GARDEN

Gardening with James Vaughan: Growing flowers from seed

James Vaughan

Reporter:

James Vaughan

Email:

news@tipperarylive.ie

Gardening with James Vaughan: Growing flowers from seed

Choose flower seeds such as the Snapdragon which offer much more in the form of nectar

This week’s article will be dedicated to growing plants and flowers from seeds. This is an excellent way to save money if trying to establish a garden. If you are intending to have summer flowers from seed this year then you would need to be planting seeds around now.
If you wish to grow flowers from seeds then you would be well advised to have some basic equipment. A list of this equipment would include: seed trays (with holes for drainage), seed/fine compost, covers for seed trays and plastic plant labels. The plastic labels are important if you are sowing several varieties of flowers. I always make the mistake of saying I will remember all the varieties’ then ultimately get them mixed up! It will also be necessary to find a windowsill on which to start your seeds. It is essential that you try and find an appropriate windowsill. A windowsill of good natural light is needed. However, if you have too much sunlight then the young seedlings might get scorched. Conversely, if there is not enough natural light then the seedlings will become leggy and will fall over.
With a little effort and planning you will be able to have colour in your garden from May until the first frosts, usually in October. Each year there are new varieties to grow so the choice is always expanding. As with all plants, some plants are easier to grow from seeds than others. For example, flowers such as buzy lizzy, snapdragons, and alyssum are all quite easy to grow from seed. On the other hand, flowers such as petunia, geranium and begonia are much more difficult to grow from seed.

Seed potatoes
It is also around this time of year that people traditionally plant seed potatoes. Potatoes do not grow from seeds, as such. What you buy are certified small potatoes. These potatoes are certified free from disease. If you wish to save money you can always take some potatoes from your kitchen and plant them. There is no reason why they will not also produce a crop of potatoes within a few months. With planting seed potatoes the trick is to plant them deep in furrows. This means digging a trench and planting the potatoes at the bottom.

Flowers for Pollinators
Another factor I would urge you to consider in choosing seeds is food for pollinating insects. Petunia, geranium and begonia offer little in the way of nectar for our pollinators. Flowers such as marigold, alyssum and snapdragon offer much more in the form of nectar.
As mentioned, seeds are readily available to order online. If, however, you prefer to see your seed pack close -up you may opt to buy them in-store. Perhaps the largest selection of seed -both for vegetables and flowers- in Limerick is in Garden World on Ellen Street, Limerick. Both Kevin and Chris are very knowledgeable on many aspects of gardening. The shop can be contacted on: 061 414202.
Contact James by email: james.vaughan1020@gmail.com