Only a (seedy) Gardener…

IMG_1504… would get excited about coloured envelopes containing dried vegetable matter, and especially excited because it is the first of March and she can start sowing another batch of seeds….. as if the date really matters that much. But gardeners do get excited about seeds – about planning their purchase, sowing them, waiting for them to germinate and then watching their progress as they magically transform into fully grown plants (well, some of the time!). Having planned to write about seeds and stuff today, when Annette2121’s blog appeared in my inbox I was able to teak it a little and link it to her ‘Only  a Gardener’ meme – have a look her blog to see what it is all about.

All the above seeds can supposedly be planted from March with some heat, so they will be installed in trays next to the Aga either later today or maybe tomorrow. The last of February’s trays have been now been moved on, the minuscule seeds of Antirrhinum ‘Liberty Classic Crimson’ just germinating on the cusp of the month change. They are from Sarah Raven whose seeds I have used for the first time this year and despite her generally excellent information she doesn’t say whether seeds need light or night to germinate – I was dithering with her cleome, but as soon as I removed the black plastic the seeds burst into life after about 3 weeks of sulking. Similarly, the antirrhinum started off in the dark until I googled the question.

IMG_1437During the week I received my allocation of RHS seeds, a collection designed for ‘the cutting garden’ and some others. I haven’t sorted out a sowing timetable yet, but know that my seed tray pile is rapidly going down already! After slightly below zero temperatures overnight  it is definitely too early to be sowing anything outside, so hopefully many of this batch don’t need to be dealt with yet.

In the greenhouse some potting on is becoming necessary as some of the strongest seedlings are already developing a good root system – cerinthe and malva in particular – which means staging for the half greenhouse will soon become a necessity. In the meantime there are a growing number of pots and trays on the floor. Another Sarah Raven delivery dahlias,etcyesterday brought dahlia tubers and Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide’ – the size of the tubers compared to the ones I bought from our local garden centre last year suggest why the latter (recently potted up) were not very successful. I was impressed with her detailed instructions for the dahlias and other bulbs too – so much so that I dug up the crinum and eucomis I recently bought from Broadleigh Bulbs and replanted them in temporary pots to give them a head start.

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26 Responses to Only a (seedy) Gardener…

  1. Christina says:

    I have those orange Cosmos, I planted mine in January and they have aleady been pricked out into modules, they look like they will make nice plants, they will go in the cutting bed and maybe some in the back border which has some other orange plants.

    • Cathy says:

      I like the way there are slightly different shades of orange, or so it appears in the picture – it will be interesting to compare notes

  2. Annette says:

    Jekka McVicar’s book Seeds is excellent, also John Cushnie’s How to propagate to quickly check how things need to be done. You’ve been busy and in for a challenge if all these trays need placing by the AGA ;). I have just started sowing. Came across some rare Paeonia seeds the other day that looked rather accusingly at me…somehow I don’t have the patience to wait THAT long. Have a good weekend, Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – in the ‘old days’ starting seeds in the dark seemed to be the thing to do but most of them don’t appear to need it after all. Info on packets varies such a lot, doesn’t it? Hope you enjoyed your w/e too.

  3. annette2121 says:

    Good one Cathy – thanks for joining in. I sadly don’t have a greenhouse or potting shed, or even any windowsills wide enough to hold a seed tray. I have sometimes tried in the boiler/utility room but it gets very warm and seeds can get very leggy. I did grow some lovely Ladybird poppies though last year, directly outside. I thought they would never germinate, but they were well worth the wait.

  4. No worries I’ve found her blog with the help of good old google. Sorry I’ve managed to reply to annette2121 by mistake instead of to the blog itself.

  5. Chloris says:

    I love Tithona ‘ Torch’. It is true only other gardeners can understand the excitement of buying and sowing seeds.

    • Cathy says:

      It was Anna of Green Tapestry who recommended Tithonia – I had never even heard of it before. While I was still working the buying and sowing of seeds was a bit of a burden as I was quite neglectful during the process, so it is a big improvement these days!

  6. Anna says:

    Oh exciting times indeed Cathy. Looks as if you have a real treasure trove there to sow. My seed sowing bible is an ancient booklet that T&M used to send out with seeds which has detailed info re heat, light/dark requirements . Away from home at the moment but can’t wait to get home and get sowing:)

    • Cathy says:

      Sounds a useful booklet, Anna – and certainly helpful to have it all in one place. Sarah Raven’s packets don’t give an indication of how long they might take to germinate either which can stop you thinking nothing is ever going to happen. I trust all is well with you and family.

  7. wellywoman says:

    Oooo! All that promise of the growing season to come. It’s all soooo exciting. I’m hoping to be seed sowing and pricking out this afternoon. 😉

    • Cathy says:

      It is indeed, and being more organised about it this year hopefully means better results- and even greater excitement!

  8. bittster says:

    Good for you for the organization! I always tend to collect too many seeds and then never get them planted. This year I’m trying a little harder to get them in the ground, but now I don’t know what’s going to happen with all those seedlings! Hopefully they don’t grow too fast…. or need repotting or watering 🙂

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