Sunday, 13 May 2018

How Long?

Rogues Gallery
How many days to germination?  When is it time to throw in the towel?  Could you be throwing out viable plants or are you wasting valuable greenhouse space?  Annually these perrenial questions arise.  As you can see from the above I remove non germinating seed pots to a dark corner of the shed - just in case there is a chance they spring to life. The dates of sowing are on the reverse of the labels and reveal that this batch of cucurbits is beyond redemption.

Sowing Dates
But something else I was about to give up on has revealed signs of life after I had given up all hope. It is the only dahlia I am growing this year so I was a bit put out about wasting my money and effort. The tubors have been sitting in moist compost in the greenhouse since 5/4/18 and even given trips out when the weather turned warm.

The Bishop of Landraff -at last
I was on the point of reusing the pots and compost when I spotted some growth above soil level yesterday.

The Bishop Emerges
It is not necessarily all or nothing either:  These beetroot were sown on 7th March and afforded protection from the elements in the greenhouse.  Only a few emerged within the first month despite the "seeds" being clusters of seeds  and those that did emerges have been so slow to grow that I might as well have just waited for the conventional out door sowing at the beginning of May.

But here is a warning about giving up.  Last year I tried to save some seed from our Lenten Rose plant.  "Use fresh seed" is the hellebore mantra, so I popped them straight from the seedhead into this tray on 13 June last year.  Absolutely nothing happened (except for the occasional spray of water) until about 4 weeks ago when the first sign of life was detected! 

 Today I have potted the seedlings up and have high hopes that they will flower -  next year!  I am amazed - Amazed that I had the "good sense" not to give up and recycle the potting compost and grit when I did my spring clean up.

So there's more than one answer to the question.  

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