On February 2, I sowed two packets each of Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) and Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot), one inside on my grow stand and one outside in the elements. I wanted to compare the germination rates and growth habits between the ones started early indoors, and the ones sown directly outside. Obviously the seeds started indoors have a head start on the ones outside, but I didn't realize they would be this far along so early! To my surprise, the seeds I started inside sprouted just a week after planting, and the photos below represent approximately 4 weeks of growth. I'm so excited! These are two of my most favorite plants and I'll have no trouble finding places for them. The seeds I planted outside haven't even germinated yet. This was so easy to do, the seeds needed no pre-treatment, and I made use of all the nursery pots and trays I saved from all the plants I bought last summer. Although I used grow lights you could get similar results with an inexpensive shop light and "grow" bulbs- just remember to keep the lights just a few inches above the leaves. (I raised the lights here just to take the picture) I highly recommend these two varieties for beginners to the world of growing plants from seed.
|My 4-5 week old Echinacea and Monarda seedlings|
|More Echinacea and Monarda, and some yummy Basil also grown from seed|
|Close up of Echinacea babies|
|Close up of Monarda (on the left) and more Echinacea (right)|
|Tell-tale hairs on an Echinacea leaf|
|One of my favorite characteristics of Monarda fistulosa, the purple-y undersides of the leaves|