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Has anyone else started any seeds ? After all it's been 2013 for over 12 hours already!
Yesterday I planted yellow datura (they are so slow for me) and four pack of pansies They'll go outside early if they grow), and four seeds of a Calycanthus bush into a pot outside to stratify. I found a couple odds and ends I should just plant and be done with.
I've never used a heat mat; I use top of fridge, or the upper shelf of my set up which is warm from the lights under it, even though they are fluorescent.
I recycle four packs, six packs, small nursery pots, and use large foil baking pans. The southern states sells all the real stuff pretty cheap.
Wonder how long it would take me to use 1,200 spinach seeds. 3.95 for that pack vs a dollar or so for a pack of 75. EH, I think I'll go big...last year spinach did great!
No seed starting yet but I was thinking just this morning that I should get out my OSP and start them. We have some cuttings that Ric rooted that should be up potted and might be ready to have some cuttings taken from them and started. I tried growing pansies from seed a few years ago and had pretty good success with them. They like a cool dark spot to germinate. We put them under the bed in a back bedroom where it was cool and dark.
Cleaning up the basement area where the lights and shelves are. Rummaging around for containers to winter sow in. One of my neighbors has been down in the dumps for the last few years. I think that getting her involved in the cookie baking and seed starting will continue to be great for both of us. Saturday we start sowing and planning what will go under lights or outdoors. This is a GREAT way to get rid of winter doldrums.
I'm still getting seeds from various sources & they are in the refrig. I am trying to germinate some rare Dorstenia seeds I got on Fleabay and I am moving them from room to room where it is warmest & they get light. Think I will wait til Feb or March to try some of the MG's and definitely start trombone squash in March, giving they an extra 2 months before I plant them out.
Yesterday I put up 4 jugs for wintersow. All Delphinium Magic Fountain. Some of these seeds went under lights also. I seeded a tray of pink, blue, yellow and lime lisianthus also. Saved some of the seed to winter sow later.
Putting together my HGHA plug order and also wanted to remind everyone that Bill(Caladiuims4Less) is running his Classified Add, 15% off for DG Members have to order before the end of the month so check it out soon. Boy he has this really beautiful new white one, think it was called Moonlight.
I saved seeds from the Bonfire Begonias we grew last year. The seeds are just like dust. It will be fun to see if we can get them to germinate.
I love the cream colored marigolds that i get from you each year at the swap Holly. I think that these come from your HGHA order. Today I put out 2 milk containers of Johnny Jump Ups. Indoors I made trays of Salvia Patens Blue Angel, Sweet Pea Pearl Red and Agastache Apache Sunset. I will be gone for at least a week in February and I'm not sure if I can get someone to water them!!!!!
Teri, The cream marigold is one of my favs too. I scatter whatever is left throughout the garden. Sometimes they're the scrawniest we have left, but develop quite well in the garden loam. I really like flowers in the veggie garden, sometimes as a companion planting, some times on a whim. I usually line the brick walkway with Glads, have perm. planting of Juan tulips, boxwoods, and blanket flower by the doors. I want to add dwarf alliums next to the foundation in front. Ric
Geez! I have not even seen this Thread...as always--just looking at the ones I a "watching"...
Sally--You already sowed Daturas????
I know they are slow--but also unpredictable. Sometimes fast--sometimes slow.
Last year I just wanted one of each color. Then when they grew out--they were both purple.
They take up so much room! I really do not like that.
Right now--my light set-up is full of all the Coleus cuttings and AV's. Also 2 trays of Persian Shield
--they rooted very easily--and I was experimenting rooting some Blushing Suzy vine.
Started with 2 6-packs--but so many of them gave up the ghost. Looks like a couple of them made it...
The top shelf had 6 brugs and a couple of CC's on there. Had 2 Fig cuttings that were rooted--but they died.
Anyway--this is about seeds---I have all my seeds and boxes and everything on my DR table.
Need to refresh all my packets and add new seeds I have gathered. Next BIG chore...
I may have to bite the bullet and buy another 3' shop-light set ($40) for the very lowest shelf of my seed set-up.
It will REALLY be warm down there! There is a forced air vent right below it.
I really should try to grow some veggies. Just it never seems worth while. I just run to Richardson Farms and buy what I need.
I will, definitely grow Pickling Cukes again. They did well. Will give Tomatoes one more go--and if I still get that
early blight--that will be it! I will be more smart about my watering, though and will spray with Daconil often.
Will keep looking here--maybe i will get inspired to start some seeds earlier than usual.
Datura has been so s l o w for me I decided to start a week earlier than last year. Yeah big brutes but oh the scent of the yellow ones... I might put two flanking my front door, and use the Brugs next to my bedroom. THe Datura scent wafting into the house, warm late summer evening...ahhhhhh
Better luck if you go with a resistant tomato variety.
OOOh, Holly, is there any way you could order an extra pack or two of those vanilla/cream marigolds on our behalf? Joyanna found them (!) in the HPS catalog, but it was way more seeds than we needed of course. I didn't find enough things in the HPS catalog to justify the shipping cost this year, maybe next year.
I did take advantage of a free shipping offer from Hazzard's recently... no problem making that minimum (I think it was $40) LOL. So I'll have some extra 'Christmas' basil seed to share at the swap, and Joyanna will have some extras also of a couple that she wanted to grow & share.
And I just ordered strawberry seeds (6 kinds! mostly alpines) from The Strawberry Seed Store. I haven't ordered from him before, but I did hear from him when I had a DG article on alpine strawberries, and I was really impressed by his knowledge and his helpfulness, so I'm looking forward to the seeds! Here's Mike's "definitive site on alpine strawberries" -- http://fraisesdesbois.com/
Caladiums from Bill, oh yes, thanks for the reminder!
Just got an email from Santa Rosa. They have extended their 35% off special through Jan. 20. I submitted an order on the 31st and then added 3 more items to it just before midnight. Extending it is dangerous to my wallet... except that these are very nice prices, of course. I ordered from SR for the first time last year, and after the first box they sent I was hooked. Reminds me of the way Bluestone Perennials used to be -- smaller plants at smaller prices, although many of the plants they shipped me last year were big enough to divide when they arrived, making for a nice bonus! Oh, and once you place an order for spring shipping, you can keep adding to that order and only pay one flat rate shipping charge. Dangerous. LOL
No group order (yet) that I know of. You're welcome to "piggyback" onto my order if you just want a few... I can pot them up with mine when Bill sends them out and bring them to the spring swap (I figure we'll get the "southern" MAG swap figured out at the seed swap next month). We could just do a group order and split them up at the swap, but they'll give more of a show if started sooner.
I'll pot up a few extras for anyone who asks, but I don't want to get into potting up dozens of them for an "official" group order, as we're hoping to have lots of extra seedlings to bring then also.
I have not decided what colors i would like. I would not need more that maybe 6.
Can I let you know? Do you have a deadline?
Are you ordering a mix or specific colors?
I am not too keen on the spotted of flecked colors. I like the red/green and the white with the green veins.
Have to look at the site again and see what else catches my eye.
I have never grown them in containers--but i DO like the look...
Yes, you can let me know. Deadline is the sale deadline, by the end of the month, as Bill is usually understanding about additions. I haven't ordered yet, still contemplating. I do like some of the mixes this year... and I think we have nearly opposing preferences, as I like the freckled ones best! Some, like 'Gingerland', really have to be seen in person to be appreciated.
I am mostly familiar to the Caladiums we get in at HD.
I know one I do not care for--the pink one. Again--probably an opposite to your likes--
as i am sure Joyanna will love anything pink.
--Beings Bill advertises his bulbs as "colossal"--have you had experience with these growing even bigger
after the first year? Usually, Caladium bulbs increase in size each year. Right?
--Do you plant them way ahead if time--as I know they take a long time to surface once planted?
They also need a very warm spot.
I can imagine I would plant some of these beauties here and there in my beds.
I DO love them! Morning sun should be OK. In y front bed, which faces N., it is quite cool and wet.
(leaking gutters)---That is where i have planted them before...
I overwintered some caladiums this year, I did not tag them or organize them by color though. I threw them in a burlap bag with some pete moss in the garage. I hope they will make it through, the garage is usually closed and never freezes. The only other concern I should have I suppose is them drying out, which I will check on shortly. I'm sure I could do a quick google on when to start them but it helps to hear it from real people.
Also, I tried to overwinter geraniums this year. After some research i went with the bare root method in paper grocery bags. Apparently I need to soak them in water at some point mid winter so they don't dry out either. It is always an experiment.
I finally found a way to overwinter my bulbs without them drying out. One of the DG members recommended that you tie them in plastic bags so that they can't dry out. This is the first year that they didn't. I was worried that they might somehow rot from too much moisture. That didn't happen either. Sometimes I think that luck is involved also.
Here is what I know about Caladiums. Does not mean it is carved in stone.
--Caladium corms take a long time to germinate/grow.
--Corms need to be planted all the way to the bottom of the pot you use--bumpy, concave, side up.
--There may be many 'eyes" on the concave side. Each will grow out one stem.
You have the option of having MANY stems (smaller/shorter) or fewer stems (taller and more robust).
Many shorter stems=> allow all the 'eyes" to grow out. Fewer, bigger stems=> selectively remove some of the "eyes".
--They need bottom heat if started indoors. Light is not necessary in this germination stage.
Once the leaves appear--put in some indirect light and keep damp until planting outside.
--If planted outdoors--they will not germinate/start growing until the temps are about 80-85 degrees,
so starting them indoors will greatly extend the season for them.
--The "blooms"/spathes Caladiums produce are of NO consequence. If you like them--keep them a while,
but they will darken and look yukky after a week or so. Then you will want to remove them anyway.
--Remove spent leaves as they will be limp and rotten looking...just for a cleaner look.
--Dig up corms after flowering is done. Leave some soil attached to keep them a bit protected.
Store i n a cool, dry place--like any other dormant bulbs. Here's what I do with all my dormant bulbs
(Cannas, Dahlias, etc.). As spring approaches--I soray the masses of saved bulbs with a little bit of water
to, kind of,start "waking them up".
One grower I worked for had long tables in the GH covered with a very thick felt which hung all the way down to the floor.
Ontop of the heated tables he grew African Violets. The felt was flooded by water and the AV's absorbed it.
Underneath the table--in the same heat and humidity--but in the dark--he had all the planted pots of Cadiums
My experience with overwintering caladium is that the plants were not as large in year 2. I finally decided it wasn't worth the bother, since the new corms were not too pricey and the overwintered ones none too spectacular.
Also, if I recall right, the caladium tubers should not be allowed to get terribly cold during the winter -- ideally, store them where the temperature will not drop below 50 ° F.
I have my caladiums in paper bags, filled with peat moss. They're in the half-basement, which is unheated and stays around 55-60F*. It didn't even occur to me to separate them by color before putting them in the bags. :-/
I started them indoors last year around April-ish? I didn't provide any bottom heat, because I didn't have a heat mat (and still don't!). They eventually grew well, although it took a good 3-4 weeks for them to poke through. I think using Al's (tapla) 5:1:1 mix helped prevent them from rotting in the pots.
I got the caladiums from Bill last year and was really impressed with their quality. They grew very full and lush.
But I don't think I dried them out enough before putting them in storage. I read that you were actually supposed to dry the bulbs in the sun. I think I also waited too long to pull them out of the pots; the bulbs were kinda mushy by the time I got to them in November.
I don't think I'll be ordering any more this year, though. I really love caladiums - maybe even more than coleus - but it was just too much to have to get 10-12 of each kind, when what I really wanted was a variety.
I did check on them and they seem to be fine in the garage for now. I might move them considering the winter isn't over yet.
