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Newbie at growing from seeds

Nessy86Nessy86 Posts: 10
Hi I’m having a go at growing my own hanging basket plants but am
not too confident with my lobelia 😕 I’ve put some photos on to see if anyone can advise if they’re looking ok. Planted them about a month ago and they germinated in good time and seemed to be doing really well but then I couldn’t see any change in their growth. I separated out some clumps but they just look a bit sad and flat. I’ve had them indoors under some UV lamps (not on permanently) but didn’t know the tip about watering from below and have regularly sprayed them from above. Really want them to work! 


  • Fickle things lobelia. I have years where it self seeds everywhere and my planned seeds come to nothing, then other years where they all start great then just seem to Peter out. I do know they hate to dry out and also hate to be too wet (suffer badly from dampening off), other than that not sure what advice to give you. Any chance they could get some « real » sunshine, with the days getting longer now all my seeds are enjoying the extra bit of real daylight.
    Marne la vallée, basically just outside Paris 🇫🇷, but definitely Scottish at heart.
  • Nessy86Nessy86 Posts: 10
    Thanks for your reply, I’ll try putting the outside this weekend seeing as the forecast is so good. I have a cold frame but that’s already full of other seedlings.Might swap them around and give the indoor ones a go outside.  Also got petunias on the go but the seedlings look suspiciously like the lobelia but I know they’re not! Only sowed those a couple of weeks ago.
  • You will have to try to spread seed a bit more uniformly, as having such tight clusters doesn't encourage healthy growth of the seedlings. Monty seeds things all the time...maybe find one of the videos on YouTube/iPlayer and try to not clump them, as it will make thinning nearly impossible. @Nessy86

    You may have seen this brief guide too

    Anyway, don't be put off, we've all had successes and utter fails with seeds, it all adds to experience. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Nessy86Nessy86 Posts: 10
    Good point. I didn’t know how tiny the seeds were so when I came to sow them they came out of the packet really fast 🙈 in hindsight I should have raked them out a bit, all down to experience as you say. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I think you've also tried to separate them too soon @Nessy86

    As @amancalledgeorge says - it's all a learning curve. With tiny seeds, there's often a knack to sowing them easily, and the best way is to put a few into the crease across your palm [when you close your hand a little ] and then tap the bottom of your palm with the fingers on your other hand , allowing a seed or two to drop from the crease into the tray/pot you're using. Move your hands slowly across the  tray, dropping a few seeds at a time. It takes practice, but you'll soon get the hang of it.
    The other method is to mix some seed with a bit of sand, and that allows you to sprinkle fewer seeds. Again, just lightly cover the tray/pot with the sand, and it saves using up so many. If you get failures, it also means you have seed left  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    I do lobelia for baskets most years. 

    Firstly, some grew, that's good! They can be tricky

    Main tip, they like the soil firmed down nice and flat. Before you sprinkle them, flatten the surface of the compost.

    I have a tool a made for the job, just a couple of pieces of wood in a T shape 

    Once you have a nice flat even surface, it is a little easier to see where they go and sprinkle evenly

    What you have there will be a start. Once in the basket it will grow much much bigger, I just put in small clumps all over my baskets and nature does the rest.

    Remember to harden off over time and do not water the foliage (it hates it) water into the basket between the lobelia clumps.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    Just to add, I use John Innes No 1 as it is quite sandy and easy to flatten down. I know a lot of us are just having to make do with what we have this year though.
  • Nessy86Nessy86 Posts: 10
    Thank you all, I’ll keep going with them and as you say, once they’re in the baskets hopefully they’ll do their thing! 
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