A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Winter Sowing Update

Another one of my favorite flowers sprouted on Friday, Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate. I was introduced to them a few years ago during my Master Gardener course. They were featured in the herb beds that all of the classes are required to plant and tend. It was love at first sight. KMOTGG are a difficult seed to germinate. After much trial and error, the Master Gardeners have found that seeding the flats and then leaving them outside of the greenhouse for a couple of weeks works. I’ve found that wintersowing is perfect for them. Interestingly, they came up on nearly the same day last year, April 1.

A new addition to my Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden that also appeared in a container on Friday is parsley. It’s a larval food source for swallowtail butterflies of which I have a quite a few every summer. They also feed on fennel which I planted last year. I have milkweed, a food source for Monarch larvae, seeded in another container.

Today saw the debut of the snapdragons for my plot at Rutgers Gardens, Freesong Pink and Golden Monarch. These are definitely iffy choices. According to the Head Hatter, snapdragons don’t do well in the heat of the Display Gardens but I saw snapdragons doing quite well there last year. I’m chalking it up to the new drip irrigation system. But I’m also hedging my bets by planting in the Cottage Garden style. My hope is that the densely planted flowers will shelter the snapdragons from the heat.

A second foxglove came up today. These are the Wild Purple foxgloves that were a success last year. I will definitely be more careful weeding this year so that I don’t lose any. When I plant them out from the containers, I will give each one a good dose of hot pepper to prevent the squirrels from bothering them. I hope.


At 4:44 PM, Blogger Kerri said...

I should plant some parsely. Thanks for making me think of it!
I love KMOTGG but I haven't tried it yet.
I have alyssum coming up in my WS containers - 3 different colors.
I sewed some of your blue columbine inside and it hasn't germinated. I wonder if it needs stratification. Do you know?
I still have some seed. I don't suppose it's too late to put a container of it outside. Nothing to lose by trying I guess.

At 7:09 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

I successfully grown columbine by direct sowing in the spring so I'm pretty sure that they don't need cold stratification. They just may need some time to germinate. Some seeds take a long time to sprout.


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