planting seed

Rodger Whitlock
Sun, 27 Aug 2017 09:02:35 PDT
Anita Roselle <> wrote:

> I am new to planting bulb seed and am not sure about planting at this
> time of year. I have seed of Glads, Hebranthus. Lillium that will be
> marginally hardy here. I plan to put them in a covered cold frame for
> the winter.
> Should I plant them now or wait till spring, if yes how late in the
> fall should they be planted? I am concerned that they will germinate
> now and not go dormant by winter. Have not been able to find out the
> answer to this so your response will be helpful.
> Look forward to hearing from you,

But no one knows where you live!

People! Good gardening techniques are highly dependent on where the 
garden is. but Anita didn't say.

Moscow? Puerto Vallarta? Minot? Las Vegas? Bellingham? Santiago? Cape 
Town? Taipei?

Note that this involves more than climatic factors. Soil, which can vary 
significantly over very short distances, is another, and exposure yet a 
third. Examples:

Here in Victoria, BC, we have a mild maritime climate with some light 
frosts most winters, short but severe freezes some winters. The soil is 
mostly derived from sticky blue marine clay deposited while glaciers 
depressed the land below sea level, but there are areas with quite 
sandy soil, also compliments of the glaciers. As for exposure, remember 
that peach orchardists in tricky locations plant on the north side of 
slopes where it's colder and spring flowering is later.

A covered cold frame is a very good idea unless you are in a location 
with serious winter cold that deeply freezes the soil.

Note that cold frames have other advantages than just protection from 
frost: they keep excessive winter rain off the plants inside, and they 
also keep some pests at bay, notably crows who are fond of plant pot labels.

When the prevailing temperature is near freezing or higher, you will 
want to keep your cold frame(s) propped open just a little for ventilation.

I'd sow now, water well, just once, then put the pots in the cold frame. 
Don't think you'll park them o/ut in the open and then in the cold frame 
later: if you are like me, step 2 (putting them in the cold frame) is 
likely to be overlooked later on.

But, that said, I have to mention that when I used to sow a hundred pots 
a year, it was only when seed arrived from the various society exchanges 
in December or January that the job was possible. It's a little like 
Christopher Lloyd's advice to take cuttings when you have the 
opportunity (e.g. on a visit to someone's garden), even though it's not 
the "right" time of year.
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