Starting with nursery Well starts

You generally see nursery starts at the garden center or home store in mid-to-late spring. Small annual plants are generally sold in six-packs or larger, with each cell holding a single young plant. These plants were raised from seed or from cuttings in a greenhouse and need a little TLC (shelter from cold and wind, regular water so they don't dry out) when you get them home.

Figure 6-4:

Packets of fresh seeds contain planting information, details about the plant, and packing dates.

Lobelia

'Crystal Palace' Lobelia erinus

Lobelia

'Crystal Palace' Lobelia erinus

Annual Blooms spring to fall frost Spreads 12" 2" tall Sun

Low growing ground cover with intensely rich, deep blue flowers, massed over the top of the plant

Annual Blooms spring to fall frost Spreads 12" 2" tall Sun

Low growing ground cover with intensely rich, deep blue flowers, massed over the top of the plant net weight 125 mg

To open: Peel this flap back. Peel back side and bottom flaps to find additional information on inside packet!

'Crystal Palace' Lobelia catches your eye with dazzling, vibrant, dark blue flowers.

When to plant outside: Spring after average last day of frost. In mild winter areas, sow late summer for winter color.

When to start inside: 8-10 weeks before last frost. This is the recommended method since Lobelia takes a long time to germinate. Important! Read inside of packet for more specific information. See top flap for directions.

packed for 199^

36210 0 0 011

Here's what to check before buying:

1 Labels: Labels should contain useful information, such as flower color and mature plant size, as well as the name of the plant.

i Blooms: A blooming plant may be more attractive, and it lets you check that the color is what you want, but the flowers take energy away from the roots. When you get the plant home, cut or pick off any flowers or buds.

1 Well-rooted plants: Pop or wiggle a plant out and check the rooting. If the seedling promptly falls out of the soil mix, it hasn't been in the cell or pot long enough. If you see a mass of white roots, the plant has been in the cell too long and is stressed.

1 Healthy appearance: Is the foliage crisp and green? Just a few yellowing and bedraggled leaves aren't necessarily a problem — you can pinch those off. But you should look in the crown and the nodes (where the leaves or leaf stalks meet the main stem) for insect pests or signs of them.

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