Thanks for the advice on starting them ssg. It will be interesting. Last year I planted a Costcobag of caladiums they didn't come up until lateeee summer. I admit I was a little late getting the bulbs in the ground. It was fun though since I forgot where I put them.
I bought a dozen or so at the end of summer last year when they were on sale for $1 each. Figured I had nothing to lose, love those sales.
SSG, check out his collections this year... I don't remember his doing this many collections in the past. I just remember the "assortments" mostly. (Maybe I didn't look in the right place.) The pink collection for example has 4 bulbs each of 4 varieties for $18.95 (minus discount & plus shipping). 4 bulbs makes a nice clump or pot.
Given Bill's care in choosing shipping times, I do think they're sensitive to cold, maybe even to temps that aren't quite down to freezing. Cool basement is probably best.
UMD -- that's what I don't like about caladiums -- you have to get them started early -- or else wait a LONG time for them to grow in the yard because they won't grow until it is quite warm. So that leave an empty space in the yard. And I had a hard time spading them up to overwinter -- I skewered more than I salvaged.
My caladiums seem to diminish each year also. Amaryllises I can plump up, but not caladiums LOL.
Bill's site has wonderful information.
I do pot them up and get them started right away when I get them... Bill won't ship them if he thinks the weather is too cold, but he pretty much tries to get the bulbs out asap in early spring.
My strawberry seeds arrived today. Wow, that's fast! I'd better get cracking this weekend, pot up the amaryllises (I'm really late with this) and get them on the heat mat for a quick start. It's almost time to start things like Torenia on the heat mat... the strawberry seeds will do better at 65-75 according to Mike, so I'll put them one shelf up from the heat mat.
Here is a picture of my setup I got for Christmas. I don't know how much it cost and can't remember the name of the kit but the light is stamped hydrofarm. It is small but has adjustable rope hanging in two different spots to make it easy to adjust up and down. I have also attached an outdoor timer which we use for Xmas lights.
I would certainly buy the next one with a timer or piece one together myself. Its an experiment.
As you can see the only things I have under there are brug cuttings, but it is just the beginning.
Terp, you can find timers at the Home Depot. I bought 2 several years ago mainly for turning lights on and off when I was away from home for a long period of time. I now use one of them for my indoor plants. You plug the power cable of the light into the timer and plug the timer in the wall socket. I find them quite flexible to use, better than the ones that are built into lighting systems.
Must not have hit the Send button I know I already said this.
Gita, I plant my caladium bulbs shallow not deep. Just about and inch under.
Critter, Those pretty Cream Marigolds are plugs that we get from the HGHA and I should have plenty of them at the swap. If you want to look for seeds they are called Sweet Cream we also grew an Orange variety that looked really nice they are Discovery.
Thanks for the heads up in planting Caladiums the regular way.
I really do not know where I learned to plant them all the way to the bottom????
BUT--if you uproot a potted Caladium--the bulb will be at the bottom...So--maybe either works??/
I will be setting down and putting in my caladium order in the next week. I am in the process of putting together my HGHA plant order. I dug out my seeds last week but haven't started any yet. Have to find my OSP. They should be in the upstairs plant room someplace. I was working last week so I didn't get much done but I have a few weeks until the next Temp job starts.
I also want to order some Caladiums--but not a huge amount.
Jill offered that i could "piggy back" on her order. Have to go to the website again and see.
At the most--I would get a mix--as I really do not want 10 of one color.
How are you ordering???? Separate colors--or a mix?
I wonder if we could all swap out different colors at he seed Swap???
Like--if anyone gets 10 of, say, 3 different colors--and someone gets 10 of some other colors--
we could swap out and take 3 of each and trade back. Does this make sense?
Of course--this would require a coordination of who gets what colors.
What do you all think? Or--would this get too complicated????? Gita
Yes Sally, You got them almost right. It's Hobby GreenHouse Assoc. Things aren't looking so good for the OSP (Ornamental Sweet Potatoes) can't seem to find them I did dig them up and one of them was just huge.
UMD_Terp, My HGHA has a group Plug Order each spring. They are very small plants just their true leaves up some not even a true leaf yet. You get hundreds of them for just a few $$. Plants like Mixed Coleus 350 Plugs for just $32. Of course you must buy in bulk so our group divides them I can buy a whole tray for just 1/4 of a tray and other members will pick up the rest.
When you grow OSP in the fall dig them up and if you are lucky you will find potatoes. I save them from year to year and start new plants from the Potatoes. The last few years I haven't done very well with them but in years past I would be able to get tons of starts more than a hundred little plants from just 6 or 7 potatoes.
Holly, I was so excited to dig up the potatoes at the end of the season, but there was nothing but roots in the containers! Did I do something wrong? Is it because I didn't fertilize them enough? The year before, I had huge tubers, although they were a different variety of OSPs.
Gita, I don't think we can divide the caladium bulbs at the seed swap. I don't think Bill ships them unless the local weather has warmed up a bit.
SSG, No you didn't do anything wrong, I don't know why I seem to get some nice potatoes some years and not others. Usually you don't get many of them and they aren't usually large. You can check out this old thread of mine. It is a pretty long thread but you might like to browse thru and look at the pics. It will tell you just how to Propagate them and you can see what the potatoes I started with looked like.
Twice now I have planted a few in the Veggie Garden thinking that the good soil and room to grow would give me a bumper crop but that didn't happen. The OSP are designed to have pretty leaves not to put out potatoes like the regular SP would.
Those big, red potatoes the green OSP makes are delicious to eat. I scrub them clean and
nuke them like I would a reg Sweet Potato and eat them with some butter.
They are amazingly tasty--the color of the flesh is like a Yukon Gold--and the taste is sweet
If I could be where they are talking apart these HUGE planters at some shopping Center--
I would ask for all the potatoes they dig up to take home.
Holly--I think they are more likely to make potatoes if there is ample room in the pot.
If it is too tight--you just get these red roots.
That was why I thought I would get a lot of nice size potatoes when I planted them in the Veggie Garden but I didn't get anything at all. I was surprised at the size of the ones that grew in my deck boxes they are pretty shallow and not that wide. I do grow them in some good sized pots and still didn't get much but this year I did get one really huge potato from the big terra cotta container in the front yard.
I am sure there is I'll find out for you. There is the National Chapter and then there are area chapters. They are really great, you don't need a GH to join many of our members don't have a GH yet and may not be planing on getting one. Some of the Chapters are changing their names to Indoor Gardening, Houseplants and GH Assoc or something like that to encourage new members that have an interest but don't have a GH. Our group has about 6 meetings a year, one is a summer picnic where we do a garden related craft project. Living wreaths, Dish gardens, pottery, garden art. We have a group bus trip to some Public Garden, There are 2 group buys each year one for plants one for GH supplies. We have a Raffle Table at each meeting where members bring in plants that they have propagated, or just need to pass along. You should see some of the plants I get for just a few $$. Oh almost forgot at the regular meetings we have a speaker, topics can be anything from how to propagate begonias, grow tomatoes, heat your GH. Just about any garden related topic. One of our Members did a slide show on the Garden Trip Tour of England.
What's everyone starting to sow under lights indoors and in jugs outside for winter sow. I keep changing my mind about where and when I want to start certain seeds. Maybe I can settle down and follow someone who can make good decisions.
UMD_Terp & Gita, Sorry to say that I checked it out and there is no Official HGHA in Md. Which just means that they aren't listed with the National Chapter. You might find something similar in your area but I couldn't get a contact for it. Check out local Garden Clubs, newspapers and Garden Shows for information.
It does seem to work out pretty well to do "group buy" things along with our scheduled swaps, too.
Speaking of which, anybody who wants more polymer moisture crystals should Dmail me... I did a lot of planting & potting last fall and need to put in another order! Guess I should have gone for the 50 pounder. Maybe this time. LOL
I have more of those Sharpies, too! (industrial extra-permanent black for 75 cents, silver or gold for $1.50)
I'll have to see if there are any good deals on lily bulbs, bare root phlox, whatever to look over during the seed swap...
And I hope people will post on the seed swap thread before placing orders, in case anybody wants just one or two packs of seed from one of the online places... Let's get more bang for our collective shipping buck!
UMD_Terp, If you are interested in starting your own chapter. I can put you in touch with someone with all kinds of info and ideas for starting a new club. Just send me a D-mail if you are seriously interested.
Holly, I would like to take some of the coleus plugs if you place a bulk order. I can propagate just about anything and yet coleus always defeats me. Gita told me the secrete of doing it successfully: cut the tips, put them in dirt and water. Hmmmm,,, sounds easy...
I can't speak for Paul, but if it were me I would be reluctant to get a large group -- because then you have to worry about whether the purchasers are reliable... Back to all the problems that used to exist with co-ops. Plus it makes a huge amount of work for whoever is running this.
I thought Paul was responding to the suggestion of a group purchase of perennials or the like...
Donner I should have Coleus at the Spring Swap. Although you never know especially when you get such small plants. You can loose the whole tray (and I have) very easily. I am not sure who our grower is, but one of the members has a connection and he picks up our plants. They are not shipped to us and we buy these plants by the thousands wholesale. I do know that you can get wholesale plants on line from several growers, but like us you will get several hundred of just one plant. DG used to run great co-ops but they had some problems in the past and I haven't checked out the Co-op Forum and really don't know if they are even having them any more. Also the Coleus Forum used to have info on buying bags of cuttings. Try sticking your cuttings in cups of wet sphagnum moss. Roots really nicely and you get stronger roots than just growing them in water.
I got a good buy on spinach seed at ghe local farm co op store. They have antique jars and sell seed of basic varieties by weight. I got a half oz bloomsdale spinach for 1.29. Thats about ten times more than from rhe packet i looked at. And you need a lot of spinach to have enough for a meal.
I have two seed starting racks. The first one I bought many years ago from Gardener's Supply - I paid a pretty penny for it before I knew any better. When I met Jill, she pointed me to her articles and I put together another one from a chrome 4 rack shelf from Costco, and lights, metal chain, s-hooks, and power strip from HD - very easy, nice, and much cheaper. I haven't started any seeds yet, but I think I'll take sally's cue and get started on some datura seeds tomorrow.
Have lots of things sprouting already. I shouldn't have started my delphiniums in the dark as suggested. Fell over on me before I got them under lights. The Salvia Patens Blue Angel is one of my favorites and is already getting too big. The Lisianthus is doing nothing and probably will stay that way for a while yet. They're sooo slow, but one of my favorites. Some of my Petunias are showing. I just put up 2 more flats of Petunias and I hope that I don't over water them again. Will winter sow all the Verbascum Southern Charm seeds when I receive them. All 5 lighted shelves are filled up and I'm going to resist putting seeds in cups on every window sill. The remainder are going OUTSIDE and that's final (I think).
One of the absolutely easiest plants is a Shifflera Arboricola. It is the one with the smaller leaves--not the big leaves.
It is very tolerant of all situations, can go dry and not complain--is very pretty to look at, etc.
IF you over water it--it will start to drop leaves...How's that for easy? Dry is good.
I have had one for 22 years. It gets too big--and i cut it all back. It re-grows fuller.
Gets too big beffore I bring it inside for the winter---I cut it back...etc...
Very pretty green plant, Gita. Right now I'm really interested in plants that make flowers. By the way, your Brazilian Plume Flower is in an Eastern facing window in a rather cool room and is doing VERY WELL. Can't wait to see it bloom again, probably outdoors when it gets warmer. Your Brug cuttings have lots of leaves and are almost a foot tall!!
