Forum home Plants

Itchy fingers

For anyone wanting to "do something" in the garden. I have just had a reminder from a seed merchant reminding me it is time to sow sweet-scented stock for next year. I assume you would need a greenhouse or cold frame to overwinter them as I have never tried autumn sowing them.


  • @Joyce Goldenlily Sorry not something I have tried perhaps someone can help?
     Retired Gardener, new build garden, clay soil, South Notts.

    The more I garden the less I know but the more pleasure I get from it. Monty Don 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,889
    I've never grown them, but I found this @Joyce Goldenlily
    but other sites [including G's World] say they're hardy annuals, and are best sown direct [as they apparently don't like being transplanted]  if you're in a milder, frost free part of the country, otherwise sown in late winter, through spring.

    I'm sure you could sow now [although it seems very late] but they'd need warmth, and then you'd have to keep them warm enough until they can go out. Might be better to get them, but wait until early next year.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,995
    When I've been keen to sow too early, I've made my own seed tape instead.  Cut paper towel or toilet paper into thin long strips and pull apart the ply to the single layer.  Pour out some of your seeds onto a plastic lid.  Get a small paint brush and some egg whites.  If you want to be precise, you can use a ruler or just find something with similar distance to help you measure spacing.  Just make your marks on a bit of paper or cardboard under your work space.  

    1. Dip your brush in the egg white
    2. Touch it to a seed
    3. Wipe the seed off on the strip of paper towel at the appropriate distance.
    4. Repeat until you have the length of your row.
    5. Leave it to dry overnight, roll it up, store in a labeled bag.

    It makes it so much easier to just lay down the strips in the row hole and top fill at the correct depth.  It also scratches those 'itchy fingers' in the middle of winter, from the comfort of the kitchen table.  I have no issues with germination or growing.  The egg whites dry quickly and make a great water soluble 'glue', and the towel just rots away.  
    Utah, USA.
  • Wow Blue Onion,
    I thought I was bad enough sowing onion seed individually in modules, I think I am going to wait until Spring to sow the stock outside. I cannot be doing with faffing over baby seedlings all winter, indoors, only to have them turn up their toes when moved into the big outdoor world in the Spring, or to be munched on as slug and snail fodder.
    I did buy a packet of Brompton Stock seed so I have scratched my itch. Just.
  • borgadrborgadr Posts: 709
    I got itchy fingers last weekend, so I sowed some early snapdragons and left them on the window sill. I guess no harm trying... I saved plenty of seed so I can sow another batch in a couple of months if needed.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,889
    I can honestly say - I've never had the desire to sow seed at this time of year.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Really?

    On a clear, warm, sunny day my fingers always itch!
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,295
    Neither have I.
    I'm looking out at about 4" of snow, and it's currently -12.5 C out there.
    Heaven knows when I'll get to the greenhouse .... and if anything in there will be alive.

    But I am gardening .... on paper. I have a new bed to set out in the spring. It's a fair size and currently only has 3 Betula jacquemontii in. I'm aiming for a winter interest look with mostly shrubs and some ground cover type perennials.

    I'm no artist ...  but I love this type of thing and am happily cutting out shapes and tracing paper and having a whale of a time thinking about leaf shapes and ultimate heights etc.

    Feels like a bit of gardening to me.

    Bee x

    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,889
    Clear days we might get. Warm and sunny - not so much  ;)

    You need somewhere to grow them on too ,until they can go outside. With warmth. I no longer have a large conservatory, or a heated greenhouse. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I eventually managed to get the car out yesterday lunchtime, took the dog to the groomer and then went shopping for my daughter's Christmas present. She has admired my Callicarpa every time she has been over to see me lately, while it is in berry. I saw plants in a couple of the local GCs last month but yesterday I had to do a grand tour and finally found a plant in the third GC I called in on. I had decided not to buy a bush when I first saw them because I wanted to keep it a secret.
    An idea for winter interest in your new border Beewitched? The berries are a stunning bright purple and the birds seem to leave them alone.
Sign In or Register to comment.