New gardener with questions!

(6 Posts)
fabergeegg Thu 19-Sep-13 13:09:20

Hi, I'm new to this! Would anyone be kind enough to advise on the following:

* What seeds should I be planting now for early summer flowering?
* Are there any interesting spring bulbs beyond daffodils, tulips etc.?
* What grows well in clay soil?
* What's the best way of heating a greenhouse over the winter (on a budget). Heat mats, painting barrels black (?), light lamps - please explain!
* What kind of compost do seeds need? And then what do they require at the next stage? And when planting out, how much compost should go in underneath the little plant?
* It seems quite expensive to buy 'plug plants'. Could someone explain why we don't all just plant seeds?

Thank you so much for any help!

onefewernow Thu 19-Sep-13 15:28:03

Allium, crocus , Scilla. Anemone, snowdrops, and daffodils are better for clay soil than most. Lilies and tulips are likely to flower the first year only and rot before the second.

mistlethrush Thu 19-Sep-13 15:31:26

My clay is good (apparently) for azaleas, perennial geraniums do really well, as to hemerocallis. Lilly of the valley is romping, Helebores do pretty well, japanese anemones also seem to like it and are flowering now.

onefewernow Thu 19-Sep-13 16:04:46

My favourite unusual bulbs are trilliums and they like shade too.

cantspel Fri 20-Sep-13 10:18:12

If your soil is heavy clay they when you plant your bulbs add some grit to the soil. It will improve drainage and help stop your bulbs from rotting in the ground.

I have just got a new greenhouse and i dont intend to heat it. I will use it to over winter my fuchsias, geraniums etc and then in spring for seeds.

Compost you just need a general purpose one. i like john innes number 3 which i mix with perlite and use shallow seed trays. When i move them on to their own pots again the same mix of compost and perlite. Planting out i add a hand pull of compost mixed with a general purpose plant food to each hole as i plant

I use a mix of seeds and plug plants. Some seeds are harder than others to get to germinate and so sometimes it is just easier to buy them as plugs. Other times i will find a really good offer from t&m or any of the other online retailers which send me numerous emails to tempt me and i am just plain weak so end up buying them.

fabergeegg Fri 20-Sep-13 17:20:36

Thank you so much for all this - Please keep it coming!

I have succumbed to the plant catalogues too many times this week smile

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