Gita, my brazilian plume is doing really well too. I brought it in for the winter and put it in the turret where there are six floor to ceiling windows. It is getting bigger and fuller every day instead of the winter dormancy that I was expecting. The two brug cuttings that you gave me when we got together for brunch at Sally's are leafing out too. The 'Maya' is smaller than the other one that I think you just called 'Pink', but I'm thrilled that I am having some success.
The "Maya" is a bit daintier than the others--until it decides to show off.
See pictures and commentary below...
How many of you remember this?????? Yes! This IS my "Maya"...
Sept. 2009--when she reached 7'x7' and there was NO way I could ever get her in my house for the winter.
I begged Cylburn Arboretum for 2 weeks to come and get it--sent pictures--told them all about brugs, etc.
Finally they agreed and sent a City-sized panel truck to pick her up. I also gave away my big pink "Souvelons" to them.
They barely fit in the truck--the top was all smushed. The driver said: "I have never been this far out before!"
Meaning--all his driving up till then had beenin the City.
The young man who is responsible for the Greenhouses at Cylburn took cuttings and they grew beautifully,
and were sold the in the spring of 2010 at their Market day for $12 each.
I had to go begging for one as my cuttings died over the winter. Of course--the guy gave me one.
I often wonder if they still have it and if they still propagate it.????????
I also wonder how many new people became enamored with a Brugmansia for the first time ever because of my "Maya"??
Cylburn Arboretum grows most of the plants that are destined to be used in all the big events
at City Hall, Receptions, Special visitors and Holidays and the mayor's office.
Rawlings displays many of the plants Cylburn grows. The two are related and both function under
the "Baltimore City Dept. of Recreation and Parks".
Pic. #4-- is the Cylburn Mansion
Pic. #5--Taken in the Rawlings Palm House--a 5 story all glass building. The original section of Rwlings.
Yes Teri, they take at least three weeks. Do not panic until at least a month. Place in warm spot to get started, nothing green will need light for a few weeks at least.
I'm hoping a few more yellow ones sprout for me.
I like to keep the dome over the seedlings until they have at least one set of true leaves (first set are the "nurse leaves" or cotyledons)... but if they get tall enough that the seedlings are touching the plastic, it should come up, or you risk leaf rot. That said, I often leave the lid on with the leaves pressing against it, but with one end lifted a bit to make sure it's not tooo wet. I also put a couple of little ventilation holes, same reason. If you see big droplets of condensation on the inside of the lid/dome/baggie, then it's too wet. A little puff of mist is fine. None, and you should check to see if the potting mix is too dry.
Thanks, Critter. I'm never sure if I need to mist, water, take off the dome, fill the tray more, etc. etc. I treat all the seedlings the same, and I'm sure that's one of my mistakes. I WILL NOT water the petunias as I do the other seedlings. They seem to like it drier.
I've had variable germination from petunias, but I wouldn't call them hard, just variable. Definitely worth a try (if you don't sow them, you definitely won't have baby petunias). I do them the same way I do most seeds, in a little seed starting tray with a lid (aka deli salad container with holes in bottom & top for drainage & ventilation). I transplant to 2" pots when they have a couple sets of true leaves. They can take a while... so go ahead and get them going!
Sally, I checked the flat of datura seeds that I got started last weekend. Imagine my surprise when I saw green through the moisture on the plastic lid. What??? I must have the fastest germinatinig datura seeds in history LOL... On further inspection, I believe they are morning glories seeds that never germinated last year and were still in the soilless mix that I reused for the daturas. They are really leggy though, I'll see if I can rescue them by repotting in the morning. Too funny.
Perhaps the lettuce leaves will shade the pansy seeds... they need dark to germinate, right? I grew some when we first moved here but haven't since... not sure why I haven't, as I do love them, just ran out of room before I got to them I guess.
I saw the most magnificent basket of deep yellow pansies in a bakery/nursery in Delaware Water Gap. The pansies were at least as big as 50 cent pieces. Wish I could find seeds for pansies that color and size.
Thought I would start a Moon Vine seeds early--assuming it would take a while
for them to germinate...HAH! How wrong can I get?
This is ONLY after 10 days--and i did not even soak the seed. Just put 3 of them in this little pot
and put it in the warm glow of my seed lights. It has at least 2 months to go yet before i can put it outside...
Now what? It may grow really big waiting for summer...
I have small trellises--the kind that come in a pot when you buy--say--a Clematis. About 2' tall...
They are made of wood and will work fine. Will pot the Vine up in a 6" pot when it needs to move on.
I have almost never (just once!) had much luck growing a Moon Vine. Loved it, that one time, sitting and watching it open up.
My main concern is that it will be too acclimatized to the indoors to be plopped outside.
The Moon Vine likes a bit of shade--right? How about full AM sun--till 2PM? Then bright shade.
Of course--I could start another couple of seeds later on.
Mine grew in afternoon full sun and did very well. Most of the plants I grow are started too soon and are inside for a long period of time. Just need to wait til it's really warm enough for them to go out.
I will have Moon Vine seeds in my seed box. Not too many--but grab them early...
I put just 3 seeds in each little baggie.
BUT--You can buy a whole Burpee seed envelope for $1.19.
It went up 19 cents from last year...what hasn't???
Sometimes I wonder WHY everyone wants seeds that have been self-gathered, or are
a bit older, at these Swaps--when you can get fresh ones for a dollar???
People can 'borrow' seeds, grow them and then 'return' seeds they have saved to the library. There are people who volunteer some of their garden space and time to grow out seeds of heirlooms or heritage seeds each year to keep these genetic lines available and viable.
Out of the Datura seeds I planted--2 of the purple ones have come up.
Re the Moon Flower--I guess I planted the seeds early because I have not had much luck
planting them directly into the outside pot. Have tried a couple times. Same with Hyacinth Bean.
They both are slow to bloom.
The datura seeds that I got started a few weeks ago have germinated. These are the triple purple/white seeds from Gita that she says is 'Blackberry Currant Swirl". I'm getting ready to move individual seedlings from the flat into 2" pots this morning. It seems I use my kitchen more for mixing dirt and potting/re-potting seeds and plants than I do for cooking LOL.
That 16' kitchen island is the best potting bench ever! Little bar sink on the end, what could be better LOL... I now have 39 little 2" pots of individual datura seedlings potted up, and heading down to the basement to put under the lights on the plant shelf. I also have 5 surprise japanese morning glory seedlings that germinated from being in the reused dirt from last year. I read on-line that you can actually grow them indefinitely indoors if they are in a big pot with some type of trellis. Put all 5 seedlings in a single pot and will see how that works out. If I get lazy and don't want to keep going up and down the stairs, the plant shelf is coming into the dining room next...
Ow, Ow, Ow my toe... I ALWAYS wear shoes because the few tiimes that I don't I step on something, or drop something, or bang into something. I was wearing slippers thinking that I was "done" for the afternoon, and then decided to bring my plant light stand up to the dining room after all. As soon as I started rolling it, a round steel pipe rolled off the top shelf right onto my left foot. What the heck was THAT doing up there??? Sally and Speedie's husband would have seen it, but alas my 5'0" self couldn't. Ow, Ow, Ow...
I'm thinking of getting some Japanese Red Shredded Hige morning glories and other Japanese varieties. The blooms stay open most of the day, they aren't invasive and the leaves are fewer and smaller than most of the others.
Ric and I are still not well and not doing much of anything. He went down yesterday for a few hours and cleaned and potted things in the GH and he has resowed Pansies as the first seeds must have been too old to germinate.
Sally those are the cutest things. I did get so far as getting some dirt into trays but then didn't want to bother with seeds.
Yes, Very punky! All the kids and Grands went snowtubing yesterday and we couldn't go. I did do a little plant shopping on Sat after my Dr. Appt. I'll post pics of the new plants in the Indoor Plant Thread.
Hope all six of my pumpkin peppers seeds grow, and that some of you take a couple.
MORE so hope Ric and Holly keep getting better!
Plant shopped at Homestaed Gardens in Severna Park last week. THeir prices are nuts $$$. Yes, some unique plants that I know from here and wouldn't see else where. Even the clearance plants were too high for me. It's always a lift to look at plants though.
Phoo on feeling punky! We spent far too much of our winter that way, too. Everybody needs to get better by Saturday -- sooner, if possible!
Holly, please tell Ric to SKIP the Pro Mix "deal" -- instead of going to pick up those bags, he should rest up! We will get some another time. Maybe we'll have a "lily bulb sort plus quikcrete project plus Pro Mix group buy opportunity" at our place... April 5 or 6?
We will see, I'll let him post about that. You know Ric hard to keep him down. He had a Dr's Appt this morning and a PT appt this afternoon. So he left here early and won't be back till late. He'll run a few errands and poke around in the Thrift Stores, maybe drop by Jen's house to see how the project at her house is going. Josh and a friend are putting a hole in the back of her fireplace and making it a two way with an opening in the living room and the family room.
So no seeds but here are some nice cuttings Ric took the other day.
Yep, that looks like the elderly one I have upstairs... about time to cut its tips to root them and start the plant over again! Does anybody else do that, or do you just let your cane begonias get tall & woody and, well, cane-y? (I don't know the name of mine, btw, but I think it's one I got from "Begoniacrazii")
I only have 3 begonias. NOT counting the Rex begonias I just got...and one from my neighbor-still growing.
Many Begonias are called "Angel Wing--because many have the same shape leaves.
The Beefsteak one is different.
1--The darker-leafed Angel Wing
2--The Beefsteak Begonia
3--And now the green, spotted one.
Hope this helps you all decide who got which one from me. G.
I was wrong----I actually have two more Begonias--but no cuttings to share.
One is, I believe, what is called an "Eyelash Begonia" (pic #1)
The other one is some other form of Angel Wing...It is from my neighbor. She calls it her
"Spanish Begonia" (pic. #2)--because someone from Spain (I think) brought her a cutting.
I love this one--and will ask my neighbor for another pot of it. It roots very easily.
My big Angel Wing begonia gets a hair-cut every spring before I put it outside.
That is when I have new cuttings to root. Right now--I am all out.
Should have some rooted by the May Plant Swap. G.
That looks very healthy, Paul.
I keep all my houseplants outside in the summer--minding their light requirements.
They love it.
My Angel Wing sits on my front steps, mostly on the bright Northern shade, but catches
some early AM sun as it passes over.
It can acclimatize to brighter light--but not direct afternoon sun.
In brighter light--the colors get more intense.
If your little plant gets a bit leggy, don't be afraid to cut it back and root the cuttings.
So far--it looks great,. You must have it in good indoor light.
I see all your bright windows--and I also see my plant marker still in the pot with my name on it.
Just remembering that an 'ole timer' gardener told me that Valentines Day is the day to put in the first round of peas! Just checked and ground here isn't frozen and just solid enough to walk on without muddy prints...Now where are my seeds!
If you're planting peas, you can try spinach too. A seed starting site that I checked said it germinates well at 50 degree soil temp. actually many cool seeds will eventually germinate according to that site- it just takes them longer.
I plan to try lettuce earlier this year.( I think I usually wait too long).- WHich would mean I could start them indoors any time now.
The ol time gardeners I know in Lucketts always start their peas on St Patricks Day. I'll have to tell them their counterparts in another area go by Valentines Day - I'll see what they have to say about that LOL
lol Terri. Come to think of it one of my legs is longer than the other!
Jill, when I say here I mean I am more an 8a zone and earlier than Sallyg just up the road and definitely Gita. I'm a mile from the Bay makes the difference, and no elevation.
First daffodil blooming today in my yard! Short, fitful dormancy again this year. Garlic up three inches.
