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Q. I gather from your columns that you grow many of your own transplants from seed. A few years ago I began doing the same, but unpredictable spring weather has left me unable to formulate stable timings for the seedings. A long, cold, wet spring delays transplanting and early heat waves can fry newly set out transplants.
A. Spring weather extremes of the past two years have thrown usual seeding schedules into disarray. Like you, I’ve been pondering whether, or to what degree, to make changes to my usual indoor seeding schedule, which I often begin during the last half of January, with violas and pansies, leeks and onions.
Most pansies and violas I’ve grown take 10 to 14 days to germinate, in darkness. Once they are up and growing, the transplants tend to stay neatly in compact rosettes until they are moved to bowl-shaped patio containers.
Seeding onions and leeks early is also not too risky. As soon as the seedlings are substantial enough to handle easily, but still young, I trim away the wispy bits at their tops and thin them enough to give them space to develop. They can be given another light trimming back prior to transplanting. I’ve observed that slight trimmings help to thicken onion and leek transplants.
All the predictions I’ve researched indicate El Nino’s generally warmer than usual temperatures to persist through April; however, weather forecasting is a precarious business these days, as last week’s cold temperatures remind us.
As a precaution I may delay my initial indoor seedings to the beginning of February this year. Along with theRead more on theprovince.com