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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)
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 7:11 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
There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle
- Albert Einstein.
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
Daylilies Roses Orchids Miniature Gardening Lilies Irises
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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
There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle
- Albert Einstein.
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)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
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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
Daylilies Roses Orchids Miniature Gardening Lilies Irises
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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
There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle
- Albert Einstein.
[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!
There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle
- Albert Einstein.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
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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
Daylilies Roses Orchids Miniature Gardening Lilies Irises
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sandnsea2
Sep 16, 2013 9:24 PM CST
Caroline, what varieties will you sow this Fall?
There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle
- Albert Einstein.
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 Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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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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