Other secret to long pea season is succession planting every two weeks and varieties planted from early to late maturing. The Eastern Shore used to be where Birdseye flash froze all their peas! Or was it Green Giant? (I met the man who was the voice of the Green Giant, Little Oscar, too)
(Where do I learn all these things and why do I remember them?)
OK, St. Pat's it is, then. I've got some odd peas to try this year -- golden and blue ones from Summer Hill Seeds. Have to check those days-to-maturity on my favorite Sugar Snaps, too... wonder if I could get a crop of them into the veggie bed right along where I intend to put tomatoes this year? Even if they weren't quite done when the 'mater plants go in, that would be OK...
Well, I'm going to start some of my seeds this weekend. I've studied all the charts and "destructions" that are on the seed packets, and so, Tomatoes will be the first to start. I have a HUGE CASE OF SPRING FEVER. How very fortunate I am that I have a garden for vegetables - it is my very own!
I'm trying to start seeds that would be interesting to the people that will be coming to the swap in May. I need to have Blushing Susie or African Sunset vines, I'm sure. I bought 5 Vigna Caracalla seeds again. Maybe I'll have luck with them this year. I was successful only once and the blooms and fragrance were heavenly. I have some Agastache Apache Sunset going. Of course I'm struggling with the Lisianthus again (lime, pink, blue, yellow and ivory). Last year I put the vines under lights very early. Needless to say I haven't started them yet because of the vines that I had growing up the walls last year. I'd like to know some of the "wants" for the swap so that I can get them started now. Rushing things, am I?? Oh, Joy...Spring is just around the corner!!
I had one from Roses last year. It looked pretty pitiful when I got it--but it did grow out
nicely. Not too many blooms, though. That was a bummer...It picked up a bit near the end of summer.
I grew it in a pot--so maybe that was the problem.
Yurs looked amazing, Holly. Yours was, most likely, set into a pile of your compost. YUMMM.
Did you gather any seeds from it? I did--you know me--I gather seeds from everything...
I do not have enough to put on my Trade List--but I have enough to give you some--if you want.
I did take some cuttings last fall. There were so many new vines growing out all over the place.
Most of them rooted, but than, over the off and on care I give anything, all but two petered out.
The two are doing well--at least they have a full root system. Not much top growth.
One "runner" on each that I have had to cut back as it wanted to twine around all kinds of things.
Not sure I want to grow it again. There just wasn't enough bloom. I only have 2 pots I could grow it in,
and the one is in sparse AM sun--need something for shade there. Ideas??? something on a small trellis...
The other one will, most likely, have my Moon Vine growing in it. This is a pot by my steel pole in the middle
of my back lawn. The pole holds my laundry lines. I hang my Epis from it every year.
It is always such a priority shuffle in my garden...what to plant where...how to divvy up the space I have...
I have to deny myself things I would like to have--as I have no space.
My pansies are up,lettuce was sown. Just started Beef steak, Linbaum Legacy, a couple cherry tomatoes; Roman and hybrid broccoli, Kolrobi,cabbage,and Brussels sprouts; sweet mix and holy mole peppers; Foxgloves and snapdragons. Turned a dreary day bright! Ric
So right about the effect of sunshine, Coleup. We have an unheated covered deck room that can get really warm and toasty when the sun is shining. Among other things there are 2 anti gravity chairs in there where we snooze and read while bathed in sunshine.
I got most of my herbs started, as well as Holly's Daturas and Castor beans. Ric
I have found that attempting to root Gesneriaceae, the family of streps and A.violets in oasis is not very successful. After 2 months there is not even the slightest nub of a root, it did form a callus but stopped there. My opinion is that the oasis is providing all the necessary moisture and food to sustain the cutting. I have them in a domed propagation container, as recommended, so there is very little or no stress. I moved some to Pro-mix as well as a few A.violets. All are now in the same enviorment and I'll let ya'll know what develops.
Orchidfancy, I must say that I just love our GH. Please follow the link Ric posted so you can see it while he was putting it up. So far it seems to be a good size for us. In another month or so we may just run out of space and have to use back up space in the garage. I have used that area in the past before the GH was put up.
Ric put up a couple of boards up on the support poles he added for extra support, hanging baskets and just this reason.
He has a few flats up there along with that lovely fern. He is down there right now separating a small pot of mondo grass he picked up last fall. He is dividing it into small pieces to propagate it.
I separated a pot of black liriope that I bought last fall just for that purpose and got 12 starts. The dwarf mondo grass I got at a GH meeting I got 12 starts from. The varigated mondo grass I got from the Elizabethan Gardens has not recovered from dormancy well enough to seperate. All 3 pots were just brought into the GH a week ago. All three varieties are good for borders or buffers for beds and the dwarf can be naturalized around stepping stones.
HGTV used to have a show called "A Gardener's Diary". I was really bummed when they cancelled it. The show toured home owner's established gardens. There was one show called "The Mondo Man". Now I think of his amazing garden every time I see or hear about mondo grass. Info about the episode: http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/mondo-man/index.html
Thanks Terri, Very interesting read. I know that Ric and I were impressed with the paths lined with Mondo Grass we have seen while on garden tours but I don't think I ever thought of using it as a lawn replacement. Not here at our house but it would work in areas of my parents yard. Holly
Mondo man, Way Cool! I think the only thing I've ever planted 50,000 of, were geraniums. I'll have to see if they repeat that show. Ric
Not a WS expert--as you all know. BUT--I can tell you that parsley lives through the winter and continues
growing the next year. The only thing--in year #two--it will "bolt" and make seeds.
You can remove this stem(s) to keep it growing. I always grow Flatleaf Parsley.
Does this make it a perennial????? Its a seed i will be starting indoors and potting up outside in the spring.
I may grow it in a bed this year instead in a pot. Should grow better..fuller...be more lush.
Cilantro??? it is so much like Parsley--but i don't know...I don't grow it. Don't like the taste.
Chives are definitely a perennial. I have had a clump of it for years. It slowly grows in size.
Right now--my Chive's clump is already putting out new growth--about 3" tall.
It is right behind all the garlic I planted. In good company...:o)
Chives also bloom, after which the clump seems to decline a bit. Maybe the bloom stems
can be removed to allow it to "produce" better and longer???
AND---Don't forget the Garlic Chives! Definitely a perennial! The spikes are FLAT and taste like garlic.
I have oodles of seed. Can also look around my neighbor's bed--she always has piles of them just coming up.
Sally--Maybe i can pot up some root divisions of my Chives for you. Yes? no?
I would do it right now.
Garlic Chives bloom beautifully--and make a zillion big seeds, which scatter and grow into new chives.
Some Oregano is perennial. It does die back in the winter and then resumes growing the next year.
I had a pot of Greek Oregano I got from Jill. The only one I have grown. Ask her if other oregano are perennial.
PF should also be of help.
Of course--you should be able to find this info also on all packets of seed. Even when, and how, to start it.
I like that i can go out and break off pieces of my fresh parsley. Smells so good!
The more you pick--the more it grows.
I'd do Oregano from a start or a cutting rather than by seed, that way you get a great-tasting cultivar. I am sure I'll be able to get some divisions again this year for those who want it. Donner, if you could remind me before the Spring swap (or any time you happen to swing by), I'd appreciate it!
Chives.. can definitely be winter sown as they "volunteer" with great enthusiasm. I can also dig clumps of 'garlic chives" from the front bed.. I'm sure they're still trying to take over despite my efforts to kill at least some of them off last fall!
Parsley and Cilantro I think I'd treat as half-hardy annuals and wait until late March or early April to "winter" sow them, but somebody else may have more experience with them.
Just so you know, Terp. Most seeds can be winter sown as long as you put the tender ones out much later than the perennials. I'll put my tenders out in a few weeks. If we are going to have a real frost, I throw a blanket over them for the night.
I wintersowed parsley last year with great success. There were 2 milk jugs full of seedlings so I ended up giving away most of them. My wintersown parsley were very healthy and grew really well in my clay (in half- and full-shade).
Parsley, being a biennial, stayed evergreen all winter, and now I'm waiting for them to set seed this year. I'm also WSing more parsley this year, so I'll have them in perpetuity! (I love this herb, if you can't tell!)
I WS'd chives last year, but they took forever to germinate. I ended up forgetting about them, and by the time I noticed the jugs late in the spring, the soil was gross and moldy. I ended up composting the whole thing, even though they'd sprouted well by that point. I'm WSing them again this year using Al's 5:1:1 mix in hopes of preventing that yucky wet soil.
I'm WSing cilantro tomorrow. Well, I guess it's definitely spring-sowing and not WS at this point. :) I'll report back to you with how they do!
My progress so far: I hauled out last year's ungerminated winter sown containers (there were a LOT, maybe just not enough cold after I sowed), made sure they were watered, and put them into the bed in front of the deck rather than on the gravel under it. Maybe something will sprout? Maybe I should take advantage of having ready-to-go containers and oversow with something that will look quite different than last year's seed, so I can tell what I have if I get sprouts...
We've got some cold weather coming again next week, so this weekend is a great time to get those jugs out there!
Ssg do you have any more parsley seeds?? I'm encouraged by your experiences with it. Whenever we buy parsley starts they don't last long. I was told parsley has a hard time in this area for some reason.
Terp, I think I have a teeny bit of parsley seeds left. I'm terribly disorganized with my seeds... :P I could give you the leftover seeds, or you could just take a few starters after they sprout.
Btw, they did much better in the ground than in containers. I kept two in containers and they stayed really small and suffered in the summer heat. The ones in the ground didn't even need to be watered.
One big problem with my in ground parsley- voles just LOVE it.
TOnight, indoors, planted alyssum, celosia, sweet william, tomato (one kind, the Aunt Jewel German) and mexicann tarragon ( a type of marigold)
Jill I had a couple last-year WS pots to restart also, what the hey...
THe flat of four packs that I started for wintersowing a couple weeks ago- are in a loose plastic bag, I can see that a couple on the open end dried out pretty fast. So I guess thats why the closed idea helps out (milk jug, soda bottle)
IF you planted your Parsley in a big pot--and then dug the pot into the bed--as in Brugmansias--
the Voles would not be getting to the roots.
Put a small square of wire mesh over the drain hole so they can't get in the pot.
I am assuming that voles eat up the roots. Right? Or do they eat the parsley itself?
Must never ASSUME---it makes an--"ASS"--out of "U" and ME
Gita, thats a Great idea! Like with other plants---The voles just come up under the plants, eat the roots, and one day you find a totally wilted plant, pick it up to find it detached, no roots, and a hole underneath. They would probably tell me to be glad they do not eat the leaves which is the part I wanted anyway.
I had a couple baby parsleys in the fall, in the dirt, I potted them , so I will screen the drain holes, (plenty of pieces of screening from replacing window screens) and sink it. Same with my new ones, ASS uming my seedlings do ok!
No problem, Donner-Sally (but please do remind me, or I'll get distracted counting lilies and forget you wanted them). And remember, you've been warned about the consequences of letting the garlic chives go to seed... Fortunately, I gave them only a very small area to be thuggish in. I can't just chop back the buds, because the butterflies love the late summer blooms and I can't grudge a monarch any meal it can find before traveling all those miles! Then I *mean* to deadhead but get distracted, and, well, my garlic chives are less like a few clumps and more like an expanding thicket!
Jill, thanks for the warning :-). I didn't know that garlic chives reseeded so aggressively. I will make sure to deadhead them.
In Chinese cooking, garlic chives are used as vegetables in large quantities. Remove the older leaves, cut them info 1' pieces, and saute them with shrimp, thinly shredded meat, or even eggs. Whatever you cook with garlic chives, the key is that its cooking time needs to be very short because garlic chives will cook in just a couple of minutes in high heat. I do not have enough ambition to grow them in such quantities. Will grow a small pot of them for flavoring. Yum!
