Seed Starting: As Easy as 1-2-3

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If you’ve never grown anything from seed before, you might be surprised at how easy it is to have a beautiful, productive summer garden starting with a few packs of seed in spring.

1. Use quality seed.

You may be tempted to use old seed, but think first. Was it kept in someone’s garage? Is it more than two years old? If in doubt, buy fresh seed from a trusted seed seller.

2. Maximize light.

Whether natural or artificial, adequate light is necessary for good seedling growth.

3. Don’t start your indoor seedlings too soon.

The earlier in the season you start your seeds, the more likely it is that your seedlings will be weak and spindly. Determine your seed starting date by reading the seed packet to see when it is safe to plant seedlings outdoors. For tomatoes this is generally when nights are above 50 °F (10 °C). Count back a month to 6 weeks.

Note: Just because a tomato plant can go outside immediately after danger of frost, there’s no law saying it must.

What Seeds Should I Start Indoors in Containers?

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Carrots, lettuce, sunflowers: these are examples of easy plants to grow from seed sown directly outdoors. Photo: http://www.ezfromseed.org

Not every type of seed needs to be started indoors. In fact, many are best sown directly in the garden soil.

In some regions, it makes sense to start seeds of spring greens indoors to get an early crop, and then sow more of the same greens outdoors to extend the growing season.

Carrots, lettuce, flowers, tomatoes, herbs, and many other garden favorites are easily started from seed.

Seeds to Start IndoorsSow Indoors or OutSow Directly in the Garden
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Eggplants
Herbs (most types)
Onions
Peppers
Perennials
Tomatoes
Basil
Cucumbers
Kale
Lettuce and other salad greens
Melons
Nasturtiums
Parsley
Spinach! Squash
Sunflowers
Swiss Chard
Zinnias
Arugula
Beans
Beets
Carrots
Cilantro (coriander)
Corn
Dill
Parsnips
Peas
Radishes
Spring Onions
Turnips

Tip: First plan your garden; then order your seeds. Sometimes the fastest vegetable varieties, most interesting herbs and old-fashioned flowers such as larkspur, four o’clock and love-lies-bleeding are available only from seed.

Where Should I Put My Indoor Seedlings?

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A sunny window may provide enough light or you may need to purchase lights. Photo: http://www.cornerstoneacresfarm.com

A south or west-facing window will provide adequate light, assuming you wait until the longer days of April to begin planting. If you have a sun porch, even better, but keep an eye on the weather; you’ll need to provide heat on frosty nights.

If natural light is not available, you can purchase grow lights. Cool white fluorescent tubes will do the job and are much more economical than the full spectrum grow lights. Place them two to four inches (5 to 10 cm) above your seedlings, and keep them on 16-18 hours a day.

A Brief How-To

Supplies

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Gather your supplies. Ill.: Claire Tourigny, from the book Les Idées du jardinier paresseux: Semis

For indoor seed starting, get a good soilless mix and some containers. These can be recycled plastic containers from the grocery store, half-gallon milk containers sliced lengthwise, purchased trays and cell inserts, biodegradable pots, or anything that is at least 2 inches in depth. Be sure to add drainage holes if your container has none.

Sowing Indoors

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There are all sorts of containers you can repurpose for seed starting. Photo: http://www.greeningz.com

Seeds can be germinated in recycled containers and then transplanted into individual cells. Some plants—beans are a good example—don’t need to be started indoors. Sow them directly into the soil.

Moisten the soil mix to the consistency of a wrung-out sponge before planting seeds. A rule of thumb when it comes to starting tomatoes indoors in cell packs: plant two to three seeds in a cell and thin to one when the seedlings grow their first set of true leaves. This goes for all plants that you are starting from seed, including peppers, eggplants, squash, annual flowers, and even greens.

Heat mat. Photo http://www.feathersinthewoods.com

Tip: If you are starting seeds in a cool space, purchasing a heat mat to place under your seedling trays will speed germination. Once seeds sprout, remove the tray from the mat.

