Officially, it’s the first day of spring, but it’s chilly outside and it snowed last night, and will again tonight and tomorrow, so it’s lucky I have tiny Lupin seedlings to tell me winter hasn’t long to go.
They’re an inch or so tall, the first set of true palmate leaves appearing under the white glare of the growlights. Unlike other perennial seed I started at the beginning of February and plunged into a snow bank (they’re still out there but will be coming in to warm up under light next week), these Lupins are a warm germinator. They don’t need a cold treatment to break dormancy.
But I noticed on the website of Gardens North, where I got the seeds from, that they should be sandpapered before starting, which is something done to seeds with hard outer shells, so the germ inside can push out easily. I rubbed them between a couple of pieces of sandpaper and soaked them overnight for good measure, popped them into little pots filled with with a potting soil mix, covered with sheet of black plastic and placed the lot on top of the fridge – a nice warm place for germination. They sprouted within two days, on March 9, so I moved them to light and they’ve been growing slowly ever since. Perennials tend to be slow – with none of that explosion of life that an annual will give you. Read more