This morning Mark announced that he wants to start some seeds. He took a pack of Theresa's Italian basil seeds at swap. I'll help him pot them today. Gardening- it's contagious eventually! Only took 23 years.
Sally, I was sitting next to Mark during the flower-bingo game. I think he was surprised at how many he knew, and then I heard him say that he would like to learn more. It made me smile. I often think how nice it would be if Mike shared the gardening interest, maybe one of these years... The one thing that he does like doing is anything that involves heavy equipment. He has been so helpful when it comes to getting dump truck loads of topsoil, compost, and mulch, making paths, and digging holes if the holes need to be big enough to involve a backhoe LOL.
Sorry to hear that Ric. Do you use any kind of bottom heat/heat pad?
If I am recalling correctly, we had to use bottom heat to get our seeds and cuttings to 'take' this early in our commercial size greenhouse that was heated to not go below 50 to 60 degrees at min, (We also rigged a mini-greenhouse humidity enhancing plastic tent over certain cuttings and seedlings that we could also 'mist')
Bottomheat came from a tube arrangement on the benches (like radiant flooring) that circulated hot water produced by an Aquastar instant heater. Wonder if smaller scale recirc pump with water reservoir being an aquarium and heated like one might be cobbled up. Putting trays on strofoam panels or those packing boxes also has helped...like 'hatching chickens' Rig up something smaller til they get bigger. Bottom line hope all your seed starting work can be salvaged by quick action and attention on your part. Sounds like you are on it.
Some seeds just won't budge til soil temp is warm enough for them. Try playing some germinating music for them!!
And remember how much trial and error there was until you got seed starting down in the house or outdoors in milk jugs...If Mother Nature depended on us to plant populate the earth we'd all be doing without.. Just my opinion.
We also didn't sow any of our seeds all at the same time but made successive trays or flatsabout a week apart. say three times, and if one or more batches weren't germinating very well we re-sowed them and pricked out those that did germinate for our own use. As a commercial venture we needed some sort of semi-uniform stock to sell or pot up and grow on.
Even working with plugs or tissue cultue 'starts' there was quite a large variance in plant growth. We didn't use growth regulators to speed up or slow down growth like the big guys do, we just pulled and sold those plants ready for sale and let the rest grow on a bit longer. Hard when you want to plant that front border with annuals and some of them are puny! It is nice to have some back up plants growing in the wings just in case...or to share!
All of my 'tropicals' were 'not ready for sale' rejects!
In case you have hot air heat in the house--with the registers near the floorboards--
you could set up a crate/shelf over them and put your seed trays on that. Nice heat--day and night...
This works really good for me--as my seed growing rack's bottom shelf sits directly above
the heat register under the window. Nice and warm down there. I put my covered/vented plastic trays there,
and the seeds pop up pretty good.
I never planned it this way--it just all happens to be there.
Just took this to show you. These 3 containers of seeds were just started Monday.
Alright. So I have tried my hand at WS a few things. I have some questions and comments.
I opted to use regular potting soil because that is what I had on hand.
I cut slits in the tops and bottoms of my containers for drainage (bottom) and let water evaporate/enter the jub (top).
Here are my questions.
1. I don't need to remove any lids as well do I? The cuts in the containers is sufficient enough?
2. I have placed the containers all over the place. But my main focus was to keep them in filtered morning light (usually under bare or thin shrubs (azaleas).
So now I'm really focusing on trying get as many seeds WS as possible.
Here is what is left:
Canna Patens (packet says scarify)
Red annual surprise mix
Nemophila Maculata (five spot)
Nectaros-Cordum (Mediterranean Bells, Sicilian Honey Lily, Ornamental Onion, Sicilian Garlic)
Yellow Elder & Ferocactus wizenli (barrel cactus)
Not an WS'ing expert here--so just a couple comments...
Think of it this way. If any given flower drops its seeds in the fall and they come up by themselves
the following spring/summer--WS'ing these seems OK. Just imitating Nature...
--Zinnias come up really fast. Easy annuals to grow from seed. I don't think they are suited for WS.
--Same for Marigolds. They are usually started from seed in the spring.
--Sunflowers & Gazania---I think they fall in the same category as above.
--Tomatoes? NO! NO! They are warm weather plants. start indoors.
--Wintersweet--did you drop some seeds in a bed last August? Their seeds do well outside all winter
and come up when they are good and ready in early summer.
I do not know most of the other plants you listed. If they are perennials--you can WS, just may not get bloom the 1st year.
That is normal. There may be some exceptions...
Re the lids----what containers are you using? If it is a jar- then removing the lid would be too much.
If it is a soda/milk bottle--removing the cap is standard practice, I believe.
Slits may work on the bottom for drainage--but not so well at the top for ventilation.
OK! I am sure someone with more experience will jump in and give you the facts...
I always remove the lids. I guess it could be bad if they're drying out too fast, but good to catch more more of the moisture when it rains. Never had a problem with drying out unless we had an early hot dry spell. I just turn the hose on them if this happens.
Paul, I think all bottle caps are supposed to be removed. But the top of the cut-off portion of bottles and gallon jugs is supposed to stay on to provide extra protection from frost. The top also acts like a humidity dome, I've been told.
If you're using something with a flat top, like a large salad container, I was told to cut slits and holes on the lids to allow rain to penetrate (and to let some moisture escape).
Last year, the lids/tops were helpful in protecting tender seedlings that sprouted way too early.
Paul, sounds like you've been busy! Hope you have a lot of success with all of those containers. I've been using the disposable aluminum baking pans with plastic lids - I like the 5"x7" and 8"x8" sizes. I use a shish-ka-bob skewer to poke a few holes in the bottom and in the lid. I just heat it over a flame for a few seconds to make it easy to pierce the plastic. I've also just been leaving the lid on. Trial and error on what works best...
More seed starting today for me:
Aquilegia 'Lime Sorbet', 'Pink Perfection', and 'Dorothy Rose'
Viola 'Freckles' and 'Dark Freckles'
Hollyhock 'Summer Carnival', and 'noid dark pink'
I checked on Winter sown containers made up on 18 Feb - no germination yet...
Gita, thanks for the info. This is another sowing of the seed packets from that wonderful organized seed box of yours. The majority of the seeds that I've got going this winter are from you - acquilegias, digitalis, and now this african foxglove. I think you have a "tall" ageratum in there - Jill and I saw these in a lot of the display gardens at the Philadelphia Flower show. It was the first time I saw them growing, and I would love to get a packet or two from you next time I see you if you still have some. left.
I do not, Teri- I have not grown them in a few years--and, hence, they have stoppped coming up on their own.
They always self-seeded...I had so many! I would dig them up and move the seedlings around.
They looked just like rwegular Ageratums--not any deeper blue or aanything...
I think the picture I have on my envelope is not from my garden--but from a seed catalog.
So--mine may be pretty common.
I found one little baggy of it and sprinkled it in my front bed--in case some of them come up.
Do you know if the ones you saw were a particular variety? Maybe I could just get a seed packet
and start them all over again...
Sorry! I will go see in 15 minutes (I get off) if they have any tall kind for sale.
No worries, I'm pretty sure I have a packet of them in my "stash" from last year's swap, with some other lovelies I didn't quite get to, and I'll share... after seeing them in the back of so many border plantings, I'm with Terri -- they're a must-grow this year!
Gita, my recollection is that yours are taller than the "bedding" type ageratums, the ones I always see for sale with the other 6 inch annuals. I'm not a fan of the short ones, for whatever reason, but these tall ones are another story! I guess I'm the same with salvia... pretty much love all of them *except* the short annual "bedding" varieties. No wonder I always "need" so much alyssum to fill in!
I found Sunshine Girl's seeds yesterday and realized she did not do a very good job of handing around her special packets of "rainbow" flowers (short zinnias and an alyssum mix). I hope some folks got them, anyway! I figured they'd even be good for direct sowing in a container, so maybe she can share them with some neighborhood friends also... we'll try to "winter sow" some at the end of the month, too.
I finally got some pepper seeds soaked & sowed yesterday... on the heat mat now. 4 seed starting shelves are cleared off and wiped down, too. So I'm officially underway, even if I am a good month late in starting this year!
Poor Joyanna----she was probably all gung-ho to be a "big girl" and trade/share her seeds--
but she is only 3+ (?)--and all those adults had to be overwhenming...
I did take one of her packets and gave her a short, pink Zinnias packet in return.
I think she could not have cared less...
She may say "Yes! to you--but that is at home...Actually doing it--is another thing...
However--the "seed is planted" in her mind--and that is good.
As for the Ageratum--I suppose you can call them "invasive" as they drip their dust-like seeds
and they come up the next year. They are like seeds of the Forgrt-Me-Nots---all chaff.
Since I usually grew them in the same small, round bed up front--They really did not spread
past the bed--as the rest is all lawn.
I stopped by my favorite Nursery today ("Md. Flower and Foliage") to see what they had already.
Well--the floor in the GH was awash with Pansies and Violas. SO beautiful!
Round, 4" pots--$1 each. You pick the colors...Ended getting 24 of them.
Now to go out and plant them in the small, round bed on the front lawn--where the KK Hibiscus is.
Will have enough to plant along the edge of the small, front bed by my front door.
Richardson Farms had pretty Primroses--3/$5. Was gonna get 3--but then went to the Greenhouses...
Lookie--and drool...Happy--see your rock on the right? It is waiting for a special place--somewhere...
She did pretty well, considering, and I handed out a couple at the end to folks whom she'd missed. But I know she & I both missed a few people.
Gita, you couldn't be more wrong about her caring less about those zinnia seeds! She was so proud of them. I asked her later if she got any special seeds to plant this spring, and she said "Yes! Look at what Aunt Gita had for me! See, they are zinnia seeds! And they're pink!!" (I swear, I am not making this up to make you smile; she knew exactly what they were and where they came from, and she is going to plant them in her fairy garden.)
We got seeds from her and I tried very hard to give her one of the birds I brought for the gift table. She didn't like one of the colors maybe a bit of yellow on the pink bird, so I grabbed the other birds and she told me she liked butterflies. Then stood there looking like she thought I could produce some butterflies for her. It was just so very funny. LOL I just said sorry honey I thought you would like the pink bird that's all I have.
LOL... it's an important distinction, even at her age... if it's dead, she can yank it up and run around the yard waving it like a light saber... if it's dormant, she'd get in big trouble for doing that.
I'm sorry about the butterfly thing, but rest assured you've had "Aunt Holly & Uncle Ric" nailed for quite some time. That's why she was so sure you could conjure up a butterfly for her. (I thought those birds were really sweet, didn't know who'd brought them.)
All of you sure spoil her like crazy... when I caught up to her at the beginning of the seed swap, she was wearing a tiara, cuddling a pink poodle, and peering into a gift bag. I guess that's why I feel I can brag on her with this group -- you're all family, and you dote on her too.
Back to the seed starting... I realized this morning that one of my heat mats wasn't on, jiggled it, and it started working again. I'm guessing there might be a problem with the cord, as the mat itself seems too simple to malfunction. If it continues to act up, I'm thinking of wiring a new cord & plug onto it, pretty close to the mat, and using plenty of electrical tape (and maybe also silicone?) to seal up the wire nuts making the connection. I'll make sure to use the same or heavier gauge wire. Is this just a Bad Idea?
Good luck Paul. Top of frigerator can work well if you be sure to check them and move to light. Back in preK (before I had kids) I had plants on top of bathroom fixtures...
Mark planted his basil on Saturday- the race is on!!
Gita that wold be smart- reflect the sun back to plants instead of going past them and into the room.
