Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Seeds For Fall and Spring

Perennials planted in fall have the benefit of getting established before winter and developing a good root system by spring. I'm already thinking of spring 2017 and what plants I'd like to try next year from seed. After spending many hours in the yard this spring I realized that one flower bed in dappled shade gets more sun during the day than I thought. My plan is to try some of my favorite ones from my seeds I've purchased and never sown in the back flower bed. Those that can tolerate some shade.

Since I've done well starting from seed so far,  this may help me have lots of plants I start without the added expense often charged for 4 inch or larger potted ones from the nursery. Some of my favorites include foxgloves, echinacea, lupines, and lambs ear. I ordered perennials from Bluestone Perennials this spring during their plant sell and thought the bed would be fuller with perennials next spring. The plants arrived but not to my house. UPS allowed a neighbor to sign for the plants and I never received them as I was at work and no one was at my home. I won't be ordering from them again although they refunded the cost of the order but didn't seem concerned that they were not delivered to me. 

Japanese anemone, foxgloves, brunnera, bergenia, and others were part of my order. I have seeds already for anemone and I'll try to start some myself. They may be difficult because the seed pack stated if they don't germinate in 4-5 weeks, to put them in the refrigerator for a period. Let's see what happens. Finally started the dwarf sunflower seeds and some taller ones for fall. If they survive, they'll be a nice addition to the usual pansies and mums although I love them both also. It was nice starting seeds in summer which I don't normally due except for trying pansies once. I went on vacation and my daughter didn't water them and they died.
I'll be using Jiffy seed starting mix. For me this works so much better than the pellets of coir and peat moss. I cleaned the pots months ago in bleach and soapy water.  The tray was placed on the seed rack. No light yet. I'll turn them on when the first seeds germinate and make an appearance. I didn't use the heat mat.
I like the white swan and the pink echinacea.

Annual foxglove are biennial and if started this fall may bloom in the spring and then die. The last time I started them successfully to an adult plant it lived through all our snow and bloomed beautifully in the spring. Only one plant survived and I was happy with that but I'd love a flower bed full. Swallowtail seed has a selection of true perennial ones.
They're a nice size to work with.
Can't imagine these taking 4 or more weeks to germinate. I loose patience with seeds like these but they're worth it in the end. At least they're not like dust like petunia seeds.
Foxglove seeds are tiny. 
These were included with my echinacea and geranium seeds that I keep in the refrigerator. They're amaryllis seeds from a seed pod I collected last fall. I'll see if they're viable some time soon but not today.

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