Friday, August 19, 2011
Collecting seeds for next year.
When I started growing zinnias from seeds back in February I had no idea what to expect. To be totally honest, I had no idea what zinnia looked like. I was ordering veggie seeds from Johnny’s Seeds and before I send it over Internet I have asked Marjo if she is interested in growing some flowers from seeds. Yup, she was. Got a list about double of what my order was. Good, I will learn as I go, I said to myself. I had no clue how to grow flowers from seeds. Some need light, some don’t…you get the picture. Reading the detailed instruction, and Johnny’s Seeds has the most complete and detailed instructions anywhere, is an absolute must. What struck me the most is how tiny, basically microscopic, some seeds are. Lobelia is one that just floored me. It is not a seed as much as it is a dust. Next year I know what to do.
Back to Zinnias. What an incredibly spectacular plant this turned out to be! It started blooming in April in our sunroom and it looks like it will bloom till first frost, about 10 weeks from now in our zone 6a. And the flowers! Just like small dahlias. Well, the flowers are open pollinated, not F1 hybrid that you can’t collect seeds from, so I have decided to collect seeds for next year. Since Marjo ordered mix where you do not know what you are starting unless you scatter all the seeds over large area, I started collecting separate Zinnia colors and next year when I start them I will know what it is that I am growing. Once I have the seeds I will run a test just to see if they will germinate. I don`t want any surprises next February.
Besides being beautiful flowers they are also attracting Goldfinches. It didn`t take us long to see that if you do not deadhead all the dry flowers that birds will flock to it like kids to ice cream truck. The seeds are irresistible to them.
March 9, 2011
Five months later from just 9 cells.
Here are the individual flowers grown from mix.
It is amazing that such varied colors end up almost identical as a seed.