Is it time to plant some warm season seeds?

richsdAugust 31, 2013

Since this is my first summer here in a long time, I need some suggestions on when I can attempt planting some of my warm season ornamental seeds.

I knew better than to try them during the hell months, but now that Sept. is here, it might make sense.
Here's what I have: zinnias, ornamental foliage corn, echinacea, gaillardia, celosia, and garden salvias.

Should I go for it?

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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I have had the best results sowing flower seeds in the fall. I got zero germination when I sowed in spring. But they won't come up until spring rich, at least that is my experience. I've started tomato and peppers seeds indoors for planting in early Oct. If we have a mild winter they will do well, if not, so it goes. I learn more each season in how to manage my tomato plants. This fall/winter I will place two tomato plants in one raised bed that is easy to cover if we get some cold nights. I've scaled way back to reduce my stress and the disappointment when the crops fail. Two plants, I'm banking on Virginia Sweets that a friend grew this past spring/summer, should give me plenty of fruit for the winter. And a Black Cherry.

Go for it!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 4:35PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

I sow zinnias, celosia and gaillardia in spring for summer bloom. The season is winding down now so I'd save them for late winter sowing for blooms next year. Gaillardia would be fine to do now since it's a perennial so the seedlings will survive the winter just fine. Echinacea hates it here, but if you're going to try them now is a good time since they're very cold tolerant and will survive the winter just fine, although probably not next summer.

In a few weeks I'll be sowing stuff for autumn and winter: geraniums, pansies, petunias, violas/johnny jump ups, lobelia, snapdragons and calendula. After that it'll be time for lettuce, cabbage, Swiss chard and spinach. There are some good garden guides out there and some good local gardening books too with good planting guides.

Let us know what you plant, and when, and how it works out. It's fun to hear who is growing what, when! Happy gardening! Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Extreme Gardening, how to grow organic in the hostile desert, book

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Grant, interesting tips, thanks. I wouldn't have thought you can plant petunias or pansies or snaps for at least another month, let alone now. After all, all of these are cool season plants. The soil is still quite hot, not to mention the air and sun, But I'll give them a try a little later.

Swiss chard (bright lights) turned out to be amazingly tough plant for me. It's lasted all summer without much fussing (but I don't eat it- it's probably very bitter.)

I'm anxious to try out this ornamental foliage corn I bought at Stokes seeds. We'll see.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Grant, thanks for the link to "Garden Guy" resource. I've seen him on tv years back. Is he still on tv?

I got the impression some of his advice was "dumbed-down" for the average gardener. Don't get me wrong- I'm not knocking him, but most viewers in tv-land would get bored by learning about topics like the many micronutrients, Phoenix's water alkalinity, and soil salts.

I remember getting a little turned off one time when he pitched using gypsum in the soil. Our desert soils have so much gypsum already, that one didn't make sense to me. Of course I realize he was recommending it to flush out the soil sodium, but you can also accomplish this with deep, periodic watering and elemental sulfur mixed in.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 1:16PM
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