SEEDS Spring 2015 in the MAF

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

We saved and sorted and ordered and swapped them. Now on to the planting sowing and growing on.

Let's share our seeding adventures here!

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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

thanks coleup.

my first step is mix some moist soil in with the seeds that I want to use for my ad hoc native replanting project in the drainage area, and get them out in the cold. . So the seeds can start to cold moist stratify before I get out to plant them.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

We still have too much snow to guerrilla sow the seed I've gotten. I will probably just move the seed outside till the snow recedes.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Ah yes Sally 'cold moist stratification' The Purple Milkweed seeds I received from Greenthumb require 30 - 60 days of this treatment. What seeds are you treating ?

Ric , I've heard it said that an easy way to reseed ones lawn is to broadcast grass seed on top of the snow and let the melting plant it and water it in, too.! Do you use your greenhouse for seed starting?

Gita, Tropical Milkweed seeds should be started indoors now to achieve blooms this year. They need warmth not cold .

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks, for the Thread--coleup.

I have 2 baggies of some other Ascilepias seeds that I think you gave me last year.
A.-tuberosa--orange and A.-incarnata--pink. Is the "incarnata" the tropical one?
How about the "tuberosa'. I get all these names mixed up.

I have not started any seeds yet. May do some on my "want-to" list--and may not
do any others...I am always thinking that--IF I can get it in a market pack for $2--
I am not going to bother growing them from seed.

Last spring I bought most of my flowers in MP's at Chapel Hill Nursery.
They had really good products last year. I asked where he gets them from?
And Mike told me that they come from PA where the Amish grow them--and then sell
the plants at auction.
His petunias were the only ones that made it through the W-Boxes.
Most, planted in the ground, got some of that disease and dies off...

You may be surprised--but I seldom buy any annuals at the HD.
I think they are forced into bloom, to sell, at the cost of having developed good root systems.
Also--NOT hardened off. From the GH--jammed into carts--and trucked to their destination.

Also--the requirement that we MUST water all the plants EVERY day does some damage.

Just my observations......Gita

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I totally loved the number of hands that flew up into the air when I asked about guerrilla gardening! You guys rock!

It looks like the stormwater management area behind us might be meant to drain rather than have standing water... so I'm thinking the whole thing should be sown with something other than grass... but that's probably something I have to take up with the HOA over there, because they have installed sod, which probably means they are going to MOW the area. If they let the grass grow tall, then I'll just punch holes here and there for seed... Joy Pye Weed, Asclepias spp, Cardinal Flower... things that like moist but can take a bit of "dry" now and then should all do well. But if they're going to mow it every week, my options are more limited... Hmm, they might not be able to mow the steeper banks, though.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Gita, A. incarnata is Swamp Milkweed, and A. tuberosa is Butterfly Weed. I don't think you'll find those in market packs!

Critter, there are always other places...un-mowed parts of parks and roadsides, school gardens, etc.
Good idea to talk to the HOA; maybe they'll set aside an area for a butterfly garden. It would be great for their kids, who no doubt learn about pollinators in school. My neighbor's elementary school-aged kids knew more about raising Monarchs than I did.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I noticed our own elementary school has butterfly bushes right outside the classroom windows... they are just surrounded by mulch, and there's definitely room for some other plants with them... again, though, would need to ask (not in the true spirit of guerrilla gardening), because otherwise added plants would just be pulled up as "weeds."

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

As many of you know, I do a lot of winter sowing. At first I went the gallon milk carton route, but found it awkward, a bit hazardous in execution, and rather excessive in consumption of potting mix and number of seedlings produced. I switched to using lidded pint and quart deli containers which I purchased from a restaurant supply house. Found this more sensible in material usage and numbers of plants produced. (Photo #1)

Still, I'd get as many as 50 seedlings and have to tease them out and into individual pots, discarding the extras. This year I have been sowing mainly in 2 inch pots with an eye to eliminating potting up young seedlings and having better control on the number of plants I burden myself with. (Photo #2) Since most of what I winter sow are native species that require winter exposure to germinate, I find no need to have covered containers to emulate greenhouses. Some seeds I plant in deeper cell packs rescued from local monarch way station installations. (Photo #3). For species I want larger populations of I use carry-out containers (Photo #4) and wooden clementine boxes. (Photo #5)

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

David--good to know you do not cover your WS seeds.
I have not dome much WS'ing--but I could never deal with gallon water bottles...
I have uses qt. sizes water bottles...cut them in half..sow seeds--put top back on.
Leave top open.

--Do you locate your containers in a somewhat sheltered, protected location?
like against the wall of your house or shed or such?
--Do you throw some leaves over them to protect them from high winds and frost?

I also use some nursery trays in lieu of pots for cuttings. The trays 4" annuals come in
is a tray of "pots" in its own right. No re-potting needed. Cut them apart to share.

--Yogurt containers work well too. (No pic)
2--plastic bathroom cups
3--High-domed produce "clamshell" containers
4--Venus Flytrap containers--great for rooting cuttings
5--Grower plug trays

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Some more...

--1Qt. size water bottles
--Strawberry containers
--Tpmato and basil seedlings in plug trays
--market pack trays
--baby Tiger Liliy seeds openly seeded on a W-box Out all winter.

Note--all these pictures are from different years.... Gita

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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Kudos for your sucesses. I have had them just get too dry or wet in whatever I have used. And the potting mix collapse down -I guess I should have pressed it in more.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I use gallon jugs or roasting pan trays when I want to break off clumps of seedlings for potting up. Love the pans for sowing rows of different columbines, for example. I have a few plastic "shoebox" sized storage containers with broken lids that would work well for 2 or 3 rows of seeds, too.

