This morning I have sown seeds of Mirabilis and Balsam that were collected from the garden about three years ago. As I remember they were both large and colourful flowering plants which I thought would self seed. I came across the seeds today so decided to try them. I have listed the links to the original page when I first bought the seeds. Update on 15th March, six days after sowing and good signs of healthy germination.
Tag Archive: germination
Overwintering cabbages is a method whereby spring cabbages are late summer sown. by doing this they produce small tender cabbages or spring greens in April and May. Confusingly, late spring sowing of Durham Elf can ensure earlier crops in autumn and winter so I may try those next Spring..
To over winter cabbages sow mid July to August ¼” deep in a seed bed or in trays of seed compost. Keep moist. Transplant to their final position when plants can be easily handled which should be in about 5-6 weeks.
Allow 18” between plants. Plant firmly and water well until established. Harvest in April and May for good firm hearts.
The four varieties that I am sowing today are Durham Early, Durham Elf, First Early Market and Offenham 2 Flower of Spring.
Update – The seeds I sowed on 13th August have not all germinated. Today 4th September I have potted on 12 First Early Market. Nothing else was big enough to transplant but I shall leave them a little longer.
I am hoping to get these in at the allotment in the middle of October and hope to harvest in April and May 2019. They will be protected by a tunnel as we have lots of hungry pigeons down there..
I have finally bought some seeds of Gaura lindheimeri or Whirling Butterflies. I saw these in a garden on the estate last year and they were immediately on my wish list. The plants were a bit out of my price range so I started the hunt for some reasonably priced seeds. Today I have sown three seeds each in two ten inch pots and after a good watering Laura has put them into her greenhouse so fingers crossed. Germination could be anything from 14-28 days. I don’t expect to see any flowers this year but if I can get a couple of good plants for next year flowering I shall be happy. I bought 30 seeds from Johnsons for £2.40. Apparently Gaura is a late performer so it tends to be put into the ground too early and too small. The time to bring on your Gaura is in July as a well-grown pot plant. It is said to self seed freely and as it is also short lived I intend to let some seed fall and save some to sow myself.
Update on 12th August 2018 – I have four healthy seedlings. All I have to do now is get them through the Winter.
Update 18th July 2019. – Two plants have survived and are now in the garden. One in the ground and the other in a large planter.
A fully hardy, graceful, hazy plant with airy spikes of white, star-shaped flowers with long anthers held on slender stems from May to September. This exceptionally long-flowering perennial looks equally at home in an informal cottage-style garden or among soft grasses in a new perennial border. It is exceptionally drought-tolerant and will soak up the sun. Give it space as its wispy stems will lean over plants and pathways. Resist the temptation to cut back after the plant has flowered as it takes on beautiful autumn tints, particularly in cold weather. Cut back and divide large colonies in spring. information from Crocus.com. Can’t wait.
Laura has become a secret Seedaholic. Although we have loads of flower seeds she has been ordering from T&M and one of my favourite seed suppliers, Higgledy. She is in love with growing things so for her birthday on 18th April I bought her a walk in greenhouse, just a plastic one from Wilkos, but she loves it. A bit of compost a few pots and seed trays and she was off. Her latest seed purchases from Higgledy are Chrysanthemum Crazy Daisy, Zinnia Persian Carpet Mix, Echinops Ritro, Tithoria Torch and Statice Blue. She loves all things ‘Daisy’ so I have given her a new name, Crazy Daisy, after the Crysanth she chose. The name suits her to a Tee.
Higgledy £1.95 – Chrysanthemum Crazy Daisy is widely regarded as one of the best Chrysanthemums for the cut flower garden. Lots of white and cream flowers. Blooms are numerous and the white frilly petals have egg yolk yellow centres. This is a no fuss easy care perennial and a great addition to your perennial bed in the cutting garden. Sow seed from February-May or August-October, into trays of compost and lightly cover seeds with vermiculite as the seeds need light to germinate. Keep at temperature of around 15°C. Germination usually takes between 3-4 weeks. If there is low germination rates induce a period of vernalisation where the seeds dormancy is broken by moving to a cold area about 4°C for a week or so and then return to 15°C. Once seedling are about 5cm tall pot on into individual pots. Its August and these flowers are just beginning to open. They belong to the Chrysanthemum family and should be sturdy perennials. Update July 2019 – sown last year, these daisies have given us a brilliant show this year. Worth the wait.
