Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Seed Starting Success

Last winter I didn't start any seeds at all, although most years I do lots. This year I'm back on form. I've been sowing seeds for a while now and putting them out in the portable greenhouses that I have. I had to buy new plastic covers for three of them, because after being left out in the sun, they start to deteriorate, and eventually just fall apart. But they lasted about three years. I bought the new covers from Amazon.

Three of my portable greenhouses. There's a reason they're empty, except for the pots of rocks on the bottom shelf.

The little greenhouses are on the south wall of my house, where they get plenty of sun. In fact, when it's sunny, they really heat up, like 80 or 90 inside even though it's only 30 or 40 outside. I actually have two more in another part of the garden.

In a recent post I mentioned our cra-a-a-a-azy weather last week. The craziness was preceded by a couple of days of extreme windiness and torrential rain. Jenni from Rainy Day Gardener warned me that she had seen discussions of our coming bad weather on Facebook (I wasn't even aware of it). In the past on really windy days, those little greenhouses have toppled, even with something weighing down the bottom shelf (hence the pots of rocks). So I took all my trays of four-inch sown pots out of the greenhouses, and moved them under my hoophouse (which also gets quite nicely warm inside).

The hoophouse (you can see one of the seedling trays there on the left).
As I was transferring the trays to the hoophouse, I couldn't help noticing that quite a few were sprouting or had already sprouted.

These are all Echinacea purpurea, started from my own seeds gathered from last year's flowers.

I also did an entire tray of various kinds of lavender.

Salvia patens is a great Salvia with big blue flowers. I grew it a couple of years ago from seed, and saved more from it to sow this year.

I don't know if I have a photo of Salvia patens in my iPhoto archive, but you can read up on it here on Plant Lust.

The Joe-Pye Weed seeds were bought. I really should save seeds from my 'Little Joe' this year.

The Eryngium 'Blue Hobbit' seeds came from my own garden.

'Jade Frost' came from my garden as well.

And the Astrantia seeds too. I'm not exactly sure which Astrantia it is, but they are pretty pink flowers about a foot or so tall.

I sowed a couple of different Asclepias (Milkweed), this is the only one that is starting to sprout

I'm glad to see Catananche caerulea sprouting, another pretty blue flower, with interesting papery seedpods.

Linum lewisii (Blue Flax) is a pretty native with blue flowers.

None of them have true leaves yet, but it won't be long! I still have loads of annuals that I want to grow this year, but I've been waiting on those for a bit. My plan is to sow them in place in the garden, so they will need the weather to warm up just a bit. It looks like next week will be making up for last week, we are slated to get a string of sunny days with temps in the 50s and maybe even 60s!