I have heat mats that I never bother with and it doesn't seem to make a difference. Just put out two more jugs containing Fragrant Sweet Peas (Zinfandel) and am soaking 5 Japanese Morning Glory seeds (Red Shredded Hige) to put in cups on the window sill.
Yep, 24/7 warmth will help with germination of peppers, basil, etc. If you have a metal bookshelf, you can put a light bulb (40 to 80 watt) under it and put your seed tray on the shelf above the light for extra warmth. Tomato seeds can germinate in just 2-3 days with heat, but take them off as soon a you see a sprout or they will get beyond leggy.
You can pick up a shop light pretty cheaply, though... regular "cool" fluorescent tubes are just fine for seedlings, no need to pop for fancy grow lights. If you put your seedlings as close as possible to the light (adjust as they grow), you'll get really sturdy, stocky little plants.
Basil will germinate without a dome also... when you wet the seed, you'll see that the seed coat swells up like clear jello, and that helps keep the seed moist. (They look like little frog eggs!)
I think using a dome or something to raise the humidity helps the seedlings, though, especially when they're small (as long as the potting mix isn't too wet). With high humidity to keep leaves & stems hydrated, you don't have to worry about the mix getting just a little too dry between watering, and you're less likely to over-water. Until those little roots grow to fill more of the space in the container, it's easy to add way more water than the plants can take up, and I think that's when you get root rot and damping-off problems.
Sometimes it can be confusing that there are so many ways to do things with seed starting... but it's reassuring also to know that there's no "one true way," and almost anything you try will have a good chance of success. The "Seed Starting 101:" series I wrote describe methods that are pretty tried & true (for me and for others) -- not the only way by any means, but a good place to start if you're new to it or if you've had problems in the past.
I didn't mean to give the impression that the only way to start certain seeds (like basil) was by following the step-by-step in the article. And while basil does have its own built-in mechanism to help the seed retain moisture, I think humidity domes help with most seed starting.
I have some "hoagie containers" I'm using this year for seed starting -- a little taller than the salad containers I've used before, and rectangular rather than square. They seem to fit pretty well on a heat mat or in a 1020 tray. I do have to keep an eye on the pepper seeds I just sowed, because I think I got the potting mix too wet, but I also made the ventilation holes a bit bigger than usual, so it may even out.
Most of what I've sown are slooooowly coming up, the cool night temps in the GH are definitely having an effect. When I get the permanent electric run to the GH, I'll be able to use heat mats. I know how effective bottom heat is. The one commercial GH I worked at our cutting benches were hot water pipes with concrete board for a surface. Ric
Wow, this is my first chance to look at the Mid Atlantic Forum for some months...too many on this particular topic to read today, but want to read maybe this weekend and see what tidbits I can learn from you good folk. I received a box full of seeds on Monday which I haven't yet opened but plan to do this weekend. I started my order looking for two different seeds and ended up totaling a forty four dollar account...wow...so I have a lot of seeds to do something with.
Thank you Sally for starting this thread, and I will return and participate soon...I need all the help I can get because I haven't really done a lot with seeds in the past, but hope to this year.
OK, Ruby, dish -- where did you get those seeds from?
Sowed tomato seeds this afternoon, small rows with different varieties. Last night I quickly sowed a container of my "Carnival Mix" collection, just in case I didn't get back at it soon. Weather permitting, I think I'll try putting some out just as soon as they look big enough (6 weeks from now would be, what -- May Day? that sure wasn't too early last year!). I'll have backups for mid-May. Last year my tomatoes did absolutely nothing, stunted little plants, because it got hot so quickly & so early!
I did some very non-rigorous germination testing on some older seeds where I also had fresher ones available (not that 2008 is exactly "fresh" unless you compare it to 2004!)... I put 1 "old" seed and 1 "less old" one together... If I get "doubles," that means the older seed is still viable. Singles don't tell me anything for sure, but probably it's the newer seed that germinated.
I did plant one hybrid tomato, a few 'Momotaro' seeds that were going to "age out" unless I used them. That's a pink variety from Japan that really was very tasty, although not remarkably more vigorous or more productive than my favorite 'Potato Top', so I didn't grow them again.
I also sowed 'Wild Cherry', because I need to re-establish them in my garden. They usually self-sow, and I love having a few plants in my perennial bed... I don't stake them, just let their vines meander. Those tiny "currant" tomatoes make wonderful garden snacks!
Fermenting also kills pathogens that might be on the seeds. Theresa's mom starts hundreds of tomato seedlings every year, and a few years back she lost most of them just as they were getting their first set of true leaves... verticullum wilt (sp?). She traced the problem to where it started, and they were non-commercial seeds that -- sure enough -- turned out to have not been fermented.
The stuff I put on heat mats would germinate eventually without them, except maybe for a few tropical-ish seeds, but the bottom heat really makes a huge difference in getting quick sprouts. I'm banking on it this year, since I really was delayed in getting the whole process underway!
Terri, my foxglove seeds also germinated in just about 4 - 5 days, a lot sooner than I would have liked. I have moved them to the windowsill in the apartment, hoping the cooler temperature there will prevent them from getting too leggy.
My tomatoes look good, my tiny seeds (sweet william, alyssum, celosia) don't seem to have germinated very well and I am probably drowning the germinated ones, trying to keep the soil moist for those not yet showing. argh!
My Alyssum seeds (from Jill) I WS a few weeks ago have germinated. They are in a 2lb grape container.
I wish I could find a bit brighter spot for the container now--but I know the curious squirrels will
have to immediately investigate it and trash it. Should have sowed them right in the beds...
Right now all 6 of my little WS containers are sitting against the siding on my patio table under the roof.
I don't think they get any sun at all there...;o(
The 4 sparkling water bottles (1qt. size) with Columbines and Blanket Flowers are not showing anything.
It is also time I took out the seeded 6-cell-pack of Marlene's Blue Poppies from my fridge.
I am sort of lost what to do with them next. They are already in soil--so do I just put the cell pack
outside and wait for them to germinate? She said they were annuals. What exposure? Never grew Poppies this way...
Inside--the only seeds that are not up are the black and purple Ornamental Peppers. Wassup?
Everything else is growing well. Daturas are about 3" tall already. The yellow ones came up slower
than the purple ones, but they are now "popping"...
1&2---Here's all my seeds...Left side and right side. Daturas are the big ones in the back.
3--My Moon Vine is growing like crazy! Hardly know what to do with it till it can go out.
The smaller vine is the ONLY surviving cutting I took of the Blushing Suzy vine last fall.
Many of them were growing--but slowly died out. I think I did not water them enough-too hot...maybe...
--Two of my Tomatoes are so-so--barely up. Don't know why so slow. I only planted 4 cells.
Don't want to plant more--I will, maybe, buy one or two Hybrids from Bonnies--or not..
Don't want to deal with the Blight again...may have it anyway--at least I know to spray them w/DACONIL
and not to use the overhead sprinkler to water them. ...
Still waiting to plant all the Romaine Lettuce starts. Too cold to be out--or too wet..
Gita, nice looking seedlings... I'm finding it so satisfying to start the growing process from seeds. There is just something about the whole life cycle and nurturing process that goes into it... I can't claim success yet, but maybe this is the year! I find that I am spending time every day piddling around with them, so I'm already beyond the efforts expended before.
Previous years success has been minimal - just like houseplants, the failures are mostly due to neglect. One year I had success with Jill's heirloom tomato seeds, and another year I had success with Helen Von Stein lamb's ears - which are still going strong in the gardens. Other than that, nahda... Poor little seedlings pooped out from lack of water, too much time on heat mats, left in ws containers well into summer, etc...
Can you define "Piddling Around"??? What is it you "piddle" with?
I "piddle" too--mostly looking around and making sure nothing is going dry.
Today, I better "piddle" with all the plants in the little shelves in my LR and DR.
They can go dry--and i don't know it...Lots of AV's and CC's there...also some Epi cuttings.
They never complain if they go dry. Neither do Begonias or Spider Plants...
Overall--and take this with a grain of salt--I find that some level of neglect is good for plants.
Mostly--it avoids over watering. "Piddling" may lead to too much fussing and worrying.
Know your plants! Not all of them need watering so often. Out of sight--out of mind...
"Piddling Around" - ha ha ha.. It just means that I look at them every day.
First I check to see if anything has germinated - if so, I move the seedlings to individual pots and put them on the plant stand under the lights that are on a timer, then put the container with seeds still ungerminated back on the heat mat.
Next I check the seedlings, streps, avs, ccs, etc... to see if the soil is dry enough to need water.
Lately, I've also been checking for signs of spider mites, and treating if needed. I just treated the night blooming jasmine that Jill gave me by putting it in the shower - I ended up getting in with it, much easier than leaning over the edge to make sure all leaves were sprayed top and bottom LOL. Now I'm seeing signs of what looks like little fleas. On our road trip, Jill told me that they weren't something to really worry about, and that watering from the bottom helps. I finding out that bottom watering is much better that top watering for pretty much everything.
What do you do with the cinnamon? My imagination is imagining all sorts of things - cinnamon sticks stuck into the soil, ground cinnamon sprinkled on the dirt, ground cinnamon mixed in with the peroxide and water... if nothing else, the plants will smell good :)
You are too impatient with your WS seeds...
Just think--when we WS, we are trying to "ompress" the natural time frame of months it would take,
for a naturally dropped seed in the previous fall to germinate-- into just a few weeks.
Some seeds DO germinate rather quickly--and some take their sweet time.
At least that is how I think about it.
BUT--I am NO expert at Winter Sowing...trying it for just the 2nd time ever this year.
So far--of the 4 seeds I WS-ed--the Alyssum has germinated.
Besides, I do everything on a much smaller scale. Four of this...6 of that...two of something else...
However--looks like I will have about 50 Alyssum! Should have sowed the seeds right in the spots
I want them to grow! Lesson learned...Gita
Jill is the WS'ing Pro here--as her what she has to say about it.
No, I don't Sally ..All I got from Brent was two 4" pots of the perennial, blue Salvia.
I still have some seeds from it...
Wish I had some more of hart's clustered VA Bluebells. Mine have all died out...
They were so pretty!!! Anyone still have any to share?????
Going out with a bunch of friends tonight---beer and more beer and whatever else...
it is in a private club. NO! I have absolutely NOTHING green to wear!
Green does not look good on me...clashes with my baby blue eyes...;o)
So far I have about 40 milk jugs of winter sown seeds outside and 4 large shelves of little pots under lights. Getting ready for the swap that will be at Jan's in May. Hopefully, the Winter Sowing will be successful by then so that I'll have enough plants to take. These are some that I have out so far.
MONARDA - DWARF---PETITE WONDER
WHITE SWAN ECHIE
DELPHINIUM DARK BLUE
MIXED LUNA HIBISCUS
AGASTACHE APACHE SUN
DELPHINIUM MAGIC FOUNTAIN CHERRY BLOSSOM
JOHNNY JUMP UPS
LAVENDER, ELLAGANCE SKY
ECHINACEA TOMATO SOUP
ORIENTAL POPPPY VICTORIA LOUISE
ORIENTAL POPPY BEAUTY OF LIVERMORE
FRAGRANT SWEET PEAS ZINFANDEL
FRAGRANT SWEET PEAS PERFUME DELIGHT
SWEET PEA HIGHT SCENT
SALVIA PATENS BLUE ANGEL
RED AND WHITE CYPRESS VINE
There's still plenty of time to put out 20 more jugs, since the weather is still rather cold. I'm not expecting anything more than 50% success.
Wow Roses...that is one heck of a lot of seeds...I guess by the time I get mine planted, I will have a list that long too though.
