When weather conditions are favorable flower seeds can be sown outdoors. The topsoil should be raked level and all stones, clods, and roughage raked from the seed bed. Make sure that the topsoil is raked thoroughly so that it is quite fine and into- this sow the seeds in drills. Cover the seeds not more than three times their depth and firmly light. Water with a fine spray. Thin the young seedlings when large enough and cultivate. Those that are thinned out can be transplanted along the row or to some other part of the garden.
A few flowers due to the nature of their root system are not adapted" totransplanting, however, as a general use most kinds will transplant without difficulty.
For the purpose of simple classification Flowers are divided in three groups; Annuals, Perennials and Biennials.
Annuals flower the first season, ripen seed, then die. As a rule Perennials blossom the second year from seed and thereafter continue to live for an indefinite number of years. Biennials as a rule require two years to blossom. They are short lived after that time.
Annuals are classified, as hardy or half-hardy. Hardy Annuals can be sown in the open ground early in spring. Half-hardy annuals are usually started under glass. Many can be sown into the open as spring advances. Perennials and Biennials may be sown in the open in a prepared seed bed, in a cold frame or they can be started early under glass in heat. The most accommodating time actually to start Perennials and Biennials is during June. July and August.
And now just a word of caution. Never discard a flat in which seeds of Perennials have been started, until a second spring after the seed is sown. Many germinate slowly. Most of them germinate in from 14 to 20 days. A number however take a month to several months to germinate.
The hardy annuals like the forget me not plant comprise a numerous and exceedingly useful class of flowers. Forget me not plant have a life compass of 12 months or less, die out after flowering, and consequently must be sown every year. The usual procedure is to sow them from March to early May in the positions where they are intended to flower in the summer, due regard being paid to their respective heights in relation to their surroundings when choosing their positions.
Many of them are capable of giving first class results on quite poor soils. The ground should be fairly firm but friable and in good condition, and best results follow thin sowings.
The depth at which the seed should be sown is in relation to its size, large-seeded annuals such as Lupine or Nasturtiums may be sown up to an inch deep, but line seeds such as Godetia, Clarkia, etc. barely need covering. See to it that the soil is kept moist until the young seedlings appear. and do not let them suffer from drought in their early stages. Keep them free from weeds.and thin out early in order to give each individual plant plenty of space to properly develop.
There is no strict line of division between these and the hardy annuals, for several flowers which might be termed hardy in some districts are only half-hardy in others. Half- hardy annuals are usually sown in seed flats during March and April (in some cases a little earlier), germinating them in slight heat in a greenhouse or frame. Use a fine, porous medium made up of good loam, well decayed leaf mold, and, if necessary, a little sand to ensure good drainage. Sow thinly and evenly, and in most cases only just cover the seeds with a thin layer of fine soil. Keep the soil nicely moist but not too wet, using a fine hose for watering. When large enough to handle, prick off the seedlings into boxes, and later harden them off in a frame before transplanting to their flowering positions in the open during May or June.
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