Tuesday, March 20, 2007

First Seedlings

Craig asked how I start my seeds. Last year I tried starting seeds both in individual cells and by starting several seeds in one container and then transplanting the best looking ones to individual cells. The ones I transplanted failed miserably so this year I didn't bother. In each cell I planted 2-5 seeds and I will thin them later.

I only have two windows facing south and I can't use the kitchen window so our office/storage room will be very crowed for the next couple of months. There is also a west facing window. Last year I had the two large cell packs seen below. The smaller domes are from sheet cakes that I saved. I also saved and sterilized the cell packs from the plants that I bought last year. (Recycle/Reuse!) The very large, round dome is my punch bowl over a picnic serving tray holding the zinnia pots that the kids started for their moms from seeds they helped me gather in the fall. The larger pots were much easier for them to work with. Hopefully they will work out. I move the trays around everyday to try and even out the light they get.

Last year was my 1st year gardening and so I had no idea that some people think that starting from seed is hard. Maybe it was beginners luck but most of my seeds did well. I never could have afforded to buy all of the plants I ended up with and I wouldn't have had the joy of pointing out a plant to a visitor and exclaiming "I grew that!" I did learn that I didn't water the seedlings deeply enough and some didn't set down as strong a root system as they could have but they thrived once I got them outside. I will try watering from the bottom this year.

Last year I collected hollyhock, zinnia, lupine, and marigold seeds that I will be using this year. Some of the other seeds I am trying were left over from last year, others bought online last fall and I picked up some more at 10 for $1 recently. (Last years dollar store zinnia seeds just blew us away with the way they grew!)

I tried starting delphiniums outside last year without luck. I did have about four seedlings at the end of the summer that I thought might be them so I left them and hope they come back this year. Delphiniums are so pretty that I thought I'd try starting them inside this year. I've read that they don't transplant well but if they don't I can try some more seeds outside.

Marigolds started to germinate 3/16 - 6 days to date 14 of 54 cells
Dwarf Morning Glories - 3/17 - 7 days to date 10 of 18 cells
Love lies bleeding - 3/18 - 8 days - all 6 cells
Strawflower - 3/18 - 8 days - 6 of 12 cells
Scarlet sage - 3/18 - 14 of 18 cells (s/b scarlet rather than crimson stated before)

New seeds started
Zinnias - 3/14 - by kids as Mother's day gifts 1 of 20 germinated after 5 days - 3/19
Dwarf Delphiniums dark blue - 3/18
English Lipstick Daisy - 3/18

1 comment:

  1. Looking good, Apple! Thanks for satisfying my curiosity; I'm always wondering how other gardeners start their seed.

    I recently remembered how a friend germinated her Delphiniums. After sowing, she placed the container in a refrigerator for 4 weeks, stratifying them with a bit of chill. I don't know if that is what they needed but she had 50% come up, which is better than any of my attempts. I'm going to try the same thing in May, that way I can put them outside in June so I won't need to fuss with them inside.