I am really starting out gardening new. I would like to start
decorating the patio with containers. I live in California. I have
1. Is it a wrong time of the year to start?
2. I would love to grow plants from seeds, rather than buying the
plants and re-potting them. Can I sow seeds in the container directly?
Or do I have to grow elsewhere first?
3. Any suggestions for beautiful flower plants that I can grow from
seeds and have bloom soon, in fall/winter?
Thanks a lot. Any pointer to web site or book will be great too.
Spring is much better time to approach this, as you will have a much larger
selection of plants to choose from, but you can also start cool weather
annuals from seed now. I'd go with something like pansies or violas - they
germinate quickly from seed and prefer the cooler weather of fall and mild
winters. You can direct sow these into containers, but don't overdo and make
sure the containers are sufficiently large enough to accomodate them without
drying out too fast. If you can find seeds of Nemesia or Schizanthus or even
sweet peas, these will also offer a long bloom season in cooler weather in
An advantage of buying starts at your local garden center rather than
starting all from seed is that you can combine multiple types of plants in a
pleasing color combination with draping groundcovers or ivy to have a much
more visually appealing presentation. Look for something larger and bold for
a focal point - fall mums, grasses or ornamental cabbages and kales work
well with the smaller plants like pansies.
pam - gardengal
On 26 Aug 2004 15:52:38 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Udayan) wrote:
I had some good luck starting some containers from seed. They took
longer to get going, but they did just fine. It is easier with
plants, but cheaper with seeds, and I agree that its very satisfying.
The best way to start containers is to start the plants separately. Get
(or save) some of the plastic cells you buy plants in and start your
seeds in them, one per cell. Seeds are cheap, so start twice as many as
you need. When the plants are large enough to transplant pick out the
best ones and put them into the container(s). Keep a few for backup in
case of transplant shock problems. This method avoids problems with
plants germinating at different times and avoids weak plants in the
container, which leads to holes in the resulting foliage (at least until
the rest of the plants take over).
Plants in cells will be large enough to transplant when the roots fill
the plastic cell. This will hold the soil together so it will come out
easily. It helps to water the plants in the cell about a half hour
before transplanting. This ensures that the water will soak the whole
cell and will make it easier to slide the rootball out of the plastic.
To see if the rootball fills the cell, water, wait a bit, then tug on
the plant stem close to the soil. If it comes out easily, the plants are
ready for transplanting. If it breaks off, well that's one reason for
you to plant more than you need. With a little experience, you will
break off fewer plants.
Many greenhouse operators will seed into really tiny cells (around 1/2"
square) and then transplant plants into larger and larger cells (maybe
even up to a 5" pot) until they finally assemble a container about two
weeks before selling it. The two weeks gives the roots a chance to
stabilize the plants in the container. Again, this allows you to pick
the strongest plants for the container and gives you the flexibility to
change your mind about the container contents right up to the last minute.
On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 20:46:56 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
Really? Where do you get container seeds? I need both a variety that
grows small, seed-starting pots and another for great big ones I can
raise herbs and vegetables in. How do you tell when they're ripe? :-)
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