"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I have sprouts!

I really wanted to try starting seeds again this year and since I don't have a greenhouse like Tessa at Blunders with shoots, blossoms 'n roots or Frances at Fairegarden I needed to try something different.  They both have had amazing successes with their plantings.  If you want to see flats of happy seedlings those are the places to visit.  I am happy though to notice that I do have some sprouts.  I posted awhile back about my first attempt with winter sowing, when I started hollyhock, larkspur and columbine.  
This is the hollyhock 'Queeny Purple'.  They are already getting their second set of leaves.
Unfortunately the other seeds, larkspur and columbine, never germinated.  I'm guessing that after 3 weeks they probably won't.  Not easily discouraged, I still plan to try some more winter sowing in March.  I wonder if nicotiana sylvestris will work with winter sowing?  
I also decided to try to start some lettuce early indoors this year.  It practically germinated overnight.  This is Buttercrunch, a European Bibb and it's supposed to grow well in containers.  Looks like these guys need to be turned a bit.  Maybe a fresh salad is in my family's future!
This past week I've also sown  Shirley and Breadseed poppies and larkspur directly outdoors.  Maybe I'll have better luck with the larkspur that way. 
While weeding a couple of days ago I found nigella seedlings popping up in the garden.  I planted them about three years ago and they have faithfully reseeded themselves ever since.  The other seedlings in front are an unknown variety of maroon scabiosas that have also reseeded quite generously.  They have a very long stem and bloom all summer.   
 It's been fun seeing the little seeds that I planted and the ones that planted themselves showing their green sprouts!
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  1. Oh how I love seeing new seedlings popping up. The ones I just planted a couple of weeks ago are having a less than stellar performance. I'm so hopeful more will pop up.

    It does look like you will have salad in your future. I grew lettuce this past fall and it did wonderful!

  2. Babies look great, Catherine! For Nicotiana, I start mine in March because they can get too big too fast, before they are ready to set out in the garden- I'm excited because I bought some new varieties this year! My dad's favorite! Also wanted to let you know for my pea trellis I put a little bird netting at the bottom along the fencing (look in construction area of home depot for it the fencing) just to give them a good start, because the holes in the fencing are four inches, which allows you to pick on the other side easily. Happy shopping!

  3. Me too! I am so excited as it is also my first time winter sowing. It is fun. Now what shall we do with all the seedlings? :) Your sprouts look great! Those hollyhocks are ready to flower now and yum on the lettuce!

    Thanks for the info on the comment verification and the followers. Several followers dropped off in one day so I figured it was Blogger for sure. I think the comment thing is fixed finally too. Gotta run. Thanks for the info again! I had no idea about the mess-just knew it was there.

  4. I started from seed Queeny Purple Hollyhocks last year.They grow very well. I am hoping that they will bloom this year.I cannot germinate larkspur either, it gives me fits. I think I only had two out of my whole mess germinate last year so I did not even attempt them this year. Your seedlings look like they are doing well.

  5. The seedlings look great. Aren't they fun. Now the trick is keeping the little guy from uprooting them. Also, I'm back in the pack of followers. You need to rejoin my group, too!

  6. Leave the containers out there. Larkspur needs a cold period. They should have been sowed in December or early January, but they still might get enough stratification to germinate.

    Columbine likes a bit of cold too. It can be erratic in its germination. So don't give up on the containers that haven't sprouted. You could have columbine coming up in June.

  7. Susie - I hope some of your seedlings will surprise you. It sounds like some take quite awhile to germinate, maybe yours are just waiting :)

    Tessa - Thanks for all your great advice! Just got the bird netting today!

    Tina - I hope you share your results of winter sowing! I'll be sharing some of these with my sister, there's no way I'll have room for all I'm starting :)

    Lona - I hope your hollyhocks bloom. The hardest part is waiting a year to see flowers! This is larkspurs last chance. I only had a few come up last year. Some people have no trouble with them.

    Melanthia - I keep telling my girls to watch where they walk in the garden now, so many little seedlings coming up. Thanks for rejoining. I didn't know I was disappearing too. I'll rejoin yours too.

