I admit it…I’m addicted to planting!
The thought of waiting until next March until I start to see those ambitious little seedlings poking up through the soil makes me flex my impatience muscle big time! So what do I do? Plant some seeds of course!
Mesembryanthem, winter pansies, ‘Miniola Heart Purple’ and Coleus seedlings in early October.
This is not really as irrational as it sounds. Last year I planted my mesembryanthemum seeds in the autumn (thinking they were lavender, since that was what I had ordered!), and they grew slowly and steadily throughout the winter, providing me with a lovely bright spoked display throughout the spring and summer. Rummaging through my very disorganised seed packet collection, I discovered I still had some mesembryanthemum seeds, so I tipped the lot of them into a seed tray in the hope that the same might happen again next year.
Planting them on September 28th, I was surprised to see that by October 3rd the seedlings were coming through like cress. Only the day before I had still seen little seeds on the surface of the compost. Evidently, they must have exploded overnight! By yesterday they had grown some bit more and are currently in danger of crowding each other out. Of course, less heat and light means their growth speed has slowed down compared to how it would have been earlier in the year, so hopefully there will be time to work out the best way of looking after them in the near future.
Lavender, winter pansy and ‘Miniola Heart Purple’ seedlings in early October.
The thought of clearing out most of my plants from my greenhouse, after such a lively spring and summer, made me feel a bit gloomy. Craving some colour during the autumn and winter months, I decided I would also plant some winter pansy seeds, like last year. Unlike last autumn, I had the good sense to wrap my seed trays in freezer bags until the seeds had germinated. Instead of planting some in the autumn and some in the spring, as I did last time, I planted some on September 7th and the rest on September 28th. So far the resulting seedlings have been more in number, and they have grown into decent small plants. There are “Pansy -Winter Flowering Mixed” and “Pansy ‘Miniola Heart Purple'” seedlings.
My love affair with lavender also continues. In one seed tray I planted some new seeds that I recently ordered , and in another I planted some seeds left over from springtime that I had forgotten. Now I am fortunate enough to have quite a number of seedlings coming up in both seed trays.
Rather than wasting the remainder of my Coleus seeds from two years ago, I planted them, too. Maybe half a dozen came up, but I think some cheeky chappy nibbled the leaves off one or two of them. The odd little seedling has poked its head up out of the soil during the last day or two, though, so they are not a lost cause. The nibbling has inspired me to scatter mint leaves in the seed trays in the hope that they might discourage any slithering predators.
Mesembryanthemum, first group of winter pansy and ‘Miniola Heart Purple’ seedlings, and Coleus seedlings on October 22nd.
Overall, I am surprised by how much many of these seedlings have grown, given that I planted most of them at the end of September. The harsher end of autumn and winter, I know, are on the way, so I have no idea what will happen to my tiny new plants. I have to accept I could yet lose a lot of them, though I hope I won’t. If most of them survive and I’m searching for places to put them next year, however, I will see that as a very nice problem to have.
Lavender, and second group of winter pansy and ‘Miniola Heart Purple’ seedlings on October 22nd.
In the meantime, I have lots of dirty pots to wash up! 😀