Sunday, March 6, 2011

Herbal Ally Challenge #8: Starting Seeds......

Tansy can be grown from root division, VERY FINE seed or simply by cutting back an established plant to just above ground level. The plant will in this case just re-shoot and continue to grow a fresh new season of Tansy for you. It is an extremely hardy plant when left to its own devices therefore if you just want one plant, I would suggest this method of trimming back (before seeds appear) and enjoying the easy regrowth. These two regrew in about 3 weeks after cutting back the plants.

 Now if you are anything like me and entirely (well mostly) reliant on the faeries taking care of things. You might just end up with all three happening at once and a lot of Tansy on your hands!!!! Never having started Tansy from seed before, I opted to let a couple of my established plants keep their flowers and dry up in the heat. Last week I went and collected some in readiness for planting this week.

The Tansy seeds are harvested from the dried flower heads. The seeds, as I mentioned are very very fine and tiny. Quite hard to see. There are also quite a lot of them in each little flower head!

For my first batch, I decided to collect some soil from inside the chicken coop as it is very rich. I used an old egg carton and simply sprinkled seeds on top and watered once daily. This was on the 1st of March. On the 4th I opted to plant another batch using seed raising mix to see whether the sprouting time differed. I also decided to have the boys plant some on wet cotton wool to see how long this would take.

The weather conditions of course (as seems to be the habit lately) were not ideal. We had one super hot day, one humid day and then cold but dry winds, then rain and cold, then more dry winds. As you can imagine the soil kept drying out quickly so I have been watering them with just a little water twice a day.

This morning I was very excited to see one tiny little bit of green emerge from the first batch. I was unsure at first if it was Tansy as quite frankly there could be any seeds blown into that lot from the garden. But then, I saw another and another, 3 in all and one just so happened to have the tiny seed casing attached to its leaf. I was surprised that the leaves are roundish. Will wait and see what happens.

Fingers crossed that this really is Tansy and I am not just in a state of wishful thinking! Either way its fun watching everyday for signs of life.  If it is, I am interested to see how soon the leaf will change as each leaf tends to uncurl normally much like fern. Here is a baby that the faeries grew......

Ahhhhh New Life! It always makes me smile! Have a wonderful week everyone! Hugs and smoochies xoxoxox


  1. Tansy is just as bright and cheery as dandelion , love that photo. I hope your sprouts are tansy. I'm a bit behind on the challenge , still need to make my oil and plant some seeds.

    ~ Tansy Blessings ~

  2. yay! hooray for a successful sprouting seed.

    this is exactly why i wanted everyone to start some seeds of their ally as the sprouts can look so different from the mature plant. the first leaves are known as cotyledon leaves and are there to absorb as many nutrients from the sun as it can to help the sprout to grow. pretty soon you'll see some true leaves emerge and the cotyledon leaves will die off.

    it's so much fun getting to know your ally from birth, isn't it?!

  3. It sure is! I have learned to recognize a lot of sprouting seedlings over the years not through planting but by watching them grow freely outside (much to my mans horror) I just let everything grow and then move it if its in a silly spot. Its amazing how they change. These seedlings are so tiny you could easily miss them, probably why I never really noticed them before....:-)

  4. I started tansy seed in house last year about 12 came up all died but for two then no matter what I did I put the two seedlings out in the garden and they died what is my problem I have a terrible time starting tansy seed!