Fun Fall Container Gardening
The spring is finally here and it’s time for the bulbs to begin flowering. It is now the perfect time to collect their seeds and to create your own sea of spring flowers! It’s completely free to do and is not difficult. The only thing required is patience – and that you can find some flowers to collect the seeds from.
The new year has barely begun before the first snowdrops flowers appears, closely followed by the yellow winter aconite and early crocus. But the most anticipated of all, are the blue carpets of wood squill, glory-of-the-snow and striped squill. It’s like a sea of spring happiness! And fortunately, porcelain hyacinths and squills are some of the easiest to propagate from seeds.
Collecting seeds and propagating the flower bulbs is not difficult. You just have to keep track of the rules of thumb for the different varieties (see below). The only equipment needed is actually a trowel and a pair of knee pads.
Sow the seeds that you have collected in straight rows in a garden bed, that will allow you to keep track of the growing bulbs. The planting depth is only a few centimeters and you can plant the seeds quite close to each other, about five seeds per centimeter.
The first sign of life is not visible until the following year, and it will then only look like a few straws, thin as chives. After another three years of growth, it will have formed small flower bulbs. Then it is time to dig them up and let dry for some days. Select the biggest and strongest specimens – these are now ready to be planted in your garden. The remaining bulbs can be left in the garden bed for another year to grow bigger.
The buds are fertilized with a normal NPK fertilizer or fertilizer in pellet form. Try to avoid fertilizer that needs to be tamped down in the soil, because it may damage the flower bulbs. Do not either cover them with compost or grass clippings, as it can make the bulbs rotten. Continue this procedure until all the bulbs have become big enough to be planted in the garden. After a few years, you will have your own field of flowering spring flowers!
If you like to experiment in the garden, you can sow the seeds directly in the garden soil and see what happens. Then you simply use a garden cultivator to prepare the soil, then distribute the collected seeds, cover them and wait to see if the experiment is successful.
Look for small and green, balloon-shaped capsules above the ground. When they start to mature they are ready to be collected. A good trick is to listen for a cracking sound under your feet. Inside the capsule, you will find the seeds that are brown and are in the size of only a few millimeters.
Seeds in green-yellow capsules (which look like small nuts). Crush the capsules and press them directly into the soil – otherwise there is a risk that the birds and ants will remove them. You can also try to propagate the snowdrops you already have by dividing the bulbs.
– white, blue, purple, but the flowers often mix and develop new variants and colors.
The plant develops the seeds in the early summer when the flowers are nearly withered. To easily find the plant again, I suggest to mark the location of the plant. The seeds are 5-20 millimeters and should be collected when the capsules start to crack. Sow the seeds as soon as possible after collecting them, at latest within a month. The crocus is a tuber and can also be propagated by dividing the tubers – but growing it from seed will give a richer result.
Lisa Ising is an established journalist and author in the field of gardening. She regularly contributes to leading magazines in Sweden and other Nordic countries. She wants to convey a creative and permissive gardening vision that includes children, animals and wild nature.
Lisa has dedicated her life to plants and botany, and she’s one of the initiators of Slottsträdgården – one of Sweden’s first urban gardening projects – which has grown into a well-known project which attracts all kinds of people who are interested in gardening theory and practice.
In her new book Trädgårdslegender, Lisa summarizes modern Swedish gardening culture. She present today’s most famous gardeners and conveys their grounded, practical advice and garden favorites.
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