    Tom - Okay, I'll just leave them then. I have more containers to use in March and maybe some of these will come up by then. Thanks for you help.

  8. Dont give up on your seedlings yet - I have had seeds germinate 18 months after sowing!

  9. It's so fun to see the seeds we sow grow! Yours look great-looks like you have a salad ready to harvest. Hope the slow-germinating ones come thru for you too. I agree with Tom & the patient gardener--cold temps and time could be the trick.

  10. Oh those little sprouts in or out, what a feeling!

  11. My columbine seeds from Park Seeds haven't germinated either, and it's been about 3 weeks. I even put them in the fridge for a couple of weeks before sowing, as recommended. Glad to read Tom suggest waiting for them. I figured that I'd set them outside after a while and see if they ever did spring up. VW

  12. Hi, What fun to see your sprouts. A fresh salad sounds delicious! Years ago, I had success with scabiosa and it was such a perky plant. Best wishes!

  13. Don't give up on the Larkspur seeds. They take 20 days to germinate and soil temperature can slow the process down.
    Garden Thyme

  14. patientgardener - no wonder you have your name, I don't think I could wait 18 months :)

    Aerie-el - I think I will follow the advice to wait. My daughter was sampling the lettuce today.

    Darla - Funny how something so small can be so rewarding.

    VW - My columbines outside have reseeded like crazy, I didn't realize they could take this long. I hope yours sprout for you too!

    Mildred - This scabiosa has been such a great performer. Love getting free plants from it.

    Debbie - Thanks for your advice, I will give the larkspur more time. I really had given up, but now I will hold out hope :)

  15. We tossed our larkspur seeds out in the beds around the end of January, do try sowing them outside.

  16. Looks like you will have a nice start on some great plants for the garden this year. I am getting ready to try something similar. I love the idea of seeds because they are only a fraction of the price of plants. I am going to try more this year and work on dividing what I do have.

  17. The hollyhock sprouts are looking good Catherine. I've had good luck getting columbine to germinate. Usually within a week, in a sunny spot and covered container. Larkspur has done better for me by direct sowing. In my zone, I do that in March. Not sure about your warmer one?? Good luck tho. I hope some germinate for you. It sure is fun to try seed sowing no matter the results.

  18. Randy - I hope they will come up that way. I just love how they look.

    Heather - I figure that even if only a few grow it's still cheaper than one plant from the nursery! Dividing is another great way to get more plants.

    Kathleen - I agree it's fun just trying. I'm going to leave the seeds outside for now and see what happens. It sounds like most people have best results with direct sowing larkspur. We'll see what happens :)

  19. I love the sprout progress you hav shared with us. Thank you for sharing your love of gardening on the web. Stop by my garden sometime!

  20. Catherine, you put me to shame! I haven't planted anything yet. I now feel the need to rush out and get my hands in the soil and seed madly - pity I've got to go to work, sigh!!!

  21. My nicotiana sylvestres germinated in early January when we had a week of really warm temperatures. They were sown on Dec 21, Winter Solstice. They're doing fine in their containers even as temperatures in January dipped to single digits and we had two snowfalls. NC snow is not the same as other places, but it was still pretty cold for almost a month straight. Give it a shot. They might germinate quickly or it may take a few more weeks. Never toss out a wintersown container until you are certain the seeds are not viable, July or so. :)

    Even then, I dump all my soil in one area of the garden. I might see some sprouts later in the season.

  22. Bren - You are welcome! I'll visit your blog today. I enjoyed your cat pictures the other day, they are cute :)

    Nutty Gnome - You've been too busy with your pond :)
    I'm sure you will have lots of little sprouts soon.

    Tom - Thanks for coming back. I'll try the nicotiana sylvestris then. I looked at the seeds and thought they were dust. I'm keeping my winter sown intact, and hope for the best!

  23. So much cheaper to plant seeds too. I hope you figure a way to get them to germinate. I'm guessing the soil might have been too cold. Seems like many of us are in the planting spirit either indoors or out.


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