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Posted: Feb/01/2007 5:06 AM PST
And I'm starting on a large scale.
We've (my husband and I) usually began with nursery plants for the flower beds, and seeds for the garden. Last year we decided to start our own from seeds. The thing is, for Memorial Day, I help plant flowers on my grandparents and other relatives graves (usually spending 80-100 there alone on plants) And Mothers Day is always flowering baskets (in which we are doing a bit differant this year) as well as planting my Mom's flower boxes. ($50-100 there a year). And I love my flower bed by my porch as well as flowering baskets on the porch. We also do a small garden (some things are being moved into containers to protecting them from animals and neighborhood children this year) I need a huge amount of plants in differant varieties. I've already ordered the seeds (and once they get here, I will post the types for suggestions) and I purchased peat pods (and green house kits). I guess I'm asking for any hints you can give a newbie who might just have bit off more than she can chew. I can't put up a greenhouse (we rent). So these are literally going to be started in my living room (sunniest) front bedroom, and my mothers bedroom windows (she just doesn't know it yet)
Did I also mention I have two young cats that won't leave anything alone? And of course I fully expect my 5 year old to try "helping"
Whats your favorite fertilizer for seeding?
How often do you feed?
Would planting cat nip in the garden help keep rabbits and moles out?
Am I completely insane for even attempting this?
I know differant seeds need differant things and I'll be reading the packages carefully. But I'm getting really nervous, my Mothers already told me that she doesn't think it will work out (she's always been the encouraging one ) and I have to prove her wrong. I promise to post pictures! (yes I'm begging)
Posted: Feb/01/2007 5:29 AM PST
Hi TerrorMom. I'm not sure if you've already taken a look through the threads in the Plant Propagation - Seeds section. I seem to recall we had a few threads here in the last year on how to start seeds indoors. I use those peat pellets and a grow light. I'm bad at feeding, so I'm not much help there on favourite fertilizer and feeding schedule. I am sure someone will come along with more answers!
Good luck on your seeds.
Location: Alberta Canada
Posted: Feb/01/2007 5:49 AM PST
I start a lot of seeds every year as I have an acre lot which has many flower beds and containers..I also have 4 cats so I know the cat routine, although I have to say my guys only chew the Spider plant. First off remember you can start seeds in almost anything..Be careful of the soil you use as a starter.DO NOT use anything with a built in fertilizer as this can burn young seedlings..Read the packages carefully as some need light to germinate others do not. Make sure to give them enough light or they will grow spindly..Water sparingly, don't drown the new seedlings..After they get their first true leaves they can be transplanted into larger containers then I use a seedling fertilizer..You can use 20-20-20 at a 1/2 solution. Then give lots of sunlight and away you go...Good Luck..Oh one last thing. You didn't say the zone you are in so make sure to plant according to your planting time outdoor. Good Luck and Have Fun.
Location: Southern Ohio - zone 5
Posted: Feb/01/2007 10:05 AM PST
My best advice is: don't start trying to grow the seeds too early. Advice I typically never follow . Usually right around this time of year, my green thumb starts itching and I'm ready to plant something. Anything. And when I do, they're all dead by April. Depending upon your zone and what it says on the seed packet, I'd wait until the last minute to plant. That way your house will be a wreck for only 3-4 weeks and then you can start taking stuff outdoors. You won't have anything ready by May, but there should be plenty of stuff for your flower beds.
I agree with kinnika about the fertilizer. One time I added just a few tiny balls of fertilizer to 10 pots of Four O'clocks that were 5 weeks old (I figured it would be safe by then), and they just burned and died.
You can buy potting soil that is specifically for starting seeds, but IMHO, it's not really necessary. I do a mixture of seed starting soil, regular potting soil, and dirt from outdoors. It's cheaper.
Once you post exactly which seeds you are going to grow, and the zone your in, I may have some more info.