Transplanting

If you sow rows of seeds in flats or recycled containers, place them no closer than 1/2 inch (1.25) apart. Transplant seedlings into individual cells or pots when they have one or two sets of true leaves.

Seedling Health

Seedlings thrive when provided with plenty of light and enough water to keep the soil moist but not wet. Begin feeding them with a half-strength liquid fertilizer when they have at least two sets of leaves. If possible, bring them outdoors on warm sunny spring days.

If Sowing Directly Outdoors

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You can start fast-growing plants outdoors. Photo: http://www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk

Read the packets of root vegetables, greens, beans, and other plants for seedling spacing. Gardeners, especially beginning gardeners, tend to sow seeds too closely. Try to scatter seeds of greens and root vegetables about an inch (2,5 cm) apart when sowing directly in the garden, otherwise plants will be overly crowded, and will not thrive.

Tip: Thinning is critical to garden success! With the exception of baby greens, all seedlings should be thinned according to packet instructions.

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The above article is derived from a press release by the Home Garden Seed Association (www.ezfromseed.org) which promotes gardening from seed – the easy, economical, and rewarding way to garden. Visit their website for gardening articles and information about their members and their activities. Members’ retail websites can be accessed through the “Shop Our Members Online” page.

When to Sow Over 80 Vegetables and Herbs

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Trying to understand when to sow various herbs and vegetables can be frustrating. Source:  clipart-library.com, moziru.com & http://www.clipartfinders.com

Wouldn’t life be easier for gardeners if there were only one date at which we could sow all our garden edibles indoors? Say April 15, or May 10? That would be the day when all gardeners around the world should sow their tomatoes, leeks, beans, etc., everyone all at once, on the same day.

But that will never happen. Some vegetables and herbs need to be started indoors two months or more before planting out, others, only a few weeks, and still others prefer being sown directly outdoors where they are to grow. And the right planting-out date is also necessarily going to vary depending on your local climate: risk of frost diminishes more rapidly in mild climates than cold ones, often as early as March, so gardeners living there can plant out their seedlings extra early, while gardeners from cold climates may still have frost concerns well into June. Plus, there’ll always be a 6-month difference in planting dates between gardeners in the Southern and Northern Hemsipheres.

So the “everybody sows their veggie seeds on one day” idea is just never going to happen.

How to Find the Right Date

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Many seeds need a head start indoors. Source: www.steps2permaculture.com

You’ll see below a list that gives appropriate dates for sowing vegetables and herbs regardless of your local situation, all based on when you calculate you can safely transplant them to your garden.

Of course, it’s first up to you find when that safe date is. And this planting-out date it will probably not be the last frost date you might have seen mentioned for your area. The last frost date quoted is almost always the average date of the last spring frost and by definition, average means “half the time.” Therefore, if you use the last frost date as the date you intend to put your seedlings in the garden, expect it to be too cold about one year out of two! Not very useful!

That’s way I recommend figuring out, based on your own experience or that of a neighbor who gardens if you’re a beginner, a date some 10 to 14 days later, when both the soil and the air normally warm enough for your plant out in safely. That’s the planting-out date you want to use to calculate when to sow seeds.

For example, where I live, the official last frost date is June 1st, but that refers to the average date of last frost. That’s why I usually use June 10 as a safe date for me to plant seedlings outdoors and it’s the one I use in calculating when to start my seedlings.

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Subtract the number of weeks indoors from your planting-out date to find the correct indoor sowing date.

So, figure your transplant date and start counting backwards to find the right sowing for each variety that interests you on the following list.

For example, if you check broccoli on the list below, you’ll see “8 weeks” cited. That means to sow it indoors 8 weeks before your safe planting-out date. If your safe planting-out date is May 15, sow broccoli indoors on (or around) March 15. If it’s June 1st, sow it indoors April 1st. Etc.

