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2014 Seed Starting, Part 3

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

We came from here:


Discussion of seed starting methods, successes and disappointments... Please join in-- the more, the merrier!

Edited to correct link

This message was edited Apr 16, 2014 6:36 PM

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

one of my white swan Echinacea came up in the sprouter , outside , last nights freeze killed it anyway ,, That is not suppose to happen ,,
Neither is me being up at this hour either though ,,oh well
Lettuce sprouted outside during the freeze .
Onions , Kale , Garlic and Leeks,could not care less about the cold , Garnish munchies are easy to grow , I like that . ^_^
A couple hybrid cross Daylilies are sprouted also.
I am so swamped with seeds after this season , I am going to give them all away or donate them and start again ,, well most of the seeds anyway , I will probably end up keeping three tissue boxes full .
Lets see ? That only leaves 2 large coffee cans and about 12 bags full of seeds to donate ,,
Oink , Oink , is me?

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

OK, I'm here!!! Yippee, I getta go outside today!!! Suppose to be about 65* today, the snow went south of us.. Might get some rain this weekend, but atleast the temps will be in the 60s and 70s for thhe next 10 days.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Hahaha... I expected to see green this weekend. Guess what?

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Hey Pfg ,,,
Snowed are you ,
Do you Ski That ...
That is one icy Mother ,,,,,Winter jokes ,,,he he ... good grief ... not that ..
Can't leave without a
oh goodness ,,,, Snow kidding ? yeah well , it's been a long winter ..

Nice pix though ,, lots of green to come ,,
The mean part ,, 72 and sunny today here it was ,,, All a bit of a bad joke ,, weather and the way it plays with us ..

This message was edited Apr 17, 2014 10:25 PM

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Last years White Swan Coneflower , and this years sprouts empty .. same seeds ..
Well a few of these seeds to try later , I kept . My first fail with the sprouter .

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Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

60* and 70*s for the next 7 days...yeah!!! More babies to the greenhouse tomorrow....

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Yes Kathy ; definitely warmer , I am moving sprouters outside to the shade ,, it got too hot ??? Wow the weather . lol it got to 81 here today ..
Sprouts of lots of mostly Butterfly plants happening .. Alfalfa , buckwheat , wild Mustard , yeah well , once a weed fan , always a weed fan , lol
More to come ,

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I started hardening off Lupines, Digitalis and Salvia transylvanica yesterday, and forgot to bring them in at night. Oops! But night temps are supposed to stay above freezing this eek, so it should be OK.

Last fall I took down the covered stand I've used as a cold frame in the past, I need to find a new place for it so I can fix up the bed it was in. That's a chore for next weekend. Meanwhile, there is room in the city to start more annuals, I just have to look through my stash to see what's next.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Still too cold , couple of nice days near 80 degrees but night time there are two 30 degree nights coming this week ,
I will probably lose three zinnia test specimens as the 3 before , and a Salvia planted as a test .
Vegetables are planted lettuce to 28 degree tolerance and such

Zinnia seeds in a Sprouter #1 closed #2 open 3 or 4 days in the sprouter ,mixed with half a foam coffee cup of garden soil (seeds and earth in sprouter )
yes I do everything upside down , look close to center , you can see one germinated sprout

This message was edited Apr 22, 2014 1:51 AM

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(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

We had a beautiful weekend, finally got started on garden cleanup. The plants I left outside Sunday night looked fine in the morning except the Salvia seemed a little limp. Low temp was 33.

The prediction is for a mild week. I was afraid to leave,the plants with no protection at all so I compromised. Before we left, I set up a couple of 16" x 30" grids horizontally, using bamboo stakes to prop them up, and laid frost blanket over them, weighted down with bricks. This is in knew of my raised veggie beds, in quite a lot of sun, and hopefully not too much wind. I hope that's enough!

I also separated Ceratotheca and Ammi Visagna seedlings this weekend. I was worried that I'd waited too long, they looked a little stressed when I was done, but they survived overnight and seemed perkier by the time we left.