Location: west allis wisconsin
Posted: Feb/01/2007 12:52 PM PST
I know the large scale seed starting thing soooo well. Besides turning our laundry room into a planting room ( I cover the washer with a large plastic table cloth), and put large plastic bins holding seed trays in the laundry sink, I replaced all the lights over the kitchen counter with grow lights and set wooden crates on their sides the whole length, I use the inside of the crates to put the counter stuff in, so I am not losing that much space. this Year I bought a 4 shelf seed started cart with lights. to stash in the corner of one of the bedrooms. I also have 4 of those inexpensive grow shelves outside. The kind with the heavy plastic cover with zippers on the deck to move my plants out to toward the end of March (We rent too, but have a HUGE lot). This little grow stands come in 2,3,and 4 shelve models and are pretty effective even on nights when it dipped down to 28 or so (after warm sunny days) they maintained a warm enough environment to keep the plants safe, I wouldn't recommend it for more then 1 or 2 nights though, if the night time temps are going to fall below freezing for more then that, I will bring the plants in at night. I keep a large number of the clear plastic sweater containers for keeping the seedlings in, easy for carrying and watering, plus deep enough to keep curious kitty from easy access to the all you can eat line. Advice for your 5 year old, give him (her), his/her own "special" seeds to start and put them in a spot he can watch them grow. This helps in many ways. Kittys are a different story, you have to kind of be inventive as to protecting the seeds for them, adaptive is another word. I usually end up with around 300 seedlings ready to plant in May, I always start specific ones for my folks, usually begonias, geramiums and impatients, and give what ever I don't use to our church for the yards there. I love going and seeing the perennials, come back every year and the annuals grow during the summer. I would be happy to give you a hand. I start the operation here over the next two weeks. Lots of luck
Posted: Feb/01/2007 7:21 PM PST
Thank you all for your replys! Your advice is much appreciated!
Posted: Feb/01/2007 7:34 PM PST
Oh I'm in Zone 5
Location: Crossfield, Alberta
Posted: Feb/02/2007 3:48 AM PST
terrormom, Could I point you to the seed propogation forum and the "wintersowing" thread?
I started it last winter and it's taken on a life of its own.
Basically the method is starting your seeds outdoors in a fairly controlled environment. It sounds like you are wanting mostly annuals so you'd have time b4 March-April to gather containers...
Posted: Feb/02/2007 12:16 PM PST
I have used many different methods of starting seeds indoors. I've had good success using the peat discs that swell when put in water, the sponges used in a biodome, and in a good starting mix that usually contains peatmoss and vermiculite. Most seeds germinate without light. Some of the smaller ones like lettuce like light and can be planted by sprinkling on the top of the "soil".
My shop is unheated so I use a styrofoam box large enough for at least one plant flat with two night lights inside for heat. Using a thermometer the temp is controlled by using one or both lights. I have started seeds using any of my above mentioned planting media in the box. The dome works well because it keeps the seeds damp without frequent addition of water. Seeds need no fertilizer to germinate--just moisture and warmth. Some seeds will sprout in a few days. Others may take as long as a month--for the example the angel trumpets I have growing now.
As soon as the seeds sprout move them to plenty of light or they will get really leggy and weak. I have insulated shelves in my shop with insulation board and flourescent lights for light and warmth. Don't water from the top once the plants start ot grow as this can cause "damping off" (fungal attack and death).
Fertilize sparingly. I water from the bottom with a weak fish emulsion solution. Not more than a teaspoon full per gallon of water. Increase the strength as the plants grow.
I have planted the peat slugs directly in the garden, but usually all of my seedlings are transplanted into pots. I have even transplanted twice to large pots when needed because of outside weather and/or having started seeds too early inside. Be sure to harden off your seedlings gradually to outside conditions or the shock my kill them.
This is not difficult and not as complicated as is may seem. Remember- when in doubt follow the instrictions on the labels.