Sowing Dates for Vegetables and Herbs

  1. Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus, A. cruentus and A. hypocondiacus) 4 weeks
  2. Angelica (Angelica archangelica) 8 weeks
  3. Anise (Pimpinella anisum) 8 weeks
  4. Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) 10 weeks
  5. Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) 8 weeks
  6. Aubergine (Solanum melongena) 8 weeks
  7. Balm, Lemon (Melissa officinalis) 10 weeks
  8. Basil (Ocimum basilicum and others) 4 weeks
  9. Bean, Broad (Vicia fava) Sow outdoors
  10. Bean, Dwarf French (Phaseolus vulgaris humilis) Sow outdoors
  11. Bean, Fava (Vicia fava) Sow outdoors
  12. Bean, Pole (Phaseolus vulgaris and P. coccineus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  13. Bean, Scarlet Runner (Phaseolus coccineus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  14. Beet, Beetroot (Beta vulgaris Condivita group) Sow outdoors
  15. Borage (Borago officinalis) 8 weeks
  16. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica) 8 weeks
  17. Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera) 4 weeks
  18. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitata) 5 weeks
  19. Cantaloup (Cucumis melo) 3 weeks
  20. Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) 10 weeks
  21. Carrot (Daucus carota) Sow outdoors
  22. Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea botrytis) 8 weeks
  23. Celery (Apium graveolens) 8 weeks
  24. Chamomile, German (Matricaria chamomilla, syn. Matricaria recutita) 6 weeks
  25. Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile, syn. Anthemis nobile) 8 weeks
  26. Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) 6 weeks
  27. Chicory (Chichorium intybus) 4 weeks
  28. Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa pekinensis) Sow outdoors
  29. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) 4 weeks
  30. Chives, Garlic (Allium tuberosum) 4 weeks
  31. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) 5 weeks or sow outdoors
  32. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) 5 weeks or sow outdoors
  33. Corn (Zea mays) Sow outdoors
  34. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  35. Dill (Anethum graveolens) 6 weeks
  36. Eggplant (Solanum melongena) 8 weeks
  37. Endive (Chichorium endivia) 6 weeks
  38. Escarole (Chichorium endivia) 6 weeks
  39. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) 4 weeks
  40. Ground cherry (Physalis pruinosa) 8 weeks
  41. Hyssope (Hyssopus officinalis) 8 weeks
  42. Kale (Brassica oleracea acephala) 6 weeks
  43. Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea gongylodes) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  44. Lavander (Lavandula angustifolia) 14 weeks
  45. Leek (Allium porrum) 12 weeks
  46. Lentil (Lens culinaris) Sow outdoors
  47. Lettuce (Lactuca sativus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  48. Maize (Zea mays) Sow outdoors
  49. Majorum (Origanum majorana, syn. O. hortensis) 6 weeks
  50. Melon (Cucumis melo) 3 weeks
  51. Mint (Mentha spp.) 8 weeks
  52. Mizuna (Brassica juncea japonica) 4 weeks
  53. Okra (Abelmochus esculentus) 8 weeks
  54. Onion (Allium cepa) 8 weeks
  55. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) 6 weeks
  56. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) 6 weeks
  57. Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) Sow outdoors
  58. Pea (Pisum sativum) Sow outdoors
  59. Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) 6 weeks
  60. Pepper (Capsicum annuum and others) 9 weeks
  61. Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  62. Purslane (Porulaca oleracea) 6 weeks
  63. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) Sow outdoors
  64. Radicchio (Chichorium intybus) 4 weeks
  65. Radish (Raphanus sativus) Sow outdoors
  66. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) 6 weeks
  67. Sage, Common (Salvia officinalis) 8 weeks
  68. Savory, Summer (Satureja hortensis) 4 weeks
  69. Shallot (Allium cepa aggregatum) 8 weeks
  70. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  71. Spinach, New Zealand (Tetragona expansa) 3 weeks
  72. Squash (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  73. Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris Flavescens Group) Sow outdoors
  74. Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) 8 weeks
  75. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris and others) 8 weeks
  76. Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa and P. philadelphica) 6 weeks
  77. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicon esculentum) 6 weeks
  78. Turnip (Brassica rapa rapifera) Sow outdoors
  79. Vegetable Marrow (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  80. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) 3 weeks
  81. Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors20180207 clipart-library.com, moziru.com & www.clipartfinders.com .jpg

Seeds to Sow: Early February

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20170131A.jpgFebruary is very early to start sowing seeds. The days are short and the sun is still weak, conditions that certainly don’t stimulate robust growth. If you have any seeds you really have to sow this early, it is therefore better grow them under fluorescent lights or LED lights where you can at least control the day length (try 14 to 16 hour days).

