Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: seedlings

Honesty – Lunaria annua alba – Hardy Biennual

Today, 22nd March, I have sown seeds of this beautiful plant in damp compost and expect them to germinate in 21 days. It is described by Seekay, where the seeds came from, as a quick growing variety that will produce a profusion of fragrant white flowers that appear from May to June of the following year. Once the flowers go over the seed heads that are produced can be used in dried flower arrangements. The plants will reach an eventual height of approx 3′. Advice is to sow the seeds from April on the surface of a good quality damp seed compost. Cover with a light sprinkle of compost then enclose in a polythene bag to retain moisture. With a little heat the seeds should germinate in up to 3 weeks. Transplant into 3″ pots when they are large enough to handle Gradually acclimatise to outside conditions Finally plant into final positions late May onwards appx 12″ apart.

Although you can start your seeds off in pots you can direct sow from mid May until June and I plan to do this for flowers next year. I have started a couple of batches indoors already as I was impatient and still hope for flowers this summer. Lunaria flowers in late May

Mirabalis Jalapa Marbles Mix – Marvel of Peru 2017


Mirabilis Jalapa is an outstanding plant that will produce flowers that are marbled in colours of red, white and yellow. The flowers open in the early morning and evening , Sow seeds between February and April on the surface of a good quality seed compost and cover lightly,  Seeds can take up to a month to germinate. DO NOT EXCLUDE LIGHT as this helps germination.  Keep the compost moist but not waterlogged.  Once large enough to handle transplant into 3″ pots and grow on. When all risk of frost has passed plant out in Sunny well drained site with rich soil. Info, seeds and pictures from Seekay. Four-o-clocks are bushy annuals with colourful flowers and a sweet lemon or orange fragrance. They grow equally well in part shade as well as full sun. They begin flowering in midsummer when sown directly as seed, but will flower earlier if grown as transplants. The individual flowers open early in the morning and late afternoon and are also called four o clock flowers for that reason. They often will stay open until the following morning then close and die.  A single plant may contain different coloured flowers depending on the mix. M. jalapa is a bushy, tuberous perennial often grown as an annual, with fragrant flowers opening in the afternoon, in a wide range of colours, and sometimes bicoloured.

I received these seeds today and am looking forward to growing them. They sound very interesting. I plan to soak a few seeds overnight with a view to sowing in modules. I was pleased to learn that they have a  citrus scent too. I have sown these seeds today Wednesday 1st February and apparently they can take up to thirty days to germinate. Update – 12th March and there is one two inch seedling standing alone like a Meer cat on guard and quite a few seeds showing signs of growth. It was worth the forty day wait. 20th March I have potted on six strong seedlings. Update March 2018 – Only two of these seedlings made it into a decent plant and I potted them both on into 7″ pots. Update 2018 – I have sown another eight seeds. Im not sure that last years will come back. They are pretty flowers but overall I was disappointed. We will see what this year brings. Update September 2018 – Well no more disappointment. This year has given us three large bush like plants. One marbled colours, one beautiful, bright yellow and one delicate,  pale mauve colour. These plants will be in my garden every year from now on.

Another bonus is the amount of beautiful black seeds produced on this years plants.

 

 

Echinacea Primadonna Rose – Cone Flower

These plants came as part of the collection of perennials I bought from Thompson-Morgan and are now overwintering  on the window ledge following first stage potting on. The instructions were to pot on immediately and keep frost free until Spring. They are a tall hardy perennial and will thrive in a sunny or semi shaded position on moist, well drained soil. Coneflowers prefer a deep, fertile soil and will benefit from the addition of some well rotted manure or garden compost to soil, prior to planting.

Perennials – Thompson & Morgan Bargain 2016

I had just about decided to stop gardening today and have a rest when the postman delivered 72 tiny perennial plants I had ordered from T&M. On opening them I could see that they were good healthy seedlings and well worth the £2.99 that I had paid for them. They were, however, in need of potting on. They are now all in new pots. The plants were sold as “lucky dip” so discovering what was in there was exciting. There were six each of Cone Flower, Sea Holly, Dianthus, Thrift, Geum, Foxglove, Aquilegia, Delphinium, and more.

