Question About Seeds Direct Sowing

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by DMM, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. DMM

    DMM Gardener

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    Hi everyone and Happy Easter to you all

    I usually grow my annuals from seed indoors on a large windowsill [well in trays - not on the sill itself ;)] then pot on until they're ready for planting out a bit later in the year. The Thing is, this year I have absolutely no space left now for any more but still have seeds I would like to plant. On some of the packets it shows the planting time for both indoor and outdoor in the same months. For instance the instructions on a packet of Blue Salvia Horminum say 'Sow Indoors March - May in trays ... etc etc' but also says 'Sow Outdoors March - May in flowering position .....' This has confused me a little as its indicating the same time for both indoor and outdoor sowing. I'd have assumed [wrongly it seems?] that outdoor would be a little later on? As I've no room left indoors however I'm wondering whether I should give the direct sowing outdoors a try?
    :thinking:
    I'm a little wary though as it's only early April and I live in the North West of England. I would be planting most of them in pots outside too rather than the ground. Not sure whether that makes any difference? Some would go in a raised bed but mainly they'd be sown in terracotta pots.

    If anyone has any advice/tips/info please? I've just never tried outdoor direct sowing before and guess I'm thinking it won't work - despite what the Mr Fothergills packet instructions say !! :)

    Thanks
    Deborah
     
  2. ricky101

    ricky101 Total Gardener

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    Hi,

    It depends on a few things, first what type of Annuals do you have Hardy or Tender?

    Then is down to your location and how likely frosts are ?

    Generally most Annuals can be sown outdoors once most frosts have past, though its alway more risky if you sow the Tender ones too early.

    Also look at other suppliers info on those seeds, you can see from this link they suggest outdoors quiet late on, even though they class them as Hardy.
    Salvia Seeds - Salvia Horminum Blue Monday Flower Seeds

    With the current weather forcast would think leaving sowing outside until at least the end of this month, unless you can give them with some protection ?

    As always, sow just half the seeds first and save the other half incase the first ones do not survive.
     
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      Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
    • DMM

      DMM Gardener

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      Thanks Ricky for your reply. The seeds I have are all for hardy or half-hardy annuals but I agree, I think it's too probably early to plant them outdoors just yet given the current weather forecast. I read the info at the Sarah Raven link - thanks. I might even try my hardest to manoeuvre trays around to get some more windowsill space for some more indoor sowing!
       
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      • ricky101

        ricky101 Total Gardener

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        I know you often want to get sowing, but if you can be patient and wait to sow outdoors you will probably get better and stronger plants as starting off indoors can lead to weak leggy plants.

        Just got to go and get some more Dahlia seeds as the ones we sowed indoors a way too big and leggy, yet still need another 6-8 weeks before planting out !!
         
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        • DMM

          DMM Gardener

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          Thanks for the info. That's interesting to know - that they will probably be better and stronger if planted outdoors later on. I didn't know that. Mine grown indoors have always been fine though I have to say. I don't usually grow anything unusual or difficult however. African Marigolds I've started indoors have always been fabulous. I know they seem to be one of the easiest things to grow and they're common but I absolutely love the bright orange and yellow. Their brightness just seem to pop out of the containers they're in - especially just as the light is starting to fade.
          So .... perhaps they'd be even better if I just direct sowed them outside a little later on? Oooh heavens it's all a little confusing you know!!

          Hope you manage to find some more Dahlia seeds that you like. I do love a Dahlia it has to be said.
           
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          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            Half hardy annuals need to be started in doors, Hardy annuals are usually ok direct sown.
             
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            • DMM

              DMM Gardener

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              Ah really ? Thanks Pete. Good to know.
               
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              • ricky101

                ricky101 Total Gardener

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                Like to grow the Dwarf Dahlias which are just 12 -18" high rather than the tall types that often need supporting, last from June/July to the first heavy Autumn frosts.
                The Bees love their open flowers and once planted out, so easy to look after, you should try some, available most places.

                000534.jpg000535.jpg000536.jpg
                 
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                • DMM

                  DMM Gardener

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                  Just perfect size for my yarden then Ricky! I have had the tubers in the past and they've grown into fantastic specimens but have just been too tall and bushy for my small space and yes they needed supporting. I did actually order dwarf ones [Farmer Gracy it was] but they weren't dwarf at all when they grew!
                  May well try what you've suggested. Are they easy to grow from seed?
                   
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                  • ricky101

                    ricky101 Total Gardener

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                    Yes, almost too easy and fast .

                    Big seeds that you can put two in each section of those cell trays, if both come up just remove the weakest one and the other is left undisturbed to grow on.
                    The seedlings are quiet big and easy to handle if you prefer to sow lots in one pot and thorn out later.
                     
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                    • DMM

                      DMM Gardener

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                      Oooo they sound great.
                      I'm off to Gordon Riggs tomorrow [local garden centre] .......... I think I'll look out for some!
                      They usually have a good stock of seeds.
                       
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                      • ricky101

                        ricky101 Total Gardener

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                        Yes, they are one of our two favourite garden centers, too.

                        Was in their Walsden branch a few days ago, can get carried away with all their thousands of young plants in the top sections, plenty for hanging baskets like Fuchsias, Petunias etc etc and all their Toms ,Chillies etc and their indoor almost tropical section bursting with choice.

                        Could come away with a lorry load !!! :biggrin:
                         
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                        • DMM

                          DMM Gardener

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                          Totally agree Ricky .... think we're off to the Walsden one too. I bet it's packed though today. Best get a move on!
                           
                        • ricky101

                          ricky101 Total Gardener

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                          Bet they were packed, probably their busiest day of the year apart from the May bank holidays.

                          Did you come away with a basket full of goodies ?

                          We called in at a local small garden center about 3 pm, hoping it would have quietened down but to our surprise there was only about 4 cars there ?!
                          Still able to get some T&M Dwarf Dahlia seeds, so sowing tomorrow !

                          000539.jpg
                           
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                          • DMM

                            DMM Gardener

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                            Nooooo .... came away with 2 houseplants only! .....
                            Never made it to the Walsden centre and the other was a bit disappointing yesterday to be honest:frown:. Wasn't too busy either after all. I was looking for a matureish evergreen shrub for a container and also some 'Star Jasmine' but wasn't able to source either of those.
                            I'll have to get ordering online I guess.
                            Only 2 types of Dahlia seeds were there too ... which is probably good in a way as I just do not have the room for them this year :spinning: !

                            At least you got some more seeds as you wanted :)
                             
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