Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Friday, May 23, 2014

Update on A Seedy Situation

It's been almost a month since I sowed my various seeds that I just couldn't wait another year to try, which I posted about here. Some of them have quite a bit to show now, others not so much. Let's check on their progress, shall we?

'Isis Candy' cherry tomato, peppers 'Jimmy Nardello's' and 'Alma Paprika', and basil 'Sweet Dani' and 'Finissimo Verde a Palla' were planted in the vegetable garden almost a week ago. They all went into the same raised bed, which I overplanted thinking that I should plant extra for insurance. Now of course they'll all thrive and I'll have the heart-wrenching decision of which ones to pull to make room for the others.

As you can see, the peppers and tomatoes were chomping at the bit to get out of those little 4-inch pots.

Unfortunately their home-to-be was occupied by a mining camp.

Well, miner's lettuce, at least, thought the ants seem to love it, too. Do they count as miners? This is a native plant gaining popularity as a salad green. Unfortunately it reseeds like a native (as in, with abandon). My parents keep buying lettuce even though they have enough salad in the garden to open a stand at the farmers market.

So out came the over-sized miner's lettuce. 

And in went the peppers and tomatoes.

They're only about 8-10 inches apart, if that. As I said, I over-planted for insurance. (Actually I just had plenty of seedlings and couldn't bear to get rid of all of them. I still only used about half of them)

Tiny little tomatoes. If this turns out to be a hot summer, they might stand a chance of producing fruit, though I'll probably eliminate all but one of these plants. I'll be buying some larger plants from a nursery, too, just so I know I'll get tomatoes.

And up go the PVC supports for the hoop house.

The nights here are still a touch chilly for tomatoes and peppers, and they'll enjoy the extra heat during the day, too.
My Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens' seedlings are growing well. I'll have to decide where to plant them pretty soon.
They've really started taking off in the last week. They're roots are starting to poke out the bottom of the pots. Shallot seedlings in the back right.

One even started to mutate a bit and has a couple variegated streaks. Doesn't look like it's going to continue past that leaf that I'm holding, though. Pity

They're even starting to branch out. Dear me, where to put the little blighters?
Everything else is still inside either on the heating pad or under lights. None of the Dierama species have come up yet, though some very careful scratching at the soil has shown a few splitting seed coats. The Erica oatesii has at least two wee little seedlings that are so small I can't even get a good photo of them to share. Is it odd that I'm the most excited over the tiniest seedlings? 

The two geranium species on the other hand are growing rapidly, though germination is sporadic.
On the left in back are seedlings of x Pardancanda norrisii.  In front of those are the Erica oatesii seedlings. Can't see them? I swear they're there! On the right are Geranium robustum (back) and Geranium pulchrum (front). 

Geranium robustum has at least five seedlings so far, though two are only just starting to pop out of the soil. 

Geranium pulchrum has three seedlings. One germinated ahead of the others and is growing rapidly. I'll have to carefully dig that one out and pot it up before it overshadows the other two any more. 

And last, but not least, Melianthus villosus has started to sprout. This picture shows two, but there are at least three so far. 

The geraniums might make it outside this summer, and maybe the x Pardancanda, but I don't think I'll be leaving my tiny Erica oatesii or larger but just as young Melianthus villosus outside this winter. Which means I'll be squeezing even more plants into the house come fall, unless I can bring myself to give up a few more houseplants like I've been meaning to. It's worth it though. Nothing is as dear to a plant geek as plants they grew themselves from seed. 

P.S. For anyone interested, I have a friend who is looking for someone to adopt her stapelia. From her description it sounds like Stapelia gigantea, but I haven't been over to see it to make sure. Anyone interested can contact me at bean dot evan at gmail dot com.

12 comments:

  1. If we had the time we would grow more from seeds like you do :)

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    1. This is my first time making any really organized effort to grow multiple ornamentals from seed. I've grown a couple trees and shrubs from seed in the past, but mostly just as a "throw it in the pot and see what happens" kind of experiment.

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  2. Such success! Someday I'm going to get on board with the seedy business.

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    1. I was about to give up on some of these things. I love growing plants from seed. It's the potential, and watching that potential develop from the very beginning.

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  3. Covering the tomato and peppers should definitely help your harvest : there is a home baked pizza in your future! Although I'm not a fan of self seeding plants, I love Cerinthe; their bluish shades are amazing and they have a long season of interest. Even if many don't survive a cold snap, there is always one that makes it through to carry on the self seeding.

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    1. I don't generally care for self-seeding plants either. They scare me from an ecological standpoint and are just more weeds for me to pull. I do have a handful of plants that give me one or two seedlings per year. I hope my Cerinthe do self-seed though.

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  4. How long ago did you sow the geranium seed? I had really good success with growing G. pyrenaicum last year and would like to try more. I Googled both your species and really like them. You could say I'm a Geranium whore. :) Would you mind revealing where you got your seed? Great post!

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    1. I sowed all of these seeds on April 22. I think I covered the geraniums just a touch too deep and I didn't have enough room to keep everything under both lights and bottom heat. I think the geraniums benefited most from strong light to germinate. Of course I don't mind sharing my source: Silverhill Seeds, located in South Africa, but they ship to the U.S. They have tons of cool seeds to choose from. http://www.silverhillseeds.co.za/

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    2. Sorry, April 24, not the 22. Because two days is really important. lol

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  5. Seed-starting is really a valuable tool for anyone with a large property. Unfortunately, my efforts this year met with miserable failure. Admittedly, I have been pretty cavalier about the process. Maybe it's time to take the whole thing more seriously.

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    1. I"m sorry to hear about your seed troubles. I have a pretty small set-up for seeds started indoors and a very rough one for those sown outdoors, so I don't grow as much from seed as I would like. It's such a great way to save money.

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