What to Sow in Early February

If you follow this blog, note that I will give an update every two weeks through the spring on what to sow for the current period. This particular list is extremely short, but you’ll see that it will grow considerably in length as the season progresses.

Also note that this list was developed for gardeners from northern climates, such as Canada, the Northeastern United States and colder parts of Europe, where the date of the average last frost is in late May or early June. For readers who garden in more temperate regions, I suggest you consult a specialist in your area to know what to sow in February.

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Place February-sown seeds under artificial lights for best results.

Seeds to Sow in Early February

  1. Canterbury Bells (Campanula medium)
  2. Double datura (Datura metel) (but sow Datura stramonium directly in the garden in May)
  3. Fairy Snapdragon (Chaenorrhinum organifolium, syn. C. glaerosum)
  4. Ferns
  5. Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
  6. Laurentia (Laurentia axillaris or, more correctly, Isotoma axillaris)
  7. Lavender (Lavandula)
  8. Perennials and shrubs that require a cold treatment to germinate
  9. Tuberous begonia (Begonia x tuberhybrida) (warning: long days are essential for this one: they tend to fail if given short days)

Seeds That Need a Cold Treatment

If starting sows indoors in early February with the idea of stimulating rapid germination is a bit iffy, the opposite is true of plants that need a cold treatment.

Some plants from cold climates need a cold period of 4 to 8 weeks before they can germinate. It is therefore logical to expose these seeds to cold in January or February so that they’ll be ready to germinate come spring, when the days are longer.

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Many cold climate plants need a cold treatment before they will germinate.

To give seeds a cold treatement, simply sow them in a pot of moist potting soil, seal their pot in a plastic bag and place it in the fridge. In mid-March or early April, when they’ve had a decent period of cold, expose the pot to light and heat and they should germinate fairly readily.

Which Plants Need a Cold Treatment

Almost all trees, shrubs and conifers native to cold regions either need or do best with a cold treatment. This is also true of many perennials, although there are more exceptions.

Here is a partial list of a few perennials that do need a cold treatment.

  1. Aconitum
  2. Agastache
  3. Anemone
  4. Astrantia
  5. Delphinium
  6. Dictamnus
  7. Gentiana
  8. Eryngium
  9. Helleborus
  10. Helianthus
  11. Hibiscus
  12. Kniphofia
  13. Lilium
  14. Maianthemum
  15. Paeonia
  16. Primula
  17. Scabiosa
  18. Thalictrum
  19. Trollius

Best of luck with everything you sow!20170131a

Seeds to Sow: mid-April

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20150315By mid-April, we’re right in the heart of the indoor sowing season. Seeds that need a really long head start on the gardening season are already up and growing, those that grow really quickly are still waiting their turn, but it’s just about the perfect time to sow a whole slew of vegetables, flowers, herbs, etc. indoors.

In case you missed a few “appointments” along the way, here’s where to go to see Seeds to sow: early April, Seeds to sow: mid-March, Seeds to sow: early March, etc. Remember, you can sow seeds a bit late and still get good results… it’s sowing too early that is hard to make up for.