I’ve gone from saying that I am not growing any sweetcorn this year to sowing three different varieties. This morning I have sown 16 seeds of Sweetcorn Fiesta, a colourful, edible variety that I have never grown before and 30 seeds of Sweetcorn Mini Pop. I have sown them into a flat seed tray, side by side and hope to grow them on a little before they are planted at the allotment. Although we are into May the temperatures are very low so I decided to start them at home. The other variety is Sweetcorn Incredible, an F1 variety that we have grown before. These Rob wants to sow directly into the ground at the allotment.
Fiesta is an incredible multi-coloured variety was developed from traditional Indian corn with kernels of yellow, red, black, purple, pink, even marbled! A Traditional Indian Corn, that produces long cobs with multicoloured grain. Fiesta is a large, annual, cereal grass with erect, leafy, dark purple stems bearing dark purple ears containing sweet, edible, multi-coloured seeds, ready for harvest as early as late summer. This cultivar is suitable for cooler climates. The jury is out as to whether this corn is edible. Beautiful? yes. Unusual? yes. A talking point? yes. But edible hmmmm.
Sweetcorn Mini Pop Has been specially bred to be small. Each plant produces 5-6 long pale yellow cobs witch have a sweet crunchy taste. They are useful in stir fry, curries or just on their own.
Sweetcorn Incredible is an F1 main season variety that produces medium sized sugar enhanced cobs producing a high number of average sized cobs.
This morning I have sown the last of my leek seeds. They are Musselburgh bought from alanromans.com and can be relied upon for a top sweet flavour, winter hardiness and good all round performance. It is a variety with good disease resistance and an excellent flavour. This year I have gone for sowing the seeds individually in toilet roll tubes just eight at a time for staggered planting at the allotment. The seeds should germinate in about 21 days and will be left to grow on until they are about 8″ high and pencil thick. We shall plant them out in May leaving a gap of about 6″ between them and with rows about 1′ apart. We have grown this variety before and had varying results so fingers crossed for this year.
Tip – When planting Leeks, choose a well drained bed and apply a general fertiliser a week before. Water the bed the day before if the weather is dry. Make a 6″ hole with a dibber, drop in the leek plant whilst at the same time gently filling the hole with water to settle the roots. Do not backfill with soil at this point. Keep ground moist and earth up when the white base starts to show. NO MANURE.
Cooking with Leeks. Leeks are part of the onion family but have a sweeter, more delicate flavor. Leeks contain good amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making the vegetable a wise addition to a healthy diet. You can cook leeks by poaching them in chicken broth, pan-frying them in a little oil, or boiling them until tender or you can include them in a variety of other recipes. I use Leeks mainly in soups, stews and casseroles but they are equally useful as a side vegetable or in a pie.
It’s well into April and we are only just starting our potatoes. First Into the allotment were some Maris Piper bought from Lidl. 20 seed potatoes were put into the allotment on 1st April, after chitting at home. We have another 12 waiting to go in. Maris Piper are a Main Crop popular English potato grown since the 60s, They are purple flowered and are one of the most well known and most popular varieties on sale today. More Maris Piper potatoes are grown than any other variety in the UK. This variety has a golden skin and creamy white flesh with a fluffy texture. This makes it a versatile all rounder, great for chips and roast potatoes, but also good for mash and wedges. Update 22nd April and the last 12 Maris Piper have been planted at the allotment.
