Monday, February 24, 2014

What Are the seedlings Doing?

Some doing well, some not so well. Transplanting them may help. I am still planting flower seeds although I was supposed to be done. With so many flowers that I love it's hard not to grow something that would cost so much more for one plant in the nursery and at home you can grow them for pennies. So far seeds sown inside include begonia, coleus, vinca, petunia, becopa, black eyed susan vine, blue sky vine (that's not the full name, I ordered them off amazon from a seller in India; beautiful vine), dicondra silver falls, pansies, violas, trailing geraniums, pelargoniums, and impatiens. I would still like to sow, lambs ear, African daisies, angolenia, millet, more petunia,vinca, and salvia. Of course there could be more but there would be no space or time. 

I have about 10 pansies left and the viola I started look horrible. I can't seem to master them but that won't stop me from trying in the summer for fall. Until then, it's almost time for pansy season and I can't wait to see them arrive at the nurseries.
Begonias, I'm thrilled. My one disappointment, not enough. The tiny ones just don't want to give up. I want to transplant the larger ones tonight if the soil I baked in the oven cools off soon. I have been home from work for hours and haven't gotten a thing done.

Coleus. Many won't be transplanted, probably only the larger ones and throw out the weaker ones or put them in one pot to see what they will do.
Many varieties were planted but many seem to have the same coloration. Time will tell. I don't see any chocolate mint coleus. They are my favorite. I had 10 pelleted seeds. Last season I didn't end up with many either. They seem more difficult.
Ivy leaf geraniums. They are doing well and some are still germinating.
Pelargonium. Only 5 out of I think 20. Poor germination rate. I have tried everything. I have some pink ones I am going to start. I wanted them for house plants but I'll see what they look like and what they do. They are a powdery pink color. I love pastel colored flowers.
Vinca that survived. Most of the seeds germinated but didn't grow and died. I ordered more. Even if they are not ready for spring they will make nice house plants and color in the fall.
One petunia has germinated. It looks different from the wave petunias I grew last winter.
This is a fuseable of petunia and becopa. Don't look too promising.
So far only 2 of 10 dicondra silver falls have germinated.
Two Pansies. It's amazing how slow they grow.

Alabama Sunset Coleus. I left these in water since fall. I keep breaking it off as it gets leggy but it's time to put it in soil now and start pinching.
Blooming in the house. Begonia still living.
Primrose still in bloom and actually added more blooms.
Still in bloom. The other 2 are actually still alive.
Coming soon! The Philadelphia Flower Show starting on Saturday. Friday is a preview day, for a price. I can wait until Saturday, snow expected and all.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Seedling Progress

The seedlings are progressing. Some doing well, some questionable. It's actually snowing outside again. Another 1-3 inches expected! Since I spent yesterday planting container bulbs, I will sow some seeds today inside. I usually place a fan near the plant rack to provide ventilation and it's supposed to help with stockier plants. 

There is so much to learn about growing plants from seeds inside. I find it interesting. I was reading that florescent bulbs don't stay the same from year to year. Even though you may not need to replace bulbs for general lighting purposes, their efficiency for growing plants and the spectrum of light is not the same over time and plants may benefit from a new bulb each year. The ones I have are from last year.

Seed Rack. One more shelf on the bottom is left. When all the seedlings are transplanted all the shelves will be full.
Begonia, those that survived are doing nicely. There will not be many to give away. I will keep most myself but if I do give my mother and sister one they will still enjoy it and not miss getting more because they get so large. My sister will want more.

Vinca and panises.
Vinca and pansies. I am wondering if any pansies will survive?
Looking like a vinca. I'm disappointed more didn't survive. I wanted to start more but maybe during the summer to grow inside for color in the fall. They normally bloom inside before they go outside in the spring. It isn't recommended to let annuals bloom inside and to pinch off the blooms but I don't. Letting them bloom didn't appear to change how they preformed last season.
Impatiens. I have a tray of 72 but this set germinated before any of the others and got leggy. I cut the cells apart and took them out and put them on telephone books to elevate them to keep them from stretching more. They look healthy though and hopefully will all stand up. I don't worry a lot about impatiens. They aren't too fussy.
Coleus are starting to show color. I have some that are dark.

