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02/02/2013 at 17:42

Hello nutcutlet 3 yrs ago I sowed larkspur in the garden in April and ive never sown any since. They are abit like love in a mist once you have the flowers they then seed everywhere. They are very hardy as im in Hungary where our temps can get down to -16 with 2 ft of snow but it doesnt do them any harm except to squash them abit with the weight of the snow. When I last looked in October I had as many at 200 seedlings and they all came from 3 flower stalks from a friends garden. So just sow like any hardy annuals when the soil begins to warm up.

02/02/2013 at 19:38

Hi galest, interesting hearing your experience of larkspurs. I've heard that they can self seed a lot, be good if they adopt that habit here. Did a couple of sowings of them last year for the first time.Got 2 plants the first sowing, and the later sowing I've over wintered in the frames and they are healthy ready for this year. I'll sow again this year  fresh off the plant.

All the seeds sown in  the beginning of Jan are now in the coldframe, wallflowers, white snapdragons,aubrettias and forget me nots.

Have new propagator shelving installed in kitchen windowsill, so have sowed lots of different rudebekias, echinaceas, white lobelia, sweetpeas and cosmos.Also sowed some angel wings and some statice, new to me.

First out of the soil were the cosmos seeds. Glad to hear that everyones  seeds are doing well


02/02/2013 at 20:05

Do the snapdragons need to go out side in a cold frame?  mine are indoors still looking a little weedy now not sowed them this early before

02/02/2013 at 22:02

Mine were looking leggy as well, I've moved them into the coldframes to harden them offf before I prick them out. I would say they need some protection in a coldframe or sheltered spot.


03/02/2013 at 01:11

I just throw the seeds of plants like nicotina, larkspur, forgetmenot, poppy, nigella etc around the garden in September, by the time winter comes they are good strong plants and able to cope with the cold -16 here. I only did this once when I moved here 5 yrs ago and now they just selfseed everywhere so all I have to do in Spring is thin them out and move some to another place.The only one I cant do this with is Cosmos so I save the seed then do the same in March, if the ground is too cold they will just sit and wait till it warms up then germinate. It saves all the messing around with plants on a windowledges growing long and leggy, pricking out and coldframes. Ive even started to do this with tomatoes, i leave the last couple of each variety on the ground thro winter, when the ground is warm enough they germinate then I pick the strongest and replant in their proper place.

03/02/2013 at 08:18

Hi galest, I think the difficulty I have with self sown annuals is the enormous number of weeds I have to remove, dislodging other seedlings as I go. 

03/02/2013 at 10:22

Weeds I understand. Sometimes I wonder why we are gardeners as everything seems to be against us. Slugs and snails weeds all the worlds population of greenfly blackfly and caterpillars etc seem to decend into yr garden and in my case the worst of all moles !. When we finally think we have most things under control along comes the weather which brings floods drought and winds etc

03/02/2013 at 10:49

That about sums it up galest. Still love it though. Be nice when I'm not paddling about or getting stuck in the mud. I haven't even got the leaves off the hellebores yet and all last years dry perennial stalks, (usually standing through the winter, frosting nicely), are soggy messes facing every which way.

One warm sunny day and all will be well, In my head if nowhere else

03/02/2013 at 14:56

Yes yr right it doesnt seem to matter what nature throws at us we are all still there in January chomping at the bit to start again. Ive just been outside for a couple of hours as 80% of the snow has gone and I needed to look for life whatever sort it was! Plenty of bulbs coming up and the buds are showing on many of the shrubs so that cheared me up. Very cold tho -5 with the north wind but the sun was out so a nice change from being stuck inside. Ive got rid of around 25 mole hills numerous parcels of what doggies leave and was suprised at how well the soil has drained this year considering we had almost 3ft of it so I got a few bulbs planted. By that time the toilet was calling yet again and so was the kettle. Off to watch A - Z of gardening now I just hope its better than last week!

04/02/2013 at 20:21

Fantastic results from the sowings last week, rudebekias up I grew them last year from seed for the first time and they are truly lovely plants. Took a while to get going due to very poor weather but they did put on a show. Especially happy that there's 8 Cappachino types poking through. Seen some great pictures on here of bees loving these flowers.

Good germination off the Cosmos, dwarf and taller varieties, ox eyed daisies, the angel wings, statice and cleomes. Not the grown the last 2 before, they were 20p each. Be good to see how they turn out

04/02/2013 at 20:47

Im sure you ll love Cleome is a lovely plant its one I make sure I have every year. It takes awhile to get going but once is does it doesnt take long to get to its full height. Its late season so nice to have when the big rush of flowers are finishing and here it flowers till the first frosts. Make sure you keep the seeds of your fav colour for next yr.

05/02/2013 at 19:08

Here's a picture of my Liatris seedlings and Honesty seedlings, I moved them into the small plastic growhouse/ cold frame the other day. Looking OK

picture not uploading some reason


05/02/2013 at 19:21

picture is up now so you can all see the seedlings

05/02/2013 at 19:24

The honesty look a bit leggy-are you germinating these indoors?

05/02/2013 at 19:29

yes I started them indoors to see if the seeds worked, maybe I should have done this outside. I did sow some outside at same time but not popped up yet. Still got more seeds will have to try few more again, not really sure about how I should of started them off.

05/02/2013 at 19:33

I would hold off for a week or so-it is not going to get any warmer -even saying snow down here for Sunday-they are a hardy perennial and should germinate without heat-but a week or two delay will not make much difference

05/02/2013 at 19:38

Thanks Sotongeoff for info will wait a bit - not snow again -  thought it was colder today, hoping those seedlings even though leggy will be OK and grow better outside in the cold frame

05/02/2013 at 21:53

Hi galest, had a quick look at  the cleome plant, looks like I  had a lucky buy, I'm not sure I even paid any money for them, they might have been a gift ...........even better.I have accquired that many seeds. Do you know if they attract pollinators? Thanks for the advice about collecting the seeds.

Interested in your experience of larkspurs being hardy. I still have some annual scabious plants that I grew from seed last year, still alive even after being covered in snow for a week. New plants/offsets have come from the original so will cut them the plant back when the time is right.

Thanks for the picture Gardengirl, it is great to see the seeds coming up. I moved my first sowings into the cold frames a couple of weeks ago, I'm hardening them off in the frames and then I will prick them out. Mine do look a bit leggy, but I have to say what do they do in nature? I'll bury their leggy stems when I pot them on.


05/02/2013 at 23:10

You ve done well hollie hock if you got them for free but any plants for free are good in my book. Yes bees and butterflies love them but a word of warning once they get about a foot tall or maybe less I cant really remember they get spikes or thorns on the stem and can be quite vicious.

As for the larkspur I had a look round the garden yesterday as most of the snow has gone and they are fine even if they do look abit flattened but after 2ft of snow on top them im not surprised. If I was in the UK  id send you some as theres hundreds but alas im not so some will be moved and the rest thrown away as you can only have so many otherwise the garden would be over run with them. Maybe you cld try sowing some in the garden now, just pick a small patch where the ground is free from weeds and im sure they will germinate when the ground get warmer and you nothing to loose except a few seeds if not do try next September.

06/02/2013 at 21:38

Thanks galest for the warning about the spikes, added bonus that they are good for the pollinators. I too struggle with weeds so I tend not to direct sow into the ground but I might chuck some in pots outside and see what happens

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