Here goes... Pretreatment: Starting the first seeds for 2013

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

In the last 2 years I've been on DG, I have learned half a lifetime's worth of seed starting techniques. I've had great success with the Deno Method, also called the baggie method, putting the seeds in damp folded paper towels inside ziplocks, then either chilling the seeds or not, depending on individual needs. Since I'm leaving Friday for 2 weeks, it's good timing to get started on the first batch of perennials, the ones that take the longest to germinate. The house is closed for the winter so Winter Sowing is not an option, and I have limited space in my city apartment. Deno is perfect.

Here's my list, after searching various sources and my past records:

Long Cold:
Agastache Cana - C, germ slow
Aquilegia: C, could be several months
Eupatorium auromatica Joicus Variegated: C 8-10 wks, switch to W to germ in 5-7d
Scabiosa ochroleuca: C irreg, slow, could be several months

Long Warm:
Astrantia- W 2-4 wks,
Alchemilla: W 2-4 wks, then Freeze 4 wks, move to frig to germ
Eryngium giganteum: W 2-4weeks, Freeze 4-6 wks, move to frig to germ
Helianthus: C 12 wks, W for germ.
Penstemon Palmerii: W fresh seed, C saved seed, 8 wks
Salvia Azurea- W, slow

I'll be keeping some seeds untreated for backup in case, and to try out other methods and see how they compare.
All input is most welcome from anyone with different ideas and experiences.



(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Here are the links to my main sources:
Contains a synopsis of and links to the works of Norman Deno, as well as a detailed database.

Another good source, extremely extensive database:

One more:

I also keep a garden journal of my own efforts and results, or lack of them, and a file that I add to whenever I see a good tip. I have charts, lists, etc.

Fabens, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks for this information I know I will find it very useful.

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

Hi Pam,
Well, I already have hundreds of seeds in seed trays. First I check online for information on individual seeds and bag them as Fall, Spring, in trays and in the garden. My basic method is storing all seed in the frig. then, in Fall, putting them in cell trays on a heat pad w/humidity domes for a few weeks. I remove any that germinate immediately to 4' pots. Then the trays go out to the greenhouse for a few weeks and then back on the heat. After that I move them to the greenhouse permanently. Sometimes I'll get germination out of the slow pokes that way. I usually keep some back-up seed too. That way I can try again in Spring if they don't go. I wish I could do more outside - but the birds are ravenous in my yard. I have crazy daisy, gaillardia, salvia pratensis, salvia sclarea, genetian sage, veronica spicata, hardenbergia, crotillaria, stokesia alba, penstemon, and echium wildprettii and a few others that have already sprouted! If I have too much success I'm going to have to sell some at the Farmer's Market again this year, LOL.

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(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Lucky you to have a greenhouse! Also zone 9b is really different from 5b, although it sounds like you have your own challenges in addition to weather. That's quite a success rate... Great looking stand! I hope you make back some of your expenses!

My seedlings can't go outside before March 30, which is when we plan to re-open the house. It still gets pretty cold then, daffodils are just beginning to show green, so the hardiest ones will get hardened off in a mini greenhouse at first. Then it's a steady pipeline off seedlings getting pushed from the house to that, then under frost blankets, then finally into the garden with no protection by late May/early June. By then DH is very happy to get the plants out of his way!

Holly Springs, NC(Zone 7b)

The books of Norman Deno are in the Public Domain so they are free for download.

Seed germination, theory and practice

First supplement to the second edition of Seed germination theory and practice

Second supplement to Seed germination theory and practice

If these links fail, go to the USDA National Agricultural Library Digital Collections and search for Author 'Deno, N.C.'

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

lanakia are these files only available as a download?

Holly Springs, NC(Zone 7b)

The books aren't printed anymore, so you either have to find a copy available on ebay or such, or download them. They are PDF documents, so you could print them but the main book is about 250 pages.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

lol..yikes..250 pages. I don't have a printer so that leaves me out...will look at ebay. Was hoping it was available to be opened and looked at as reference material but I guessed wrong.