Yes I do water the pansies.
Geraniums and impatiens put back on the heating mat to see if more germinate. I did not remove the seeds that germinated. Hopefully the dome will not cause them to dampen off. I will keep a close eye on them.
Ivy leaf geraniums. They started to germinate in 3 days and look real healthy. Some of the  smaller seedlings that are just germinating look deformed. I guess not as healthy seeds. I hope they all germinate so there will still be a good number of plants. I planted 22 seeds and so far 10 have germinated. Initially I took the top of so they don't get leggy but decided to put the top back on and put them back on the heat mat. Maybe not the correct thing to do but lets see what happens.
Petunia seeds to be will sowed. A little of each. They will go in egg carton trays in the kitchen window. They seem to like cool temperatures. They did well germinating in the window last season. I started them later this year in the hope that they won't be so big and all over the place.
These are the last flower seed I plan to start inside. vegetable seeds are waiting to be sowed which will be new for me.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Aren't You Supposed To Be Planting Seeds?

Yes, I should be starting some seeds and taking care of those already growing, but it's a beautiful day to plant bulbs. Don't laugh. I know bulbs were planted in October and November. Well, I'm am not one to always do things as recommended. A gardener can do what she chooses with her bulbs.

My Inspiration. Can you see the sun and the blue sky? So deceptive with 11.8 inches of snow piled up all over the place. The sun seems brighter and warmer to me as spring approaches. I know that the sun is rising earlier in the morning and setting just a little later. A good day to sit on the porch and see what I can do.
Actually still healthy. All tulips and 1 hyacinth. Hyacinth are my favorite but the bulbs set on my porch too long and most of them rotted. Maybe I will have less bees buzzing around them this year. Unfortunately my drill was not successful in putting a hole in the bottom of the containers. Don't you plant without a drainage hole. Instead of waiting to get the proper drill bit for molded stone, I put about and inch of gravel at the bottom followed by about 2-3 inches of perlite. The perlite was just sitting on my porch. I think I have used it once. This should keep roots from getting wet. If not, at the end of this gardening season I will drill holes in the bottom. Lets see how it works with the geraniums I put in later. The pots were on sale in the winter. They cost almost nothing. I will show you some more I bought on the porch. No better time to buy pots than October, November, and December.
All Potted up!

I forgot the bulb booster.

Never too late. I added it on top and mixed it in. I finished with watering them and they will sit until Spring. I will water them again if they appear too dry but not much.

Paper whites I planted but didn't take inside.
I bought these in the Fall marked down more that half.
Dwarf Alberta spruce and camellia. They have been here since November. I water them when they are dry. They probably should have went in the yard until I decided what to do with them. Of course they were really marked down.
Wood chips that should have mulched the perennials in the yard but I guess they will be used in the spring. There is also humus and manure, and vermiculite. 
I need to bring these inside and plant them. I got them months ago from Brent and Becky Bulbs. They were already chilled to force. The flowers are blue.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ice, Snow, Snow

Ice storm last week, followed by snow this past Sunday, and today ice, sleet, and snow. It has stopped snowing today but will be followed by more snow tonight. Three to six more inches expected. It did allow people to go out and clear some of the snow before the next weather event starts. We got 9.8 inches. No bus service, schools, and city offices closed. I guess I shouldn't complain since this type of weather hasn't happened in a long time. According to the local weather, Philly hasn't had 4 snow falls in one winter each with at least 6 inches of snow since the year 1884. This year may break a record  as one of the 3rd highest snow fall totals ever. 

I remember 1996 when we had 36 inches. I remember snow storms at Easter time and snow piled up far into the Spring. Maybe this will be one of those years. Can't complain, I could be in Buffalo New York where this is nothing, and business goes on as usual. What does a girl do when snow bound? Fiddle with seeds and plants inside and wait for one to four inches of the white stuff predicted for Saturday. 

Ice last week.
Today's Snow

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lets Sow Some Seeds

Time to start impatiens. For the past few years impatiens walleriana have been affected by downy mildew which results in their death. I still sow them and so far I haven't had a problem. This year I will try new guinea impatiens which I haven't tried before as well as the walleriana. The geraniums have not germinated yet.
Ready for impatiens. Seed starting mix wet and packed into each cell.

Coleus Seedlings. Germinated last Friday.
Vinca and pansies. Not looking well at all. I plan to plant more if I can get more vinca seeds this week. It may be too late since vinca and pansies take a while to grow to bloom size. I took them out of the miracle grow potting soil and put them in seed starting mix with fertilizer. The other mix appeared too course. Hopefully some will survive. 

Begonias growing at different paces.
Starting to look like begonias. Still in the humidity dome.

In the kitchen window.

The window is cooler than under the grow lights. I thought I would put some pansies in the window to see if there would be a difference in how they grow. The won't have 16 hours of shop lights but I want to see if they get stockier and healthier in the coolness.

Pansies in the window.