London (change)
20 messages
03/01/2013 at 10:00

Just got a new propagator for xmas and cant wait to start sowing some seeds,what flowers can be started this month ?

03/01/2013 at 10:08

Not a lot to be honest-the fateful mistake is to think it is a new year I must get started-so your seeds germinate -it is the middle of January-what do you do next with them?

Experience tells me wait till March for most things-then you can give your seedlings better treatment-there is plenty of time and things always catch up

Sow now-and you have wasted time,energy and seed-anything that needs heat to germinate is probably a half-hardy annual-the clue is in the title-and wont be planted out until Mid-May at the earliest-so that is why you don't need to start now

Patience is a virtue after all

Having said all that-what flowers are we talking about?

03/01/2013 at 10:16

You could sow sweetpea now, I always sow in the autumn but again anytime now and I've been growing them for years.

Also what about Cornflowers and Calendula, they could be sown now too perhaps.

I do have a covered back yard with perspex as a roof so I can keep everything frost free.

03/01/2013 at 10:19

None of those need a propagator though-they are hardy annual-so do not need heat, sowing indoors or under cover

03/01/2013 at 11:08

@nodlisab last christmas I had a propagator and started it going in January. As sotongeoff has already mentioned it is a bit of a problem as once the seedling were ready to be potted on I soon had a problem with lack of window sills.

I started with dahlias, lupins, delphiniums, gaura and euphorbias

03/01/2013 at 11:46

I agree with Sotongeoff. The sunlight is just not enough yet and you will end up with leggy plants. The only seeds to germinate now are those difficult or lengthy ones such as Banana/musa, perhaps Canna etc.

03/01/2013 at 11:47

You should sow anything that needs a chill to start it off. Otherwise it's as sotogeoff says

03/01/2013 at 13:14
nutcutlet wrote (see)

You should sow anything that needs a chill to start it off. Otherwise it's as sotogeoff says

Very true, though he says in the OP that has a propagator. I was thinking of winter salad, Onion seed and even Pansies - he would need to stunt their growth in a coldframe after germination but I can see them working.

03/01/2013 at 15:43
nutcutlet wrote (see)

You should sow anything that needs a chill to start it off. Otherwise it's as sotogeoff says

Hi Nutcutlet, I was reading my Larkspur seeds today and its says they need a chill to germinate, I haven't had much luck with them before nor holly-hocks, does that mean I can sow them yet?

Good luck nodlisab let us know how you get on the with the new prop

03/01/2013 at 18:36

@Lisa69 - just sow the Larksprur seeds where you want them and some will come up in spring.

03/01/2013 at 18:46

Looking at seed packets I have, perrenial flower seeds can be grown from Jan using a heated propagator, just make sure you have somewhere for them to go once they have germinated.

03/01/2013 at 19:11

Dates for sowing on seed packets are deceptive-some are distributed all over Europe-so what might work in Southern Spain might not work in the North of Scotland

You have to provide the right conditions for growing plants on-germinating the seed is the relatively easy part.


03/01/2013 at 20:09

I do agree it is about the growing on of seedlings when they have germinated and also about your location/climate that is the crucial thing and the space you have.

Having said that I started in January sowed some Calenduals and some wallflowers already, outside in a cold frame in a sheltered spot.

Other seeds I start off on in an unheated propagator on my kitchen window sill.

You can sow snap dragons indoors from Jan which I did last year but it is all about the space you have to grow them on and what the weather will be like. If you aren't  able to have a greenhouse then a cold frame is the next best thing

I always think it's best to look on the bright side so I'll be sowing a few seeds before the traditional advice just to see what happens


03/01/2013 at 20:53

Use your propagator to start off stem cuttings from house plants abot 4" long cut just below a node ( see this weeks gardening  tips) You can put the cutting in a glass of water and keep in the propagator at low temperature in a light place. By the time you can start planting seeds (mid March earliest) you should have rooted cuttings. Try anything - at worst it can only fail.

03/01/2013 at 20:54

For anything germinated in the cold growing on won't be a problem. It's only germinating with heat that leaves you with a crisis of space and heating. I do have a heated propagator but I use it later on, take things in and out, try to stimulate a bit of action. The warm days cooler nights of an unheated greenhouse is very good for promoting germination with some seeds. A lot depends on what you're growing. Most of my experience is with hardy perennials, shrubs and trees. No heat required. If they don't get it naturally they don't need it from me.

04/01/2013 at 10:54

Thanks everyone for your advice,you never cease to amaze me. I will try some pansies and snap dragons to start.I have a greenhouse to grow them on , so hopefully will be ok.

04/01/2013 at 11:30

...sorry, but what is a "propagator"?,ThaiGer...

04/01/2013 at 11:35

Something like this -there are lots available--gives bottom heat to aid germination rooting etc-this one is electric-there are simpler ones which are just a seed tray with a perspex lid-


04/01/2013 at 11:37

Hi ThaiGer

In these cold areas we have plastic boxes with electric heating cables in the base to assist germination. Some seeds need more heat than we're likely to get naturally

04/01/2013 at 13:16

...okay, now I understand. Many people talk about this, I understand the functioning, but never I heard this word, thanks. I think, it's a clever invention. Greetings, ThaiGer

email image
20 messages