Holly Springs, NC(Zone 7b)

You can only open it if you download it. If you'll pay the postage, I can print it for you.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Sure, that'[s a wonderful offer, Thanks. Any idea what postage might run, shipping the cheapest way? Just a What a great idea to include in my Gardening Library. One day I may have to get some pix of all the books I

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Holly Springs, NC(Zone 7b)

Looks like it'll be $5.15. Let me know if that's what you want to do and I'll get it printed and out this week. It'll make for great reading in between the holiday hubbub!

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Oh wonderful, should I ship you a check?

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I got back Thursday night, and went straight to my baggies. To my amazement, I had some sprouts! And 2 out of 3 were huge surprises.

I had potting mix but no seed starting, so I filled 4" pots 2/3 with what I had, then sifted the big particles out and filled another 1/2" or so, and kept some to add after planting if necessary. I mixed 10:1 water:peroxide and added 1 drop of Superthrive. Once planted I put the pots in a propagator to make sure the top of the soil doesn't dry out, and have misted every day at least a couple of times. So far, they are doing well.

The Salvia was not a surprise; Clothier said 2 weeks, and 2 weeks it was, but the sprouts were 1-2" long. They were also embedded in the paper towels. I extricated some, others I cut apart and planted with the paper, sticking a pencil down into the soil to make the hole, then gently nudging the root down. Some broke, I ended up with 10. Plenty.
The Campanula also had germinated enthusiastically, much smaller, and also somewhat embedded. I separated what I could, then planted small bunches.
The Alchemilla babies were tiny, again growing into the paper. Again, I cut sections apart but this time laid them on top of the soil and sprinkled enough sifted mix to just cover all but the longest ones. Today I can see 11.

Of their rest, Here are the details:

Nothing happening yet:
Agastache Bolero
Aquilegia Nora Barlow
Aquilegia Maggie Mae
Helianthus Lemon Queen- W 2 wks, then moved to C
Penstemon palmerii

Astrantia 'Giant White'
Eryngium Miss Willmott's Ghost
Salvia Azurea
Scabiosa white- C 2wks, then moved to W

That's it for now...


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Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Just started a few goodies today, more tomorrow, just inpots with my owm mix of peat & perelite, then top off with vermiculite. Will be doing some deno later but just had to get some seeds

Pam hope vacation was great!

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Back 3 days, already feel like, 'what vacation?' Actually it was very nice, last 5 days with DD and family. Been playing catchup, now looking forward to peace and quiet... And garden dreaming. I've been checking out Forest Farm, and they have a few things I really, really want. But the Bluestone wish list is no snorter... Sigh...

This morning I took the Penatemon Palmerii out of the frig. Fresh seed shouldn't need chilling, according to Clothier. Time will tell...

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

I had to share, I have blue milkweed germinating! I bought the seeds on ebay earlier this month. I'm getting a high success rate so with any luck I will have lots of seed next year. Milkweed grows good here, even the tropical types seem to live for a few years. I get lots of monarch and swallowtail catapillers on them. But blue . . . oooh.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Wow! I never knew it came in blue... How long from seed to bloom? I can't wait to see pics!

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

It goes by the name Tweedia coerulea and from the pictures it looks like it makes a small bush like the orange/yellow kind. The flowers look completely different but the folliage and seed pods look like other milkweeds. My other milkweeds bloom first year, I sure hope this does too. Here's a picture of it from online.

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Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

So far have 4 different Dianthus sprouting and Anthemis tinctoria., next few days should be a bunch of goodies, started 64 different pots so far. I'm needing to get some new domes this year and my local nursery (35-40 miles away) is out til this weekend, unless I go to Denver....hmmm, roadtrip!!! LOL!

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

In the last couple of days I found 1 Salvia Azurea, 3 white Scabiosa, and a bunch of Penstemon Palmerii germinating. They're all in pots in the propagator so they won't get cold or dry out before they have a chance to get their roots settled in the soil.

Erygium Miss Willmott's Ghost and Astrantia are now in the freezer. They've been in the baggies at room temp for 3 weeks, Clothier says 2-4. He says freeze for 4 weeks, then put them in the frig to germinate. I guess the initial warm period is to let them absorb enough moisture to soften the seed coat, then the variations in temps eventually trigger germination.

