Sean McGarry

Latest posts by Sean McGarry

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Posted: 22/08/2013 at 20:24

Generous advice as always nutcutlet, thank you!  I haven't been able to sow yet but plan to over the coming weekend.  Although I don't have a greenhouse, I'll have to be creative in my solution...

I'll let you know how it goes.  All the best,



Posted: 22/08/2013 at 15:17

Hi Lynda

I'm not sure how long frogs live - apparently it's hard to track their lifespan.  Somewhere between 4 and 15 years seems to be received wisdom, but who knows?

One appeared in the garden first, I think he'd been hibernating and emerged when I was doing some garden maintenance in spring.  I then made the pond and spotted two there.  I'm pretty sure there's frog spawn in there now so I'll keep an eye out...


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 15:12

Thanks again nutcutlet.  I'll put my echinacea and verbena seeds away in a cool dark place until the spring.  May I press upon your knowledge once more and ask - is it worth sowing them in a propagator and germinating indoors, or should I wait till the frosts have passed and sow them directly outdoors next spring?  I mean, how much difference does it really make if you sow indoors or straight out? 

I'm probably being naive and it must all depend on the type of seed/plant - but is there a general rule of thumb about what to sow in or out?

Once again, your knowledge is helping a very green gardener, if you'll pardon the pun.

I've just bought Monty Don's Complete Gardener and can't wait to get stuck in to it, so maybe I'll be hassling you less from now on!...



Posted: 22/08/2013 at 11:00

I'm back again with more seed queries!

Is it fine for me to sow any seed now, that says hardy on the packet?  I have verbena (hardy perennial), wildflower mix (hardy annual/perennial), echinacea (hardy perennial). If these are all native then following what nutcutlet said about sowing when plants naturally drop their seeds, it might be OK?

I'm probably being impatient as I just want to get sowing! 

Any ideas or advice on these would be welcomed...


Posted: 21/08/2013 at 18:58

Love your pond Lynda, well done.  I made one about the same size when I noticed a couple of frogs on my garden.  I also bought a cheap solar pump from a well-known website and it keeps the pond oxygenated.  When the sun's out, that is!

They still pop in now and again - I spotted one in there the other day.  Like someone said, they only use it to lay eggs but here's hoping that we both get more little ones visiting soon!



Posted: 21/08/2013 at 18:51

many thanks again nutcutlet.  I'll sow them tomorrow!  I know they don't flower in their first year but patience is its own reward - and teasels in my garden will be well worth the wait...


Posted: 21/08/2013 at 18:28

Oops, sounds like the penstemons might not take which is a shame - I was looking forward to their colourful spires.  Oh well.

Can I be a pest (or an idiot) and ask - do you mean sow the teasel outside now, or indoors then plant out next spring?  If they are hardy enough and best suited for direct sowing, then I'll do that definitely.

Many thanks!  Again!


Posted: 21/08/2013 at 14:57

Oh I just remembered - I sowed some penstemon seeds directly into the soil last week.  Was this wise or foolish of me - will they germinate and survive the winter?


Posted: 21/08/2013 at 14:53

More good advice - thank you nutcutlet for taking time to help a poor novice out!  That link about the wildflowers waas really useful too, picked up lots of tips.

Thanks for the warning about verbena - it must be a tricky one to get right.  All I can do is try, and if it doesn't work out this year I'll try again next year.

So, I'll leave the teazel sowing until Springtime along with some non-hardy wildflower mixes. 

I'm going to sow my foxglove seeds in a propagator in the next few days.  Is seeding compost essential - I have potting-on compost only.  It isn't cheap and I'm on a super-tight budget, so I hope it will work the same. 

I'm also attempting to take some lavender cuttings from the non-flowering shoots, following Monty Don's step-by-step guide.

Wish me luck!


Posted: 20/08/2013 at 19:06

This is a great help, thanks nutcutlet!  Yes, the meadow seeds are all native.  I didn't realise I could germinate outside through the winter - I'm learning so much on this site, it's great.  I'll take your advice and sow and grow in pots before transplanting into the grass.  

Can I treat the teazel seeds the same - are they hardy too, or will they perish over winter?

I'll visit the thread and pick up some more nuggets of wisdom.

Again - many thanks!


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