Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Gardening; IF You Don't Have a Heated Greenhouse and Want to Start Your Seeds off Early to Give You a Head Start on Spring, It's Time to Invest in a Heated Propagator

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Gardening; IF You Don't Have a Heated Greenhouse and Want to Start Your Seeds off Early to Give You a Head Start on Spring, It's Time to Invest in a Heated Propagator

Article excerpt

Not only can you sow slow-growing tender perennials such as geraniums now, so they start flowering in time for summer, but you can also sow seeds of houseplants, tuberous begonias and exotics such as birds of paradise (Strelitzia reginae), and even perennials which you want to flower this year.

First-year flowering perennials which can be sown early in heated propagators and then grown on in a greenhouse or cool room include achillea, helenium, echinacea, salvia and coreopsis. They can be hardened off in a sheltered spot in early May and planted in their final position a couple of weeks later.

Garden centres, mail order and online retailers offer a wealth of heated propagators of different sizes and prices can vary enormously, so it's worthwhile doing some research into exactly what conditions the seeds you want to sow need.

''Check whether the heated propagator has a thermostatic control which will control the temperature more constantly and click off if the room temperature becomes too warm,'' says Richard Gianfrancesco, head of research at Which? Gardening, the Consumers' Association magazine. ''This is important because windowsill temperatures tend to be unstable, in that they might have sun for part of the day and be cooler at other times.'' Cheaper propagators tend to have one or two settings, such as cool and warm, irrespective of indoor temperatures, which means that the propagators have to be monitored more carefully to ensure temperatures inside them don't become too high. Think carefully about the seeds you are going to sow in a heated propagator, Richard advises. If you want to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes which you are expecting to grow on in the greenhouse in summer, you can sow them early in heated propagators.

If, however, you want to plant tender veg outside, think about timing.

Courgettes, melons and sunflowers, for example, are traditionally sown late and can't be planted out in the garden until the end of May or beginning of June, so they won't benefit from being germinated in a heated propagator early because you'll still have to keep them indoors. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.