Thought for today - Blog Post 05/07/2020 Grow from Seed
I have always been a fan of producing plants from cuttings and wherever possible do this for plants that I want and have the time wait for them to make a reasonable size. The satisfaction of producing plants this way can only ever be bettered by growing from seed.
As a child and young and enthusiastic horticulturist, I raised many plants from seed. As I moved from School to University and on to work, I found myself having less and less time to raise plants this way. This wasn’t an obstacle though as I had the advantage of always having access, through work, to a vast range of plants already well grown in 2-3 litre pots. This considerably reduced any need for me to produce them from scratch. To this day, I do not see any good reason why you would spend time producing readily available perennial plants from seed rather than just buy them From a good grower/nursery. I much prefer to spend my time growing plants that I can’t easily get already well developed in a pot. Here seed comes into its own. I would never be tempted to grow the readily available Rudbeckia fulgida from seed, but I might the much less commonly seen silver-leaved Rudbeckia alpicola.
My best advice is to save your more time consuming and complex plant raising for plants that you either struggle to get hold of, cost a lot to buy ready grown or those that you need a great many of!
Over recent years, I have now found the time and desire to produce from seed once again. Lockdown this year really enabled me to undertake more and more seed production (too much, in reality, but there you go).
With this reignited passion, I have found myself reading through my favourite catalogues and web-catalogues to select future plantings. By far my favourite suppliers are Chiltern Seeds, Jekka’s Herb Farm and Franchi Seeds, but I also rate very highly Special Plants, Jelitto and Higgledy Garden among a few others. Once you've found your favoured suppliers, you’ll generally not need to look for alternatives, as their offering will be more than you could ever need.
I have also found myself gathering seeds from plants and edibles including Padron Peppers, (which I love). I now have three young Padron Pepper plants growing - see image above. Below are some seedlings of Commelina communis growing on a (spare) windowsill from seed collected from my plant last summer.
Fun and games.