Gazania rising

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On February 29, I filled a tray with a soiless mix and sprinkled in the Gazania seeds. This will be my first year growing them, but how hard can it be? My first foray into flower growing (from seed) was years ago when I seeded French Marigolds, and they turned out beautifully. I started out with 20 seedlings, but once they were transplanted outdoors, they take off and cluster. Last year, I seeded dwarf sunflowers, which also turned out to be a total success. At the end of the season, there were not too many sunflower seeds to harvest, because it looked like the birds got to them first, but birds are part of gardening life.

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The other flower I experimented with were Cosmos. There was no problem with germination; however, during transplant, I was skeptical that they would survive. I planted them in the shadiest spot of the raised bed, with a wall for support, as the packaging indicated that the height of these flowers would be very tall. I made sure to water them often. Much to my delight, they pulled through, and ended up growing completely out of control.

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Top photo are seedlings still in their flats. As you can see, by July 1st, the stalks were thick and sturdy in the raised bed. Below is the transplant. It demonstrates why I didn’t think they’d make it.

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These seedlings had been hardened off, but the sun is strong in this spot. They survived and provided pretty pink flowers throughout the season.

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Back to the Gazanias. I ordered the seeds from Stokes. These are the New Day Bright Mix. I was a little late to the game because I hadn’t read the instructions on the packet, which instructs you to sow indoors between Feb. 15 to Mar 1 for July blooms. I read this and seeded on Feb. 29. It also instructed to place in total darkness to germinate, so I left the flat in the basement. I wasn’t expecting any transformation after three days, but on March 3, I went down with a spray bottle to mist if necessary, only to discover that the seeds had germinated! The photo below was taken today.

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I have moved the flat upstairs and it is by our sunniest window. I can’t wait to watch them grow! How can I not get excited about the growing season – this coming week we are supposed to hit 14C!

 

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