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why cover seeds of hardy plants

Last year I decided to see if hollyhock seed just about to fall from them would germinate and grow.

I just tossed them onto some spare ground and  have had just about 100% germination . Some are nearly in flower.

Nature does not sow in seed trays and then prick out .Nature is trying to ensure  only the strong do well.

Tomatoes that have self seeded are going to provide me with a bonus,they did not need a greenhouse for birth the seed knew when was the correct time to germinate.They are not far behind their cosseted neighbours raised so early in the year.

Also this is how new strains are developed naturally and why Darwins ideas seem to be so sound ... 



  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,289

    No chance of leaving seeds to germinate naturally here, the slugs would have the tops off the minute they showed through. I never see them again, except the stuff I don't want, like thousands of Verbena Bon, lambs ears, lychnis.,.,,,,

    good theory though.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • My garden is packed with hardy perenniels and of course they self seed and just grow where they fall without any help from me.  That's one of the things I like about my sort of garden.

    However I do know that if I want to be sure that they're gowing to grow where I want them and not eaten by birds or slugs or blown away or moved by passing hedgehogs, cats etc then I'll propogate them in the green house and plant them out once they're established.

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 1,771

    I am the same as Lyn - I can't grow anything from seed sewn straight into the ground. When I first came here I thought there must be something wrong with me , it had never been a problem before, but then I became acquainted with the local slugs. They seem to be prepared to eat everything: those big orange slugs are the worst.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,544

    I no longer sow any seed in the ground, whether bought or saved from my own plants.  There are too many obstacles - birds, dogs, slugs, competition from other plants and then there's OH who doesn't know a weed from a treasure when "helping" with weeding.

    I'm always happy when I find self sown goodies such as hellebores and foxgloves and then can pot them up and bring them on and plant them where I want them and I don't mind verbena bon and hollyhocks popping up as they're easy to pull up if in the wrong place.

    I sow all my veggies in trays or cells and plant them out when they're big enough to cope with my local weather conditions as we're prone to late frosts and strong winds.   Works for ornamentals too.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,289

    Oh, Obe, you put it so much better than me!!

    me and English language don't go together very wellimage

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,093

    It would never work for everything. I have many plants that have never self sown.

    Any many that don't know when to stopimage

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    Hardy geraniums, grannies bonnets and fox gloves seed everywhere even in cracks in the pavement.image
  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 491

    Hi November member,

    I think you might have a point. Last year I tried to grow my own yellow rattle plugs for a wild flower meadow I'm creating. I must have painstakingly sown some 300+ seeds each into individual plug trays. I then ran out of plug trays so just broadcast the remaining seed over the meadow rather than waste it

    The plug trays were lovingly nurtured over winter and spring  .... protected from the snow and frost ... but not one germinated.  

    The seed that was scattered has flowered beautifully this summer  .... nature knows best.


    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,093

    Bee witched, yellow rattle is parasitic on grass, it needs the grassimage

  • To my point precisely and also Bee witched's though perhaps by accident.

    The plant world evolved (and is still doing so) , long before we came along

    thinking we know better.

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