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Author Topic: when to sow....  (Read 3571 times)

Catwheazle

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when to sow....
« on: January 01, 2017, 11:37:20 AM »
I have here some quite, completely, whole beginner question (please do not laugh!).
The seeds about the lists and the exchange come always in December / January.
If you sow directly outside .. do you do that, with the types the stratifikaktion need now or in March / April?
The warm germinating also only in April?
Are the seeds stuck in frost broken or better storage dry in the refrigerator?
I know this probably depends on the species ....

thanks
Bernd
Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, deerit nihil» Cicero, Ad Familiares IX,4

Cfred72

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 12:04:19 PM »
I think the I think the Fritillaria have to wait until September in a paper bag. Not in the refrigerator but at room temperature. For Narcissus, Crocus, Colchicum, Cyclamen, Erythronium, Trillium, ... one can sow after rehydrating the seeds one night. Maybe I'm wrong. There are other people here who have more experience than I am. In any case, there are never ridiculous questions. It is better to ask the question than to regret it too late.
Frédéric Catoul, Amay en Hesbaye, partie francophone de la Belgique.

GordonT

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 01:03:47 PM »
The other year, I sowed my Fritillaria seeds in between layers of moist paper towel, and placed it in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator for about two to three months. The embryonic plants developed enough for me to transfer the seeds to soil in spring and they germinated the first year (Fritillaria bucharica and Fritillaria stenanthera).
Southwestern Nova Scotia,
Zone 6B or above , depending on the year.

Leucogenes

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2017, 01:22:51 PM »
I see my seeds (exclusively pure botanical alpine) always in the cold box between Christmas and New Year. Pots sunk in the sand. As soon as snow is present, I cover everything with it. So I simulate in the spring the natural snowmelt after and have so far very good experiences.

However, I have only experiences with plants from the high mountains. May be different in other species.
A chemical pretreatment is not done with me. Leave everything to nature.

... As always ... sorry for my english.

Catwheazle

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2017, 04:37:13 PM »
Thank you, that helped me a lot
Bernd

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Lesley Cox

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2017, 06:03:40 AM »
Because I am in the southern hemisphere, the SRGC and much other seed arrives in my mail box in mid summer. I always work on the principle that the fresher the seed is, the better it will germinate. So I sow my SRGC seed within days of its arriving and I am already sowing seed harvested from my garden in recent weeks and days. So today I have sown some iris seeds, some cyclamen, some narcissus some fritillaria, (just harvested yesterday) and various other things, some bulbous and some herbaceous. In August (February to you) I sowed seed of some alpines given to me while I was in Prague in September. I have already potted up a few of these things and today I see that shortias are germinating, in mid summer, also from my generous Czech donor.

Maybe each species has an optimum time for sowing but I still think and always will, that fresh is best. Even if you don't expect germination until spring, I think summer, autumn, winter sowing is best if that's when it is most fresh. The seed will sit calmly in the pot and come to life and germinate when it is ready and it likes the prevailing conditions.

As a footnote, just today I found a seedling of a rare androsace, the seed of which I was able to buy at Tabor in 2013. The seed was sown in June (mid winter here) as soon as I arrived home and so it has taken three and a half years to give me just one tiny plant. From the size of the plant I suspect it germinated in our spring, say August or September so it has taken up to three years to germinate. In the meantime, because I had given up looking each day, it had become overgrown by weeds and it was only because I was throwing out old seed pots that I found it at all.

So don't stress about the best time to sow this or that. Just sow it when you get it and wait patiently until nature takes its course. (I never put seed puts under cover. They are put outside to cope with whatever the weather provides. I do water the pots if they become dryish though.)
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 06:06:42 AM by Lesley Cox »
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

François Lambert

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 12:29:49 PM »
I sow plants from temperate climates as soon as I get the seeds from the exchange, self collected seeds from my garden I usually sow shortly after being harvested.  In nature, seeds fall on the ground and endure the weather until spring, so I try to replicate that as best as possible.  My guide is to look what weather conditions are in the natural habitat of the plant.  Some seeds however need a very long cold stratification or first a warm (fall temperatures) followed by a cold (winter temps) stratification.  Such seeds will not germinate if sown in January because they missed something of their stratification during their dormancy, however they are likely to germinate the next year after having been exposed to a full natural temperature cycle.  Seeds that do not need cold stratification I prefer to sow when any possibility of long or deep frost is over - so begin of April in the unheated greenhouse, but in the greenhouse they will have day/night temperature swings which I think is also a trigger to germinate some seeds, and anyway the best possible replication of natural conditions.  Some seeds have a very hard seedcoat, like Prunus Spinosa or Mespilus Germanica and need 2 winters before the seedcoat is weakened enough to allow them to germinate.  A sowing of Prunus Spinosa gave me after 2 winters almost 100% germination.  And I am waiting for another pot of these to germinate this spring (sown in December 2015).
Bulboholic, but with moderation.