Otherwise, here are the seeds to start indoors in mid-April:

African Daisy (Arctotis x hybrida, formerly Venidium)
Annual Chrysanthemum (Glebionis carinatum (formerly Chrysanthemum carinatum) and others)
Annual gypsophila (Gypsophila muralis)
Annual Phlox (Phlox drummondii)
Aster (Aster spp., including Symphtrichon, Eurybia and others) Astilbe (Astilbe spp.)
Aubrieta (Aubrieta spp.)
Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorum)
Baptisia or False Indigo (Baptisia spp.)
Basket of Gold (Aurinia saxatilis, syn. Alyssum saxatile)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Black-eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata)
Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)
Bugloss (Anchusa azurea and others)
Campion (Lychnis x haageana)
Checkermallow (Sidalcea malviflora and others)
Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
Chicory or Endive (Cichorum intybus)
China Aster (Callistephus chinensis)
Chinese Forget-Me-Not (Cynoglossum amabile)
Clarkia (Clarkia unguiculata, syn. C. elegans)
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
Compass Plant (Silphium perfoliatum, S. laciniatum, etc.)
Coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora, C. lanceolata, C. tinctoria and others)
Corncockle (Agrostemma githago and others)
Cosmidium (Cosmidium burridgeanum)
Creeping Zinnia (Sanivitalia procumbens)
Cupid’s Dart (Catananche caerulea) Dahlberg Daisy (Thymophylla tenuiloba, syn. Dyssodia tenuiloba)
Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Dwarf Dahlia (Dahlia X)
Dwarf Morning-Glory (Convolvulus tricolor)
Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum, syn. Helichrysum bracteatum)
Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius)
Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata, N. sylvestris and others)
Fountain Grass (Pennisetum villosum, P. setaceum)
Four-o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa)
Gaillardia (Gaillardia x grandiflora and others)
Gazania (Gazania rigens)
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita, syn. Matricaria chamomilla)
Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa and others)
Godetia (Clarkia amoena, formerly Godetia amoena)
Hare’s Tail (Lagurus ovatus) Inula (Inula spp.)
Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum, P. reptans, etc.) ÀJewels of Opar (Tanlium paniculatum and others)
Kale (Brassica oleracea acephala)
Kochia (Bassia scoparia, syn. Kochia scoparia)
Larkspur (Consolida ambigua, C. regalis, formerly Delphinium)
Lavatera (Lavatera trimestris, L. thuringiaca, L. cachemeriana, etc.)
Liatris (Liatris spicata and others)
Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena and others)
Lupin (Lupinus polyphyllus and others)
Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata)
Majorum (Origanum majorana, syn. O. hortensis)
Maltese Cross (Lychnis chalcedonica, L. x arkwrightii)
Mauve (Malva moschata, M. alcea and others)
Melampodium or African Zinnia (Melampodium paludosum)
Mexican Popy (Argemone mexicana and others)
Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
Mignonette (Reseda odorata)
Mimulus (Mimulus x hybridus)
Nemesia (Nemesia strumosa and others)
Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum, syn. P. laciniatum, P. paeoniflorum)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Osteospermum (Osteospermum spp., syn. Dimorphotheca spp.)
Painted Sage (Salvia viridis, syn. S. horminus)
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Peanut (Arachis hypogaea)
Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea)
Pink Sunray (Rhodanthe roseum and R. magnlesii, syn. Acroclinium et Helipterum)
Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora)
Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
Rockcress (Arabis caucasica and others)
Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Sandwort (Arenaria montana)
Scarlet Sage (Salvia splendens)
Scotch Thistle (Onopordum acanthium)
Sea Lavander (Limonium platyphyllum (syn. L. latifolium) and others)
Sheep’s Bit (Jasione laevis, syn. J. perennis)
Shoo-fly Plant (Nicandra physaloides)
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
Snow on the Mountain (Euphorbia marginata)
Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum)
Stock (Matthiola incana)
Thyme (Thymus serpyllum, T. praecox and others)
Tickseed (Bidens aurea, B. ferulifolia and others)
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Tulip Poppy (Hunnemannia fumariifolia)
Turtlehead (Chelone glabra and others)
Winged Everylasting (Ammobium alataum)
Yellow False Lupin (Thermopsis villosa and others)

Always Sow at the Right Depth

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20150410With seed-starting season in full swing, it’s worth pointing out that most seed packs indicate how deep you should sow the seeds they contain and how far apart you should space them. If they don’t, you will probably find this detail in a book or on the Internet.

