Sowing petunia seeds ?

melvalenaFebruary 8, 2012

I just got a bunch of petunia seeds in the mail today. They are so tiny!

HOW do you sow them?

I'm trying to figure out how to go about this. Maybe a magnifying glass and pour the seeds onto a plate and pull out one seed at a time using a knife to transfer it to a pot?

Or do you sprinkle them on in a larger container and then have to tease them apart when they first sprout and re pot them separately?

I've read about mixing it with sand but how do you know you are spreading it evenly I mean --how do you know the seeds are mixed evenly with the sand and not all sitting on top or the bottom? I'd be afraid some pots will get nothing but sand and some would get 30 seeds in one spot!

I'm stumped!

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msmashy(NJ/6)

I just overdosed them in a single container and figure I'll thin the seedlings if necessary.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:23PM
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msmashy(NJ/6)

That was supposed to say "oversowed" ... I hate auto correct.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:25PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

I just sprinkle the tiny seeds over the soil surface.

Karen

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:38PM
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melvalena

Thanks.

Each vial is supposed to have like 500 seeds...

Oh this is going to be so hard....

I just don't want to waste a single one of them. :(

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:57PM
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beachgrub(4 northern michigan)

I got my petunia seeds today too, 500 laura bush. I just took a small pinch and sprinkled them on the surface. I didn't pat them in obviously because if they stuck to my hands i wouldn't see them! I got 6 containers out of them (i use 1 gallon milk jugs). Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 8:45PM
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melvalena

Wow.. that's almost 100 seeds per milk jug! Then what?
How do you plan to separate them?

I got 3 vials of the pink and 3 vials of magenta laura bush..to be planted in beds.
And 3 smaller baggies of some mini purple ones to go in pots and hanging baskets.

I have lots of open beds that need filling. :)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:18PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Oh, boy! You guys are really underestimating the LB seeds and WSing! One small pinch in a jug will give you a good display of 'tunias!

I don't exactly "separate" them to plant out. I dump the whole blob into a flat, cut into squares with a kitchen knife, and plant out the little squares. You can make the squares any size you want.

Karen

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 7:29AM
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melvalena

Underestimating? How?

My fear is over sowing a container and later trying to figure out how to separate the little plants so that none of them are wasted. :) I'd like to plant out one plant at a time.. not the hunks.

I would love to sow one seed in one little nursery pot. I don't know what would be the best way to go about doing that.

My thinking is if time spent now sowing carefully will save me a lot of time later trying to separate the little buggers!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 9:57AM
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duane456

mel---you could try wetting the tip of a toothpick and pick them up that way to put in your container if you want to do each seed individually.
duane

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 10:19AM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Melvalena, don't worry about separating, just dump the whole blob of seedlings out, cut into chunks with a knife, and plant the chunks. Honestly, works great. Once you try it, you'll never struggle to separate your WSown seedlings again.

Don't sweat the small stuff.

Karen

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 10:31AM
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melvalena

Thank You Duane!!! That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for!!! How could I have not thought of that?? :)

I think that's going to be less stressful for me than trying to separate hundreds of seedlings from each other!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 10:34AM
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melvalena

Karen,
I understand what you're saying.
However I do not want to do hunks with these.

Hunks do not do so well in our soil and climate.
More often than not my clumps end up dead once the heat sets in, which is why I prefer to deal with individual plants as much as possible.

Larger seed is easy, its these tiny ones that have me perplexed.

Right now I have several flats of lobelia sprouted and its a huge hunk of moss I have to tease apart.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 11:10AM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Maybe you need a set of seed spoons. I never use them for WSing, but I have used those for inside under lights.

Karen

Here is a link that might be useful: seed spoons

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 11:41AM
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melvalena

Do they work??? If they do I'll have to put an order in for them and of course to make it worth while I'll have to order some seeds too! :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:11PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Yes, I think they work well if you're the patient type and like to sow seeds singly. I'll post a link to a page that shows 2 shots of my impatiens last year. First shows tiny seedlings sown 2/cell with seed spoons. The shot with bigger seedlings is after they've grown a little and been thinned to one/cell

Karen

Here is a link that might be useful: seeds sown with spoon

1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 7:03AM
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melvalena

I have to say, thinning my swiss chard while the seedlings were still quite small was a much easier task then waiting until they were much bigger and had all the roots tangled up.
It wasn't hard to do at all, I only broke one stem in the process.
But, they weren't sown very thick to begin with.

Those seedlings look so nice and healthy Karen.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 7:31AM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

But mine were indoor seedlings, not wintersown. I think WSown are always tougher than indoor ones, and the wintersown take abuse much more easily. I have no qualms about cutting WSown ones into chunks, but I don't do that to indoor ones.

If you're really particular about individual seedlings, you might consider pelleted seeds in the future. They're so much easier to work with. Tiny seeds like alyssum, petunia, or impatiens are a lot easier to space with pellets. They're more expensive initially, but a few pellets go a long way.

Karen

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 8:06AM
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melvalena

I didn't find any pelleted Laura Bush in my quick search for those seeds or I would have gone that way.

I suspected your examples were not winter sown, they weren't all tangled up in a milk jug! LOL

I'm still working on my perennials. Once those are all set out I'll start on annuals. Our winter here is fast approaching its end.

This morning started with me obsessing about the impatiens. :( I have plenty of time to worry about that before I have to actually sow them.

Off to search about winter sowing impatiens now...

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 9:49AM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

My LB weren't pelleted either. But at $1.50/pack, I wasn't worried about being generous in sprinkling into a jug. I don't think I used more than half of each of two packs over 2 years, had petunias by the thousands for 3 or 4 years, so I don't feel like I wasted money...

I'm pretty sure I have 4 or 5 pellets for tidal waves left over from two years ago. I'm just planning to use those up this year.

My husband wanted "Pittsburgh Steeler Petunias" this year- the black with yellow stripe "Phantom". I'm way too cheap to pay what online vendors are charging for them. If I see them locally I might pick some up but otherwise he's going to have to forgo Steeler petunias.
Karen

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 2:29PM
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trudi_d

To sow petunia seeds you must first moisten the soil, then scatter sow them across the surface. Don't worry too much about spacing as you can transplant them via Hunk-O-Seedlings, which I find to be the easiest way to deal with micro-seeds that are impossibly tiny to see and separate.

T

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 4:40PM
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