All my Platycodon seeds are soaking til tomorrow, then Deno. Last year I had great results doing it that way, they germinated in only a few days.

I finally broke down today and set up my 3 shelves in the kitchen window. We have a small table there where we eat breakfast, and the sill is on my side. I had so few pots started I was trying to hold off for a while and just use one tray, but stuff kept accumulating on the floor by my chair. Today DH noticed, so I decided it was time to get it done.

I can't find my heat mats from last year, and that window area gets quite chilly at times. I'm almost positive at least one is here, I seem to remember it being in the way at one point a few months ago, but it is no where to be found. I keep thinking of one more possibility, then one more, have dug deep in well-packed city closets, but no luck yet. I'm also missing the one larger tray I usually have on the sill... I think it's in CT...grrrrr....

My babies look sooooo lonely! But it won't be long before they have lots of company, it soon gets to the point where all I can think of is the Little Shop of Horrors--- feeeeed meeeee! LOL


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Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Newest on what's sprouted so far and only under lights with no treatment. Asclepias incarnata, Antirhinum (snaps), Campanula persicifolia Alba, Campanula glomerata Acaulis, Platycodon grandiflorus blue (was a few years old too), Delphinium elatum Dark Blue, Aquilegia short spur solid blue, Penstemon x mexicalee Psmyers Blue, Saponaria ocymoides Trailing Soapwort, Armeria maritima Bee's Hybrids, Catanche carulea alba, Aquilegia vidiflora Chocolate Soldier, Digitalis p. 'Pam's Choice', D. p. 'Sutton's Apricot', D. p. Pinkie/Purpleish, D. p. 'Mountains Mix', D. p. grandiflora yellow foxglove, D. p. 'Pam's Split', and Phlox paniculata unk. color. So far (38 of the origional 60), have popped up here....did another tray of 32 also.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Wow, you've been busy! You started foxgloves already? Will they flower this year, do you think?

Amazon delivered my windowsill heat mat and thermostat yesterday and I set it up. The temp has been between 65-68 whenever I tested it, but I'm sure colder at night. I set the thermostat to 72, and it shows between 70-71.8 or so. I hope the babies like it. I've lost a few, possibly because they were too cold and wet, but the remaining ones all look strong and are starting on the first set of true leaves.

Most of the Platycodons sprouted already, yippee! All the. Perlmutters and Astra Pink, and a few of the Astra Blue are now in sifted potting mix in the propagator, which is definitely warmer now.
Penstemon Palmerii are just beginning to shoot up. I'm hoping for a good crop, I have the perfect place for them.

Next: Veronica's and Foxgloves, but I won't have time for a day or two.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

I figured if I can get my foxglove started early and outside (covered area, but will still get cool), maybe I can trick a few of them......hope...hope...hope.... LOL My old seed of Platy.grandiflorus blue has sprouted tho not any you sent yet, wanted to see about the older seed first...(old seed 8 days), yours I did on 1/7 and nothing yet....

Nothing on my P. palmerii yet, I'll try a few more days and fridg if necessary.

Just to let you know....Digitalis 'Camelot Series' and 'Foxy' are suppose to be 1rst year bloom, also read that some of the biennials if started early enough could bloom first year.

New sprouts since last report....Delphinium e. lilac/white bee, Penstemon palmerii (just checked and 4 sprouts so far), Aquilegia Sweet Rainbows (1), Papaver o. Coral Reef, Penstemon (gift from Garden Club), Petunia Midnight Dreams, Chamerion angustifolium(Stahl Rose) or (epillobium angustifolium), Centaurea jacea, Campanula takesimana 'Elizabeth', Oenothara hookeri, Dierama argyreum mix 'Angels Fishing Rod', Baptisia autraulis Alba, Digitalis p. Foxy, Lupinus Russell Hybrids Red, and Centranthus ruber.

these are my babies. Pix 1-4

So far is -4* and only 930pm........Yikes.

