|Lilium seedlings are just a single blade.|
Partridge Pea is a native annual found in the eastern half of the US. It germinated well after a 10 day cold stratification. This plant is able to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere though its association with rhizobial bacteria. The seed I purchased form Prairie Moon Nursery came with a packet of inoculum to ensure that these bacteria would be present for the new plant. The leaflets fold together at night and when it is being roughly handled. I have already planted out a bunch of these along a roadside, where I am hoping they will be able to reseed themselves.
|Indoor sown plants are lankier than these outdoor plants.|
I also started more Woodland Sunflower, Helianthus divaricatus, and Crowned Beggarticks, Bidens coronata, using the Winter Sowing method. Germination was moderate, but the resulting plants are of good size and require no hardening off before transplanting. This was probably a poor year to really evaluate the winter-sowing method. Since it was quite warm and relatively dry, the covered containers did not get very much moisture in through the pour-spout, making them warmer and drier - not what you want for cold stratification of seeds.
|Random Seedlings: 1. Sulfur Cosmos (blunt leaf tips); 2. Annual grass |
(single blades); 3. Oxalis (3 leaflets); Tomato (hairy stems and smell)
When you are counting on plants reseeding themselves in the garden, weeding and maintenance become a big issue. In this photo of random seedlings I can recognize some of these as desirable and other as definite 'weeds'. Possible desirable seedlings here include Agastache 'Navaho Sunset', Bidens coronata, Cosmos sulphureus, Monarda punctata, Salvia coccinia, and Rudbeckia hirta. The largest seedling in the photo is most likely a Sulfur Cosmos, though it could also be a Bidens. This is a keeper. The easy to ID weeds are the grasses and Oxalis. The grasses have only single leaves (monocots) and the Oxalis has a 3-lobed clover-like leaf. All of the desired plants in this area are dicots, they have two cotyledon leaves. This makes them easy to distinguish from the grasses. Where it gets tricky is all of the tomato seeds that come in with the compost. (I know, I don't cook my compost hot enough.) These seedlings have a tomato smell when bruised and the stem is covered with little hairs. At this juncture my strategy is to remove only those weeds I'm sure about (grass, oxalis and tomatos) and watch to see how the others develop.
|These seedlings are about an inch tall, but strongly aromatic.|
|This is the second year these have managed come back on their own.|
|These rosettes may be from fall-germinated seeds|
|Fresh shoots from a plant that was started last year.|
Now the watching continues. Will there be more seedlings coming up? Will I figure what's what before it's too late?