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Direct Seed in the Fall

By sandnsea2
September 28, 2011

Fall is a great time to direct seed. A seed packet is only a few dollars, in contrast to the cost of a plant, making it an economical way to get more plants. After all, even if you get only a few plants from a packet of seeds, you are ahead of the game.

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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Sep 27, 2011 6:25 PM CST
I will always enjoy the thrill of planting seeds and watching them germinate and grow. Thumbs up

GREAT idea Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
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sandnsea2
Sep 27, 2011 7:11 PM CST
Vic, thanks! I think it's fun to experiment and NOT follow instructions on the seed packets sometimes..... and just see what happens! Smiling
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Sep 27, 2011 7:23 PM CST
When a seed packet says "needs stratification", I usually find that 10-70% will germinate fine without it.

And when a seed packet does NOT say "needs stratification", but Internet searches show it probably IS needed, germination may be much faster or 2-5 times as complete with it.

I'm a big fan of starting from seed, it seems like magic that anyone can do.

And I'm usually too cheap to buy "store-boughten plants".

Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
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sandnsea2
Sep 27, 2011 7:30 PM CST
I so agree, Rick. Magic it is!
And really, the best way to get those big swaths of one-plant color in a bed or border. Smiling
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Sep 27, 2011 8:42 PM CST
Do you have suggestions on what types of seeds do well if planted now in a cold-winter zone (6a)? I know that our morning glories are dropping seed now, and so are some of the wildflowers (and weeds!), too.
I'm a newbie at direct seed sowing--always bought plants in spring.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
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Joannabanana
Sep 27, 2011 8:48 PM CST
I start a lot of my plants from seeds and seem to always forget about the ones that I direct seed. This year, my surprise was larkspur. I couldn't figure out where I got the dwarf delphinum that seem to bloom and bloom and bloom. In late summer, I had a garden visitor that asked about the godetia that I had direct seeded and that's when I remembered that I had seeded the larkspur. I may broadcast a bunch of poppy seeds that I didn't get around to sowing. I hadn't done it in the fall before, so it may be interesting to see if it is better than spring.
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
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sandnsea2
Sep 28, 2011 8:21 AM CST
Hello, Renee!
Black-eyed Susans, Poppies, Larkspur, Columbine, Sweet William, Monarda, to name a few, should do well.
But I would actually plant almost anything, just to experiment with your particular growing conditions or 'micro-climate'.
How you sow is also an issue. Do not 'bury' the seed. I surface sow most of the time with fine textured seed.
Larger seed will be just barely covered with soil. Light aids germination.
Surface sowing just before a gentle rain is a near perfect time to sow.
It may be a very pleasant surprise what results you will achieve. Let us know! Smiling
[Last edited by sandnsea2 - Sep 28, 2011 3:49 AM (+)]
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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Sep 28, 2011 9:38 AM CST
Thanks, Janice!
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
Daylilies Roses Orchids Miniature Gardening Lilies Irises
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sandnsea2
Sep 28, 2011 9:57 AM CST
You are most welcome, Renee.

Joanne, how great to find your Larkspur! Hurray!
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Sep 16, 2013 4:42 PM CST
Let's revive this discussion for Fall 2013?
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
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sandnsea2
Sep 16, 2013 9:24 PM CST
Caroline, what varieties will you sow this Fall?
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Sep 23, 2013 6:55 PM CST
Larkspur had self-sowed again for 2013. A very pretty indigo blue
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Apr 5, 2014 4:25 AM CST
I used a mix called "Tulip Toppers" which I got from American Meadows.
Those were sprinkled over the bulb plantings.
Also did for-get-me-nots, Siberian wallflower and iceland poppies.
Things are just beginning to sprout here,--- so I do not know what has been successful.

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