Diehards

Friday, 28 May 2010

Ex-seeding expectations

What with one thing and another I'm late to the garden this year. And the harsh winter, combined with me not having been around to rush out and wrap things in fleece, has left me with an awful lot of bare soil and empty pots. So last weekend I bought some plug plants and seeds of fast growing flowering things: snap-dragons and nasturtiums to feed the tortoise (as well as look pretty) and black sunflowers just for me. The back of the sunflower seed pack recommended that if one suffers from beasties to start the plants off inside, so I filled trays with compost, pushed the seeds in, and set them on the bathroom windowsill. The seeds will germinate in 12-14 days, the packet said, so imagine my surprise when this sight met my eyes this morning:


Just five days after planting.

I wonder when it will be safe to put them outside? I'm tempted to go and get another few packs and plant them everywhere. Maybe I'll get some yellow ones too.

18 comments:

savannah said...

what a delight sunflowers are, sugar! sadly, i have to buy mine and not try to grow them. it seems i have an outdoor thumb of death when it comes to growing flowers! xoxoxo

Titus said...

Ooh. Are you sure they're sunflowers? Sounds triffid-ish to me...

I too am suffering from "dare-I-put-it-outdoors-yet" syndrome. I mean, it's nearly June and here we are contemplating late frosts!
Incidentally, what is "hardening off"?

Scarlet Blue said...

I love snap dragons and sunflowers... I seem to plant my sunflowers in the wrong place and they're always dwarfs.
I could never get the black ones to grow at all... I look forward to seeing yours when they're in full bloom.
Sx

Eryl Shields said...

Savannah ~ this is my first attempt at growing them, and as I seem to kill about ninety percent of what I plant I can only hope they actually flower.

Titus ~ they may take over the house before I have the nerve to take them outside. I believe that 'hardening off' is taking them outside for longer each day to get them accustomed to temperature differences and wind, but bringing them in at night.

Scarlet ~ I've never tried sunflowers before and was seduced by the picture on the packaging, so we'll see how they come along. This morning they seem to have doubled in size. I'd love to be able to grow enough flowers to fill vases for the house, but I never quite manage it.

debra said...

I had some last year, and they've re-seeded in the garden (better that than receded :-)

Elisabeth said...

Beware the triffids, Eryl, but these look okay.

Fortunately for us our winters here are never so dire that we start afresh after winter. Our bulbs live underground and pop up in spring without too much human intervention.

Good luck with your seedlings.

Kass said...

Ah, the excitement of planting ideas and seeds. You do both well.

Sharon Longworth said...

We live next door to someone who can only be described as a sunflower terrorist. He goes around the village planting seeds in any and every piece of bare earth. Then he spends half the summer traipsing round with a watering can to keep them alive. Slightly bonkers, but the results are stunning - it's like little bits of sunshine bursting out all over the place.

Eryl Shields said...

Debra ~ I love it when that happens.

Elizabeth ~ if I didn't insist on trying to grow exotic stuff that needs heat I wouldn't have this problem, but I do. Quite a few of the plants I have seem to have benefited from the cold: a native geranium has doubled in size and is covered in buds, for example.

Kass ~ not always, but I do like to share my successes. The garden was a disaster last year and I'm really hoping for a turnaround this summer.

Sharon ~ I love people like that, I wonder what motivates him? There are stories to be had!

The Pollinatrix said...

Planting stuff is the best, isn't it? I'm planting pumpkins today!

Eryl Shields said...

Polli ~ plating stuff is great, especially when it actually grows. I tried pumpkins last year but something ate them when they were still small. All my attempts at growing vegetables have resulted in me feeding some unknown creatures, so this year I'm sticking to flowers and herbs.

pilgrimchick said...

I just planted the vegetables and herbs that I grew, mostly indoors, since April. I'm crossing my fingers that we won't get any more cold nights and frost. Good luck!

angryparsnip said...

It is too hard to plant anything were I live because even with a screen cover some furry ( cute ) critter will find a way to eat it.
We are so over our late freezes that I am no help to you, we are hitting 100.
I would say plant if it grows then you know it is strong and can take what ever nature throws at it. I rather like the idea of sunflower growing everywhere.
Glad someone else saw the triffids
in your photo.
OMG ! my e-mail just beeped that you sent me a comment...
cheers, parsnip

Eryl Shields said...

Thanks, pilgrimchick, I'll keep my fingers crossed for continuing warmth. I just bought another packet of sunflower seeds in mixed colours.

Pat said...

Exciting isn't it? I'm doing Sarah Raven's dahlia's this year - they look luscious.
Emptying the pots I'm wondering do I have to completely empty them to change the compost? It'll take shed loads.

Alesa Warcan said...

Heya Eryl. Sproutlings! Congrats. As I recall, sunflowers can be planted outside directly (weather allowing). The main reason sprouting them indoors was either because the weather was unclement or to protect them from ravening birds.
I had an aunt who who grew them in her garden every year in the north of Cotentin, so imagine that they could do alright in your latitude.

@Elisabeth: Lol! :j We're safe from triffids, there hasn't been a green comet...

Golden West said...

Isn't it amazing how eager some seeds are to grow? I've always found nasturtiums that way - they grow with such sweeping abandon and bloom so cheerfully!

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ if I remember dahlias are rather hungry so if you don't empty the pots completely mix in lots of organic matter, such as well rotted horse offerings. I will google Sarah Raven's dahlias.

Alesa ~ yes, I planted them inside to keep the pesky blackbirds from eating the seeds, I guess they'll be safe enough now. I might have to chop down a few trees to give them the sun thy require though!

Golden ~ I've planted hundreds of nasturtium seeds outside, too, they have yet to rear their heads but I am hoping for a good show.