Leucogenes

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2017, 01:42:45 PM »
Lesley & François

... Thank you for the very good description of your sowing procedures.

I also have some candidates who hopefully will be worth the wait. For example the beautiful Notothlaspi rosulatum and various Celmisia and Aciphylla are now the second year in the pot. I can wait. ;D I always read about plants that have germinated only after many years. Maybe I'm lucky.

Today it snowed with us and I have my sowing from 23.12.16. Covered with snow.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 01:48:49 PM by Leucogenes »

Catwheazle

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2017, 04:46:04 PM »
Wow super :-) Thank you for the detailed information.
They are very helpful to me. Thank you !


Bernd
Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, deerit nihil» Cicero, Ad Familiares IX,4

Carolyn

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2017, 05:33:55 PM »
I agree with Lesley about leaving pots of seeds outside until germination. i would add, though, that I cover the pots - or more conveniently- a whole trayful of pots with horticultural fleece, securely tied round the sides of the tray to keep it in place. This has several advantages: it keeps out hungry mice, voles, blackbirds; it also keeps unwanted weed seeds, dead leaves, liverwort spores, etc from landing in the pots; and it keeps the atmosphere in the pot nice and moist. The two disadvantages are that small slugs can enjoy snacking on my seedlings before I have noticed them and also it's a nuisance untying the fleece every time I want to check the seeds. I think on the whole that it is worth doing, especially for seeds which you know will take several months or even years to germinate. So it's useful for trillium seeds, or for eranthis, sown fresh in May and not inspected till the next January at the earliest.
Carolyn McHale
Gardening in Kirkcudbright

Margaret

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2017, 06:44:12 PM »


Great tip, Carolyn. Thank you
Margaret
Greenwich

Leucogenes

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2017, 08:23:03 PM »
I agree with Lesley about leaving pots of seeds outside until germination. i would add, though, that I cover the pots - or more conveniently- a whole trayful of pots with horticultural fleece, securely tied round the sides of the tray to keep it in place. This has several advantages: it keeps out hungry mice, voles, blackbirds; it also keeps unwanted weed seeds, dead leaves, liverwort spores, etc from landing in the pots; and it keeps the atmosphere in the pot nice and moist. The two disadvantages are that small slugs can enjoy snacking on my seedlings before I have noticed them and also it's a nuisance untying the fleece every time I want to check the seeds. I think on the whole that it is worth doing, especially for seeds which you know will take several months or even years to germinate. So it's useful for trillium seeds, or for eranthis, sown fresh in May and not inspected till the next January at the earliest.




The idea with the garden fleece is very interesting. I've covered some pots the very long time with a very fine grid (anti-insects). It works well, but it does not help against moss.
I will try your idea. My plan is to build small frames of wood and cover them with the fleece. The control of the pots goes faster.

Is a nice project ... now in winter :).

Best regards
Thomas

Gabriela

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2017, 12:48:21 AM »
Leaving the pots outside is definitely the best method (I keep some warm germinators to grow under lights in the house just to have fun in the winter).
Instead of fleece (which gets shredded by mice) I use a synthetic shade mesh. It is very light and later in the spring can be folded loose over each tray or 2 mini-hoops (got to be inventive). I don't know if it's the same with what Thomas is using but usually I have no moss...

I took this picture today - I arrange the trays gradually as I get to sow and move the bamboo sticks to the front, just to know where the last row of trays is (not done yet :)
All the best!

Gabriela
Ontario, zone 5
http://botanicallyinclined.org/

Cfred72

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2017, 03:04:28 PM »
Do you think it is better to wait until September of October to put the seeds of Fritillaria uva vulpis in pots? Since it is an Asian species, I have chances to see germinate if I sow now. Is not it ?
Frédéric Catoul, Amay en Hesbaye, partie francophone de la Belgique.

Maggi Young

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Re: when to sow....
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2017, 05:05:56 PM »
I'd wait until  August to sow , and water well in beginning of September, Fred.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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