My first autumn sown seedlings have sprung! G. equitans and G. gueinzii both have around 5 that have surfaced. They are white at the moment, as I had placed sheets of paper over them to stop them from drying out.
For the last week at least they have been under another box perhaps giving more darkness, bot not totally blocked from the light as they are sat in a long vegetable produce box with stacking corners.
I used a mix of gritty soil with some wood ash and more than 50% leaf compost. The pots used are normal 14cm or near diameter, depth standard around 12cm. The mixture was moist to start with, I gently flattened and firmed the tops and sowed 15 seeds (25 in some where I have more seeds) and kept 10 of each as an insurance. To cover them I sprinkled well broken leaf compost over just to cover. I then used a fine spray to completely wet the mixture once only.
Now that they are coming through, and the tops are still moist but some are starting to dry slightly, I have given them all a very light spray to let them know they have rain and can grow. Free draining and moist is the key. I have removed the paper but they are still under the other box for a little longer until I see more germinate. I will have to give them more light soon.
They were left on my kitchen floor at temps mostly around 16-18C (61-65F). I was going to leave them there to replicate mild autumn weather in Sth Africa, then if they hadn't germinated I was going to move them to a cold greenhouse in late winter to let them get colder nights. Sth African temperatures will generally be higher than ours, but some areas particularly in the mountains experience lows to -8C at night, with warmer days.
If they all germinate where they are I will leave them there until spring, then move them to the cold greenhouse. If some haven't germinated by late winter I will move those to the greenhouse to experience bigger fluctuations in temperatures.
It would be a good idea for me (when I get around to it) to check each location for each species I am growing, then see if I can find out what temperatures that area generally has. Most of them I think will be adaptable to my conditions anyway, so I don't want them to think they will get special treatment unless they prove to be temperamental!
I sowed them on the 23rd November, and I saw these on 15th December, so it took 3 weeks. I sowed Eucomis vandermerwei seeds at the same time and I have 2 of those through too!
There are 3 G. equitans in this pic, one towards the bottom with a seed head still attached. Two about 1/2" below the label still bent over but with that definite gladiolus seedling appearance.