I still haven't gone all the way back to the beginning of these almost three hundred posts, but at some point will try to. I have come across a new garden term from today's reading though and am sure that it has been discussed already. If someone wouldn't mind please defining fermenting I would love to hear it. Please do so in a nut shull though...very basics. Thanks.
Jill, the only place I could find selling Fire Cracker Begonia seeds was Park Seeds whom I have never bought from before. The box is still sitting unopened on the end of my kitchen counter. Had a much busier weekend than I planned to, so lots didn't get done. I seem to always go in to the weekends believing I will catch up on everything and usually have a long written list of things to do. What happens in reality is after babysitting my grandson three afternoons prior, I am usually so whipped that I am not good for much of anything for a few days and end up either on computer or in front of TV.
I have at least gathered my sowing containers for the seeds. Now need to get some potting soil brought inside and get those babies in it. Before they can be sowed, I need to move the houseplants which are now sitting in front of the plant room window in order for the seedlings to have plenty of light. Can't wait.
I have noticed in the past three or so weeks that the Coleus I kept over winter are all going to town in terms of growth and beauty. So much fun seeing them do that. Will re-post Coleus progress on House Plants thread when I have a chance to get there. I ordered several Coleus varieties of seeds and am anxious to see what they become. Most years I sow at least one packet of Coleus and am much like Terri and love piddling around with them...love to just look upon them and be in awe of what nature does.
Fermenting Tomato seeds is, basically, the process of removing all the Gel from them
and ending up with clean seeds.
Here is an article by "SHOE" from who knows when. Just read it through.
Dave also had an article on it--with pictures. Anyone know how to dig it up?
Horseshoe's Garden Diary: Fermenting Tomato Seeds
Tomato Seed Fermentation
Here we go….!
(1) Pick the tomatoes you want to save seed from. (Note: only save seeds from open-pollinated/non-hybrid plants.) I prefer to use a jar that has a wide mouth, wide enough to get my whole hand inside because it’s easier to mush up the fruit and leaves less mess.
(2) Break the tomatoes in half (or quarters) in order to get your hand and fruit in the jar. Commence to squishin’! Squish all of it… skin, pulp, juice, seeds, etc.
(3) See how the final squished tomatoes look in the jar? Some folks don’t bother adding any extra water to it. I prefer to add water mainly ‘cus I can judge the process more easily (‘tis just a personal preference). I add as much water as there is tomato mush. In other words, if the tomato mush fills the lower two inches of the jar, add enough water to bring it up to four inches.
4) After adding water (if you choose) cover. Here I used a piece of a plastic bag but you can use cheesecloth or other fabric. It is really not necessary to cover at all. However, by covering you keep the knats and flies from hovering around. (It also hides the bouquet of the fermentation process!)
(5) Set your jar aside in a room temperature area (preferably outside). In a day or so (depending on the temperature) you’ll see mold growing on top. Leave it alone. Some folks will stir it up but I don’t see the need. This is an anerobic process and the mold growth on top allows the anerobic bacteria to enjoy their natural habitat.
(6) After a few days (usually 3-5 days after you see the mold growth, again depending on the temperature), you can begin the final process. At this point add water, as much as you like without overflowing, and stir it up. Allow the jar to sit and all the good stuff will settle to the bottom (viable seeds) and the rest will float on top. (I don’t call the floaters “bad stuff”…it’s great to add to your compost or directly to your garden).
(7) At this point you can pour off the floaters, carefully keeping the viable seeds in the bottom of the jar. When the floaters are poured off, add more water, swish it around and again let the jar sit so the seeds sink to the bottom. (This part goes fast, a couple minutes if that long.)
(7a) Repeat the above. Your seeds will now be in clear water, all the “trash” removed, and you only have one step left to perform!
8) I use a strainer for this part. Holding it over a sink (or outdoors) quickly flip the jar of water and seeds over the strainer…the seeds will be washed into the strainer
(9) I gently wipe the strainer, or tap it, to get any excess water off it, then flip it over a paper plate (or waxed paper) and the seeds will fall out. The seeds, being wet, will clump together so use your finger to help separate them. I do this from time to time as they dry otherwise the seeds, when fully dried, will clump together. NOTE: Never let them dry on paper towels, napkins or the like. The seeds will stick to it and you’ll spend the rest of your life pulling a gazillion seeds off the paper
(10) Allow the seeds to dry in an airy place (protected from winds, birds, mice, etc). When fully dry store in paper envelopes (labeled) or in a glass jar. I prefer to do both…put them in coin envelopes and put those in a canning jar and store in the fridge. This will ensure a long storage life.
Hope this has been helpful! If any questions please feel free to holler!
Here is the link to Tomato Seed fermentation by Dave (of DG), WITH pictures...
Ruby, I've ordered from Parks before.. they have neat stuff, and a great catalog for browsing!
Some of my pepper seeds started popping over the weekend, and today I saw a few tomato sprouts (and promptly moved the off the heat mat -- heat is good for quicker sprouting, but if they don't grow on cooler after that they'll get unbelievably leggy!). Need to sow basil next -- I've got my packets sorted out, just need to nuke another container of seed starting mix.
Speaking of which... the one change I have made with regard to moisture crystals is that when I sterilize seed starting mix in the microwave, I now add the crystals after that process. The information I've seen seems to indicate that if & when any degree of toxicity is detected, it's after the moisture crystals have been exposed to high temperatures & UV. So, steaming them in a microwave is probably something to avoid, just in case.
I moisten the mix well (having learned the hard way that it will catch fire if microwaved too dry), put it in a loosely covered container, and microwave on high until I see steam, which usually means 12 or so minutes for my 6? quart container. Then I close the lid on the container and let the steam continue to do its thing for another 10 or 15 minutes. Does a great job of fluffing up that compacted Pro Mix, too!
I don't have the patience to do this for all my seedling trays (pots and 6-pack inserts), but I do it for the little seed starting trays (aka deli containers) as well as for african violet leaf cuttings and so forth.
LOL, my basil better grow fast to catch up! I sowed seeds pretty thickly in the 2 trays I started, so hopefully we'll have plenty for the garden and some to share. I have a couple more varieties I'd like to sow yet (unless somebody else has lemon or lime and wants to trade away a couple little plants?) Oh, and somewhere I have a new packet of 'Cardinal Basil' (one of those ornamentals that's sort of a thai type, the way cinnamon and blue spice are sort of like thai basil)... Unfortunately, it's probably the same "somewhere" as my alpine strawberry seeds, which I suspect were moved around by a certain small child... and if I don't find them soon, they may not germinate well after being stored at house temp. I'll probably find them in the freezer door of the fridge in the garage or something and then feel bad for have suspecting her! (Hey, I wonder if I've actually looked in that fridge? I think I'll go do so now.)
Try putting them in a warm spot until they sprout, Terp! They should pop up in just a few days, then. They do need to stay constantly moist until they germinate -- if you just press them down rather than covering with soil, you can look to see if that seed coating still has its grey/silver frog's-egg appearance.
If you sowed them a week or more ago, you might want to start again, or at least get a seed-starting tray (deli container) going as a backup... Sometimes, if seeds start germinating (even just inside the seed coat) and then dry out, that's it. If you sowed all of them (it happens), LMK what they were and I'll send you some that are either the same kind or similar to replace them... I still need to get those white balloon flower seeds to you, too! Mia culpa.
Darn it! Hmmm, well I did not sow all of them. I believe most of them came from you, lol. I will start over, or start a back-up.
Re: White balloon flower seeds, not to worry. I do recall you wanting a few for yourself, If you want to sow all of them and take what you want that would be fine by me. Otherwise I figured i would just grab them when I picked up the AR lilies and settled up.
I wanted to ask you to look at my 2 last Posts on the CC discussion thread.
I went down "Memory Lane" and posted pictures of plants many of you have,
but from the first years I had them. Mostly 2005 and 2006.
I did not have a digital camera before that--I don't think...so if I had any older pictures,
they would be prints.
OK--Now I have a seed starting question. I wrote to Marlene--but she hasn't answered.
Any of you that got the seeds for her Blue poppy at the swap--WHAT did you do with them?
She told me to seed them in peat pots and put them in the fridge for 2 weeks,
and then plant therm outside.
Mine have now been in the fridge (in soil in a 6-pack--in plastic) for over a month.
I don't know what to do with them next???????
I cannot plant them out yet--as these are annuals, I think.
I suppose I could WS them--but they have already had the wet and cold in the fridge.
Observation from basil seeds. Mark put his in a 3 inch pot, I put mine in a 2 inch that was also shorter. I set both on a shelf where I thought they would be slightly warmed by the lights mounted underneath the shelf. Fluorescent, but you can feel slight warmth, at least sometimes. Well, mine has several sprouts, his has one. so i think the taller pot could not warm to the top the way the smaller one did. I have a nightlight under the tray now so its getting toasty, hope i can push a couple more from his pot..
Datura and 'pumpkin pepper' eggplants are picking up steam and need to up-pot soon. I foresee seedlings in the living room before warm weather gets here!
Moon flower vine Ipomoeae sp? seeds in water today
As with our other offspring, I kinda have to do most of the boring prep myself!!. He is there briefly at the beginning and then comes back later when they 'sprouts' are more active and fun...
My starter pots are in large aluminum disposable pans, and I can prop them up with a 4 watt bulb under the tray...have to check again later , make sure they aren't cookin'. I haven't done this enough to know.
I don't think a 4 watt bulb will cook them, but a thermometer to check is always a good thing. I've read varying advice about exactly what temp = seed death, but it's 90-something for most seeds, and there's no going back from there.
I've used a 60 watt bulb in an "uplight" placed directly under the metal shelf supporting the seed starting tray, and that was definitely helpful. I just like the no-fuss aspect of an "official" heat mat with thermostat, but there are a lot of ways to get a similar effect.
Thank you for the link. I read it all...
Not sure at what stage my attempts are at? I will NOT be upset at all if this does not work.
I fell in love with blue Poppies while visiting my sister in Homer, AK.
We went to an amazing artist's museum--somewhere in the woods--and he also
had the most amazing gardens. That is where i saw the blue Poppy for the first time.
In PF--there are different blue Poppies shown. The one I was given seeds to may not
even be the Himalayan Poppy. She called them "Hungarian" Blue Poppy.
Surely, Hungary has nowhere near the climate as the Himalayas?
Maybe I will have to D-mail Adina Dosan. She lives, kind of, in the same area. Maybe?
I have grown Hungarian Blue poppies. They are a kind of bread poppyseed variety so will grow in our climates. They can be direct sown.
The Himalayan Blue is different and exceptionally difficult to grow. I tried them twice. The second time after starting them in the fridge I got 2 plants. That was a victory in itself! I finally was able to plant one small seedling but it got eaten by something so that was the end of the experiment. I guess we have to live in Washington (the state) to get good results as it has the right climate. But if any of you do have success with the Himalayan please let us know what worked!
It is a good idea to ferment Tomato seeds. They come out totally clean.
Jill just posted, somewhere, that it also kills any pathogens that may be on the seeds.
Also--that they germinate better...May be on this same Thread...
It is no big deal to do it! As you read--Shoe's version does not follow the changing of the water
like the one Dave posted. I suppose--both must work.
And--I never smelled any bad smells while the jar sat around...
I think it's only smelly if you get curious and stir it up during the process. It's not pleasant-looking, though! I used to just stick the little glass or jar on the ledge behind the kitchen sink, where I could keep an eye on it, until DH pointed out just how unappetizing that looked. Usually a layer of "scum" forms on the top, and that blocks any odors that would come from the (anaerobic) fermentation taking place... if you disturb that top layer, though, you're going to smell it, just like cracking open a rotten egg!