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(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Great, I have some Digitalis Camelot, was going to wait and direct sow it, but now I'll get some going early.

I did get the Veronicas going, Fairytale and Goodness Grows, also South African Foxglove, Dianthus Loveliness and Sooty, and Lily Formosiana Lancer, all in baggies. The Lily went in the frig, the rest in the propagator.

Also started Digitalis Pantaloons (Pam's Choice), sprinkled the seeds in a 4" pot. They are just too small to try the Deno method... The packet says 50, but they took up no space at all. Hard to believe there are really so many.

1 Penstemon palmerii shot up a couple of days ago. I left it under the dome, waiting for more to show, I was hoping for several. This morning I noticed a musty smell and saw a little white fuzz on it, so I took it out, removed the fuzz, and put it under the lights. Since then that one shoot looks fine, but no more are came up. I wonder what happened to them... I'm glad yours are coming...

I can't believe how much you've got going already, just boggles the mind! I really had to edit because of space... I'd love a set-up like yours!

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

Boy you guys really have a lot going. I've more than I know what I'm going to do with. I do have two gardening friends that will be getting lots of seedling gifts.
Today's top germinators; Texas Red star hibiscus, Oenothera "sunset boulevard", and tinantia erecta. Excited about the Oenothera, it's orange, that's different. And I'm hoping the tinantia will do well under the Oak trees. I hope my digitalis comes up, have had some failures with it in the past. I must admit I hate working with tiny seeds.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Lol, ya but what am I going to do when I fill up ALL my areas? lol. That was the whole purpose to moving to the country. So I could have as much garden (or should I say flowers) as I wanted and have a well..... I just have to get ahead of those darn grasses.

Yup, I will have to see what I can get planted this year. I may have to battle those grasses in the backyard this spring as I know all that rototilling didn't get them all. That's why I am glad winter came, so come early spring I can get any that come back before I start intensively planting the perenns. and annuals. And I have plans to draw up, for me and susie. I just love having all those plants.... When I start this spring I will be able to go out and grab a tray of whatever and fill a whole location with one type of plant. I want drifts of color in the back, again trying not to use the same ones in the main border. There may be a few repeats, but I hope not too many, as there is soo much plant material to choose from. But what I do happen to repeat will be considered as tie ins to the other parts of the gardens.

It may seem like I'm starting early, but come later this winter when I start potting on, I will need all the extra time I can get before spring planting time. If not, I have found that I'm still potting things come July and I definately wanna get things ready before that...yikes... Nothing worse than finding I'm wanting a certain plant and it's still sitting in a pot waiting for me to pot it on and then substitute something else.... And if I had had to buy most of my plants, I believe my garden would be very Such wonderful things hobbies can, mine just happens to be plants....
The last few days I've been working on a list of all the tall plants, 4ft and over (mostly that are hardy in my area), yes annuals too. So far have managed to compile a list of approximately 60 plants and did not include vines or srubs with the exception of roses. Trying to keep in mind what the deer can't see over they won't jump. I have found that the deer don't bother the areas that are intensly planted. They may nibble around the edges but won't go into the thick of it so to And if they see nothing but a wall, they may find somewhere else to brouse....

I hope you enjoy those Dianthus x.L., they are lovely, make sure to put some close to the house so you can enjoy their fragrance, and keep them deadheaded as they will bloom the whole season if you can keep them Ya, I know, good intentions.. Remember to collect seed as they are not long lived also...maybe 3 or 4 years ish.. they are one of those plants that bloom themselves out....just a tidbit.

Ok, I've talked your ear off, hope you don't mind if I ramble on..

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Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b) might have some Digitalis for ya come I have a pot of Pam's Choice, that I am almost certain to have extras of, if not I can always save a I just looked will probably have extras of alba also...That reminds me I need to get that seed together for you, d-mail me your address, I will try to get to that in the next few days... I won't be going anywhere til's burry outside....s'pose to warm up to 32* by Remember to surface so tiny seed. Just to let you gals know, I don't wet my soil when I start, I fill my pots with mix, sprinkle seed, top if I need with vermiculite, and then spay sparingly, just enough to wet the top of the mix.. Every day I spray my seed pots to keep moist but not wet. Not until they come out of the dome do I give them a gentle dose of water, and I don't take them out of the dome covered tray til they are well on their way (and all the seeds in the pot have sprouted)....

