Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Seedy Situation

Oh to have a greenhouse, where seeds can be started without taking up room in the people house. Until I can get a greenhouse, though, I'm stuck finding space in windows and on shelves. I do have some lights and one all-important heating mat. The bottom heat really helps with germination.

Two kinds of basil for the veggie garden this year: Finissimo Verde a Palla, a small-leaved basil with a dense, globose habit, and Sweet Dani, an improved lemon basil

'Isis Candy' tomato is a cherry tomato with a delectable description. Hopefully the flavor lives up to the hype! Saffron shallots are sprouting vigorously behind the tomatoes.

Jimmy Nardello's sweet peppers and Alma Paprika peppers (not pictured) supposedly have lower heat requirements and shorter ripening times, so maybe I can get some peppers out of the garden this year.

Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens' will be going in the ground somewhere. Not sure where, but it will look great! (hopefully)

Just sown, Dierama reynoldsii, Dierama latifolium, Dierama medium, Geranium pulchrum, Geranium robustum, Erica oatesii, Merwilla natalensis, Melianthus villosus, and x Pardancanda norrisii. All but the x Pardancanda are from Silverhill Seeds in South Africa. 
Some of these South African plants are a bit of a risk here, assuming I can even get them to germinate and keep the seedlings alive (I'm always so optimistic). The Dierama species and probably the Merwilla should be fine. Melianthus villosus is supposedly hardier than the more commonly-grown Melianthus major, and can have just as beautiful blue foliage color in a smaller form. I'm hoping I'll get at least one seedling with decent blue color. There isn't much information on the two geraniums or the Erica oatesii. Supposedly they are hardy to zone 7, but most of the information I've found on them comes from the UK, which generally lists things as hardy, half-hardy, or tender (not very translatable to any other climate) and these three species are from summer rainfall regions of South Africa, meaning they will probably need very good drainage in PNW winters to even have a chance at success. I purchased these seeds when I thought I would be living in North Carolina for a while, where summer rainfall is the name of the game. Now that I have them, though, of course I'm still going to try them. 

3 comments:

  1. How fun to be starting seeds of experimental plants! Today I'll have my kids at school plant lima beans in little pots. For some of them, this will be their first gardening adventure and I look forward to seeing the wonder in their eyes as their plants emerge from the soil. Ain't it grand that we still have that wonder and joy as adults? Wishing you the greenhouse of your dreams!

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    1. What grade do you teach? My mother does an experiment with salt levels and water levels (and maybe one or two other factors with her 5th grade students.

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    2. Forgot to say these experiments involve starting various things from seed.

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