Under lights in my dinning room–16 foxgloves and a dozen Japanese roof Iris.  Also coneflower and  single red Hollyhocks. And don’t forget the  native columbine I planted to grow along my new path.  They are  coming up along with my new crop of Italian Parsley. 

Melissa– who just moments before told me she wasn’t going to grow any perennials or biennials from seed–changed her mind on the spot.  She was dazzled by the thriftiness of it.  For the price of one hollyhock, you can have 48.     Four dozen native columbine would cost me over a hundred dollars.  Two hundred seeds costs me a dollar fifty. 

The math is great–If you want a lot of plants, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, seeds are the number one way to go.  

But seeds take time.  That’s the trade-off.  You have to be patient.   Biennials and most perennials will NOT bloom the first year from seed.   

So I’ll hold these plants in my little nursery area by the cold frame.  This Summer I will feed them a bit, and keep them watered.  Lord willing, they will be big enough for their permanent spots in the fall.  And next Spring–flowers.  Big drifts of them.  Or maybe small drifts, because I’ll share some of the  plants with my friends.    Either way,  so much for so little from seed. 

A final note–Try something easy like foxgloves your first time out.   The seeds are tiny so don’t sow too thickly.  And don’t forget to thin the seedlings.  I do this with tweezers.   It may seem ruthless, but strong plants need space, air and strong light. 

Photo:  Seeds grow best when the light source is close.  That’s why my lights are on are chains and “S” hooks.  I can adjust them up or down.

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