Oooh, I eyed that Oenothara a few years ago, didn't get it but if you have

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(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Is that a favorite book of yours for design? Maybe I should get it?

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I dug around in the P palmerii pot, found a seed with a 1/8" root. It looked healthy enough, so I put it back and left the rest alone. I guess there's still hope. I also sprinkled all my pots with cinnamon to prevent fungus (damping off) and gnats.

Meanwhile two more seeds in the baggy showed life and are now in pots under the dome.

I also found a few more Platys sprouting, a double white and a dwarf blue, they are now in there too.

I just looked up Tinantia Erecta-- what a cool plant. I had never heard of it. I have a few weedy shade spots it would be perfect. Is the seed easy to find? How long does it take to get to a good size? Have you ever grown it before? I must say when I saw it was in the Tradescantia family it took me back, but then I saw that it's definitely an annual, so that's OK.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I'm getting worried about the Helianthus Laetiflorus Lemon Queen. They've been looking nearly ready to sprout for a while, I'm afraid they'll rot. There's very little info on perennial sunflowers on most of the databases. Clothier is the only one, and he says chill for 12 weeks! I looked up my records from last year. I didn't have great success, only ended up with one plant, but that one sprouted in 4 days in a baggy on the windowsill at 70+- degrees. I'm taking my baggy out of the frig now. I had been hoping for better results, but if chilling makes the difference, 5 weeks is all they're getting. Meanwhile I'd rather have 1 than none.

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

WWK - I'm jealous of all your space. I live on acreage but I'm in a canyon so the days are short and it's heavily wooded so I'm always complaining about not having enough light. I do have a couple of pastures so drought tolerant plants are always welcome. It seems the more I plant in the pasture the more butterflies I have. Of course it might be that I've found milkweed will grow without tending to it. I put all the oenothera in soil already, I always seem to find the oddest plants, now if I could just get them all to grow. Thanks for the input on how you germinate. I may be getting them too wet. I do check online for individual instructions so I don't bury the ones that need light, and I never bury anything deep, it seldom freezes here so there is no need. I'll Dmail my address, thanks for the extras, I've gone flower crazy.

Pfg - This is the first time with the Tinantia erecta, I got it from a friend who sells seeds. Whenever I see her she loads me up with seeds of plants she wants me to try. I'm making an effort to find plants that will grow under my oak trees, it's a challenge as it's pretty deep shade and they are too big to thin out LOL. I have mostly ivy and lychnis under them now. It's not fenced so I can't grow anything the deer will eat. I'd love to get more foxglove going, that was kind of the plan but I lost most of it last year, don't know why.

Check out for garden books, I have a whole garden library from them.

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

Well, I just transplanted todays arrivals. I now have agastache "after eight" and asclepias physocarpa "hairy balls?". I'm sure the monarch's will love them.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Ok...update on what's sprouted: Salvia verticillata Alba, Lysimachia atropurpea, Veronica gentianoides Palida, (and Pam 4 of the 5 platys), Platycodon grandiflorus Dbl. Blue, Platycodon Miss Tilly, Platycodon Astra Blue, Platycodon Astra Pink.

Pam, that is an old book that I just pulled out of the Hort. cupboard the other day and was sitting on the table, great background huh..It's one of those eye candy books. So far I have 13 Penstemon palmerii sprouted. Started 12/30 and sprouted 1 /11. I'm thinking these will grow rather fast. The origional plant was put in as a quart pot in summer of 2011. Put in 3 and 2 got washed away a few weeks later in a deluge. Fortunately, 1 stayed with me..anyway this last summer was about 36"> at the base. And I still forgot to smell them, someone remind me come!!!!!

Dome..I've also found some great buys on Amazon .com. Most I got from that site were $1-4 + $3.99 shipping.

