Seeds. I’ve sown a few. Fifty pots, to be precise. Most are from the seed exchanges, some are packets I’ve had stashed away in the shed, some ordered from elsewhere, some sent to me by gardening friends. As usual, this is a ridiculous quantity of seeds already, and I still have some I will sow in March. I predict I will struggle to manage it all, and I guarantee I won’t have room for it all. I know all this, but I’ve sown anyway, damn the consequences. It’s not very sensible, but I do enjoy it. Non, je ne regrette rien.
Anyhow, the great germination gymkana has begun. This will be an odd sort of race, some will take their own sweet time, a year perhaps, some are in the fridge, some outdoors, some on staging and some – most, really – are in the heated bench.
At this time of year my routine of an evening is to potter off down to the greenhouse to check what’s changed since the day before. Pretty rock ‘n’ roll, right?
Leading the charge are agastache ‘golden jubilee’ and dianthus ‘cruentus’.
These were large enough for me to prick out, 15 of each, taking up a half seed tray between them. Some of the advice says to wait until seedlings have one or two sets of true leaves but I tend to move them while small with only seed leaves. Although delicate, even with my clumsy fingers I manage this quite easily. I find the roots get tangled up if left much later, especially as I sow in 7cm pots.
I could have put them in individual pots or modules but that would take up a lot of space. I do not intend to grow on more than a few of each so it makes sense to save the room for now. When they have grown on a bit I will move some on and compost the rest. I can hear your sharp intake of breath from here. Yes, you heard right, compost them. Ruthless.
There is some greenery action in some of the other pots too. The lupin seeds were sent to me by Fred, they germinated fast, within 6 days of sowing. I roughed them up a little on some sandpaper first but didn’t soak them at all. I like the way they poke through the seed case, it’s like they are hatching out of an egg.
I have several different varieties of foxgloves on the go this year. The albiflora are going great guns. They are a little too small to handle, even for me, I will let them get a bit bigger then take up to 15 of them on to the next stage.
The mexican fleabane, erigeron karvinskianus, have begun to push through, but not in numbers. I used to have some of this fleabane years ago but it has disappeared. I am looking forward to finding suitable corners for these once they grow on.
A Christmas present from a friend, a sunflower that doesn’t know it isn’t a sunflower, and purple to boot. The burkheya purpurea is similar to one I grew before but which never flowered. I am hoping the purple variety (which is a much nicer plant) will do better. It gets to about 60cm and has a fairly evergreen rosette of spiky leaves, flowering all summer. We’ll see.
I have had this packet of balloon flower seeds (platycodon ‘florists blue’) for years and am only now getting around to sowing. Supposedly they are excellent cut flowers. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Me and delphiniums have some history. I bought one, it gets munched on appearance above ground by slugs or snails, usually not having the chance to flower. To add to my misery then, I’m trying some from seed this year, seeds collected from ‘cupid’, a dwarf variety.
I think that’s it for now. My intention is to provide a fairly regular brief update on germination over the next few months. We’ll see how I get on, it might get a bit hectic.
With that caveat, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with more germination rumination.