Growing Flowers from Seed
If you have berries from shrubs you would like to increase, half fill flower pots with sand, place the berries on this (they may be quite thick if you wish) and cover with more sand. Let this pot stay half buried in thein a cold place so that the berries will get frosted. This is called them. Sow them in the spring.
Many seeds and seedlings get lost in early life. Sometimes the finely raked soil in which they are sown attracts sparrows, who use it as a dust bath, see the seeds or seedlings and eat them, or alternatively take them away in their feathers.
Slugs are the great enemy of the seedlings. Slug pellets should always be placed on the soil when seeds are sown. Most seeds are sown either too deeply or not covered sufficiently.
Hardy annual seeds are generally sown in the garden soil where the plants are required to bloom. Some of them, probably because of the tap roots, do not transplant well and for this reason it is essential to sow seed thinly. Although there is no reason why the seed should not be sown in a straight row, except when they are grown for cutting only, it is generally more pleasing to sow in drifts or some less formal style. I use a flower pot pressed into the finely raked soil to make a circle. Seed can then be sown very thinly in this little drill. Twigs later placed in an outer circle help to support the young plants.
Always sow the seed very lightly, and cover with a fine sifting of soil or a little sand. Do not water unless the soil is dry. In really dry seasons, water the soil the day before. Germination will take from one to three weeks and as soon as the plants are large enough to be handled they should be thinned out. If plants are overcrowded they will be thin, drawn, unhealthy and unproductive. In general terms, it is suggested that small they must have reasonably deep soil, which means that if you have only shallow good top soil then the sub-soil a spit down must be forked over to aerate it well. Into it must be forked good, well rotted manure,, leafmould or failing any of these some peat to provide humus mixed with a long lasting fertiliser such as bonemeal, Plus or some other good general fertiliser, and the plants should be mulched with compost or dung in late autumn and winter.
Many perennials can be raised from seed, and if these are sown early in the year the plants may flower later the same year; delphiniums and lupins are examples. Most of them however do not flower until the following year.
It is possible to find perennials that will flower from very early in the year until late autumn. Many of them are noteworthy for their beautiful, distinctive and handsome foliage which is often much more striking than their blooms.