Friday, April 11, 2014

April Seeds time at Gardeners with kids

Spring is finally here and with its arrival an overwhelming amount To Do in the garden.

Indoor Seed Time

More seeds had been started in the house. If you want to start your own tomatoes and peppers..this is the time. We have about 6 weeks until the warm crops can be placed in the garden safely so you have time.  

TOMATOES: Our tomatoes seedlings appeared after a week of seeding and are almost growing the second leaf. I planted three varieties: Romanian Oxheart, Fourth of July and Amish (my own naming -saved the seed from a delicious tomato that I bought from an Amish family at the Farmers Market last summer)

PEPPERS: This week I started from seed indoor three varieties of peppers: Hot Tequila Sunrise, JF Mild Banana Peppers and JF Sweet Banana Peppers. The JF stands for Johnston Farm which is a local farm where we pick large quantities of red bell peepers and other vegetable that we can't grow in our small garden or in large enough quantities.  No signs of seedlings emerging yet.

BASIL: Alexis' basil looks gorgeous. You may remember that she started that back in March- click here. I have three varieties that I want to start directly in the garden after Easter when temperature forecast no longer show 30s, just 40s and up.

CHAMOMILE: Alexis' German Chamomile seeds grew extremely well indoor that I had to separate the already thinned out seedling in a couple of individual pots. Because we are running out of room in the house I decided to place the already shocked transplants on a west facing window sill in the garage. So far so good! The plants are starting to grow again. Alexis will have lots of chamomile flowers for her favorite winter tea!

FLOWERS: On the flowers side we have some successes. My kids had been asking me what happened with the Sensitive plant that I started and grew couple years ago.  I made the mistake to place it in a pot with coleus and coleus was more aggressive and won. The kids liked this plant because as you touch its leaves, the leaves respond by moving and closing to protect themselves. After a couple of minutes, the leaves return to their open position.  Cool plant. Here is a series of shots we took that show what I explained.

So as I organized my seeds drawer this year I found the empty envelope of the Sensitive Plant that I started in 2012. It was very old seed (packed in 2007) by Monticello Gardens (Jefferson's estate) and someone  here in Hudson gave me this envelope as I toured their garden.  I looked closer in this emptied envelope and noticed one seed left.  I placed it in soil and guess what? Seven years after it was collected it was still viable. Now we have our "play" plant and everyone visits the pot daily and touches the new leaves to see how they move.  In another old "empty" envelope I found one seed of Columbine..I placed it next to the Sensitive Plant and guess what?  It grew as well.  I am on a roll!
Lets see if and how long we can keep them alive.

Also indoor, couple weeks ago  I seeded  Lincoln Hybrid Menocopsis Poppy, Stachys officials "Alba" and Persicaria orientalis "Shirogane Nishiki" or Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate. All needed a period of 3-4 weeks of cool weather (35-45F) before bringing to room temperature so I placed the pots outside in March protected in recycled clear plastic boxes.  Once I brought them indoor I moistened the soil and the last one shows some nice seedlings coming-up.

Outdoor Seed Time
Last Sunday we had a gorgeous and productive day in the garden.  I prepared a couple of raised beds for seeds that like to be planted when it is still cold outside.  I had two bags of mushroom compost available and incorporated it in the garden beds as I turned the soil.
I planted a couple of rows of radishes "French Breakfast", spinach and two kinds of lettuce: "Oak Leaf Lettuce" and "French Mesclun" blend.  To my disappointment some squirrels jumped the fence and wrecked all my rows to show me who is in charge outside. I can't decide what to do next.  Will the seeds emerge anyway or should I start all over and cover the beds with netting? It is raining now so I will wait for a good day to assess the damage again.
On Sunday I also seeded a couple varieties of flowers that need cooler temperatures to emerge. 
In the rose bed I scattered some annual Larkspur.  This is totally experimental and we will see if it produces any results. In the same bed I scattered some Nigella damascena or Love-in-a-mist which is a gorgeous part sun annual I received from blogger and avid gardener Nancy Ondra.
In the Sun room Sun Bed I scattered some Iberis or Candytuft.
In the Front North Bed I scattered Asclepias speciosa or Showy milkweed and Amsonia hubrichtii or Arkansas bluestar - both from Nancy Ondra at Hayfield gardens. 
More flowers and veggies to start after Easter! Until then, happy gardening!

1 comment:

  1. Daniela, good luck with your outdoor seeds! I hope you have better luck than I do. I now have so many birds that eat the seeds or the new tiny seedlings. Also the rabbits, the squirrels and the deer are just waiting for any new greens!! And now we suddenly have a lot more raccoons. I have given up on outdoor seeds (and a lot of plants). Things that I used to just scatter anywhere and watch grow are no longer possible without a fortress to protect them.