I need help

This year I think I will have large numbers of seeds (for me) so will need to try sowing in flats or possibly setting up raised bed for sowing.

What methods are being used for direct sowing?

How much space is allowed per seed?

What soil mediums are used for direct seeding?

Any other requirements.

Any advice will be appreciated as my results last year where Zero from about 200 seeds sown on sand in plastic trays @ 1cm X 1cm spacing(1/2 of these seeds were from a late pollination attempt so may not have matured properly) but I still hoped for much better results.

So far I have raised 3 plants in 2 years which is very depressing

Help please; Russ.

I’m by no means an expert, but I plan on following the experts’ advise. Check Jim Sproul’s web site here:


Paul Barden has more information and links than you can get from just about any source:


I check both sites often. There are several other RHA members that have good sites as well.

I would also recommend, if you have not purchased already, the literature the RHA has for sale.


Russ, There is hope. I only had 5 seedlings from two yrs. effort, of which only two have bloomed, and I planted both into the garden because they looked good considering the position of having nothing. I will be removing one of them tomorrow, because this yr. I have over 700 seedlings, (and they are continuing to sprout, but have slowed down considerably) and today I planted out the first ten that I considered decent(my standards are not very high yet-if it looks good, I’m very happy with it and consider it a success). I am down to approximately 300 seedlings, with about 100 yet to bloom, and an easy 100 more to “discard”, although I have found that hard to do, even though I can see that they are inferior.

I have learned by trying something different this year, and each year I have gone back and reread the different blogs, links, sites, the RHA booklets, and this year I accidentally lucked into something that worked for me. I am writing this from southern California, and we get winter nights that vary from 30 to 45 degrees, and the days vary from approx. 45 to 60 degrees, with occasional spikes. I left the seeds, each in their labeled zip locked baggies, encased in moist sand (much like what several sites recommend) on a bar stool on the patio, where they were subjected to the normal 30 to 60 degree fluctuations, for 60 days. I checked them, intending to put them in the fridge for 60 days, since this was the end of Dec., and discovered a small (20-30)number of germinations. I planted these up, and checked back in two weeks, without refrigerating these, and had 110 germinations, and the next two weeks another 100. That was the end of January, and I decided to skip the fridge, and each two week period produced anywhere from 30-50 new sprouts. It is now down to about 10 every two weeks,(haven’t checked this week-it’s a Sunday thing) but many of the first seedlings are on their 2nd or third bloom, I have approx. 30 more tagged to go out into the garden, and I was ready to give up if it didn’t work this yr. I did review what I did wrong-no protection from rodents(mice, fruit rats, rabbits,gophers) disease, not enough fertilizer, to much water on too young seedlings, using a poor seedling soil mix, etc. I have corrected all those, because that was something I could do, and with a little luck, I am up to my elbows in rose offspring. I think that if I was you, I would probably try several methods, take notes, make comparisons, because there is more than one correct way to germinate, and grow seedlings. Best of LUCK!

Yeah. I feel up to my elbows in seedlings also. I have an entire flat of Carefree Delight seedlings (72 seedlings) that need to be potted (I don’t understand how it can be triploid if every flower sets hips…?). The sawfly rose slugs are after them, though. I know at least one is double and red because it bloomed as tiny as it is…so there is at least some promise (but I like singles anyway). I have several hundred gardenia seedlings that need to be put in flats.

I tend to grow in pots by seed mother. Then transplant into flats if there’s many seedlings or straight into their own pot if they’re special. I dunno, that tends to work if you just specialize in one father and don’t label (lazy way out). When you use multiple fathers then it gets more difficult.