I thought I would just list some special tactics to try increase successful sowing activities. After all ‘Tis the season for sowing summer annuals and so on’.
Pulsatilla or Pasque Flower
Special Seed Sowing
- To chit, nick or sandpaper your sweet pea seeds, that is the question? I often settle for a pre-soak to get through the hard coating and swell the hard seeds. The RHS video recommends nicking with a pen knive but each to their own. I did well last back end just planting ‘cupid’ in compost without any preparation.
- Seeds with a long awn such as Pasque flowers germinate better if they are individually speared into compost not sown flat. With warmth and wet the awns twist the seed deeper into the soil.
- Flat seeds like lilies have a papery wing covering the fertile grain. The germination will improve if the seed is inserted edge ways and not flat.
- Many seeds like to be sown as soon as they are ripe, after all that is natures way. Primula, Lewisia, Ranunculus and gentians are best sown from ‘pod to pan’.
- Cyclamen seeds are covered in a sticky substance to reward ants that move them from the host plant. Germination may be better if this glue is washed off before sowing.
- Pollinated Orchids can take up to a year for the ovary to swell and ripen. Then the fun starts as your harvested seed is best sent to a seed laboratory for germination and return as pricked out seedlings. It can also take a further 5 years to reach the flowering stage dependent on the variety.
- Many seeds that can’t be sown immediately can be stored in a dry container in the fridge. Some benefit from a good chill as this replicates winter conditions.
- I message to myself – SOW SEEDS THINLY