Monday, March 21

Little Seed Babies

My little seed babies are starting to all make their appearances! First planted were the peppers, and they have mostly all came up, and are working on their second set of leaves. I have been keeping them well out of the cats reach.

There is only one bare cell in the whole tray from no seed germinating, so that's not bad. I'm happy I put lots of seeds in the cells with the Hot Yellow Peppers - only about two came up of each of those, even though I put 4-5 seeds in all of them. Most of the peppers otherwise had 100% germination, and shortly I'm going to have to choose who gets to stay, and who gets chopped.

Most of my tomatoes are up as well. I'm going to have to go through and thin them out too. They are a little more 'stringy' this year, but I'm not too worried. When I got to re-pot them after getting their first true set of leaves, I'll just pot them deeper and then problem solved! I also had brussel sprouts in this tray, but they are having trouble germinating...I may have to replant those seeds.

I have little baby lavender seedlings :) After placing them in the fridge for four weeks (stratification), I took them out and they sprouted almost right away :)  cannot wait to place these little guys outside...I just have to take really good care of them for another month and some - let them get strong, and let the cold go away.

On the topic of flowers, I started a whole tray this year :) The flowers did wonders last year for the bees, but a lot of them never sprouted - or got eaten when they were young and tender, so I figured I would help out and give them a really good head start indoors. My marigolds that I started inside last year were so much healthier than the marigolds I purchased - so that was a sign that this was the way to go. I bought this 'hex tray' which was a little deeper for the root systems, and I planted a bunch of different seeds: sweet peas, marigolds, cosmos, bachelor buttons, Mexican sunflowers and more. I cannot wait! A lot of these are flowers for cutting - and the more you cut, the more they blossom - so I'm hoping to get a bouquet each week, and still have plenty for the bees and butterflies :)

You can read more about what flowers attract bees and butterflies, and feed them, on this brochure provided by Flowers Canada.

I do have some concern that some the flowers might have been started a little too early, since they are possible to "direct sow". Some flowers packets said direct sow only - so I've waited to put those guys right into the soil (poppies). But I have tons of seeds left over, so this can be considered an experiment. I've learnt a lot the past two years with gardening experiments - I did some things that people told me 'wouldn't work at all', and well....they worked - wonderfully worked! There were some failures as well...but I like to focus on the "wins" hehe. :)

Some more plants that need to be started this week or next: kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts (an earlier variety). I may start a butternut squash plant indoors as well, since it requires such a long growing season. It's one of the "freebie" seed packages I acquired, and just want to try it to see. 

I'm about at the 7-8 week mark until the last frost. All the snow is gone from the ground, so I'm hoping for an earlier spring - I can get peas, spinach and some other cold-tolerant plants in the ground once it warms up a little more, and the soil dries out a little bit. I will hold off until the last frost date until I plant out my more tender plants.

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