Wi sowing times

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Tue, 30 Aug 2005 07:20:12 PDT
Dear John,

The seeds you mention you are wanting to sow (Romuleas, Babiana, Gladiolus) 
are seeds that Rachel has said benefit from temperatures that fluctuate, 
warm days, cool nights. I have experimented with different times to start 
them and have settled on October as the best time for me. If I have a lot 
of seeds I will plant at various times during that month. Except for 
Lachenalia that often germinates quickly, I find I can see signs of 
germination in about a month, although sometimes it is longer. Since where 
I live the daytime temperatures in September and October can be the warmest 
of the year, I like to wait until it will be a bit cooler for them to be 
growing (November).

Last year I experimented with starting some South African seeds in January. 
Don Mahoney had told me he has good luck doing this. Since I have a cool 
spring I thought I could get away with keeping them growing longer and it 
would be worth a try since the seed would be fresher than if I waited until 
the following fall which is what I usually do. It is true many of them 
germinated, grew, and eventually went dormant but other seeds in those pots 
are coming up now which could be a problem if the hot weather comes. The 
final opinion on this is still out.

Veltheimia is a summer rainfall species and has only a brief dormancy for 
me. When we've discussed it before, it remains evergreen for some. 
Gladiolus species are very variable in blooming and growing times. There 
are some that grow and bloom in summer. Gladiolus carmineus is a fall 
bloomer and I saw my first flowers of it a couple of days ago. It sounds a 
bit early for Tritonia however. Since we have had such a cool summer I am 
finding as I repot that even some of my natives already have roots and even 
some shoots. Hopefully they won't suffer too much if we finally get warmer 
weather in September.

Mary Sue

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