Seed sowing a cinch
This article was first published on 18 Feb 2015.
As gardeners we almost always desire more plants than we can afford. This is where our green fingers come into play and we can start propagating our own plants, be it from seed, cuttings, grafting or any one of the other methods. At this time of year seed is plentiful and a look around your own garden will reveal what is available.
Many plants will produce seed, giving you the opportunity to grow lots of plants at low cost. Seed can be contained in pods, capsules, berries or cones and when ripe, will split open or fall to the ground. Collect this seed, when dry, in paper bags and keep in the refrigerator.
Different seeds need different conditions to germinate and a quick search on the internet or one of the many available books on propagation will guide you in the right direction. This may involve sowing some species in the autumn and others in the spring; the satisfaction of watching those little plants coming up cannot be underestimated.
The most exciting thing with growing plants from seed is that you do not always know what you are going to get. Some plants, especially cultivars, can produce a range of seedlings different to the parent. Some may even be unique, giving you that talking point in your garden.
Dylan Norfield is Collection Curator of the Geographic and Arboretum Collection at Dunedin Botanic Garden.