Author Topic: growing from seed  (Read 2781 times)

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Offline Lisa

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growing from seed
« on: June 11, 2014, 06:44:58 AM »
How easy is it to grow flowers from seed, without a greenhouse, or suitable window sill.
The flowers I want are, delosperma, phlox, polyanthus, crocus, helianthemum and gentian. Maybe a houseleek and some grasses or small shrubs with variegated leaves.

I would plant pre grown plugs/plants. But they are so expensive, and I'm very skint.
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Offline K@

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2014, 09:42:56 AM »
I often put seeds in pots and put clear plastic bags over them, held with an elastic band.

Seems to work 99% of the time. :)
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Offline El

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2014, 09:58:26 AM »
That method works for me too. I grow most seeds in the house rather than the greenhouse . I sometimes cut the bottom of a clear plastic bottle and upend that over the pot too
 then let air in by opening the lid  :)

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2014, 10:24:27 AM »
We got a rather good plastic greenhouse from Wilkinson's, a little while back. It's not one of those where the plastic goes all crunchy and splits ones, either.

£20.

Seems to have doubled in price, though...  :(

http://www.wilko.com/greenhouses+accessories/wilko-walk-in-greenhouse-with-staging+pe-cover/invt/0273090?VBMST=greenhouse
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Offline Tāf

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2014, 10:27:02 AM »
Don't use compost that stays soggy. I mix vermiculite or perlite with mine to make it "lighter". Use seed compost as it contains few nutrients. Proper compost is for later once the seedlings are growing properly.

Big seeds get buried, small seeds only just under the surface, some need to be left on top. Read the instructions on the packets.  ;)

Cover to keep the moisture in only until they sprout, then only water from below (this stops algae and fungii forming on the surface that can kill the seedling (it's called "damping off").

Heat is more important than light until they get their first true leaves. If you don't have a bright windowsill, you can make reflectors from card covered in foil to get as much light to them as possible (or they will go all "leggy" looking for light).

Module sowing is far better than tray sowing as you don't have to disturb the roots when "pricking out" the young plants, just pop the whole module out and repot or plant outside.

Hardy Annuals can be sown directly outdoors, Half Hardies are started indoors then planted outside once ALL chance of frost has passed.

You have allotments near you, so perhaps you could chat with the gardeners there, we are an amiable lot usually. Seed packets contain far too many seds for most people, so there are often spare plants around this time of year... just ask for them, we don't like waste!

Crocus from seed are a challenge as they need a warm period followed by a cold one to get them to germinate. And then they take a few years to flower.

Offline Tāf

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 10:28:19 AM »
Poundland and Wilkinsons are excellent for finding essentials. B&Q are a ripoff, as are the garden centres.

Offline Nana of 8

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 10:48:44 AM »
Wish me luck - I've bought some exotic seeds... Most need chilling before germination, and heat to germinate. If it works, I'll be the proud owner of a hardy 'tropical' rain forest.... ::)

I find the most important thing with seeds is not to leave them covered by plastic for too long - you have to monitor them or they rot (see Taf's comment about 'damping off', above). Of course, you can plant hardy seeds straight into the soil - but that's best done in about March. It's not too late for biennials though! If you are planting seeds this week, make sure the soil is kept moist until the plant is sturdy enough to cope with dry soil.

And follow the instructions on the packet about the depth to plant them. Too deep and they rot, too shallow and they keel over, and then rot!
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Offline Tāf

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2014, 11:20:23 AM »
I used to spray the compost with copper fungicide to prevent "damping off", but then the EU banned it!  :grumpy:

Offline Tāf

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2014, 11:21:10 AM »
If you want some fairly robust plants, try Marigolds (African and French).

Offline Lisa

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2014, 14:52:30 PM »
in looking at hardy perennials that like sun for my planter/pretend rockery.
a nice mix of colours and texture.
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Offline Tāf

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2014, 16:36:31 PM »
Poppies and Aqualegias? I can't kill either off them.  ;)

Offline Lisa

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2014, 18:18:04 PM »
Aqualegias look nice
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Offline Tāf

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2014, 19:33:33 PM »
You buy them as roots in £ shops. Or grow from seed (they are easy peasy).

Offline dogsmum

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2014, 21:32:47 PM »

 I wouldn't bother with Marigolds, slugs love them!  :(
 Snapdragons are good, I grew some last year & some of them have just started flowering again, also the Bee's love them  ;)
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Offline K@

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Re: growing from seed
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2014, 08:50:10 AM »
I love plain, simple geraniums. Doddle to grow. Beautiful whiff. Colourful.

Before the frost, I cut them back and put them in the plastic greenhouse. Put them back out, when the frost had buggered off and they're fine. :)
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