Sunflower and other seed sowing

Today the main focus of my seed sowing is Sunflowers, although I have sown some vegetables as well. I have not yet received my vegetable seed order this year so I am using old seed. I don’t know whether it will still be viable but the only way to tell is to sow it. I will let you know results when I know.

The first seeds I sowed today was Sunflower Bees Knees. This is an F1 Hybrid variety. They are pollen free so suitable for cut flowers for those with allergy problems. They are only 4-5 ft tall, so should stand up well to windy weather. I sowed them 2 seeds per pot in 3inch pots.

Continuing the sunflower theme, I sowed sunflower Russian Giant. This is the tall variety that children grow for competition. I am not overly fond of them as they have huge heads (12 inches in diameter) which are really too heavy for them to support themselves so they always end up hanging their heads as though in disgrace.These were once again sowed 2 seeds in 3 inch pots.

Next I sowed Vanidium Jaffa Ice. Although these are not sunflowers, they look very like them. However, they are only 2 ft tall and have purple to black centres. They also have silver green foliage. I sowed these in a seed tray.

I have sown Delosperma Floribunda Stardust. This is a half hardy perennial which attracts butterflies. It is only 4 – 6 inches tall and is ideal for rockeries and hot dry places in your garden. The flowers look like Michaelmas daisy flowers, so it should look attractive. I shall keep some in pots and dig some up after they have flowered and protect them against frost. I will also leave some in the garden to see it they will survive. I sowed these on the surface of a seed tray of compost and covered the seed with vermiculite.

The last of my flower seed sowing today is Nemesia Tapestry mixed. I love Nemesia flowers. They are so different. I have grown the variety KLM in the past and the blue and white flowers really are spectacular even though the plant is so small. Nemesia is only 10 inches tall so they are ideal for the front of borders, for pots or in the rockery. The variety Tapestry has large flowers in a range of colours. They are quite bright.

I have sown two varieties of lettuce: Webbs Wonderful and Triumph.  The Webbs wonderful variety is one most people know and buy from their local shop. The seed is at least 5 years old so it will be interesting to see if it germinates. If it doesn’t I will buy a fresh packet of seed and re-sow. The Variety Triumph is an Iceberg type of lettuce. It has some root aphid reistsance which could be useful. However, the seed should have been sown by 2006. We shall see.I sowed a pinch of each seed in seperate 3 inch pots and will prick out when they are large enough to handle.

Celeriac is one of the new vegetables I grew last year. I cooked it in Cider and it was delicious. It was easy to gropw and since I have part of a packet of seed left, I have sown it in 2inch cells. It is last years seed so hopefully will still be viable.

Cauliflower All Year Round is a good variety as you can sow and harvest it at any time of the year. The seed should have been sown by September 2006. So it may well not germinate

All my seeds are carefully stored in a plastic container which is kept cool and moisture free, so often they will remain viable.Some seed, however has a very limited period in which it will germinate. Parsnip is one of these, so it is no good keeping part packets of that seed.

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