A. If you have an area that is currently bare soil, rake it lightly and scatter the seeds according to the directions on the package. Some might advise covering the seeds lightly and others need light to germinate. In order to space out the seeds, many people combine the seeds into a bucket of compost and mix well, then scatter the compost that contains the seed over the area. This has the added benefit of keeping the seeds a bit more moist while they germinate. Water them in well immediately so the critters are less likely to eat them. If you don’t have an area of bare soil, you’ll need to create one by removing the plants that are there now.
Q. How early should I start perennial seeds under lights, and how long should the lights be on?
A. Perennial seeds can be sown in March. All seedlings under fluorescent or tube gro-lights should have the lights on for 14 hours a day. You want the seedlings convinced that it’s late June!
The next Friday Happy Hour will be about growing vegetables in small spaces. You can register here.
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