I'm going to be starting 3 different kinds of pansies froom seeds, and
I wanted to know if there are any tips anyone can share? I've never
really started many flowers from seed, especially bedding-type plants.
The packets say to start 12 weeks before planting out, so the timing
is about right. Should I pinch them back at some point? They'll be
growing on a two-tier, eight-bulb, 48" growing table that I had made
at the machine shop where I work.
Robin, where you live pansies should be planted in the fall so they can
become nice lush plants to burst into bloom in early Spring. If you plant
them now, you will be disappointed. 12 weeks until planting out little cell
pack plants that will get large enough to have 2 or 3 flowers before the
heat does them in if you're lucky. If I were you I'd put the seed in the
refrigerator and save it until late July/early August. If you want the
pansies now, go buy some at Lowe's, Home Depot or WalMart and plant them
In late July prepare a pot (size depends on how many plants you want to end
up with) with soiless seed starter mix. Moisten it well. Sow the seeds
thinly on the surface - do not cover them. You can make shallow depressions,
like rows, so you can sow them in rows and know where to look for the
seedlings when they germinate. Cover the pot with newspaper, black plastic,
or something that will block out all light and put the pot in a place that's
about 75 deg. After 1 week, begin to check daily for germination. When at
least 1/2 of what you sowed is up gradually move the pot to bright light.
Transplant the seedlings when they're about 1" tall into cell packs or small
individual pots. To avoid transplanting, you can sow directly into cell
packs or small pots and treat as above. Grow the small plants as cool as you
can given the conditions of the time of year. You should be able to plant
out in Oct or Nov. Good luck
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