Pix Penstemon palmerii close up, am thinking got to about 48"^

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(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I loe that pic- can't wait until I have my own!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Besides chamomile and cinnamon, misting or watering with dilute hydrogen peroxide discourages damping off.

It also supplies some extra oxygen to the roots.

water or mist plants, to soak seeds, wash sprouts

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Hey Rick.....what's the ratio for peroxide/water? And would that solution be used once a day? I usually mist my plants 2 times a day at this stage (under dome). Those that have been taken out get misted 3-6 times a know...just gotta keep checking in on the babies.. LOL.

Another burry one last night, this mornibg when I got up was --6*.....mid 20's this afternoon but a breeeeeeze too. Might get an inch tonight, gosh I hope! All those plants I put in in Nov. and Dec. sure would like a drink.

Hey that a typo or what? (loe)....just joking. Did you enlarge that pix? If not, do so..see how hairy the blossom is, cool huh? I not sure but I would guess that penstemon has the largest flowers in the whole group of Penst.

And Rick...what's growing at your house this winter?

Ok..g-kids home from school....later.

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(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Oops, yes, typo... looooooooove!

Here's the link to the peroxide site:

I use it religiously. I've played a little with the proportions, now just do 10:1, makes the math easy.
1 Quart of water, 32 oz: 3 oz peroxide (3%, the regular drugstore kind, not what's used for hair color)
1 Gallon water, 64 oz: 6 oz peroxide

I also add 1 drop of Superthrive per quart to help get the roots going. I'm getting great results, lots of sprouts.

Up for a while and still going strong: Alchemilla Mollis, Campanula White Clips, Salvia x Turkestiana, Salvia Azurea, White Scabiosa, Penstemon palmerii.

The latest: All the Platycodons- Perlmutter, Hakone White, Astra Pink and Blue, Dianthus Loveliness (thanks, Kathy) and D Sooty, South African Foxglove, a couple more P palmerii.

I do have a problem this year. I'm really unhappy with the seed starting mix I'm using. I've sifted out the big chunks and added coir to it, but I think it's just too wet for some things. I've vowed to go out looking for vermiculite, but people say its hard to find these days? Maybe because of health fears, not good to inhale it? NYC is not a good place to go looking for those kinds of supplies. There's a Home Depot nearby, but it's city oriented, very different from the ones everywhere else. Is there a good online site, maybe I could order a stash?

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Pam, I'm glad you proved that somewhat stronger H2O2 won't kill leaves on contact. I've read other people saying they use it pretty strong. Your ratios will give around 0.3%.

I usually go by that site's advice to use it 32:1, that is to say 0.1%, unless the plant is sick with fungus.

1 tsp peroxide per 5.3 ounces of water or
1 ounce peroxide (2 tablespoons) per Quart of water or
cup of 3% peroxide per gallon

- - -

>> what's growing at your house this winter?

Dust balls, mostly. The herd is healthy and stable as long as I have no visitors. Then I have to vacum and their populationj crashes. B ut they come back.

My AMB ITION is growing to start so many seeds indoors that I HAVE to make a working cold frame. The little tent of plastic film has not yet even melted the frost on the film.
1. day length is short north of Seattle
2. sun angle is low
3. clouds most of the time.
4. shade from buildings all around my yard
5. shade from the nearby Rhododendron

I would tell you how many hours of direct sun that bed gets, but I think the sun only hits it in the summertime! I think I need to find a different site, but that IS the south part of my yard!

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Pam, see if has it...if I'm thinking of the correct catalog they have all sorts of grow things...tarps, greenhouses, chemicals, tray, mediums. If that isn't correct let me know cuz I think I've got a catalog of another.... Sure glad they still sell it here....just found a nice fine grade at local hardware store when I got ready to begin this year, was a bit pricey but very fine.... And if you don't find any to buy I did pick up a bushel bag at local home depot..... If having a problem with wet soil, start out a bit drier, I don't actualy wet mine til pots come out of the domed tray. Til seeds are up and mature enough (might be a week or even two), then and only then I begin wetting the soil in the whole pot. I begin with only spraying from a quart bottle enough to dampen the top of the soil and just enough to keep it moist...(usually 2 times a day).

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