Propagation forum: propagating advice for chinese asters??

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Name: BetNC
Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a)
Annuals Seed Starter Tomato Heads Hellebores Gardens in Buckets Plant and/or Seed Trader
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BetNC
Mar 5, 2016 5:07 PM CST
I was set to sow these asters indoors today, but then I checked the propagating spreadsheet over at that OTHER site ( Whistling ) and read (to my dismay) that they have to be in the freezer first for a minimum of 5 days. . . . which kinda explained why only 2 of 144 seeds sprouted last year! (This info wasn't on that spreadsheet last year!!) So I put the seed packet into a Ziplock container, sealed it and chucked it in the freezer, to sow. . . .later. But the vendor specs do not say anything about needing scarification first, Confused

My FIRST question is: how MUCH later?? How long should I leave them in the freezer???

Yes, I know these seeds can be directly surface sown after the last frost; between a heavy squirrel population, lots of various birds and a flock of marauding crows. .. . .surface sown seeds are eaten almost immediately.

These asters mature height is 20 inches, they bloom early summer to early fall and their average germination time is (vendor reported) 7-21 days. No time interrval is given for sowing/transplanting/etc to first bloom, While my intention is to start them indoors to give them the opportunity to sprout & grow, I do NOT want them to outgrow my other indoor starts: the tallest of my other starts (before transplanting) is 12 inches.

My average last frost day is April 28, so ALL seedlings will be transplanted OUTSIDE May 1, am (since I live in a 1 bedroom apt, my gro station is in my living room and I look forward to dismantling my gro station May 1, pm, and having more room!!).

This will be my third and last year to grow these asters!! Please help me. . any advice will be appreciated
Name: BetNC
Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a)
Annuals Seed Starter Tomato Heads Hellebores Gardens in Buckets Plant and/or Seed Trader
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BetNC
Apr 3, 2016 3:07 PM CST
so, no advice?? Too late now, anyway: I had to sow/ start them inside about a month ago using only the same advice I used last year.

Results:
Year One direct sowing outside after last frost zero seedlings (squirrels ate all the seed)
Year Two inside sowing, covered lightly with vermiculite two seedlings out of 144 seeds
Year Three inside sowing, covered lightly with vermiculite eight seedlings (2 failed to grow & thrive) out of 144 seeds

The garden area meant for asters is now awaiting my zinnia seedlings: 24 sprouted out of 25 seed. . .seeds from 2 years ago!!

Anyone want aster seed?? I WILL NOT fool with trying to grow these anymore!!!
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Apr 12, 2016 11:41 AM CST
Thanks for the report Bet- this is how we all learn! I have never tried chinese asters so had no advice, but now if I want to grow them and search here, I will find your thread.
Name: BetNC
Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a)
Annuals Seed Starter Tomato Heads Hellebores Gardens in Buckets Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
BetNC
May 2, 2016 11:42 AM CST
Update: of those eight seedlings that continued to grow, four just STOPPED growing after another 2 weeks. Grumbling There are FOUR healthy, hardened off seedlings that will be transplanted to my garden tomorrow. Blinking

NOW, I'll see how well they survive outside!! Crossing Fingers! Stay tuned . . .
Name: BetNC
Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a)
Annuals Seed Starter Tomato Heads Hellebores Gardens in Buckets Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
BetNC
Jun 7, 2016 9:26 AM CST
Updat4e: of the 4 that survived to be transplanted out into my garden, one died in the first week but the 3 remaining are thriving.
Name: BetNC
Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a)
Annuals Seed Starter Tomato Heads Hellebores Gardens in Buckets Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
BetNC
Jul 7, 2016 3:23 PM CST
Another one died before blooming!

Calculating (not counting the first year of direct sowing and no seedlings):
two years
288 seeds
10 seedlings
4 surviving to transplant
2 surviving to bloom
Sad

I expected some pretty amazing blooms. . . . once again, these disappoint. . . never again! Thumbs down

one of the survivors amid a bed of Zinnia Zahara Starlight Rose (dependable, hardy, picturesque little troopers!)


It's top


A close-up of the big, central bloom


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