Calendulas

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Deeply Rooted
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For indoor starting, I sow seeds after the first of March. The calendula are transplanted out in May and bloom near the end of June. The flowers arrive just about the time as the snapdragons :). Nice combination.

This is a LINK to a TEG conversation that we had quite some time ago.

Steve
This is helpful, and I enjoyed reading the thread that you linked from 2010. My notes indicate that they do not germinate well at temperatures about 17C (62F). That may be the secret to success with they beauties. :)
 

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Well, my calendula experiment is moving along nicely. Yesterday I took the little plastic bag of calendula seeds back out of the drawer--and lo and behold there were two sprouts, both from the big beige things that look like hoop earrings. Go figure. I freshened up the bag with a clean paper towel, and have sent the remaining seeds back in to the dark drawer to see how long it takes them to germinate.
 

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Branching Out

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To be honest ducks4you, it is my first time sprouting seeds in a drawer. I read a review online that calendula likes to be cool and dark to germinate, and that they can be placed in a drawer until they sprout. Here is the link: https://www.botanicalinterests.com/product/Oopsy-Daisy-Calendula-Pot-Marigold-Seeds
Most seed companies suggest that calendula is perfect for gardening with children because it is so easy to sprout-- yet some of us seem to be struggling to get the darn things started.

My goal is to find simple germination or pre-sprouting methods that can be repeated fairly reliably given my atrocious germination results for calendula last spring. I think I will also try to 'winter sow' a bunch in 4" pots in a tray outdoors, to see if that could be even easier-- easy is good. A tray can be moved around: on a warm day they can sit out in the sun, and if it rains buckets I can bring the tray under cover. My flowers produced a lot of seed last fall; it is nice to be able to experiment without being concerned about wasting seed.
 

meadow

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My goal is to find simple germination or pre-sprouting methods that can be repeated fairly reliably given my atrocious germination results for calendula last spring. I think I will also try to 'winter sow' a bunch in 4" pots in a tray outdoors, to see if that could be even easier-- easy is good. A tray can be moved around: on a warm day they can sit out in the sun, and if it rains buckets I can bring the tray under cover. My flowers produced a lot of seed last fall; it is nice to be able to experiment without being concerned about wasting seed.
It might be worth direct sowing some too, right where you want them to grow again. I started some from seed two years ago and then had volunteers in the same spot last year. I took some of the volunteers and successfully transplanted them around the garden, and sent some to DD too!

The first year of seed gathering was a fail (waited too long to harvest them), but I sure gathered a bunch last year! 😁

Those first volunteers just fell off of the plant. I didn't do anything at all. The ones I started in the house were started in the 6-cells that are like yours, 1/4" deep.
 

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Last year was epic for seed saving; so unusual to have warm, dry weather in to November like that. I would like to try direct sowing, but I am not quite organized yet in terms of what will grow where-- and I am also notorious for forgetting where I have planted things. :eek: I have even taken to sprinkling potting soil with perlite over the top of the soil where I do sow seeds, to remind me that there is something under there. Maybe I will get some volunteers from last year like you did, because a lot of seed fell on the ground.

A week ago I started some calendula in mid-sized soil blocks indoors though, and I am shocked to see 3 out of 24 of them with sprouts poking through the soil this morning. This was using saved seed; maybe the fresh seed is easier to germinate??
 

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