A friend from the "piggy swap" germinates all her seeds in vermiculite, in smaller closed containers that can be stacked in a big storage tub to go outside for cold treatment. She recently posted that it's very easy to up-pot the little seedlings because they don't get big, tangled roots in the vermiculite... and that the seedlings will stay little for quite a long time if she has them in a cool, shady location, giving her more time to get to them all.

Here's a link to her method:

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Home depot sells both Perlite and Vermiculite in the large bags.


Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Good potting ideas! I wish I had saved some of the clementine boxes and big mixed salad containers I threw out last year. I have some extra plastic cups, though, and I hadn't thought of using those.

I might also do what I did last year, which was turn a bare patch in my yard into a seedling nursery. I amended the soil in a 2' x 4' area, sowed way too many seeds for a spot that big, then dug up the extras and potted or transplanted them.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Muddy I like your idea, for us time pressed people it seems easiest. Maybe you can cover the soil with a layer of clean potting mix or bagged soil, to cut down on the inevitable hordes of chickweed and henbit.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

It worked really well for Monarda bradburiana and greenthumb's NOID Penstemon. Both of those transplanted extremely well, too.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

We've promised each other to not be lazy tomorrow , and to get out of the house, take Addy to the drainage area, and plant some of the wildflower seed. Thanks again Muddy.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

You're welcome; thanks for all of the seeds you gave me!

Big thanks also to Greenthumb, Critter, Watermark and anyone else I've forgotten! Most of the seeds are cold-moist stratifying, and I'm heading out to get some more soil. My plan is to sow some of the seeds from each plant in my yard so that I'm sure of being able to collect seeds this fall, share some with my niece and neighbors, and sow the rest along the creek in areas that are relatively free of stilt grass.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Critter, that vermiculite method looks interesting. I think I am going to try it as an experiment.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

I think I will too, thanks.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I planted pots of seeds last night and put them under lights downstairs.
dill, lovage, cilantro, mustard, komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), basil, swiss chard ...and a new (to me ) Corydalis which I need to look up for germination needs.

Still waiting on Datura, I know they take a long time, and I haven't really warmed the pot either.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Sally, if you are referring to the Corydalis sempervirens you received from me at the swap, it requires 30 days of cold, moist stratification. Just go ahead and sow it in pots and place outside and it will germinate when (if) the weather warms up.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Thank you greenthumb, that is exactly it. I was pretty sure it was one you had talked about, and that it would be that. Yes you did write 30 on the envelope. Please understand, I've been very distracted last couple weeks, and I didn't mean to forget about C sempervirens

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Someone suggested sowing some of my seeds into the snow, with the number of birds we have here I'd have to rake them into the snow, or they would vanish. LOL

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I sprinkled some seeds in the snow around like plants; e.g. Joe Pye seeds in between Joe Pye plants, so that I didn't have to mark them. It was fun and went quickly. I didn't spend time thinking about spacing or how good the soil was; I just scratched them down to soil level and moved on! I'll do some more precise sowing inside tonight.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I have enough ambition today to make up winter sowing trays. I have a plan that I'll show you later.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Critter, I liked your article about the "Hunk O'Seedlings" and other methods of seed-sowing. (It was featured on the home page today in case anyone missed it.)

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

I always enjoy reading the articles.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Somehow, I kept thinking that HOS stands for "High Occupancy Seeding" instead of Hunk O'Seedlings.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

ROFL! That one will stick in my head, Muddy. Thanks, Catmint! I hope to have lots of HOS to pot up or plant out this spring

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

it's been five days since I sowed seeds. I'm dying to see some sprouts!

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

It shouldn't be long!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I was sorting through my seeds just now and have some questions as to when to plant.

For Jill:
1--What are the 2 pellets of DxBouquet Rose magic in Joyanna's seed baggie?
Are they also Dianthus?

2--Basil "Martina". Is that pretty much the same as the regular Italian basil
I have been growing for years? You said it is more compact....How compact?
Have you grown it yet==or is this something new to you too...

General Questions:
--Baloon Flower--Winter sow?? or Start now?

--Celosia--yellow and red ones from Cat---Sow seeds now?--or winter sow?--
or sow a couple weeks before last frost?

--Alyssum---I know these self-sow from last year--but I have seeds in a packet.
When should I sow those?

--Purple Cone Flower--someone said the seeds can be started now-indoors--yes?
But I thought they were biennial--SO?????

Thanks--whomever answers these questions.....Gita

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Been winter sowing on and around our patio since late November. As you can see, it has been a great success, winter has germinated prodigiously. ;-)

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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

greenthumb ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

First on the scene- Chia and red giant mustard!

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Sounds like the beginnings of a great salad!

Very funny, Greenthumb! Alas, the rain is coming to wash away those lovely snow mounds.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

LOL! The snow today was so beautiful! I hope the sleet I hear coming down now doesn't make a mess of it... it needs to be 2 degrees colder so it can come down as fluffy snow rather than as ice!

Gita, the 2 pellets are a hybrid Dianthus called 'Rose Bouquet'... taller than the Cheddar Pinks (the other seeds). We're telling people who don't think of themselves as gardeners to get a container of potting mix, put the pellets in the center, and sprinkle the other seeds around.

I had to get the 'Martina' basil because of the name (many of you have met my friend & neighbor Martina -- her birthday was today!). I haven't grown it before so don't know how it compares to the "from italy" basil we've been growing for a while. The description says it's a compact Genovese variety. I got the 'Amethyst' basil to go with it, as it's supposed to be a compact purple Genovese... should be a pretty & tasty combination.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Next up, swiss chard, a bunch of them...and basil

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