Weekend Gardening Update: Pansies for winter

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The Independent Online
SEED of winter-flowering pansies needs to be sown now if plants are to fatten up sufficiently to perform this winter. Unwins, the seed merchants, has been carrying out germination trials and has found that high temperatures are the most common reason for failure in summer sowings. This happens particularly where seed is sown and seed trays kept in a greenhouse. Temperatures should be below 65F. Darkness helps, too. Cover the seed tray with black polythene or kitchen foil, but remove the covering as soon as the seed has come through. This should be within 10 to 14 days.