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Hello everyone my name is larry and yesterday i planted my first flower garden. I live in the state of SC, which is a great state for gardening compared to my home state of New York. Yesterday i planted five rows of seeds in my garden. The rows are.
1st: Phlox (drummondi)
2nd:Orange California poppy
3rd:Sweet William Double Mixed Colors
4th:Morning Glory (Heavenly Blue)
5th:Morning Glory Scarlet O' Hara
When i planted i did put down at least 3 inches of loamy soil so the plant had enough nutrients to start the growing process because i have clay type soil but my clay soil isnt really that bad. (very small clumps. Almost pebble size). I planted in the evening time so the sun didnt dry the soil out before the seeds could get the water. What i need ya'll help on is tips on how to maintain my seedlings up until their fully mature. Also can you teach me some of the gardening terms that i see you guys use on here a lot. By the way im only 14 so keep that in mind while youre telling me some of these tips. Thanks you. PICTURES COMING SOON
I don't start a lot of plants from seeds but the 1 thing I can recommend is make sure not to overwater them. You can feel the soil with your finger 1" down and if it's dry they need some water, water gently so not to wash away the seeds and if you want to speed up the growth rate you can cut a plastic milk jug in half and create a mini greenhouse with the tops(don't know how your temperature has been there but it just turned cooler up here this week(feels like fall)
Welcome to Daves Garden site and to the joy of growing your own plants to enjoy the beautiful flowers or to eat your veg !!!.
I started gardening with my Dad even younger than you and was so excited when my first seeds popped through the soil,
I would give the advice of constant weeding, BUT make sure you do this after your rows of seeds have germinated so you can learn the difference between the flower seeds and the weed seeds that will also grow on newly cultivated soil.
Water (WHEN) required and even more will be needed once the seeds develope into proper plants, make sure the water reaches the plant root area and not just sprinkled onto the foliage of the plants, I find it best to do this late evening when the sun is cooler or early morning before the soil gets too warm and sun too bright, you will learn the best time to suit your area.
Not too sure what Gardening terms you wish to learn but will give you the things that I had trouble with as a youngster (now an older lady ha, ha, ha)
Making seed drills ( is to use hoe or rake handle and draw this along the soil in a straight line to make a drill (Little indent) the length of the row, this makes a line to drop your seeds into, it also helps to identify the seedlings as they germinate, if it's in a row, dont pull out as a weed, if outwith the row, it's a weed. to get a straight line, I like to use string (a line) you tie one end to a garden cane or stick, and pull the string till taught, then tie this end to another cane, to mark the length of the drill, the line will then be straight, make sure the line is tied about an inch above the soil to help you draw the drill in the soil.
Good idea to mark each end of drill with marker like cane etc so you know where you planted the seeds.
Pricking out / thining out, we sometimes plant our rows of seeds too thickly and they require thining out so the roots have room to grow, you need to place index and next finger either side of seedling and pull out that seedling, most seedlings require a space of about inch or two (once they are large enough to handle, too soon and you might loose some seedlings to weather, accident etc. Some seedlings you can transplant further along the row or elsewhere if your carefull how you lift them at the thining out stage. Most gardeners like to save as many seedlings as they can to fill in gaps in their borders when required
The same method is used IF you grow seeds in a tray of compost and you then have to thin out or grow on into larger pots, This method is done using a blunt pencil, gently lift up the seed and compost from the tray, gently pull apart thelittle seedling one at a time and make a hole in the pot containing compost and place the seedling into the hole, (only hold the seedlings by the first leave and not the stem, the stem id easy damaged and can carry disease at the damaged spot) after you thin out or repot / pot on, you should water well and keep out of direct sun till you feel the seedlings have recovered from shock at being disturbed, usually after a few days.
Niping out the growing tip, this is in some cases the plant requires the leading shoot to be nipped out (between finger and thumb) this will encourage the plant to make NEW side shoots and a bushier plant with several flowering shoots instead of just one tall upright shoot.
Some other things to look out for are insect trouble diseases,
Grey Mold on leaves, Normal cause is over watering or seeds overcrowded, reduce your watering.
Greenfly / blackfly, these are tiny little flies that suck the sap (juice) out of the leaves and this weekens the plants, best treated by spraying with a mixture of dish washing liquid soap and water mixture, spray this onto the plants and underside of the leaves as the spray will either dislodge the flies or the soapy water kills off the flies.
Other garden pests are slugs / snails, earwigs etc, these all come feed at night when the soil is cooler and damper from dew etc, you will see holes eaten either edge of leaf or middle, best to go out evening and hand pick the slugs / snails then I use a bucket of really hot water to drop them in and this is a quick death, there are many chemical sprays you can by but you have to decide if you can manage to pay for this treatment and also do you want to spray these chemicals into the environment as tests have shown that the chemicals we use in the garden are ending up in out waterways as when it rains, these run off and into our waterways, rivers, lakes and anywhere else water reaches the lowest point, so as you begin your gardening
hobby, this is something you should keep in mind, use the chemicals as a very last resort.
Please let us know what other gardening terms you wish to have explained as there are many and it would be better to learn them as you go along than a whole page of stuff you may already know.
Good luck and be sure there will always be someone on the site to help you out, go along to the local library for books on seed growing or beginners gardening, there are many to help you out and you will be surprised at how engrossed these readings become.
All the best for a full flower garden and if at first you dont get it right, just try again and again, no one learned gardening in one season and a handfull of seeds, you learn as you go along/
Thank you for the watering tips. Usually the weather around here is over 80 degrees and 67-70 at night. The "cold days" are like 75-77. No frost since may. However it has been pretty wet around due to all the tropical storms around here(at least 2 days a week), so i find no need to water them And i will definately try that greenhouse trick.
Thank you for ALL your information. I specifically like the tip to keep away bugs cause we sure have a number of them in the back yard. Ill definately keep my eye out for plant diseases and look up on them. I will also do the basic caring to.
Your more than welcome Lary, always does my heart good when I learn that more younger folks are becoming interested in growing things.
Just stick at it and like ALL gardeners, if things go wrong, just read up or ask other Daves friends where it went wrong and how to prevent it happening again, you will be surprised how exciting every new season becomes.
Everyone who has never gardened thinks it is a summer hobby but, believe me, in Autumn when you go on line looking at seed conpanies stuff, ordering catalogues, or just browsing for garden nursery stuff like labels, hand tools etc, you can be sure, gardening is a year round past time and as you go out into the big wide world as you get older, no matter where you are, you can always grow something on a window sill, in a planter, on a balcony or herbs in a kitchen. Just enjoy Lary and keep in touch so we can ALL enjoy your newfound hobby.
Best regards. WeeNel.