March is the month when the garden really starts to wake up from its winter sleep. We have splashes of yellow daffodils and primroses all around the garden as well as crocuses and little mini daffodils. There are buds appearing on the many shrubs and trees and the tulips are starting to come up too.
We had two glorious sunny days at the end of the first week of this month, what a treat to feel that lovely warm sunshine on your back. It really makes you want to get out and do something in the garden. We started to prepare the ground in the cutting patch, weeding, composting and raking. From the September planting the cornflowers, ammi majus and corncockles are all doing really well. The calendula and feverfew are all struggling but still alive and the same goes for the stocks planted from seedlings and delphiniums grown from seed last year.
Encouraged by the warm weather I decided to plant some more seeds, this time I planted antirrhinum ‘night and day’ and nicotiana ‘langsdorffii’, a lovely lime green flower, into slightly larger six cell seed trays and another variety of sunflowers ‘garden statement’ into fibre grow pots. These are now on various window sills around the house. We have also planted ranunculus corms into a long trough for flowering in late summer and will plant some in the cutting patch as well. Ranunculus look great in the garden and are also very good cutting flowers having a vase life of up to a week so most definitely a must for the cutting patch.
The seeds I planted at the end of the third week of February all germinated really well except for the celosia and cleomes, the cleomes have just started to germinate and I hope the celosia will follow soon. By the end of the second week of March the calendula ‘art shades’ and the two varieties of cosmos were all getting too tall for the seed tray and were ready for potting on having started to grow their second set of leaves.
I had sown several seeds into each cell and as germination had been so good I now had several seedlings in each cell and so carefully lifted the whole clump out of the small cell with a teaspoon and a plastic seed label and re potted them into individual fibre grow pots using multipurpose compost. I had watered the compost in the grow pots before planting. The roots were already quite long and so I had to make the hole in the new pots suitably deep to fit them in without squashing them and also the stems were really delicate and so handled them by the leaves very carefully. I then filled in very gently with compost and firmed it down again very carefully and gently. These are now all on window sills throughout the house (we are running out of space!) as the weather has once again turned really cold; our brief taste of spring is on hold for now. The scabiosa ‘back in black’ has also germinated really well but the seedlings are not quite ready to pot on.
The seed tray with all the edible flower seeds has also had fantastic germination and I hope to re-pot all except the Evening Primrose seedlings into bigger pots next week. I have found the 36 cell seed trays to be a bit small, the little seedlings have out grown them in no time at all and plan to use the larger cell seed trays or grow pots in future. I am really excited about my new edible flower patch!
By the end of March nearly all the seedlings have now been potted on into fibre grow pots or larger plastic pots using a mix of sieved compost and soil. The edible flower seedlings are all really strong and are thriving in the cold frame, the evening primrose being the exception as they took longer to germinate and are still very small.
The other cutting patch seedlings have taken up residence on every available window sill in the porch and around the house. The antirrhinum and nicotiana have germinated and I have planted some more celosia seeds and also some bupleurum seeds and put them on the warmest window sill and keeping fingers crossed that they will germinate this time. We now have over two hundred seedlings in various stages of growth, hope the weather warms up soon!