Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sizing Up the Seedlings

Checked out my seedlings and did some transplanting this morning.

Also started morning glory seeds. I discovered a variety of morning glory that does well up here, and have fallen in love with the gorgeous deep, deep blue (almost purple) blossoms. Don't think I'll ever plant a garden without including them again. (If'n you're interested, the variety is President Tyler, they climb 72-96" high, and the package lists days to bloom as 45. I got my seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds.) Last year I started them too soon indoors, we had a cold, damp and rainy spring and by the time I could set them outside, it was too much of a shock on the terribly overgrown plants. They all gave up the ghost. Kicked the bucket. Died. I took a chance and planted more seeds directly in the ground, and I still (albeit a smidge/bit late) got lush foliage and lots of blooms.

The above picture was taken in the garden last year. I'm hoping this year I've timed the indoor planting a little better.

Here's a current shot of my started California Poppy plants. They're looking like they want to go outside in a bad way, but I keep telling them if I put them out now, they'd freeze their beezers off in short order. Just a little longer and I'll feel okay about setting them out with hot caps or under a cold frame for protection.

I didn't get super germination from these zinnias, but the seeds were leftovers from 2007. (I never toss seeds out until I'm sure they are no longer viable.) I love zinnias for cut bouquets in the summer and these will give me plenty for that purpose.

I know you can't see them but I actually do have 13 tiny phlox sprouts just beginning to poke up out of the soil here. I'm planning on putting a solid row of them on the north end of the field garden (same spot I put the cosmos that I was very unhappy with last year), and need 35 plants total for the row. The variety is assorted colors so I'm hoping for a knock-your-socks-off visual display. The packet of seeds said to expect germination in 5-10 days at 60-65 degrees. I know my temps have been higher than that, but this is just the eighth day since planting so I'm still holding out hope for them.

I love nasturtiums but have had absolutely no luck growing them by direct seeding for the past couple of years so decided to start some indoors this spring. Their germination has been pretty erratic. (Somebody must have failed to plant them at the same depth. How could that be?) The little guys don't stand out very well in this picture but they're doing okay.

The cherry tomatoes are coming along great guns. I'm ending up with many more plants than I need (darn things just germinated like crazy) but my daughter wants two or three and you can always give away tomato plants, especially the cherry variety.

The green peppers should really start sizing up now that they're in bigger containers. I was feeling pretty good about these healthy, vigorous seedlings . . . until I happened to check a couple of blogs of gardeners in Kansas and Missouri. Not only are their peppers outside, but they're over a foot tall! That's okay. One day (maybe) warm weather will come to us up here in the frozen tundra and we will be able to actually put plants outside in the garden, too. Maybe.

I've also got some broccoli started that I didn't photograph. I planted three seeds in each of nine starter pods and today (their seventh day) I have a whopping big total of . . . four sprouts. Broccoli germinates rather quickly and I should have more showing than that. Okay, true confession time. The seeds were from 1999. (I told you I believe in using up older seeds.) Guess I may have pushed the envelope a little too far on this one, huh? I really should have started more broccoli this morning when I was doing the transplanting. I do have a packet of fresh seeds but I didn't want to give up on the older ones . . . '99 was a very good year.

All in all, I have no complaints about my seedlings so far. Everybody's looking pretty good ('cept for my geriatric broccoli seeds), soaking up the full-spectrum lighting and growing well. Next transplanting will be tomatoes (for the second time) and probably the zinnias.

1 comment:

RuthieJ said...

Your sprouts are looking good Mama Pea. Mine haven't been getting much sunlight lately and are looking a little peaked. I want to put them in the big window, but Kitty always seems to know when I put them down and comes over for taste testing.