When it the best time to plant seeds? I have hyacinth bean seeds and hollyhock seeds. Should I start in pots or in the ground?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Darlene: Hyacinth bean vine (Dolichos lablab) is an annual vine for those of us gardening in Kentucky. It has purple/white flowers with velvety purple bean pods. It is a very fun vine to have in the summer garden. It can climb up to 15’ in one season so make sure you have a fence or trellis for it to grow on. You can plant these seeds outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. You will be safe to plant outdoors the second week of May. If you want to get a jump start on your vines, you can start your seeds indoors now. Soak your seeds in water overnight and then pot them up in a peat-based potting soil. Put them in a space with bright light and keep the soil evenly moist. Collect your seeds each fall so you can enjoy your vine year after year. Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) should also be planted outdoors after the frost-free date has passed. They are biennials, which means they will bloom the second growing season. This year it will concentrate all its energy on producing foliage and establishing a strong root system. You can also start these seed indoors. They should be planted 1/4-1/2 inch deep and 4-6 inches apart. They should germinate in two weeks and will need to be thinned after they are 3-4 inches tall. Hyacinth and hollyhocks want to be planted in full to part sun.