First of March Flower sowings

I was going to leave sowing any more seeds until next wek, but the weather is so warm and I have started to get withdrawal symptoms, so I started sowing some seeds today.

I started by sowing Portulaca Grandiflora ‘Kariba’ mixed seeds in a seed tray. Although this is a half hardy annual, I like to sow inside particularly at this time of the year. The fact that I can sow these earlier inside than I could in the cold, wet soil outside makes up for the time lost by pricking up and planting out. I first came across Portulaca by a free packet of seeds in a breakfast cereal. I sowed them in an empty patch of soil not expecting much. When they flowered, I was stunned. They have really bright ‘jewel’ coloured flowers. This particular strain is an F2 hybrid which has extra large double flowers. It is well worth a place in the garden.

Next I sowed Cosmos Gazebo mixed. I sowed this on the surface of the soil in a seed tray and then covered the seeds with vermiculite. The seed germinates better in light and the vermiculite will not exclude light but will stop the seed being moved around when watering.

I have sown two varieties of Calendula. Candyman Orange and Candyman Yellow. These both have bright double flowers carried on strong multi-branching stems. They will make a bright splash of colour in the summer. These were both sown in seed trays. Carefully labelled so that I will know them apart when it comes to planting them out. The common name  for Calendula is Pot Marigold and you can pot them up and use them as indoor plants if you wish.

The last seeds I sowed  today were Nasturtium Jewel of Africa and Nasturtium Ladybird. These have large seeds, so they were sown in 3 in pots 3 seeds in a pot. Although the genus of these flowers is common, they are very different both in habit and colour. Nasturtium Jewel of Africa is a climber getting up to 8 ft tall. It is also a good plant for hanging baskets and this is why I have chosen in it. However, it could equally well be used to train over fences or trellis. It has cream marbled foliage so this should be attractive also. The snag (or perhaps the useful) thing about nasturtium is that the black fly love it, This means they will not attack your other plants but it can make a mess of your nasturtiums. Nasturtium Ladybird on the other hand is only 8 ins high. I chose it because it has unusual flowers for nasturtiums. They have golden yellow flowers with 5 bright red spots on each flower so this should be attractive.


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