Some of the seeds come up in a few weeks; a few, in fact, in less than ten days, where conditions are favorable; others, as we have seen, require several months. It is well to group them, when planting, upon this basis, so that all those which will be ready for transplanting early may be removed together.
In one group, for instance, may be planted the following, which will usually germinate within three weeks and be ready for transplanting within three to six weeks more:
Alyssum, arabis, aubrietia, arenaria, armeria, achillea, anthemis, bellis, columbine (aquilegia), cerastium, delphinium, draba, erinus, forget-me-not (myosotis), gypsophila, linaria, linum, lichnis, lupine, pansies, poppies, potentilla, silene,
Those which are likely to take longer, some Silencil of them six to eight weeks, are as follows:
Aster, androsace, allium, asperula, campanula, clematis, coridalis, cutisis, erodium, eryngium, erigeron, genista, geranium, geum, helianthemum, heuchera, houstonia, hypericum, iberis, iris, oenothera, primula, saxifrage, sedum, thymus, thalictrum, viola.
The above, of course, are based on early spring planting. Time out, for seeds which stratify in the seed bed over winter, does not count. These over-winter seeds need no protection from snow-the
more snow which piles up in the frames the better. The sash may be left on, but not closed tight, during November and December, to protect the seeds from the heavy rains which often occur at this season.
Bog-plant seeds germinate best upon a surface not only moist but actually damp. A mixture of one-third
each chopped sphagnum moss, peatmoss, and sand makes good compost in which to grow them. If this is placed in seed pans or azalea pots, and these are kept in deep saucers constantly filled with water and sheltered from direct sunshine, the seeds will have conditions to their liking. Also consider wall water falls that can provide constant moisture.
If the soil mixtures suggested above have been used, there will be few weeds to bother with, and unless the seed has been sown too thickly, little thinning will be necessary before the seedlings are big enough to transplant. If they come up too thickly, however, thin out immediately. This is most important.
For transplanting, make a bed in a well-drained spot, using a compost for the top four to six inches, or digging into the soil, if it is light, clean garden loam to start with, a layer equivalent to two to three inches of peat moss, an inch or so of sand or fine gravel, and a little very thoroughly decomposed manure. If the latter is not available, leaf mold and a light dressing of bone meal may be used as a substitute for it.