The madness that is refrigerating seeds
Today has been spent propagating seeds again - true to form with military precision. The curse of anal retentiveness that follows me everywhere has been put to good use on this occasion...
Having researched each seed last year prior to purchase, (to ensure our garden could provide the right conditions) I created a table listing each item, the area of the garden where they would find their final home, and the instructions for achieving successful results.
Last year I naively used the same methodology for sowing all seeds. Unsurprisingly this brought varying success rates (basically chucking them all in seed compost, placing in the potting shed and crossing our fingers).
This year is a more considered approach. Having gained more knowledge, I am attempting to mimic each seeds natural habitat in the hope that the number of successes is increased.
Today was the turn of Astrantia major and Campsis radicans. To break their dormancy these are being refrigerated for about 5 weeks until the end of February to imitate winter, then they will be moved to a warmer windowsill to germinate into spring. Prior to sowing they were pre-soaked for a bit.
No, that isn't a cake. I find placing dry soil in a small container, (this time a mixing bowl) then adding water bit by bit until I have the right consistency, is the easiest and least messy way of getting seed compost from a huge bag into a small seed tray.
And there much to my OH's delight amongst the essentials sits the seeds, a light scattering of vermiculite to top and carefully wrapped in a bag.
The low-maintenance seeds that I am starting now include Cephalaria gigantea and Gillenia trifoliata. These have been treated normally by sowing into moist compost and positioning under a warm window to germinate - simple.