The Q&A Archives: Verbena For Beginners

Question: Well here we are, im looking at my brandy new packages of Burpee's Verbena ( mamoth mix ) seeds...
We decided to read the directions.. but to our dismay it contained instructions in plantoligise.. an unknown language to the " stick it in the ground and see if it grows " culture . Well im not one to be daunted so I thought to ask the experts... thus I come to you venerated, most learned "plantoligists"...
The packate spoke of "watering the seed flat" does that mean to spray water on the dirt till it's flat , or what? can you interprate for the uninformed?
Next- what does "sensitive to high moisture levels" mean? is that bad or good? what does that mean in practical terms, is it like water makes them grow or water kills them?
Next- "sew seeds in a Seed-starting formula" is that like a baby formula for plants kind of thing? is that another name for dirt?
Mabee you can help us by giving us the whole story in terms like..." stick it in the ground " or " water it" or
use dirt .... mabee we will be sucessfull as we learn this new languege... Plantoligese...
thanks ever so much
Steve and Carmen Arrietta...
The Technolinguistcly challanged
PS... our soil is sandy and our tempratures aure usually hot.

Answer: Let's see if we can clarify things a bit for you. First of all, you've chosen seeds that are somewhat challenging to sprout. This is an important step for new gardeners, and reflects your adventurous nature. Verbena seeds are erratic in germination and require darkness and well-drained soil or they will pout and refuse to make an appearance. Sow the seeds on the top of moistened seed starting mix, at a depth of 1/16 of an inch. Seed starting mix is finely processed peat with perlite or other aerating compounds mixed in. It's lightweight, drains quickly yet holds just the right amount of moisture, and the texture provides support for the roots while allowing easy penetration. So, yes, it's a bit like baby formula for young plants, and yes, it's a substitute for dirt.

After sowing the verbena seeds in trays, flats, or individual pots of seed starting mix, place them in a warm area, such as on top of the refrigerator. When kept at 65F-70F they will germinate in 14-90 days. Water when the top of the soil begins to dry out, but don't keep the soil soggy. Too much of a good thing will drown the little fellas.

Hope the above uncomplicates the process of seed starting for you and elevates you to a higher level of seed packet interpretation and new level of expertise.

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