Today we bought Second Early Salad Potato Jazzy. This is new to us and looks very good. 29 seed potatoes cost £3.99 from Highdown Nursery in Sugarloaf Lane, Norton. The producers guarantee 35 potatoes per plant when grown in an 8 litre bag. However there are reports of up to 80 potatoes per plant. The small waxy tubers are said to be more versatile than Charlotte with good flavour. Good for boiling, mash, roasting or steaming, this new second early variety has been awarded an RHS AGM for its superb garden performance. Second early crops can be harvested approximately 13 weeks from planting when the foliage begins to turn yellow and die back. The first single potato was planted into a black flower bucket on 18th April. Two more black buckets prepared today Friday 27th April.
Plant potato crops from March. Prior to planting, chit the seed potatoes by setting them out in a cool, bright position to allow them to sprout. When growing in the ground avoid planting in soil where potatoes have grown for two years in succession to reduce the risk of disease. Prepare the planting area in a sheltered position in full sun on moist well drained soil. Dig in plenty of well rotted manure. Place the seed potatoes 4″ deep. When shoots reach 8″ earth up the soil around the shoots leaving just a few cm of green growth showing. Repeat this process after a further as required.
Where space is limited, try growing potatoes in potato bags on the patio.
- Fill an 8 litre potato bag to just below the top of the bag with good quality compost mixed with some well rotted manure.
- Carefully plunge a single chitted potato tuber into the compost with the shoots pointing upwards at a depth of 5″ from the soil surface.
- Place the bags in a sunny position and water regularly to keep the compost moist.
Rob and I have been watching a chap on YouTube whose channel is called ‘Home Grown Veg’. He recommends growing potatoes in plastic shopping carriers inside black cut flower buckets. We are definitely having a go at this this year.
- Making sure that the containers are clean and have sufficient drainage holes fill the carrier bag, which should be inside the bucket, one third full of multi purpose compost.
- Put one seed potato in and fill the bucket up to one inch from the top.
- Water well at this stage.
- Leave in a draught free sheltered place outdoors for ten weeks.
- After ten weeks, lift the carrier bag, roll down the sides, the soil should hold together by the roots, then harvest what potatoes you can find.
- lower the bag back into the pot.
- Repeat this at 13 weeks.
- The third lift will probably be the last one.
- Remember to keep the used compost, revitalising it with fish, blood and bone, and use the same bag and pot to grow some leeks in the same way.
Echium or Viper’s Bugloss – This pretty flowering plant came here from the Mediterranean. Its flowers are a great food source for beneficial insects. Grown easily from seed they will give masses of pure white bell like flower clusters along stems covered with bristly grey hairs. Bees and butterflies love this bountiful white flowered bloomer. I have loosened the soil in the border and scattered a few of these seeds today.
It is recommended to sow Echium seeds directly outdoors once frost danger has passed. In a prepared seedbed with loosened soil that is free of weeds. Scatter the seeds on gravelly soil. Keep area moist until germination occurs. Deadhead regularly to encourage more flowers. At the end of the season allow seed heads to form and collect some for next year. Viper’s Bugloss will re-seed itself for next year. It is recommended to wear gloves when handling Echium plants as it can be a skin irritant.
This is a beautiful variety that produces clusters of bell shaped white flowers from June – Sept and reaches a height of Appx 12″
If indoor sowing is preferred:-
Sow seeds thinly onto the surface of a good quality moistened seed compost at min 18 deg C Mar – April
Lightly cover the seed with fine compost or vermiculite to just cover the seed.
Once large enough to handle the young plants can be transplanted into either 3″ pots or tray cells
A fortnightly feed with a potash based fertiliser, Tomato fertiliser, will encourage good growth and plenty of flowers.
Transplant to final position once all risk of frost has passed
Last years Sweet Peas were very disappointing with very few flowers. I have put all the seeds left from last year, Mammoth Mix, into a deep pot of moist compost and my plan is to buy some fresh seeds too for another go this Summer. The Fresh seed is on order and should arrive tomorrow, weather permitting.
