The Q&A Archives: Growing daisies

Question: How long does it take to grow Shasta daisies in a southern Minnesota climate? When could I start them? Can I start them indoors and then transfer them outdoors? Also, if Shasta daisies are not suitable, are there other varieties that would grow faster? Iwould like to have these in bloom by mid-June for my wedding. Any further information I would need, please submit.

Answer: I'm afraid that unless you have a greenhouse, shasta daisies won't be blooming by mid-June in your area (Zone 4). Even if you had started them last year, they don't usually bloom til mid-Summer. Sweet Peas are a better bet - they love the cool of spring and early summer. Their delicate blooms and spicy, sweet fragrance would be perfect for a wedding setting. They need full sun, and most varieties need a trellis or fence for support. Sow them indoors under growlights 6-8 weeks before your lastspring frost, and keep temps 55-65F. Sow more right in the garden shortly before your last frost as a backup. Soak seeds overnight in warm water to help them germinate; germination can take up to two weeks. To improve growth and performance, use Burpee Boosterm for Peas & Beans (p. 59 of Spring Catalog). Sweet Peas are listed on p. 10. If you are looking for white ones only (I was thinking of your choice of Shasta Daisies), check out Burpee's Heirloom page on the website - there are more to choose from! Enjoy!

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