Upon receiving the seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds, I read the directions which said: Seeds must be stratified to germinate. Stratification was indeed a new term for me!
Enter Google to help me learn that stratifying seeds is to provide cold winter conditions to seeds for Northern zones (we are in Zone 4A) when they are not planted directly in the ground in fall. So I planted the seeds in flats, watered and covered them, and set them in the homesteading fridge for a few weeks in February, 2015. In March, I moved the flats to the grow lights and slowly, over the next few months, the delphiniums grew. Balancing the light levels, air flow, and moisture definitely took more attention than the herbs and greens I start in the spring.
This spring, the delphiniums sprung strong and bloomed blue and bright, adding color, height, and gentle drama to the gardens. Mitch is pleased with the beautiful blue flowers and I am thrilled with their blue blooms which helped the garden transition from the bold peonies of late spring to the daylily showcase that is about to explode an array of sunbursts over our Plainfield, Vermont homestead.