Posted: Feb/05/2007 5:56 PM PST
They're here! They're here! (well except for one that was out of stock but it will be shipped as soon as it's available )
I've already sat on the floor and had them all spread around me, infact my 10 yr old went to his room because he was tired of hearing differant gardening ideas (and I'm sure tonight will be the same as the other day when I was discussing the idea of a green house next year with hubby and he just says what ever you want dear, just shut up about it)
For the veggie garden we have:
Salad Bush Hybrid Cucumber
Big Max Pumpkin
Carnival Mix Pepper (I loved the colors!)
Sweet Zuke Hybrid Zucchini
Roly Poly Hybrid Zucchini (I thought the idea of a round zucchini was irresistable )
Orange Sunshine Hybrid Watermelon
Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon
For the vines, the idea I'm going to pass the idea around hubby about staking the vines to a trellis. We have such a small garden and the pumpkins took over last year then people stole them I think stakeing them and putting the pumpkins/watermelon in panty hose or netting might just fix both problems.
Veggies/fruit for containers:
Big Beef Hybrid Tomato
Red Lightning Hybrid Tomato
Peas'n-a-Pot Sweet Peas
(and I forgot to order strawberries, so we'll be on the look out for them this weekend )
Now the flowers I'm doing hanging baskets (a bit differantly we got the idea from a website, we think we can do it much cheaper here at home. The baskets are normal plastic hanging baskets with holes in the sides to plant in, it looks like a very pretty bush that way [URL="http://www.hangingbaskets.com/"]Here's the website.[/URL]
The 12 inch has 27 openings. The 14 inch 30 and they look like round plastic waste paper containers. ) I also help take care of 7 graves with live flowers for Memorial Day, and I love trying new ones every year. My Gram was the one who first gaveme the gardening bug with snapdragons And of course my small flower bed, which we are expanding a bit this year (some good did come from me standing on the water pipe in the house and breaking it. We (us and the land lord) had to dig up most of the yard and sidewalk to repair it I lost my Pom Pom bush to my Dad, but it opened up more space by the stairs and infront of our half of the duplex)
Swiss Blue (instructions are not in English!)
Swiss Rose (again no English instructions)
Border Mix Geranium
Summer Showers Hybrid Geranium
Gum Drops Mix Snapdragons
Cinderella Mixed Snap Dragons
Gypsy Deep Ros Baby's Breath
Covent Garden White Baby's Breath
Hybrid Gerbera European multi color blend
Forget me not pink and blue mix
Cynoglossum Firmament (Chinese Forget-Me-Not)
Nasturium Night & Day
Nasturium Caribbean Cocktail
Zinnia Peppermint Stick (freebie from the company)
English Wallflower (bedder mix) (another freebie)
Nierembergia (Dwarf Cupflower) (another freebie)
Lavender Hidcote (I read up on how hard they are to grow after they were ordered)
Poppy (bread seed)
Four O'Clocks Kaleidoscope Mix
Nicotina European (on back order)
Mini Rose Bar Morning Glory
Blue Star Morning Glory
Zeeland Mix Morning Glory
Convolulus (Dwarf Morning Glory)
Giant White Moon Flower)
Burpee's Butterfly Mix (freebie most likely going to my sister or Mother who have more room)
I have 12 of the peat disk green houses (72 spaces each) plus 2 sets (20) of extra peat pelles (and will buy more if needed)
The main flower in the baskets will be the bush morning glory, with morning glory and moon flower hanging down. Snap dragons, baby's breath and forget me nots (and hopefully lavender) I might throw in some Portlaca (hubby's favorite) and pansys (I ordered enough)
With my Uncle being ill this year, I took most of the weight of the cemetary flowers. Geraniums, Gerbers, pansys, snap dragons, and anything else I can fit in there
My Mom's flower boxes, much of the same, with some of the more "off" ones (for me they're new)
And my Beds are pretty much planned with a mixture of everything We've had Portlaca come back after a year, so I know it will make good ground cover in the front of the house
(Wow and I wonder why everyone avoids me when I start talking flowers )