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Hi, I have decided to try collecting & growing my own seed. My problem is many articles tell you how to collect & store but not when is the best time to sow. I have collected campanula,salvia, allium & hellebores. Should I sow now or in the spring. Any advice appreciated. Thanks


Hellebores now, leave them outside to germinate in the spring. Alliums seed themselves around the garden so sow them when they seed themselves. They won't need heat. Salvias wait for spring to sow, the less hardy plants never need a winter chill. Campanulas will have to wait for someone else to answer


Hi Helga, you can plant them as soon as the plant sheds the seeds as this is how nauture does it.  However, if they germinate before Spring, you will need to look after them over Winter.  In nature, the vast majority would be killed by the weather etc, which is why most plants produce so many seeds - only one needs to make it in order to continue the species.

As gardeners, we want a bit more control and would like all of our seeds to germinate of course!  For that reason, we sow most seeds in Spring so they can grow uninterrupted by harsh weather.

Having said that, the seeds of many hardy perennials, shrubs and trees need a period of cold followed by warmth (known as "cold stratification") before they will germinate.  Out of your list I would sow the hellebores now as they benefit from the cold period and are best sown fresh anyway. 

Thanks Bob theGardener & nutcutlet I will certainly give it a go as this must be much cheaper.


much cheaper and very satisfying. It's got to be a bit of an obsession with me. See seed, will sow, even when I've got loads of the plant in the garden and could split it up easily and have flowers the same year.

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