Update on Saturday 22nd October. I have lost one of these seedlings and feel quite concerned about getting them through the winter safely. I wondered whether to plant a few out but on doing a search online I think I will keep them protected until the spring. I don’t have a greenhouse or a cold frame so they will have to live on the window ledge until then.

Wallflowers – Potting and Planning

I spent a bit of time today potting on some seedlings of Wallflowers. I have a couple of large plants in the garden that are past their best so had sown some of their seeds in a tray of compost. I have moved 24 of them on into a module tray. There are still loads left so I shall pot them all on in the hope that they will survive the winter. I love gillies, they brighten up the garden, last ages and smell lovely. They remind me of my Nan and Grandad Bagley who used to grow them and Sweet Williams in their little bit of earth at the back of the brew house. It was mostly coal slack and ash from the fire but they seemed to thrive.

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February 8th and the seedlings from the collected seeds are doing well indoors. I have fourteen individual seedlings in small 3″ pots and about  ten all together in a 7″ pot. There are still loads of tiny seedlings outside in a large modular tray.

Baby Sweetcorn – Zea Mays Baby Corn 2007

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I have sowed a dozen or so baby sweetcorn seeds in cardboard tubes. The big corn is just pushing up now in the greenhouse at home.  After today Rob has a week off work so we should be able to get plenty done at the allotment. I am looking forward to having the window ledge clear again as at present it is completely full of seedlings.

 

 

Snow as Promised

Sowed two more cucumber Lemon, tomato Totem and tomato Dombito to replace seedlings lost. I shall need to buy more cucumber seeds as the Sunsweet and Burpless have keeled over and they were the last ones from last year. Next year I shall sow the cucumber seeds later in the year.

The weather has turned really cold again. There was a very strong, cold wind this morning and snow has been forcast for later today.

At home we have slabbed over the chicken run so no more mud to wade through next Winter. We have also moved the ducks in to a hutch on legs that they can get in and out of much better as the broody pen was turning out to be not so good for ducks as it has been for the chickens.

snow as promised

Brussel Sprout Bedford Fillbasket

Twenty seeds and a few for good luck planted in modules in damp compost and covered in clingfilm. We only have six stems of sprouts left from last season and I can only hope that the produce from these seeds is as tasty as they have been.

We popped to the plot at lunch time just to take the daily chicken poo which we raked over the new brassicca bed. It was very cold and windy. Cut a Brocolli head and a few leaves of Kale for tonight’s meal. I covered the carrot bin with plastic to warm the soil a little in readiness for sowing the early carrots. Saw signs of the peas and broad beans coming through the cold soil.

At home the peas, sprouted and sown in a pot in the greenhouse,are showing through as are the courgettes, which I brought back inside. One melon seedling, sown on the 17th of February, is pushing through and one lonely yellow tomato seed is making a grand effort.

Primo and Offenham ll cabbages are through but no sign of white ballhead. A bit of a pattern emerging here. No sign of seeds purchased from ‘Packetseeds.com’ germinating. All those from Alan Romans have proved good so far.

Signs of Life

The cucumber seedling are through already. It is only five days since I sowed them. Just a glimmer of life from the tiny tomato seeds. I almost missed them as the seedlings are so small. This morning I have sowed seeds of two more tomatoes. Oxheart, a large red beefsteak and a big golden yellow one. I have put a few melon seeds into a module as an experiment. I collected them from a yellow melon I bought from Sainsburys. I have read that they are quite difficult to germinate so put a few rather than just one. I saved some lemon pips and put two in each of two paper pots, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Also put a layer of sprouted peas in a bigger paper pot just to see what happens. I may plant them out or use them for pea shoots. I have never tasted them but have read that they taste good.