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Seedling time

So I have a rather large garden that I want to fill with colour this year. Currently it is just mud turning it back into a garden from a lawn.

I have an old greenhouse that I will use to start my plants off. But if I wanted to start early say in the next two weeks would the following work ?

Start the seedlings off in seed trays with a clear propagator roof on, and a soil heating cable under them buried in sand. Then once the seeds POP. Move them off of the heat and put them on the racks in the greenhouse for for the next 6-8 weeks. I have space for maybe 50 trays in total (8 trays to a shelf ish.)

So I would like to start up a rotation and get the racks in the green house filled so that in 6-8 weeks I can take off one row at a time and that shelf will be ready to plant out in the garden. ready to move everything in the greenhouse up on and start a new tray of seedlings.

Would this work ? or will they not survive being taken off the heat mat and left on the rack ? This will be in north of France zone 9a. Should I put a little heater in the greenhouse also ?

Many Thanks



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

     seeds of which plants?

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Humm rather good point nutcutlet. Not really got that far yet. Was just going to go to my seed box which I have been buying over the last few months and start looking for early starters. image

    Which plants should I start off with early then and progress into later weeks ?

    I dont want to fail before I even begin image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    Hardy plants can be started earlier than tender, they have to come out of the propagator some time and tender ones won't like it cold out there.

    Flowers or veg?

    I only know about hardy plants

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • I only intend to grow flowers this year and maybe start a herb garden next year. Can the plants be broken down into Hardy - perennials Tender annuals ? or does it not work quite like that ? As then I will just start the perennials first image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    Hardy means they survive outside in our climate

    Tender means they don't survive outside in our climate

    annuals germinate perform and die in one growing season

    Perennial live for years

    Biennials germinate one year, flower the next

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    and perennials come in tender and hardy as do annuals

    and probably biennials but I can't think of any off hand

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • I know the annual perennial etc.

    What do you suggest I start off with flower wise for the next month in the greenhouse then ?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    What have we got to choose from?

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Anything any everything for zone 9a from seed. If i have not got it I can always buy it. Think along the lines top 10 Hardy to start now and what tender to start in a few weeks. If you could start anything what would it be ?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    I have started between autumn and now, aquilegias, Ammi majus, annual delphinium, native scabious, some thalictrums, aconitums and assorted other goodies. But not in a heated propagator. Outside or unheated GH

    Waiting for aquilegias to germinate, the rest have. The aquilegias will, they always do

    In the sticks near Peterborough
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