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What to do?

Posted by momstar (My Page) on
Tue, May 11, 10 at 12:32

After the miserable hardening off experience, I am short a few hundred flower seedlings.

Is it too late to direct sow? Zone 5 - last frost date is May 15. Or should I try to plant in pots/containers until they are big enough to transplant? Or do I give up and go without flowers this year?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What to do?

Since you didn't have much luck hardening off why risk it again? Direct sow, it's not too late.


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RE: What to do?

Oh, you poor thing! Don't get discouraged:) Lots of seeds can be directly sown, and annuals are better sown after the last frost. Don't give up, you can still have flowers this year. What seeds are you planning to sow?


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RE: What to do?

In momstar's defense, her hardening off misfortunes were not self-inflicted; remember her hubby helping with the hoop houses? :) Momstar, your flower plans will depend on what you're wanting to sow.


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RE: What to do?

Direct sow Zinnias and Marigolds. Both will flower from seed in about a month. If you direct sow now you will have flowers by the end of June that will bloom all the rest of the summer


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RE: What to do?

Seriously oilpainter? (big smile)

Zinnias are one of the things that met with an unfortunate fate. As soon as this blasted rain stops long enough to do it, I'm going to direct sow them.

Thanks sleepy. I appreciate you coming to my defense.

Any direction about what is good to sow and what I should give up on would help. The list is below (as far as my memory will go)

Scarlet Poppies
Sweet Williams
Carnations
Cosmos
Shasta Daisy
Zinnias (tall, dwarf, and lilliput) (yea oilpainter!)
Black-eyed Susans
Asters
Purple Cone Flower
Snapdragons
Morning Glory (didn't plant these before, figured I'd direct sow them from the beginning)

I'm worried when I direct sow that they will get washed away when watered. Being just a little on the OCD side I'd like to prevent this if possible (ergo the planting inside attempt).

Any suggestions/recommendations? I was thinking about cutting TP rolls in half and making a little secured area to plant in. Then I would know where to expect them to come up and also it might help with washing them out when watering. Good idea? Bad idea?


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RE: What to do?

Marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, morning glory (soak them overnight), nasturtiums, and (I think) the poppies can all be direct sown. The most "dangerous" part for me is the risk of weeding out the seedlings by mistake!


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RE: What to do?

I would nick the morning glory seeds. I went from 10% to 90% germination by scarifying them.


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RE: What to do?

How deeply should I nick them? Just rough them up with sand paper or actually cut through the outer shell?


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RE: What to do?

Sweet william is a biennial so you'll have to leave the seed heads to get more flowers.
Shasta daisy, carnations, Black eyed susans, and cone flower are perennials. I would sow all these in flats. Put them under the lights and then harden off. Then I'd plant in an area where they can be cared for throughout the summer--sort of a plant day care. Somewhere where they are protected from the harsh midday sun. They in all likelyhood won't flower this year anyway. Then next spring you can transfer them to their permanent homes and watch them bloom.

If your poppies are perennial treat them the same way. If they are annuals direct sow them.


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RE: What to do?

I use a dremel tool with a grinding or cut-off wheel and just skim the seed from end to end. Just roughing it with sand paper should do.


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RE: What to do?

FWIW, I used to nick morning glories, but one year I soaked them instead and got just as good germination. It's a lot easier, so I don't bother to nick them anymore. Of course, your mileage may vary.


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RE: What to do?


FWIW, I used to nick morning glories, but one year I soaked them instead and got just as good germination.

I've tried both, same year, same batch of seed, got better germination from scarifying.


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RE: What to do?

Great responses people! I brought my morning glory seeds to work with me. (I know, I'm hopeless. But I'm also bored to death.) I've got an emory board and I'm going to scarify them then plant them when I get home.

I'll let you know how it works.

One question, does scarifying recommended for pepper seeds?


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RE: What to do?

Here are some good seed starting tips for vegetables.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Starting Tips


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