15 November 2010

Frosty weather is ideal for some seed starting

Snapdragons are one of many plants that we have to start from seed in the fall. Their preferred germination temperature is 39-degrees though they will tolerate a warmer spot. I think that even with the 28 and 33 degree nights, the shed has only been as cold as 45 degrees.

The seeds have sprouted and I've begun to divide and re pot them to individual pots to grow on. Their preferred growing temperature is 50-degrees F or 10 C.

Tom Clothier's hort dot net has the old Thompson and Morgan seed starting chart that is reliable and easy to use though you have to have the Latin name. Snapdragon's Latin name is Antirrhinum. Use the link above to migrate to the chart.

Home Town Seeds sent me some sample packs to try and they have all germinated very very successfully. The seedlings in the photos are their Giant Tetra Snapdragon.


We know that larkspur and poppy seeds have to be planted by Thanksgiving to have flowers the following spring. Elizabeth Loveland wrote a piece on Fall Sowing of Seeds for Suite 101 a few years ago that is a good reference for other seeds to start this fall.

Loveland suggests Love in a Mist, Bells of Ireland, sages, Verbena and others. She says that hardy annuals and those that re-seed reliably are two good bets for frosty seeding.


Perennials to plant now from seed include purple coneflower, feverfew, monkshood and asclepias. You may not see any emerge until next spring so just take care of them and trust Mother Nature to send them up after they freeze and thaw.

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