The old seeds are showing signs of germination with five green shoots trying to emerge at 6 days. I found a few more Mammoth mixed today, Monday 5th March, and have put them into a deep pot. I want to start a really good amount this year using all my old seeds and some new. New seeds arrived this afternoon so I sowed about twenty of the Spencer Winston Churchill. Winston Churchill is a slightly scented Spencer type that has the most beautiful deep crimson. well ruffled petals. Update 17th March – Both the old and new seeds are up and the first pot have been pinched out above the second leaves. The Spencer variety germinated very quickly and I am already thinking that I may stick to these in future. Easter Sunday 1st April and after soaking them overnight I have sown 25 more of the Spencer Mixed seeds. The original sowings are outside now and about 2′ tall. I have placed an obelisk around them. Fingers crossed for a good year for Sweet Peas.
How To Grow Sweet Peas
- Growing sweet peas is supposed to be easy. Sow into compost in autumn and overwinter or wait until spring and sow in pots or sow into the ground. Before I sow them I soak the seeds in tepid water to rehydrate them. It helps them get off to a quicker start but it isn’t essential as they will still germinate well in moist compost. I usually soak overnight, use a good quality compost and sow several seeds about half an inch deep to a pot. Place in a bright position.
- As the seedlings grow they tend to become tall and leggy. Encourage them to produce side shoots by pinching out the tips. Simply nip off the top of the stem just above a set of leaves. This will make each plant much bushier and more robust. And the more shoots there are the more flowers will be produced.
- Sweet peas climb by twining their tendrils around whatever they touch so help them to cling to the support you have provided.
- Throughout the season you will need to keep them well watered as dry soil will make them go to seed quicker, also deadhead regularly.
- Towards the end of the season leave the seed pods to mature for collection towards next years flowers.
The Sweet Pea is a flowering plant in the genus Lathyrus in the family Fabaceae and is native to Sicily, Cyprus, southern Italy and the Aegean Islands. It is an annual climbing plant growing to a height of 1–2 metres where suitable support is available. A perennial variety is also available but although these plants are stronger the flowers are smaller. However, they do have a place in the garden as do the knee high and basket varieties. I feel the annual Sweet Pea is best for cut flowers and scent.
Today I have sown all of the Aubergine seeds left in my collection. Aubergine Mohican and Aubergine Black Beauty. The Mohican is a dwarf white variety while the Black Beauty produces a standard sized dark purple fruit. This is another experiment in grow them or throw them using up old seeds. Aubergine have a five month growing season and require full sun and as much heat as possible as they originate in hot countries. I have grown these vegetables successfully before but they are difficult and when I harvested them I didn’t know what to do with them.
After sowing on the 17th February, there are five healthy looking seedlings through today 25th, 8 days. Update 18th March 2018 – About twenty healthy looking seedlings through now. Its a month on and seedling are forming their second leaves.
How to Grow Aubergine From Seed – Gardeners World
- Fill pots with seed compost and lightly firm the surface. Place up to seven seeds on the surface of the soil, spacing them evenly.
- Cover the seeds with a fine layer of vermiculite. Place pots in a heated propagator set at a temperature of around 21°C. Water sparingly but keep the compost moist.
- Seeds should germinate within two to three weeks. Keep plants warm and avoid letting the compost dry out.
- Once the seed leaves have fully expanded prick out individual seedlings into 7cm diameter pots. Handle the seeds by the leaf to avoid crushing the stem. Feed with a general liquid feed such as seaweed once a week.
- When the roots emerge from the bottom of the pot transplant the aubergine into a slightly larger pot. Repeat the process until the plant is in a 30cm pot. Use multi-purpose compost.
- Remove the main tip of the aubergine plant once it is 30cm tall to encourage branching. Tie stems to canes. Encourage flowering by feeding weekly with a high potash tomato fertiliser
- Encourage fruit to set by tapping the flowers to release the pollen or spraying lightly with tepid water. If plants are growing indoors, open windows to encourage bumblebees to pollinate the flowers.
- Pick the fruits when they are still shiny. Dull fruit suggest that seeds have started to develop and the fruit is past its best.