Planting seeds this time of year ...

I'm dabbling in more propagation and planting from seed of late. I have started some foxgloves and delphiniums off in trays inside, pricked them out and put into module trays. They're growing well but I'm a little stuck on what to do. Once they're a bit more substantial, I don't know whether to try planting them out into the ground, put them in my tiny, cheap, plastic greenhouse of sorts, or keep them in my conservatory over the Winter. Any thoughts on how best to not kill them?!

Additionally gathered some marigold seeds today, similar question really. Is it better to sow these directly outdoors, or can I try in modules indoors to start and overwinter with one of the above options?

From my reading it looks like I'm being overcautious and should just be sowing everything outdoors, but I'm no good at killing slugs and snails and worry they'll be eaten before they ever get a chance at a good life 😅


  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,231
    Hi Erasha, there are few things more rewarding than growing our own plants from seed. With your foxgloves, I would get them in the ground either now or pretty soon. That way they will develop a good root system ready to push on in the spring.

    The delphiniums, in my own garden they get destroyed by slugs/snails unless they are adult plants. So I'd be tempted to pot them on, let them overwinter in your greenhouse and plant out next year when they are better able to withstand the murdering molluscs. In fact it's the reason I don't bother with delphs now except delphinium requienii which they don't seem to like.

    The marigolds, I would sow indoors in the spring. Being annuals they will germinate and grow on quickly  :)

  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,823
    Sometimes it pays to be over-cautious. There are many species of plant that can look after themselves over winter and will never get eaten by slugs or snails or mice etc. but a lot of things need to be cosseted during the colder months. If you are worried that all of your new plants might disappear before spring, plant half out now and keep some under cover as insurance.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,058
    Foxgloves are tough, hardy plants, so if they're a reasonable size and looking healthy, you can put them outside somewhere sheltered. If they're a bit bigger than just a large plug size, you can plant them without any issue. 
    I'd keep delphiniums more protected until next year, as @Fishy65 describes. 
    I don't know grow marigolds, but I'd say the same as Fishy says, as they're annuals.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Last year I threw marigold seeds here and there and this year they've given a wonderful show of flowers so don't hesitate about showing directly. 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 1,498
    With the marigolds it depends whether they are English marigolds (Calendula) which are hardy annuals and can be sown outside, or French/African marigolds (Tagetes, I think) which are not hardy and need to be started indoors in spring.
  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,231
    JennyJ said:
    With the marigolds it depends whether they are English marigolds (Calendula) which are hardy annuals and can be sown outside, or French/African marigolds (Tagetes, I think) which are not hardy and need to be started indoors in spring.
    Thanks Jenny I was making the assumption they were French or African. As you say the English ones are fully hardy  :)
  • HexagonHexagon Posts: 963
    edited September 2019
    This year I tried poppy seeds and forgot-me-nots just sprinkled outside in spring. Guy at a nursery told me they didn’t do anything because the ground was still cold 🤷‍♀️ 
    I just followed the instructions on the packet for “sow outdoors”!

    Poppy seeds still haven’t done anything and i think the forget-me-nots are just growing now (not sure what they look like) but will die over the winter.
  • Thank you all for the advice 😊 I've tried growing delphiniums from online purchased plugs before and their fate was simply being a molluscs appetisers, so will definitely keep these ones in the greenhouse until next year.

    Regarding the foxgloves, I sowed them around the start of August, so they're really still on the very small size. So, if i do keep them in the greenhouse for now, how long can I wait for them to beef up before I have to get them in the ground? What do we think is the latest I can wait, as I assume it's no good doing it when the grounds cold / frosts set in?

    Re: marigolds, I've grown them in the Spring before, but I read on here about getting them off to an early start in Autumn. However, @JennyJ thanks for the advice, I've got seeds from my Durango variety which is a French one, so I'll wait til Spring after all! 

    @Hexagon I've got loads of poppy seeds I've somehow acquired this year and haven't been brave enough to scatter them on the ground yet in case they come to nothing 😟
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