I don't grow veggies except for tomatoes and arugula, but I did order 2 different kinds of fennel seeds since we really enjoy it raw in salads or sauteed in various recipes. I tried them once with poor results. recently Gardadore told me that I needed to make a deep furrow, sow the seeds barely covered, then proceed to bring more soil into the furrow as the bulb matures. I'd like to try again, especially when I see what the prices of these in the markets recently.
My friend Irene (Theresa's mom) starts fennel inside, I'm pretty sure... same way she does her onions... sets them out as little bulbs.
Joyanna and I sprouted a bunch of pea seeds last week and planted them out in the bed near the house. We also had some red onion-ettes that we bought at Southern States when we stopped to see the chicks. I've never done this before, but I thought it made sense to sort of plant them along with the peas, figuring that by the time the onions started to grow in earnest the peas would be done. I hoed up a trench maybe 8 inches wide, put a row of peas along one side and a row of onions about 6 inches away. Both will need to be thinned, by half if everything grows. Later in the summer, I'll plant cucumbers and pole beans where the peas were.
I planted my favorite Sugar Snaps as well as a couple rows of the shorter Sugar Ann. I also had some fun ones to try from Summer Hill: "Blue-Podded Pea" (an heirloom variety) and "Golden Snow Pea." We planted the tall vining ones in a pattern: green, blue, green, gold, green, blue... But I also saved out a few seeds of the blue and gold ones to plant by themselves, growing up painted tomato cage supports that I use over a couple of hardy hibiscus. By the time the hibiscus are a foot tall, I think the peas will be done, and hopefully I can save relatively uncrossed seeds from them.
Teri, that may work for fennel once it germinates but I believe we were actually discussing leeks which I do grow that way. I have never grown fennel. I also read somewhere that fennel can be fussy where planted and may not be compatible with certain other vegetables. I will have to check on that. Has anyone grown celeriac? I am trying that for the first time this year but no germination as yet. Any tips on getting that going. It is easy to get confused when all these things do form bulbs of some sort although leek is more like an onion which doesn't get a round bulb.
That is also how they get white asparagus...Cover the stems with soil as it grows...
There is something else that they do that to--but it does not come to mind at the moment.
OH! Leeks, I think...
I sprinkled my Arugula seeds yesterday between my Romaine lettuce starts.
I also got some old Dill seed out and sprinkled that between the rows of
garlic and the other stuff I planted. Those should co-exist pretty well--
Onions/Garlic grow underground--and Dill is a "lofty" herb.
Had a problem with my Flat-leaf parsley germinating. Only ONE did!
Planted a few more seeds of it. Maybe they were/are old too.
If all that fails--I can get a 4" pot of already growing Italian parsley at Richardsons for $2.50.
Need to pot up my Daturas! They are really getting big in the cell packs--still under lights.
Don't know where i will put them after I pot them up.
Melampodiums are doing well--getting good sized. So are the Snapdragons. Not big yet--
but coming along. Still smallish--but then that is how they are...
I am beginning to dread the time when everything has to be potted up.
The way the weather is going--there is little hope for putting them outside now and then.
Went to Walmart today and picked out another Rose. A pink beauty. "Arizona"
I still have the other white one that I bought for my neighbor. "White magic".
Thought she would want 2--NOPE! Just one. So now I have two new roses to find a spot for.
Geez! How long can I be looking at a Rose that only has ONE stem every year?
I am not upset if I have to say "goodby" to one of them I now have. It will be the yellow "Golden Gate'.
Will give me a chance to re-dig that area and add some good stuff there.
It will all work out. It always does... Knowing that makes me less stressed out...
No problem, Gita. I just looked up fennel to satisfy my curiosity and refresh my poor memory. Several sites did say that fennel should not be planted near other plants. Here is a quote from one: "Fennel is known to attract bees, butterflies and birds. Suitable for containers. Fennel should not be planted near almost all plants, as it can inhibit growth, cause bolting, or actually kill other plants." Sounds kind of lethal, doesn't it?! One site said its best companion plant is dill, but another says avoid planting near dill as the plants can cross pollinate creating seeds that don't taste very good! I also learned that it is a bulb that does not grow under the soil but needs to be hilled up to keep it white! Another site said it is not suitable for containers as it gets so big but that a 5 gallon bucket would be suitable for it. It apparently doesn't like to be transplanted so is better started outside. But in my area that is not as practical as it supposedly takes about 100 days to mature. So I leave it to all of you to decide what to do with your fennel seeds! And I look forward to hearing what has worked for you since I also love the taste of it!
Fennel fronds will feed the same swallowtail cats as parsley.
Parsley, I have read the seed does not last long.
I was on another forum and saw a picture of plants in SOLO cups- those plastic 16 oz drink cups everyone uses for parties, and the same cups, of which I have about a hundred that my kid brought home from some unknown activity last year. YAY, the size I need right now for some plants. So glad I saw it as I was about to go buy some nursery pots, cheap yes, but these cups in my basement are ''free.''
I/ve never attempted leeks, Jessica, so I think I thought we were talking about fennel. I'm going to try it with the fennel anyway, since I do want a larger white bulb. I knew that I couldn't be planted near other plants so I started them away. The 5 gallon drum sounds like a good idea, but does this need to be away also?
Most of my seeds are in some sort of disposable plastic or styrofoam drinking cups so that I don't need to do too much transplanting. As I've said before, I can't find room for all the transplants if I start too many flats.
I read that article on fennel as well. I guess you could plant the seeds in trenches but they mention hilling up which is done from on top of the ground. All one can do is try both ways and see what works!
Still need help with my celeriac. Nothing has come up yet in the pots. How long do I need to wait? These were new seeds this year!
Sally, I love the Solo type cups for tomatoes, peppers and eggplants ( I get my 18 oz ones at K-Mart - not the Solo brand which is more expensive . K-Mart does carry Solo brand as well) K-Mart also carries a 16 oz clearer plastic cup I like - not the hard plastic but the softer like the red cups (actually a white color but one can somewhat see through it and watch the root development) so I can cut holes in the bottoms more easily. They come in sets of 16, I think, or 50. They have a sale at our local store - buy one pack, get the next one 1/2 price.
I have Bronze Fennel, I got it because it is so pretty. Haven't harvested it only dug up a few small ones to share. I should have a few for the Spring Swap. It is self seeding in the garden and the plants growing around it don't seem to be having any issues. Oh I hadn't really thought about onions, yet. There is an old thread in the Veggie Gardening Forum about growing onions lots of good info on it. They talked about planting onion sets deep for spring onions and very shallow for onions that you harvest later.
Started more indoor seeds today. Picked up two more packets of Hollyhock 'Summer Carnival' - got one going a few weeks ago and wanted some more. Also, had left over packets of vine seeds from 2-3 years ago. Will see if they do anything:
Purple Bell Vine (Rhodochiton astrosanguineus)
Snail Vine (Vigna caracalla)
Royal Plum Cup and Saucer Vine (Cobaea scandens)
Opal Cups (Anoda cristata)
Hardy Passion Flower
So far, no sprouts on the winter sown seeds. Of the indoor seeds, the datura from Gita is doing the best - about 20+ nice little plants. Doing fairly well are the Hollyhock 'Summer Carnival' - 8 nice little plants. Not much luck with the african foxglove - a lot of little spindly seedlings, but looks like only 3 will make it.
For the first time I'm seeing something happening to the Vigna Caracalla!!!! I soaked them in warm water for a whole day, nicked them with a knife and then dunked them in rooting gel. If this doesn't turn out well it'll be my last try.
Teri, oh no - I didn't do anything special to my Vigna Caracalla, sounds like it is difficult and I'm sure to have no luck. Hopefully this time around for you WILL be a success, and then I can try again next year using your lessons learned!
I see tiny sprouts of Blue Poppy seedlings coming up in the peat pots that I had in the fridge for a month.
Brought them up and have them under the, forever growing population of things, under my task lights
on my kitchen counter top.
They are just like little loops of threads. But--they are there!!!! I am excited...ahem...
Later...There is nothing there to photograph yet...
The little sprouts are microscopic--but they are all there...G.
Roses---I bought 2 packaged Roses at Walmart--"Arizona" and "White magic"
They are only $4.67...I am sure these are the Out-of-patent roses. But--for that price...
Still have to plant them. This weather is not too conductive to digging and planting...
I thought this would be a good time--again--to post my Poem I wrote way back in 2003.
That year--like this--Spring just did not want to come...we also had snow...
So--ENJOY!!! minus the pretty font I have it saved in.+
I did ferment my seeds from Limbaugh's Legacy Potato Top tomatoes, and I swear I got 100% germination. I should have some for the swap. This is one tasty heirloom and lasted nearly the whole season. I have almost everything I sowed coming up. Some things I've resown after a very low % germination. One that comes to mind is Datura, but I've no idea how old the seed was. I have cut some of our fennel for kitchen use, but net a lot. It seems that somehow I always miss the seed. I also like to keep a little in water by the sink to use as a garnish. I did resow my pansies on Feb.3rd, They are growing but I haven't been impressed. Next year I'll probably sow them about Christmas.
if you got your datura seeds from my box--they are a couple years old.
The yellow ones may be from 2010 or even 2009. The purple ones--I can send you some from
last year. Datura seeds are supposed to stay viable for quite a while--but that may be if they are
buried in the beds somewhere...so I have read...somewhere..
However--I planted the same seeds--and they all germinated. The yellows took forever--
but are now up and growing now. They all are now really big and need to be potted up.
They are in cell-packs--so there is enough room for them to grow a bit longer.
LLPT tomatoes did taste VERY good- but I only got to taste very few, last year. It may not be the best grower down here in my 'hot' southern -LOL- garden. Or it could have been a bad year, or bad location. My veg garden is so small and choices are limited.
I have too many 'Aunt Jewels German beefsteaks' growing , they came from Carolina. And Cherokee Purple did VERY well here.
I have never gotten pansies to sprout- need dark-- and I've decided to just buy them LOL
I have extra Yellow Datura this year too! But I might try extra hard to make room.
Gita Yes, they are your seeds but I have several packets so if I get just a few from each packet to germinate I will have plenty and I think that one of the packets were last years seeds. I don't think there is a need for you to send more. Thank you for the offer.
Coleup, thanks for watching the thread lenght but I have a favor to ask.
Can we please continue at "blue spiral"s thread? . She had dmailed ma asking for a continuation and I didn't quite get to it.. It is here:
It really NEEDS to get above freezing soon, for my newly-potted up seedlings are basically steroidal and my whole living room (I don't have a rec room or dining room) is now a greenhouse.
The zucchini are string to bloom, and the doggone Morning Glories are doing their best to grow into the crevices in the panelling...yikes!
I am trying to give them a walk every day to our cold frame, but jeese, it is very hard to do as the consistency is off - yesterday it was fine, but today it is Winter again.
I do see that my ornamental Plum tree has a ton of buds on it today.
I am so excited, I saved Bonfire Begonia seeds last fall and they are germinating. If they do well I will make sure to get plenty of seeds for next years seed swap. On second thought if they do well I will have plenty to give away at the spring plant swap and you all can collect your own seeds. LOL
Sorry Gita, I don't have any pictures of mine from last year but they are really pretty. Tried to put in a link but it didn't work. Just search Bonfire Begonia there is a page with beautiful images of them.
There must be so many kinds of Begonias! Overall. a most beautiful plant!
I have never forgotten this one i saw on my trip to latvia--casually hanging on a fence
in a small town we were passing through. Anyone might know the mane of it???
The leaves look very similar to the Binfire's...