I'm caught up for the moment, time to start more annuals :-)

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

My list of annuals gets too long for me sometimes ;
Red Amaranth
Zinnia , I have 800 -1,000 planned and primed
Marigold Sparky
Marigold Crackerjack (already growing
Marigold Aztec ,
Burr Marigold
Variegated Thistle .
Poppies (two types annual growing
Wild mustard
Basil , five or six types
pepper two types so far (growing
Tomatoes One growing ) three or four this year is all
Beans (always three or four
It does not look like much growing , only it gets to be a doing keeping up somtimes

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Last year I sowed my Digitalis in August under some "close knit" plastic flats. I also then sowed hollyhock and pansies. The hollyhocks grew the quickest so they are already in their places in the garden. Next, the Digitalis....I planted a few in their places and some are still in the raised bed, some in the gardens...now the pansies are quite small....the last ones to germinate and grow. The shasta daisies are small as well. All wintered over with no cover...but we did have a mild winter with only a couple of hard freezes. The digitalis are quite large and should be moved into beds or gallon cans until I find places for them.

I find digitalis a bit hard to work with in winter, having lost them for several years in a row. I think they grew better with my "benign neglect", except for watering of course. I will trim the tiny flowers off the pansies and fertilize them and put them in the shade and see if I can improve their growth as they are much smaller than they should be. Hopefully they will hold out until fall.

The lupines, I sowed outside in cell packs. Some did not germinate. I might try to retrieve those seeds and soak them, as I did not do that either. The ones that did are doing well, though they are still small.

The lettuce has been growing outside in small plastic fruit boxes (vented), with paper towel on the bottom so the soil would not leak out. They look a lot better than the year when I sowed them inside, though they are slow to grow, I don't need them yet.

I also have some lettuce sowed outside, uncovered in one of the raised beds (a 4' X 4' "Square Foot Garden"). I have the beets and carrot growing in there as well. I have a cover of Remay over the whole bed, to help shade it from the hot sun, and maybe I can have lettuce with my tomatoes, as it is usually either/or. I was surprised to see the lettuce seedlings as it is iceberg. I thought that they would not go through the winter.

My tomato seelings are still in the basement...the ones I started. I did buy 3 plants and they are in the garden. Last year we had snow on April 15th, so I never know when the weather will do a turnaround. It has been in the 50's and some days even in the 60's, though it was in the 80's in Sacramento. It warmed up last year and then we had snow, but it does not seem likely this year.

Calgary, Canada

What is a Burr Marigold?

Columbus, OH

Bidens, I think.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

CL, Scott Most of the time , if you look it up , you get trifid .
A small marigold you grow in hanging Baskets ,

Celene' yes a Bidens is it's real ID ;

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/55010/ mines smaller usually .

Springfield, OR(Zone 8a)

Evelyn-itg, it sounds as though you do your germinating outside, but still in containers protected by the raised bed? Did I get any of that right? I too am in 8a, but maybe your winters are milder? What sort of temps and rain do you usually get, if I may ask yet another question. lol

Calgary, Canada

Thanks---I know it as Bidens.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Busy week, but short... We're headed out again tomorrow morning.

I can't wait to see how my plants did outdoors under the frost blanket. The cold went on so late this year, and now we're nearly at the end of April... It's already much warmer than when I usually start using the covered stand as a cold frame, and I've just started putting out the hardiest plants. I don't think I need that much protection now. Good thing, because I took the stand down last fall. I'd like to improve the look of the bed where it was, and don't know exactly where else to put it.

So I'm going to try to wing it, using other kinds of shelter against late cold spells. I have brand new (but had them for years) wall-o-waters for the tomatoes, clear corrugated panels for some of the perennials, lots of protective frost covers, and it's not as crowded inside as years past.

Meanwhile, still haven't started lots of the annuals, may end up buying them. Oops! ;-)

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Annuals do take up some time ,, you have it ,or you don't .
Here is;
Lettuce Grand rapids ,leaf second pic
Kale Red Russian first pic
More Zinnia sprouting I planted one of these as a test , if it lives tonight ? I will put them outside as they sprout
Last is one of the Annual Poppy started in the towel cubes

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(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

You're doing great there, Juhur. Congratulations!

I should be doing the same thing, but life has been getting in the way lately, lol... Isn't that what happens to all of us? We get a good start (or maybe not, lol), and then there's a curve or a twist in what's going on around us, and time evaporates.

But plants can be surprisingly forgiving in many instances, and we can pick up our slack and end up pretty well off. Or not...

