Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Mess of Pansies/First True Leaves Geraniums

I didn't want to show the pansies but why not. Didn't take long to germinate with no bottom heat sitting on my dining room table. When I noticed several germinating, I moved them to the seed rack.They show my lack of care in how I sowed them. Instead of taking my time and putting one seed in each cell I just sprinkled the seeds and you can see what it looks like. The second problem is lack of light. I was having trouble with the shop lights. Today I went out and bought another fixture and four new T8 bulbs. Turned out there was no problem with the fixtures but how I was inserting the light bulb. It was time to change bulbs anyway. I've use the ones I have for at least 3 years. It's amazing that although the bulbs still give light, the spectrum of light is different over time and many sites recommend changing them periodically. What a waste unless you have florescence lights in other areas of your home and can reuse them.

Any way what to do with the pansies? Seeds can be very forgiving although fragile and they should be handeled by their leaves not the stem, things can be done that may allow them to adjust and continue growing. I've never had any so stretched from trying to get more light although I had them as close to the light as possible. Phone books were used to raise them up to the light. Having only one bulb in the fixture I believe caused the stretching. What will I do with them? Many seedlings can be planted deeper and their stems inserted deeper to allow for more support. This has worked for me in the past. This will be the last time I'll scatter more than one seed per cell.

Several geranium seedlings dies, about 4. Damping off didn't appear to be the cause to me. I read on several educational extension sites that low light can possibly cause problems with the leaves and how they grow. This is what really made me go out and get new lights today so not only are the lights new but I have 2 lights for each fixture. I really didn't think one light was a problem but it may have been the cause. Seedlings that have recently germinated were moved into the egg carton with 2 surviving ones that have developed one true leaf and appear to have another one forming. When the second one forms, I'll move them to individual pots and start fertilizing. It's really fun to watch the seeds change from day to day. I always get excited to see them look like their future adult appearance with true leave like geraniums. What a luxury it'll be if I get a lot to survive until spring. the price for just one is so high.

The other 2 trays of begonias have started to show some germination. It takes careful observation with begonias because when the seeds do germinate they are like tiny specks on the soil and it takes a while to actually be able to see them. I will continue to have patience with them. The trailing and more exotic ones are also pricey in nurseries. This is more than enough reason for me to attempt growing my own. I ordered calibrachoa seedlings from Burpee. I read about them finally being available as seeds on another blog and sure enough they were listed with new seeds for 2015. Do you think that because they were patented it took this long for seeds to be available? They're also pricey for just one small 4 inch plant. I really hope to have success growing them. I ordered orange, purple, and pink varieties. Wish me luck. Are you going to order some to grow? Almost forgot. The best part is free shipping for Black Friday. I think it last for a few more days. This motivated me to order now before seeds are sold out. Their shipping rate is higher than other places I've ordered from. Some other companies have already sold out of the seed already.

This was a long weekend for me with Thanksgiving on Thursday. I didn't do a thing yesterday but rest. Would have been a good time to sow some seeds.  Think I may try to clean some containers tomorrow to start some seedlings maybe foxglove and vinca. Vinca takes a long time but if I start early I should have good sized seedlings by spring.

Can you spot the 2 with true leaves?
Two seedlings have their true leaves. When I saw the cotyledon (seed leaves) yellowing and drying up I was worried but forgot that they will eventually fall off. It's amazing that all the nutrition a seedling needs before the development of their true leaves is in the cotyledon. Not a good practice for me not to know which are pink and which white since I didn't individually label them. Well maybe in the spring they will surprise me with early blooms and  then I'll know. It's like a new mother who delivers and doesn't know what the gender of the baby is going to be.
Pansies. It'll take a lot of work to save some of these.
This is what I have to read tonight. My one treat while out today. Didn't buy any plants.

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