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Hi,

After having a good read of John Cushnie's book 'How to Propagate' I have ordered several packets of seed that he lists as appropriate to plant in the autumn using a cold frame, for example; babtisia, rudbeckia, poppy and verbena.  In the book he just says "sow seed in a garden frame in autumn".  Do I just sow them in compost and put them in my mini green house.  Is that it?!

Also I have some lythrum (little robert) that has finished flowering.  When you cut down perennials do you cut them right down to ground level?

thanks!

nutcutlet

Hi Asho. Baptisia and poppies yes, rudbeckia should be OK, not sure about the verbena though. I only sow really hardy plants in autumn and winter. Verbena I'd sow late winter, it will get the required chilling but won't germinate in a warm spell and get frozen

perennials can be cut to the ground but if they're stll upright and looking good they can be decorative in winter with the frost on them

thank you very much nutcutlet.  I'll hold off on the verbena so.  I'm just really exciting to get started and plant something! 

nutcutlet

I love it. All those pots lined up, waiting for spring. Astrantia is a good one for autumn sowing and aconitum. 

Sara 4

nut, was it you I was talking to about climbing monkshood?  I have some seeds for a red climbing one but absolutely no instructions - I'm guessing it needs a chill to germinate, but if you or anybody else have ever grown it I'd love some hints and tips.  My record at growing things from seed is not great so far (although we had no heating in the house or greenhouse last winter and ice on the insides of the windows in march so maybe that wasn't a surprise!)

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nutcutlet

It was very likely me Sara. I've grown the standard purple one. Sow it now, seed compost or something well drained, some grit on top and leave it outside. After it's had a good few weeks in the rain and snow put it in the cold greenhouse and wait for it to germinate. You don't have to bring it in but it's more pleasant keeping an eye on them in there that out in the rain/snow. 

I'm glad you reminded me, I was going to get some seed but forgot. I've remembered now

but I might have forgotten by tomorrow

Sara 4

If you pm me your address, I'll post you some of these red ones - then when all mine perish horribly and yours burgeon you can collect some seed and I'll have another go!  I do mean that, by the way!

nutcutlet

that's very kind Sara and I will PM you my address. 

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