So I'll just have to see how the next few weeks unfold, and see how much more I can fit in. Meanwhile, I have some wonderful new perennials for my efforts. The Platys are in full bud, blooms not far away. I wonder if I'll get another surprise beauty like last year?

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Juhur...where are you starting your annuals? In ground?

Wow, we got almost an inch of rain yesterday then it turned to snow last night and ended up with 2 1/2". Now they're saying more coming in this weekend...

Still workiing on garden cleanup...guess I'll have to put that off for a few more days now...darn. But the moisture is wanted sooooo........ Maybe I should get caught up on my seedlings and seeding annuals...

Pam... did you ever get your Penstemon palmeri up and growing? I'm soo sad mine didn't make it.. I'll have to check with one of my Nurseries and ask if that's normal. The guy who owns it is an author and collector of native Western Plants. This plant is native to just south of me and thru N.M. and Arizona too. So not sure if it's just short lived or did I do something wrong??? It was looking soo good. Was cleaning up that area yesterday (early) and I didn't find any signs of life where it was....Darn!!! Who knows...I may just buy another one from him...am thinking it was about $5 for a quart pot... And it will give me a chance to pick up a plant that I spied there a couple of years ago...It was a Salvia.. bright true deep red and about 3 foot tall.. He had collected seed and was growing it outback at the nursery to get seed for more plants so he could grow them for sale...

Still have several more days of cleanup in the garden til I can think where I want to do direct sowing and just what it is I want to seed in.... I've got to hurry tho, some still need that cool weather to get some started...(poppies come to mind).

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Kathy I am starting them in the sprouters, Large seeds with a little earth , small seeds in cubes
All in the sprouters in the sun , for warmth loving annuals , Since the sun decided to shine some this year , I thought I would go with it .
1,2, &4 are Zinnia efforts
3 the violets that grow here
Last is a dwarf Daffodil that has been blooming for weeks now

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

A few more the Salvia , Not looking as good as they might , need to feed ..
First is the Lupine (wild Perenne blue ) they did not bloom last year .
After a few weeks ago I am a little slow lately , the trays get to be too much so I go back to the long ago devices and tool ideas
Little containers for sprouting , bottles , upside down salad containers , so forth , this stuff ,as it as easy as kindergarten use ,, Doesn't take any umff to do ..

This message was edited Apr 24, 2014 1:39 PM

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Once again' the zinnia seeds and sprouts in this solar cook sprouter (salad container )
I was planting these outside until it started raining , so I am being a little fixational here ,

Not showing as well they might (me and the Camera ) but there is probably about 300 sprouts in this container , Sun shines on the top and poof , it is 90 to 110 degrees in these sprouters

I got about two dozen planted , Like the Salvia about 39 degrees is as low as they take , bottles and frost blankets for that . It is suppose to be warm for a week or so , hopefully the seedlings will get growing enough to be hardened off to take some weird weather .

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(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Kathy, my P Palmerii looks like it's toast, but so much in the garden is still dormant or close to it, I'll wait and see. The stem is still there, but not sure how well it's attached to the roots.

The 3 Salvia Azurea I bought last year are not showing any growth, but when I tug on a stalk the roots seem firm. We had some low night temps this week, just below freezing, and tonight will be another chilly one. After this, it should start warming up. Then the survivors will start showing themselves.

The Lupines, Salvia transylvanica and Digitalis looked terrific after their week outside under the frost blanket. Very encouraging.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Planted all kinds of plants today , Started some more seeds ,
About 300 to 500 Zinnia Sprouts are now planted , Have another container of sprouts to decide where to plant ..
Re-dug and sand and Graveled a Watermelon ring , then planted 5 seeds as a test .
Half a dozen annual Salvia are planted also ..

Pears trees are blooming , plum trees are not (and should be )

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Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Quote from 13Turtles :
Evelyn - it sounds as though you do your germinating outside, but still in containers protected by the raised bed? Did I get any of that right? I too am in 8a, but maybe your winters are milder? What sort of temps and rain do you usually get, if I may ask yet another question. lol

Turtle ~ It snowed heavily this evening after raining all last night and today. The winter was mild, but spring here is very unpredictable. This fall and winter was very dry with only scant rain or snow....then mild and sunny for most of the winter. We are in extreme drought, so even though we are getting moisture, it will not count, so says the weatherman.

