Saturday, August 14, 2010


 It depends on the type of seed you're sowing whether or not it needs light or not to germinate.  While many seeds are not finicky to light or dark, some seeds specifically need light to germinate, others require darkness:

  • Bells of Ireland
  • Columbine
  • Hollyhock
  • Love-in-a-mist
  • Bergenia
  • Coleus
  • Zinnia
  • Gerbera
  • Impatiens
  • Petunia
  • Mexican Sunflower
  • Snapdragon
  • Red Salvia
  • Stock
  • Strawflower
  • Bellflower
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Forget-me-not
  • Delphinium
  • Baby's Breath (barely covered)
  • Echinacea (lightly covered)
  • Foxglove
  • Johnny jump up
  • Larkspur
  • Pansy
  • Phlox
  • Poppy
  • Sweet Pea
  • Verbena
  • Gazania
  • Penstemon
  • Periwinkle
  • Ice Plant
  • Calendula
I collect the seed from the plants I want to propagate. Fresh seed is always best; in fact, some plants won't grow unless it's very fresh (bleeding heart, and delphinium, for instance), so I make sure that I sprinkle the seeds as soon as they are ready.  The seeds shouldn't be allowed to dry out, so keep them moist, but not drenched.  It's better to sprinkle many, and thin later, than to scrimp on scattering them and then not ending up with what you need. Make sure that those needing light have a good seed-to-soil contact.  Do this by patting the seeds down with your hand.  Some seeds will not germinate until next spring, especially if you plant in late fall.  But, that's okay.  I have found that many plants do much better and are more bushy when they overwinter without their set of true leaves, and germinate in the early spring, as in Bells of Ireland.  There are exceptions to this, but for the most part, it's true.  Be careful when thinning, and always handle the little seedlings by their leaves, not the stem, as they are very fragile--if the stem is damaged, the plant won't grow. I have a special place for planting seeds that I'll transplant when big enough, but other times I sprinkle them right in the place I want them to grow.  After they're big enough, if you have extra seedlings, friends and neighbors will probably like it if you share!  Happy planting!   
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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