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Planting and sewing with cold snaps of weather...

Hello All   
I want to get some wildflower seeds sewn but keep getting delayed due to cold weather and now there are rumours of more snow at Easter and then the soil has to warm up.  Clearly now is not the time but I'm concerned about this apparent planting window - will theseeds be affected if I plant them too late or do I get them in and hope the seeds somehow catch up with the seasons and just be in flower later in the year?
What does it mean when the soil needs to "warm up"? Will a couple of days of sunshine do the trick?  Is there anything I can do to push things along or is that a silly idea?
As I said, I'm learning here so I appreciate helpful suggestions.


  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 10,292
    Hi twowells.  The soil needs to “warm up” before most vegetable seeds are sown outdoors, but most wildflower seeds actually benefit from a bit of cold after they are sown, it helps break their dormancy. So I would just go ahead and sow now.

    For seeds that do require warmth, the best way to tell is to put your hand on the soil - you really can feel when it starts to get warmer  :)
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,292
    depends where you live, here are huge variations of temp even in the UK, but I would have thought April would be a good bet, how big an area are you going for?  Over several years I tried seeds, none germinated, plugs expensive hard work, mix of perens and annuals, scoffed by slugs, last year, we hired a rotivator, and bought turf, not cheap but so pleased with it, with the mix of plants there are some flowering all year, have had daisies out all winter.its caly soil, a pig to work with, sodden and heavy in winter, dry and cracked in summer.  When its too cold or wet to garden I dont "sew" I knit, (sorry thats me being mean!!!)
  • TopbirdTopbird Mid SuffolkPosts: 7,569
    What is it you’re planning to sow?
    If you have packets of individual different wildflowers you may be able to sow some of these under cover. Things such as ox-eye daisies, scabious etc. You can then plant out small plugs - perhaps in May.
    If, however, you just have packets of wild flower seed mix, you will need to sow directly where they are to flower. I agree that April should be fine.
    If you think the soil will be very cold you can peg fleece, black plastic, or cloches over the area for a week or so before. This will warm the soil up more quickly. 
    Depends how large an area you’re doing as to how practical that is.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,252
    I read @Obelixx is getting lots of sewing done.
  • TwoWellsTwoWells Posts: 8
    Apologies for my spelling...when sewing is your other half's business, sowing and sewing gets confusing!
    We're down in Devon which is usually quite mild but this year there's been a lot of snow.  I'm going to keep an eye on the forecast - it looks like 9c and raining for us over Easter which should be OK so I'll get them sown. Let's hope the MetOffice are correct.  They're only a few miles away but, well, let's not go there with their accuracy!
    Thank you for the advice.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,843
    If these are native wild flowers you can sow when you like, they'll germinate when they're ready, it's what they do best. 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,252
    @TwoWells. All the best folk are in Devon. ;)
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