2023 Field Notes

Scabiosa -- Scabiosa atropurpurea -- Triple Berry Mix


Sown 4/9
Germination 4/13 (4 days)

Germination counts
4/13, 8am: 5
4/13, 7pm: 14
4/14, 7am: 53
4/14, 6pm: 54/30 (84)
4/15, 6pm: 67/40 (107)
4/20, 6pm: 78/41 (119)
4/23, 9am: 76/38 (114)

Split germination numbers above are for seeds sown in custom germination mix, and those sown in potting mix.

4/9 -- Sowed these the same as last year, with one experimental change. 20 row tray, 10 seeds per row, covered extremely lightly. What I did was do 10 rows of potting mix, and 10 rows or the custom germination mix. We'll see what does better! Last year I used Johnny's germination mix and did very well with germination, but not very well after that with these. I have a LOT of additional seed here to do another tray if either things go wrong, or I want to plan out a succession.

4/11 -- Nothing yet from these - judging by last year, it should be a couple more days before we see them. Given my other issues with the germination mix, this experiment ought to be very interesting indeed.

4/13 -- Right on schedule with germination.

4/23 -- This experiment ended up being very interesting indeed. The custom germination mix absolutely destroyed the potting mix by a margin of 2-to-1. True leaves are appearing on both sets at this point, but very early stages, so this will be the next piece of data. Right now, there's not a lot of difference between the two sets in terms of size and healthiness, although the potting mix seedlings do seem to have more true leaves developing at the moment. They also have more space, so that might be a factor. Tempting to use my additional seeds to run more experiments here.

4/30 -- As I was expecting, while the seeds in the potting mix germinated much more poorly than the germination mix, the resulting seedlings are stronger looking plants on the whole - lots of true leaves, considerably bigger than their counterparts in the germination mix. I've got about 30 excellent looking plants in the potting mix ready for transplant. Good news is, I have a considerable number in the germination mix that I can also move, so potting these up to a 50 is in the cards for today. I think I may well run an experiment similar to what I'm doing over with the Zinnias (a 2/3rd potting mix, 1/3rd germination mix hybrid).

5/25 -- 32 of these into a 4x8 bed. Transplanting Scabiosa was a pain last year, and not much better this year - keeping each plant and its roots together during the process is not easy with these, for whatever reason. The roots just aren't as bulky as...basically anything else I'm transplanting. Nevertheless, got all 32 in, and hopefully they'll do well. If things remain like last year, they'll look lousy for a couple of weeks but end up OK. These will get horizontal support as well, but no rush there with these, as the plants aren't all that big. Watered them in using the phosphorus-rich fertilizer.

6/4 -- Replaced one sad-looking seedling with a smaller, healthier looking one from the tray. Scabiosa are tricky like that - they often don't look happy at all, from my experience, so it can be hard to distinguish between a one that just appears unhappy, and one that is toast. Pretty sure the one I took out was toast.

6/13 -- One additional plant has died since my last update, for reasons unknown. The rest of the lot look fine. I'm getting horizontal trellis ready, although the plants don't yet need the support.

6/25 -- These are doing so much better than last year so far, looking pretty happy and healthy. No complaints, which is a surprise!

7/2 -- These are still doing just fine. Based on last year, wouldn't expect any flowers until late July.

7/8 -- Some of these have buds now, but they're not big, so it should be a little while longer before we have flowers. Still seem to be about a week ahead of last year.

7/23 -- First few flowers showed up this past week, so turns out, not really ahead of last year! Plenty more flowers coming.

8/5 -- These have come on extremely strong, and look great, much better than the ones I grew last year, which is nice! We're now in the daily deadheading part of the Scabiosa experience.

8/25 -- Still going strong, still deadheading every other day and pulling off dozens of expired flowers. Quite the grind, but worth it, these have been extremely good this year.

9/4 -- You know what isn't a good idea? Not deadheading these for a few days. Had to spend 20 minutes on just this bed yesterday to clear out the expired flowers.

9/22 -- These are winding down, as expected. Still producing a few flowers but will be done by the end of the month.