Is it to late to start annuals like Geranium?

ashley_minnigFebruary 15, 2009

Hello everyone,

I was wondering with it being the middle of feburary already if it was to late to start annuals from seed under fluorescents? I live in Ohio and am in zone 5. I would love to do several flats of Geraniums, and impatients and i hope I have not missed the bus!

I will be trying to start other new things from seed in my garden like cabbage,sweet peas, and marigolds.

If you can give any advice I could really use it!

P.S. do I fertilize annuals once they sprout?

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I think you may be a tad bit early. I usually start annuals (e.g. impatiens, geraniums) in late Feb or early March for in-ground planting around Mother's Day. I am in zone 6b. Find out what your last frost date is for your zone and subtract the number of weeks listed on the seed packets from this date. This will give you a good idea of when to start your seeds.



    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 12:34PM
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I don't think you are early at all! I am in Zone 6, and we are really just starting our seedlings now! Indeed, some annuals should not be started until more like March or even early April! I have started some Geraniums from seed for the first time, planted them two weeks ago and they are doing great. However I would not hesitate to start them now, I am actually slightly warmer then you too, but we are well within the comfort zone, if not a bit early for geraniums!

As for fertalizing, NO! do NO fertalize the seedlings once they sprout. Wait until they are just about ready to go outside to start adding some weak fertalizer to them! What you want though, is a high quality potting soil. Miracle grow seed starting soil may be the only exception to the fertalizer thing, as it may have some built into it, but even that I am not sure...

Also, when you do fertalize them, make sure to use something that is good for young plants, and promoting rooting etc, not flowering! You don't want these taking off like bean sprouts, getting overly long and leggy! Nice, short stout plants is the name of the game!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 2:15PM
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ironside(Zone 5 Ohio)

Geraniums require about 14-16 weeks from seed to maturity. I live in zone 5, in Ohio. My seedlings are up with first true leaves. I would get them going now. They will be ready by early June. Do not fertilize them until they get their frist set of true leaves. Use 1/4 strenght of liquid fertilizer once a week after that. They require at least 16-18 hours of light a day.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 12:27PM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

I stupidly misplaced my zonal geranium seeds and if I found them now I would wait till next season, too late here for show from seed until August.
Impatiens I am starting today, last years records I sow 2 weeks from now and didn't get nice sized till July, I want them to flower a bit earlier this year.
I fert like iron said.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 12:42PM
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bencjedi(6 - Central Kentucky)

I am using worm leachate to fertilize mine from the bottom up by allowing capillary action to suck it up into the 6-packs. The good thing about worm castings\leachate\tea.. it doesn't burn plants like regular off-the-shelf commercial fertilizers. I started mine around 2/2 and they are looking pretty nice. The second set of leaves is approaching quarter-size. I am just south of Ohio in KY.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:43PM
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