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Autumn / Winter Sowing

(10 Posts)
GardenGeek Sun 09-Oct-16 14:44:45

Is anyone sowing anything over Autumn/ Winter?

I am interested in sowing perennial plants for the garden such as flowers, ornamental grasses etc; but have no idea what I can sow.

I have researched online and have found the term 'winter sowing'. Is this when you sow now but don't expect any thing until spring (so is for enabling a long cool period) or do you sow and they come up straight away and you prick out and pot on over winter.

Never done Autumn/ Winter sowing before so any advice on what it actually is, or what you are sowing or have sowed in past years would be a great help.


shovetheholly Mon 10-Oct-16 07:54:32

A lot of the stuff that goes on now is hardy annual, rather than perennial - I'm thinking stuff like sweet peas, antirrhinum, ammi, calendula, nigella, annual poppies.

However, there are perennials you can start off too - primroses, dieramas (I did this last year and now have garden-ready plants for the spring), hardy geraniums, scabious.

shovetheholly Mon 10-Oct-16 08:00:00

Oh, and the growing instructions vary quite a lot. For some things, like sweet peas, you give the plant a warmish start to get them germinated (around 15 degrees, so a cold space in the house), then accustom them to the cold. In other cases, like primroses, you can just sow in a sunny cold frame and they'll germinate in those conditions.

Some complicated seeds like BOTH cold and warm in succession, and are a bit of a nightmare to keep shunting around. I'm looking at you, aquilegias.

The seed packet will guide you!

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Fri 14-Oct-16 09:25:20

Lamb's lettuce, for salads.

GardenGeek Sun 30-Oct-16 16:20:23

Thanks shove
Sorry for late reply, I have been busy with work and then cat decided to injure himself so been really pre-occupied.

I sowed some Stipa Ichu which came up so thats exciting.

Is it too late to order Dieramas?

Also a little research and some seed-selling websites say you can sow Heuchera & Bergenia but I cant find any sowers who have said that you can. So umming and ahhing about that.

Are you doing the RHS seed scheme this year? I cant wait until the catalogue comes out in November grin

shovetheholly Sun 30-Oct-16 16:48:36

Oh no, your poor cat - hope he is better now. It's horrible when they are ill - their misery is so obvious sad

I was really pleasantly surprised with how easy the stipa I grew was to do - I did S. tenuissima. Hopefully S. ichu will be as trouble-free and straightforward!

Dierama - I think you'd probably need to get them started indoors (they need to be around 15-18 C), then move when large enough to a frost-free greenhouse. However, I think this could be a bit of a pain for you, because I found that germination was a bit haphazard. I got a few through within 3 weeks or so, but they continued to germinate for another 6-8 months and I even had one through after about 12 months! I think it would be a pain to have a seed tray lying around indoors all winter, so you might want to try in the late spring instead just for an easier life! I think you can buy corms, which are a bit more straightforward and go straight into the ground in spring - or obviously, there are plants (again, probably best to put 'em out in spring - a bit like many grasses, they resent wet).

I'm not a member of the RHS - SHOCKING I KNOW!! I would really like to be, but it was just a bit too expensive last year on top of everything I am constantly buying for the garden. smile I am a member of the Hardy Plant Society, who do a seed scheme however (and who are loads cheaper to join - a great bargain, in fact).

GinAndOnIt Tue 01-Nov-16 07:52:36

Sorry to hijack but shove do you mind me asking a bit more about the HPS seed scheme? I've just looked it up and £17 for the year sounds great, but how much do you utilise the seed scheme? I'm wondering if it's easier to just stick to the 50p seed sale at the garden centre!

shovetheholly Tue 01-Nov-16 07:57:46

It's pretty simple! Around the turn of the year, the HPS send you a catalogue of what they have available, with a very strict deadline of when to return your 'order'. I think this year they seem to have a lot more information online as well.

I think you get something like 25 packets in total! And more if you also donate seed. The list is highly specialist in places, so you will get a much, much wider selection than at any garden centre. Some of the plants are very rare and scarce and difficult to propagate. Others are more common. You aren't guaranteed any of the things you order - sometimes there's only a small amount of something available and you miss it!

The seed is donated from individual members of the scheme, and sent to a central clearing house to be processed and sent out - all staffed by lovely volunteers!

Hope that explains it! Let me know if I've missed anything!

shovetheholly Tue 01-Nov-16 07:58:19

Oh- I did forget something -you do pay a P&P charge of around £5.

megletthesecond Tue 01-Nov-16 08:03:03

I think my allotment neighbour plants garlic.

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