when to plant seeds?

robbiezone5(z5 HudsonValley)March 22, 2006

this is going to be my second attempt at growing plants from seed. i tried last year, and lost them all because i think i placed them in the ground too soon. _this_ year, my plan is to try direct sowing the plants. i've selected a few annuals, which the seed packets claim can be direct-sown.

does anyone have any suggestions on when would be a good time to start this?

also --- looking out the kitchen window last weekend, i spotted lots of birds hopping around, nibbling on things. will they be likely to feed on seeds placed outside?

thanks so much!


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lisa2004(NY Z5/6)

Check out the winter sowing forum...it's not too late. This would prevent birds from eating your seeds (which they'll definately do). It may not be your thing, but it's definately a very easy way to get those seeds started.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 12:59PM
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It depends on the plants. Tender annuals won't survive the frosts and should be started indoors or in May. What seeds do you have?

Yes, birds eat seeds. Give them a feeder and they may avoid your garden. Also, hang old CD's or aluminum plates on a string above the seeds. That may scare them away.

I have luck starting cold tolerant plants outdoors now, like larkspur, poppies, nigella.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 4:06PM
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robbiezone5(z5 HudsonValley)

thanks susanzone5 & lisa2004!

i am planning to plant: poppies, nigella, centaurea (black cornflower), and digitalis. i've had great luck with planting nursery-bought perenials. but i'd like to branch out with plants from seed. i've spent so much time at the seedracks, and decided upon "hardy annuals" after last year's failed attempt. so i selected seeds which stated that they could be started outdoors.

i'm hoping this might be a little easier for me, before trying the indoor-to-outdoor seeds again.

maybe i will try planting some of these this weekend, then --- and put up some cd's & pie tins to try scaring the birds away. glad i noticed them out the window and thought to ask!..

thanks so much!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 4:34PM
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Robbie, you can plant the seeds of all your listed plants in containers outdoors now. That will protect them and will allow nature to sprout them when they're ready (winter sowing). Or, plant directly in the soil.

The digitalis are biennials and will form a nice green rosette of leaves this year and flower next year (unless it's the kind that blooms the first year, Foxy, for one.) Nature starts digitalis in summer after the seeds fall, so you have plenty of time for those.

The seeds you can plant directly outdoors after all danger of frost has passed (end of May in our area) are zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, and many others. Don't let last year's failure stop you from enjoying the tender plants. Just wait a bit, that's all. Check out the annual forum for more direct sowing ideas. You learn as you go, so have fun and keep a journal.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 8:35PM
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You can plant poppies and digitalis outside right now. They both appreciate cooler weather and need some frosts to get them going. I've had nicotiana self-sow though generally those plants come into bloom a bit late. That's nicotiana sylvestris - the enormous white flowered kind with the great fragrance at night.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 9:28AM
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robbiezone5(z5 HudsonValley)


i planted the poppies and nigella last weekend. i will plant the digitalis this weekend. i have just ordered nicotiana, as it sounded interesting from the description i read. have not yet received this order, though. also, there are a few varieties of dianthus on order --- plus some more poppies. i never realized there were so many interesting poppies... i'm hoping they all work out for me.

this is really exciting!

thanks so much for the advice!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 12:32PM
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