When and what to sow? Sowing dates
Getting plants yourself from seeds is not so difficult. In addition, this event has the following advantages:
- the range of cultivated plants has been expanded compared to those offered on the horticultural market;
- at minimal cost, you can get the plants you want.
Every plant is different, and the process of starting growth from planting a seed will also be unique. Of greatest interest, especially for beginners, is the sowing of herbaceous plants, both annuals and perennials. Some should be grown outdoors, while others require a greenhouse.
In order for nature to give us its fruits, we must adapt our needs to its rhythms, times, its rules. It depends on the area in which we are, the climate and the variety to be sown. You should also take into account the phases of the moon, which definitely affects the growth of plants.
Usually April and May are the best months for planting annuals and perennials.
Additional Information! Biennial plants sown in the spring do not flower until the following year, but they have time to grow enough to flower in the spring.
Sowing in open ground or in seed containers
A common way to sow seedlings is to get an earlier harvest. If weather conditions permit, some types of plants can be sown directly outdoors, where they will remain throughout their life cycle. As for the more tender species, it is best to sow them in containers.
At the bottom of the box, it is necessary to prepare a drainage layer, then a layer of clay and earth, at least 10 cm, where the seeds will be sown. Between the layers, you can put a layer of fresh manure, which, during fermentation, releases a certain amount of heat, which is very important for germination.
For those who do not like to mess with seedlings, in May, as soon as the threats of return frosts finally pass, the following flowers can be sown in a flower bed in open ground.
- Delphinium annual.
- Large-flowered flax.
The place and time of planting seeds in open ground is important. Temperature is a key factor for germination and growth.
Preparation of seeds for sowing and soil
Before sowing, it is necessary to prepare the soil. If autumn processing has been carried out, light loosening is enough to ventilate the surface layer, eliminate possible weeds and apply organic fertilizers.
Note! Flower beds of any size are placed in a well-lit place in the garden, sheltered from the winds by a hedge or a wall. It is also very important that the flower bed does not fall into the shade of tall trees.
Stagnant water can cause root rot in germinated plants. Ideally, the seed bed should be raised to allow water to drain naturally.
Types of sowing
Seeds can be distributed on the ground in different ways, and it all depends on the size of the seeds themselves and on the result they want to get: a simple row, a border, a spot, or a mixed bed. The technique is to spread the seeds over the entire surface of the soil, trying to distribute them as evenly as possible.
Seeding in rows
A depth is made in the ground with a hoe or a pointed stick, corresponding to the size of the seeds.
The distance between seeds in a row and between rows should be calculated taking into account the width that the plants will reach when they grow.
Seeding in stripes
Seeds are distributed over more or less wide strips of soil, separating them from others by unsown strips on which irrigation furrows can be made.
This technique is used in the case of plants of large volumes and sizes, which must be removed from each other. Small holes are dug with a hoe, in which about 4 seeds are placed; when the plants germinate, they retain only the strongest.
What determines the depth of sowing seeds
It is important to observe the depth of seed placement in the ground. If you sow deeply, the seeds will germinate for a long time, or even not germinate at all. If not planted deep enough, there is a risk that the seeds will be washed away by rains or found by birds. At what depth should the seeds be planted correctly? Whichever method of sowing is chosen, the rule of thumb is to cover the seeds with a layer of soil equal to or slightly greater than the size of the seeds themselves. Some small seeds can be placed directly on the surface of the soil, while larger seeds need to be placed deeper.
If the seeds are very small (such as begonetta and lobelia), they should simply be scattered over the surface of the soil, perhaps mixed with fine sand to “dilute”. In the case of seeds of medium or large size, after planting, they can be buried with a rake, which is moved with light movements. Earth moved in a single direction covers the seeds evenly.
After sowing, be sure to water with a watering can with a thin shower so as not to wash off the seeds. You can also use a sprayer attached to a watering hose.
In the following days, it is necessary to continue watering so that the earth always remains moist, otherwise the seeds will not germinate. The seeds of some plants do not germinate well because they are covered with a cover that does not allow moisture to pass through. In this case, you can intervene by scratching the surface with a knife or by soaking the seeds in water at room temperature for about 10-12 hours.
Even if sown more evenly, it can happen that young seedlings grow too close together and take space, light and nutrition from each other. As soon as they become strong enough, they must be thinned out, making sure that there is the correct distance between them. Always carry out work in moist soil so that the roots do not break off. Thinning of home-sown root crops is aimed at obtaining a better product.
Additional Information! The dug up seedlings can be transplanted elsewhere or used to close germination gaps.
How to know if seeds are good
Seeds of some varieties of flowering annuals are available “coated” i.e. covered with protective agents. All these substances dissolve with moisture, nourishing and protecting the sprout. These seeds are usually more expensive, but are easier to handle and immune to disease. Then come the seeds, placed on strips of water-soluble cellulose, usually reserved for vegetables.
Pay attention to the label
When buying seeds, you need to read the information on the back of the bag. Information to pay attention to:
- germination percentage;
- expiration date: after this date, seed germination is no longer guaranteed;
- technical information that explains, for example, what distance should be between seeds or what are the ideal lighting conditions;
- characteristics of the plant: whether it is herbaceous, annual;
- biennial or perennial species. Information about the size and color of the flowers is also given.
How long can seeds be stored? It depends on the species. To test seed germination, there are a few small tricks that can be applied quickly and easily.
Pour the seeds into a glass of water, let them settle, and discard those that float to the surface. You can use those that will be at the bottom of the glass.
On a layer of moist cotton wool, about a centimeter thick, spread the seeds and cover them with newspaper. After 3-4 days, check how many seeds are swollen or even some of them are already germinating. The rest are thrown away.
Growing plants from seeds is fun, as is harvesting them from your own plants. Harvesting is carried out when the seeds are ripe and at the right time they must be taken from the plant before they are scattered on the ground.
How to collect seeds
Dry inflorescences are placed in a paper bag, and they are waiting for the seeds to fall out of the flowers. This system works well with plants that do not have tall stems.
The stems are cut and collected in bunches, which are then placed in a bag with the flowers down. This can be done with sage, chamomile, lavender, etc.
After harvesting, the seeds must be selected. Then they are stored in cloth bags in a dry place.