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IDEA: Sowing the seeds

Indeed, I have spent some time with seed catalogs. I am trying to figure out what I can grow and plant in 200 square feet to wow coworkers and campus visitors (that is the ultimate gardener’s complement, you know, to be “wowed” by their planting combinations). I finally arrived at a decision, a scheme that will surely bring color and interest to the spot in the cooler months of the year and that will maybe spark a little curiosity among coworkers. I have ordered the seeds and they have begun to arrive. I spent an hour in the greenhouse this morning, sowing seeds. Alas, I have foiled my intentions already, as I seem to order seeds and start fall plants a little later than I should.


IMG_4791My first seeds to arrive were pansies and snapdragons. Pansies are a classic source of color in the fall garden and carry on through winter months and into early spring. I was drawn to the promise of large flowers and a range of color from apricot to rose in  Pansy ‘Imperial Antique Shades’.  These pansies are supposed to be 8-10″ tall, so I am imagining them toward the edges of the garden. They’ll be shorter than other things I have selected. Even though I bet I am a little late in getting them started this fall, they are sure to delight us in the late winter and spring. It is amazing how fast one can sow 250 seeds! I should be able to transplant the seedlings in a few weeks.


I have also chosen a snapdragon. Snaps are tolerant of cool weather, and will persist through most Georgia winters. They are a great cut flower, too. Cutting flowers and sharing them with others invokes a lot of goodness all around, wouldn’t you say? I don’t always get a flower display from fall-planted snaps because I tend to start them too late. That, combined with the decreasing day length as fall progresses, slows their growth and development. However, usually the optimist, I know what those snaps are going to look like in the spring, and I promise — you will be envious!

Pansies and snapdragons are pretty predictable, so I threw in a few other things. I chose some purple mustard for a foliage color. It will withstand frosts beautifully. In fact, its color often deepens with frost. My last choice is an experiment for me. I was hooked by the chartreuse, conical heads of Broccoli ‘Romanesco,’ and I had to have it! I am concerned that I have started this too late, that again, decreasing day lengths and cooling temperatures will slow this plant too much. We’ll see what happens. I didn’t sow all of those seeds!

So, there you have it! Seeds are sown, on the mist bench, and doing their thing! In a few weeks, I’ll be able to transplant the seedlings.

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About sdorn

Sheri is the State Coordinator for the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program and Extension Specialist for Consumer Ornamentals. When she is not traveling about the state of Georgia admiring the work of Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, she spends time in her own (real and virtual) gardens.