Springfield, OR(Zone 8a)

That's too bad. It does sound a little like here -- except for the two heavy (for here) snow storms we are very short on precipitation, given that we're supposed to be a rainforest. It has rained some lately, kind of like the beginning of fall. ?? And yet my kale is bolting?!

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Turtles...your kale is already bolting? I hope you've been enjoy some of it, I haven't got anything in the ground yet.

Evelyn, we've getting plenty precipitation, I'd send you some but, I'm afraid it wouldn't count..lol. I'd assume every little bit counts.

Ju, it sounds like you've got a Zinnia operation going (300-500), I can just imagine all those cross pollinating surprises you could have next year.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Mipii they usually go back to older varieties when they cross ,

In the meantime ; I am a Zinnia Terrorist , to hybrids ,, Bloomacide !!! he he .

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

LOL... Hybrid Bloomacide Terrorist...then you'll have thousands of heirlooms to sell next summer!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

The ones I have are mostly from last season , those made good seeds , These made larger arrow point seeds that were more visible to me ..
I have a DS bag of last years to plant, now, that I can see the seeds ,
I have more , if these do, more to add to a Robin or the DG bank

Planting Buckwheat and Alfalfa today , watering new plants and seedlings a few days ,
Be watering the green vegetables in a while ..
Butterflies , Bees , and salads , so far ..
I seem to of lost a bunch of plants this winter ,, That part is depressing ,, only another year of possibilities , is delightful ..
If all else fails , we can all always eat the very bland considered weeds ,, Boiled thistle and dandelions , with stinging nettle and Burdock side dishes ,,lol Telling on myself , I am not good with vegetables because of my personal energy factor ... Only I Am Great !!! At the do nothing Herb Weeds ^_^ lol?
I believe I have little Broad Ripple Currant tomato plants sprouting everywhere ,, For third or fourth time They have self sown ,, Energetic little fellows ....

Springfield, OR(Zone 8a)

It's a zinnia's world.

Robin, they're bolting at 4 inches tall, in 40*-50* degree weather, so nope, haven't eaten any kale in months. I have to say I'm a little perplexed, which I suppose means I'm a real gardener.

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

I'm perplexed too, what are you feeding them? Really good stuff I bet, needs a warning on the label...'NOT FOR BOLTING VARIETIES'!

Springfield, OR(Zone 8a)

Good old fashioned Pacific Northwest rain? No, come to think of it, I did add compost in prep for spring planting. These were fall-sown. Oh shoot, I planted my lettuce there too.

Too bad I'm not into creating faerie environments; I could serve a sumptuous meal. One drop of balsamic would be more than enough for all the lettuce.

(Becky), Lipan, TX(Zone 7b)

Oh! I found y'all again.. You were hiding! LOL

Pam, I can't believe you would have to buy any annuals with all that sowing you did!! I have a lot of annuals that came up and I have NO IDEA where to put them!! Most of them I've never grown before so I guess I'm worried I'll give them the wrong environment. Orlaya grandiflora is one of them, seņora zinnia, rudbeckia double gold, cypress vine.. All winter sowed and dying to find a permanent home! LOL

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Springfield, OR(Zone 8a)

When folk talk about winter sowing, does this refer to outdoors in containers? I'm getting complaints about indoor sowing just with tomatoes, there's no way I could sow desired annuals too. I have basement envy, but maybe, with our *usual* mild winters I could get a start.
Thanks for any insight.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Yes 13 Turtles ; winter Sowing is outdoors in containers ,I am not real good at it as far as results myself . but , it works with lots of plants .
Annuals , when I have enough seeds ( in case of ?) I just plain old sprout and plant , it works for me ..
Bunches and more to go ..

(Becky), Lipan, TX(Zone 7b)

13Turtles, yes winter sowing is when you sow your seeds outdoors during winter, in a container that allows air, water and light to get in. They germinate when Mother Nature tells them to and then you have nice plants without having to sacrifice all the indoor space. This was my first year and I had more than half germinate. I'm up to 32 out of 59 jugs. Not bad if you ask me, now I'm hooked! Here's a link to the WS forums:


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