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Propagating plants through seeds, called generative propagation, is one of the easiest ways to obtain new plants. Through seeds, we propagate many plants, usually annuals, biennials or perennials, but also shrubs and trees. It takes from a few weeks to two months to create a seedling suitable for planting into the ground.
You can harvest the seeds yourself from many plants. However, daughter plants often obtained from hand-harvested seeds do not fully retain the characteristics of the mother plant. For most varieties, it is best to buy seeds.
Biennial plants produce a rosette of leaves in the first year, overwinter in this form, and only the next year produce flowers and seeds. When the seeds mature, the leaf rosette most often dies. In order to have new flowering biennials every year, unfortunately they have to be planted anew each year.
In the case of biennial plants, the seeds are sown at the end of May and June. It is best to do it on the seedbed or on the inspection. During the winter, the seedlings should be left in a quiet place.
The most popular biennial plants include: pansies, mallow, daisies, foxglove, Siberian poppy, bearded cloves, forget-me-nots, fragrant wax, garden bell, mullein, daisies.
Some species, such as the daisy or the forget-me-not, are willing to sow by themselves. Others, such as foxglove and mallow, form clumps of rosettes growing on the mother plant and stay in one place for up to several years. About such plants we say that they are short-lived perennials.
Perennials are perennial plants, the above-ground parts of which disappear for the winter. Selected species of perennials are reproduced generatively, but it is difficult to define a specific sowing date, because the date of sowing seeds may vary depending on specific species. However, if we do not remove all the inflorescences after flowering, many species will recover spontaneously in the following years.
Many species of perennials have very short germination seeds, and some varieties do not repeat all the characteristics of the mother plant. In the case of some species of perennials, such as: primula, spring peas or bergenia, seeds require stratification, i.e. subjecting them to a lower temperature.
Perennial seeds can usually be sown in May or June on the seedbed, and some seeds due to their short germination capacity, such as fragrant violet or pasque-flower, ordinary immediately after harvesting the seeds. The seedlings obtained from them may bloom in the next year, or only in 2-3 years.
The most popularly sown perennials: aster, cornflower, bay leaf, campanula, bellflower, firletka, gailardia, gypsophila, gypsophila, broadleaf pea, Chinese and feathered carnation, yarrow, cuckoo, perennial flax, thyme, tuft, elk, spotted eagle, delphinium, cinquefoil , rudbeckia, sunflower, rock marshmallow, pasque-flower, oatmeal, evening primrose, pyrethrum, aubrieta, cranberry.
General rules for sowing seeds
The seeds are best sown in a box with soil intended for sowing or universal soil mixed with sand. Level the substrate in the box and lightly knead it. It is also worth sprinkling the top with sifted compost. Then we make grooves 1 cm deep. The seeds are sown in the grooves and then gently covered with soil.
Larger seeds of plants that make up the tap root, such as mallow or foxglove, will be able to germinate on the bed. It is best to sow them immediately to a permanent place and only thin out the emerging seedlings. These species do not tolerate transplanting well. They can only be replanted if they are very young and still have a short root. If we have few seeds of such species, we can place them individually in pots, and overgrown seedlings can be transplanted into a bed with a lump of soil without damaging the roots.
Both the seeds sown in boxes and on the flowerbed are carefully watered, and when the seedlings have risen, thin them so that the distance between the young plants is a few cm apart. After such a treatment, we press the soil around the seedlings and water them. You should also remember about weeding.
In the second half of August or at the beginning of September, we transfer the overgrown seedlings of perennials and biennial plants to a permanent place. It is worth enriching the bed with compost so that the young plants grow stronger before the onset of winter.
In late autumn, when frost is forecast, young plants should be provided with good wintering conditions. The soil around them is mulched with composted pine bark or a thicker layer of compost. Cover the ground parts with dry leaves and twigs of conifers. To be sure, it is worth covering them lightly, especially when the winter is snowless. In spring, we remove the cover.