If not, use the following rule which has served gardeners for generations: sow at a depth equal to 3 to 4 times the diameter of the seed and leave 1/2 inch (1,25 cm) between each seed (1 inch (5 cm) in the case of large seeds).

Do not cover very small seeds, however, those that are almost as fine as dust: their small size indicates that, in nature as in the garden, they prefer to germinate on the surface of the soil. Moreover, these same seeds usually need light to germinate, so when you start them indoors, always place their pots in a brightly lit location, even before they show any green growth.

Here’s how to sow fine seeds:

53 31. Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of a pot or tray of moist potting mix.
53 42. Gently press the soil with a block of wood so the seeds adhere to the soil, but aren’t covered.

53 53. Lightly spray with warm water: amessage to them it is time to germinate.

Here is a list of seeds it is best not to cover:

Agastache (Agastache foeniculum and others)
Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum) Amsonia (Amsonia spp.)
Angelica (Angelica archangelica and others)
Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia)
Annual gypsophila (Gypsophila muralis)
Astilbe (Astibe spp.)
Aubrieta (Aubrieta spp.) Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorum)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basket of Gold (Aurinia saxatilis, syn. Alyssum saxatile)
Begonia (Begonia spp.)
Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis)
Bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia and others)
Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)
Blue Fescue (Festuca ovina glauca and others)
Blue Poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia and others)
Browallia (Browallia speciosa)
Canterbury Bells (Campanula medium)
Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria, Centaurea cineraria and others) Clarkia (Clarkia unguiculata, syn. C. elegans)
Climbing Snapdragon (Asarina, Lophospermum and Maurandya) Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)
Corydalis (Corydalis spp.)
Cosmidium (Cosmidium burridgeanum)
Creeping Zinnia (Sanivitalia procumbens)
Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Edging Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)
English Daisy (Bellis perennis)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus cinerea, E. globulus and others)
Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum, syn. Helichrysum bracteatum)
Ferns (all species: Matteuccia, Athyrium, etc.)
Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata, N. sylvestris and others)
Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis sylvatica and others)
Gaillardia (Gaillardia x grandiflora and others)
Garden Mum (Chrysanthemum x morifolium, syn. Dendranthema x grandiflorum)
Goat’s Beard (Aruncus dioicus and others)
Golden Marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria)
Hardy Gloxinia (Incarvillea delavayi and others) Heuchera (Heuchera spp.)
Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
Ice Plant (Dorotheanthus bellidiformis and Mesembryanthemum crystallinum)
Kochia (Bassia scoparia, syn. Kochia scoparia)
Laurentia (Laurentia axillaris, syn. Isotoma axillaris)
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Leopard’s Bane (Doronicum spp.)
Liatris (Liatris spicata and others)
Lungwort (Pulmonaria saccharata and others)
Masterwort (Astrance major and others)
Meadow-Rue (Thalictrum spp.)
Mealy Sage (Salvia farinacea)
Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
Mignonette (Reseda odorata)
Mimulus (Mimulus spp.)
Monk’s Hood (Aconitum spp.)
Mountain Sandwort (Arenaria montana)
Nemesia (Nemesia strumosa and others)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale, P. bracteatum and others)
Osteospermum (Osteospermum spp., syn. Dimorphotheca spp.)
Ox-Eye (Buphthalmum salicifolium)
Penniseum (Pennisetum villosum, P. setaceum)
Perennial Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens and others)
Perennial Lobelia or Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis, L. siphilitica and others)
Rockcress (Arabis caucasica and others)
Rodgersia (Rodgersia aesculifolia and others)
Saxifrage (Saxifraga spp.)
Scarlet Sage (Salvia splendens)
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
Spanish Poppy (Papaver rupifragum)
Stock (Matthiola incana)
Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis)
Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Throatwort (Trachelium caeruleum)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris and others)
Virginia Stock (Malcomia maritima)
Wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri and others)
Yarrow (Achillea spp.)

