Growing Tips: Stock
Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Germinates in approximately 14 days with an optimum soil temperature of 70 degrees F. DO NOT cover seed with soil, seed needs light to germinate. Space seed ½ to ¾ inches apart. Ideal spacing for plants in the garden is 8 to 12 inches. Plant height: 12 to 16 inches.
When and where to plant:
In Alaska this slow growing plant should be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost to assure satisfactory summer bloom. Stocks grow best where summers are cool. Fill a container that has drainage holes with sterilized potting soil, sprinkle seed on soil surface, DO NOT cover, seed needs light to germinate, water well for good seed-soil contact. Cover container with clear plastic to reduce evaporation and keep moist. Remove plastic immediately as seedlings start to sprout. From when the seedlings break through the soil until they are transplanted to pots it is recommended that watering be done from below, by setting the container in water until the soil is moist, this reduces the possibility of disease by keeping the tiny stems dry. When seedlings show their first green leaves water from below with a liquid solution of plant food. As soon as the seedlings have 3 or 4 true leaves transplant to individual plastic pots, water with a liquid solution of plant food every two weeks and grow in full sun, with cool nights, 50 to 55 degrees F, until the garden is ready. Select sunny or lightly shaded garden location with moderately rich, well-drained soil, cultivate, enrich with plant food and transplant outdoors after all danger of frost is past.
Keep soil moderately moist and feed with plant food one month after the seedlings are transplanted in the garden. Picking flowers prolongs the blooming season.