Seeds To Sow Now For Early Blooms In Spring

I have written several posts recently about planting spring flowering bulbs so now is the time to talk about flowers that can be started from seed at this season. The article quoted below lists several flowers that benefit from an autumn planting preferably under cover. There is also a section on vegetables in this article by Laura Foreman which I found on Dave’s Garden website.

Although gardeners will spend much of October picking the last fruits (and vegetables) of the harvest, this month is also the ideal time to sow some seeds and spring bulbs. Many varieties of flowers and vegetables need a period of cold before they begin to grow in earnest in the spring. Other varieties can be planted in the ground in the fall months in temperate regions (i.e. zones 8-10). While you won?t see much growth above the soil, rest assured there?s a lot going on underground and within the seeds. Many cool-season vegetables and herbs can be grown well into the early winter months (often with the aid of a cold frame or greenhouse), even in areas whose temperatures hover around freezing.

Flowers to Sow in a Greenhouse or Cold Frame

The hollyhock, a staple of the cottage garden, is often planted outside about a week before the last frost. However, you can give yours a head start on spring growth by planting them in a greenhouse or cold frame this month. While they won?t take off and reach their full height until the spring, planting the seeds now will allow the flowers to develop strong root systems over the colder months. By the time you plant the starts in the spring, they?ll be strong and ready to add some serious color to your garden.

Sweet peas are another good flower to plant in October. These cold-hardy flowers may be slow to germinate, but once they do, they grow well in cool, moist soil. While you can plant sweet peas outdoors in the fall if you live in a temperate region, you can start them elsewhere in a greenhouse or cold frame to protect them from winter?s rain, snow, and wind.
oriental poppies
Cheerful Oriental poppies are perennials that often grow best when they?re started in a greenhouse or cold frame. If you?re planting from seed, keep in mind that the seeds will need light to germinate, so sprinkle them on the top of the soil rather than planting them deeper down. After they’ve grown a little, thin the seedlings to six inches apart. Since they may not transplant well, it might be best to direct sow them in a cold frame. Alternatively, consider covering the seedlings with cloches.

See more at Dave’s Garden

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