Seeds to Sow: Early April

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20150401We’re now in the heart of seed-sowing season. It’s time to start seeds of many vegetables, annuals, and perennials. And sowing seeds is not rocket science: a bit of potting soil, a few clean pots, a tray, a sunny window or fluorescent light fixture, and some seed packs: that’s all you need. But you do have to sow plants at the right time of the year. Early April is too early for some seeds and and a bit late for others… but it’s just the right time to sow the following:

Angelica (Angelica atropurpurea, A. archangelica and others)
Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
Avens (Geum spp.)
Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila paniculata, G. repens, etc.)
Bedding Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)
Bergenia (Bergenia spp.)
Blue Fescue (Festuca ovina glauca)
Blue Poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia and others)
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Border Pink (Dianthus plumarius and its hybrids)
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica)
Browallia (Browallia speciosa)
Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera)
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias spp.)
Campion or Catchfly (Silene spp.)
Caucasian Scabious (Scabiosa caucasica)
Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea botrytis)
Celery (Apium graveolens)
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile, syn. Anthemis nobile)
China Pink (Dianthus chinensis)
Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi)
Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)
Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum spp., anc. Veronica spp.)
Dahlia (tall and medium varieties) (Dahlia x)
Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)
Dichondra (Dichondra repens)
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum)
Eggplant or Aubergine (Solanum melongena)
Evening Primrose or Suncup (Oenothera spp.)
Fleabane (Erigeron speciosus and others)
French Shallot (Allium cepa aggregatum)
Garden Mum or Hardy Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum x morifolium, syn. C. x grandiflorum)
Giant Hyssop (Agastache ruprestris)
Golden Marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria)
Ground Cherry (Physalis pubescens)
Heuchera (Heuchera spp.)
Hyssop (Hysopus officinalis)
Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina, syn. S. lanata)
Lewisia (Lewisia cotyledon and others)
Lobelia or Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis, L. siphilitica and others)
Lungwort (Pulmonaria saccharata and others)
Meadow Sage (Salvia pratensis)
Meadowsweet or Queen-of-the-prairie (Filipendula ulmaria and others)
Mexican Hat Plant (Ratibida columnifera, R. pinnata and others)
Mimulus (Mimulus x hybridus)
Mint (Mentha spp.)
Monarda or Beebalm (Monarda didyma and others)
Nepeta or Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii and others)
Nolana (Nolana paradoxa, N. humifusa)
Okra or gumbo (Abelmoschus esculentus)
Onion (Allium cepa)
Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientalis)
Ornamental Millet (Pennisetum glaucum)
Ox Eye(Buphthalmum salicifolium)
Painted Daisy (Tanacetum coccineum, syn. Pyrethrum coccineum et Chrysanthemum coccineum)
Painted Tongue (Salpiglossis sinuata)
Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana)
Penstemon (Penstemon barbatus, P. digitalis and others)
Phlomis (Phlomis tuberosa)
Phlox (Phlox paniculata and others)
Physostégie ou fleur charnière (Physostegia virginiana)
Potentille vivace (Potentilla spp.)
Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbum, R. x hybridum and others)
Rockgarden Pink (Dianthus deltoïdes, D. gratianopolitanus and others)
Sauge (Salvia officinalis)
Sea Thrift (Armeria maritima and others)
Sedum or Live-Forever (Sedum spp.)
Self Heal (Prunella grandiflora and others)
Sneezeweed (Helenium spp.)
Spanish Poppy (Papaver rupifragum)
Spiderwort (Tradescantia x andersoniana, T. ohioensis)
Spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites, E. polychroma, etc.)
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)
Tall Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Texas Hummingbird Mint (Agastache cana and others)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris and others)
Toadflax (Linaria reticulata, L. maroccana, etc.)
Veronica (Veronica spp.)
Viola or Johnny Jump Up (Viola x hybrida, V. cornuta, V. tricolor and others)
Violet (Viola spp.)
Wishbone Flower (Torenia fournieri and others)
Yarrow (Achillea spp.)
Yellow Impatiens (Impatiens auricoma)