London (change)
Today 25°C / 17°C
Tomorrow 22°C / 16°C
17 messages
02/04/2013 at 15:01

Hello all. Fairly newbie gardener here!

I have some shop-bought seedlings (stocks and antirrhinium) that I desperately want to plant out, but I've been putting it off because of the freezing night temperatures. Every morning I take them out for a bit of sunshine, and every night they go into the garage next to the compost bins, where it won't drop below freezing. 

They're getting to be 3 inches tall now and could do with more soil. Trouble is, I have twenty-four of the damned things, and I don't want to have to plant them all in individual pots to be carted in and outdoors every day until the jet stream decides to move.

So, do I dare plant them into the ground yet, or should I just keep doing what I'm doing? I'm not well-equipped enough to have fleece or straw to place on the flowerbeds. But I do have some very attractive-looking (not) carrier bags!

Getting impatient.

Thanks,

Noob.

02/04/2013 at 15:14

Any thing that is marked hardy can tolerate frost-any thing marked half-hardy can't and needs protection till at least Mid-May

Check the label what does it say?

Antirrhinums are hardy

Are these seedlings or plants??

Seedlings will need growing on to develop a good root system before planting out.

02/04/2013 at 15:22

Where does a seedling end and a plant begin?! Both types have a few leaves on them 1-2in long. Both can be planted from March, but what with this March having been the coldest ever, I'm not sure about it.

The leaflet that came with them says they can survive down to 0 degrees, but I was wondering how far I could push this, and if anyone else has dared. 

I also have a dahlia that I've been overwintering. The tubers look good, but the old growth (the cut-down bit that used to be above soil) is starting to go mouldy. Not sure how much longer I should keep that out of the soil for, either.

02/04/2013 at 15:31

It was not the coldest March ever-this weather is not as unusual as is being made out-however

The best thing you can do is to take a picture -post that we all know what stage these have reached -then we can advise what to do next

The old dahlia stem should be cut off down to just above the tuber

02/04/2013 at 15:36

Coldest since 1962.

02/04/2013 at 15:46

Oh, alright then. Coldest in my lifetime

This is how they're looking whilst sat on my - ahem - luxurious lawn. 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/20871.jpg?width=277&height=350&mode=max

 

02/04/2013 at 15:48

Just a child

Right- those can be planted out anytime you like

02/04/2013 at 15:52

Oh goody! 

*rubs hands together with prospect of muddy glee*

02/04/2013 at 17:43

Doesn't it depend whether you have perennial ones or bedding ones? The bedding antirrhinums should not be planted out until risk of frost is over. Here's advice on growing from the RHS.

http://www.rhs.org.uk/Children/For-families/Plants-to-grow-with-kids/Antirrhinum

02/04/2013 at 22:39

The picture you posted are of Homebase bedding plants. (I know as I work in the garden centre there :P )

Those particular varieties are very hardy, Ive had them in the garden centre for approx 2 weeks and I just cover them before I leave the store with frost fleecing.

Havent lost 1 pack yet!

Although I would still be cautious planting them yet as the ground is still so cold.

Wait til the weekend at least when its due to warm up a bit then if any frosts are due after that just cover them up

02/04/2013 at 23:24

Good advise Mattbeer87, if you work for Homebase, nice to have you on board.  

03/04/2013 at 14:27

Yes, indeed they are Homebase bedding plants! I have to say I've been very impressed with the things I've bought from there over the (two) years. I'm very good at killing things, but most of the HB plants I've acquired have survived my treatment very well! My very kind neighbour gave me an HB gift card for xmas, so of course I spent it on plants!

I did go ahead and plant every one of them last night, but held off watering them in... this morning they all looked absolutely fine except one (I think my clumsy fingers broke a few of its roots). After a quick water, feed and brief bask in the sunshine, it's perked right up again. 

Hopefully all should be well for the next few days. Temps in Suffolk aren't due to drop any further than they already have.

Can't say the same for my poor, old wall flowers. They've taken quite a hammering!

 

 

03/04/2013 at 15:15

You have a very nice neighbour, Noob! And you sound like me, itching to get out there and get muddy

Apparently come Monday of next week, we are reaching the heady heigjts of 13 degrees C - brace yourselves and get out the Tshirts.

03/04/2013 at 15:34

Oh, I shall have my Factor-50 at the ready, in that case!

Sadly my nice neighbour is no longer my neighbour. She was only renting for a couple of years while she served at the local airforce base, and has now gone back to America. We'll miss her!

The latest people to move in have a miniature-sized person whose favourite activities seem to include screaming, yelling and howling.

I don't think I'm going to get any gardening-related gift cards out of them

 

 

 

03/04/2013 at 17:15

Oh no! That's a shame. fellow nice gardening neighbours are the best and I've only ever had one of them, who is thankkfully still around.

If your new neighbours are nice (in spite of screaming kid), I would try giving the kid some seeds, like sunflowers, as a gift, maybe in a small pot or something - see if you can get them interested - many a screaming child has been pacified by a spot of pottering themselves

03/04/2013 at 21:47

I've been fortunate and always had nice neighbours on one side.

Bought a large water pistol one year for one neighbours minature person, to squirt the cat if she ever ventured into their garden, minature person wasn't allowed to squirt her though if she was sat at the gap in the fence and on my side. It worked out well, I was in the garden when minature person tried it out, cat soon learned, neighbours were happy to tell me if cat had been in their garden and child had a nice summer.  

The cat is in the winter of her years now and seldom ventures out of the garden, but will sit at the gap in the fence peering into the neighbours garden. New minature person now comes and strokes her through the gap.

03/04/2013 at 21:59

That's quite sweet!

Unfortunately my other, cat-owning neighbours are not quite so thoughtful. I am one of the many who suffer feline fertilising of the lawn (from both ends of the cat, it would seem). I'm thinking of getting one of those motion-detector-hosepipe-thingies. They look quite fun. 

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