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Sewing green seeds in July

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Here is Carol Klien's step-by-step of how to sew green seeds of Primula beesiana (and others, see original article) to get them growing before winter dormancy. Article from Daily Telegraph www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardenprojects/3302198/Coming-up-primroses.html

In British gardens, candleabra primulas usually set copious amounts of seed and by early July the lowest pods are swollen and ready to burst. It is at this stage of advanced pregnancy that their seed can best be used to produce new plants:
1 Fill a seed tray with good seed compost and firm down.
2 Take off a whole seed pod, starting with the fattest at the base of the flower stem.
3 Carefully open the seed pod from the top using fingernails or a sharp knife.
4 Peel back the capsule covering to expose the green seeds and gently scrape off the seeds on to the surface of the compost.
5 Distribute the seed evenly over the surface. This is sometimes tricky because the seed is sticky.
6 Cover the surface of the compost with sharp grit.
7 Place the tray in a container of shallow water until the surface of the grit becomes wet, then remove and put outside in a shady place.

Aftercare

Green seed germinates rapidly. Occasionally, in very wet seasons, it may even germinate in the seed capsule on the plant. Seed also germinates sporadically so some seedlings will have true leaves while others only have cotyledons. Seed should be sown thinly and evenly to enable seedlings to be pricked out without disturbing those that have just emerged.

If there is space, seedlings should be pricked out individually, either into small pots or module trays. Potting on once more during late summer will produce well-rooted plants that can be planted out into the garden during autumn. These primulas are herbaceous so they must develop a good root system and a resting bud if they are to come through their first winter successfully. Sowing green seed steals a march on nature. Plants from seed sown now should flower next spring.

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  • Posted: Wed. 2nd June 2010 11:47