Seed starting 2011 part 5

This weekend I filled up the 2nd tray of Jiffy 7 coir pellets (Professional Greenhouse 72), 72 seeds in all. For the harder-to-grow seeds, I attempted to triple and quadruple some of the seeds in hopes that stronger seedlings result.

The list? Easy Wave (The Flag) Petunias, Seabreeze salvia farinacea, Lady in Red salvia coccinea, Impatiens Xtreme Hot! Mix, Origami Blue and Red Columbines, Stardust Delosperma, Durango Outback Mix marigolds.

On our trip to NHG this past Saturday, we bought a Midnight Blue rose (with several closed buds already on it) and a Lime-scented thyme. For some reason I did not find good specimens of Coconut thyme at NHG…so I will most likely pick them up elsewhere, maybe Calloway’s. I also bought two packets of seeds: garlic chives and lime basil. Too late I discovered that a couple of chives are just now sprouting in the same pot as the Iona Blue pansy. Based on a pot of chives I saw at NHG, I sowed 6-7 seeds of the used packet of chives that I had left over in 2 3″ pots. Perhaps growing them thick is the key.

I brought out the tray of vinca seedlings into the light. With counter space at a premium, I’ve had to do some fancy rearranging in our bathroom greenhouse. I decided to put out all the pepper plants, including the ornamentals, out in the yard to make room. I’ve also set out the tallest of the hosta plants. I imagine I also be putting out the 2 cupheas sitting in the bathtub…they haven’t done anything since I put them in there, so I believe they would prefer a stronger light source.

I noticed that through neglect one of the Oriental Limelight artemisias nearly died back into the pot. Luckily, a little water restored it, though some stalks were lost in the process. I’m still trying to decide if I should turn them loose in the landscape or just keep them potted.

By the way, I found this free online planner that meets most of my criteria for designing a garden bed:

The following sights currently on view in the garden: plumes of foxtail ferns shooting up, a healthy crown of leaf buds on Prairie Sky Hosta, blue flowering Chocolate Chip ajuga, sword like fan of leaves on the hardy amaryllis, daffodil buds peeking through the ground, white loropetalum in full bloom, violas and scabiosa also blooming heartily, purple oxalis looking spectacular.

3/14/2011 Buds (1) 3/14/2011 Buds (2) 3/14/2011 Buds (3) 3/14/2011 Buds (4) 3/14/2011 Buds (5) 3/14/2011 Buds (6) 3/14/2011 Buds (7)

Also this weekend, finally accomplished setting down weed mat on the salvia wall. Next mission: gravel or mulch, not sure yet. In the herb garden, transplanted one of the golden oreganos and the lime thyme. I’ll need more soil/compost to finish transplanting the rest of the herbs in the cinderblock wall.

End of winter review

2/21/2011 Lily Bulbs Sprouting in FebruaryFrom Walton’s, I purchased a 3-foot rosemary topiary and 4 Ice Follies daffodil bulbs. From Home Depot, 2 red amaryllis bulbs. I would have purchased some caladium bulbs, but Calloway’s offered only some small bulbs of the kind a desired. I was tempted to pick up some other flower bulbs, but was unsure that they would produce this year.

As part of this weekend’s activities, I raked and cleared some debris from the courtyard and front flower beds. I also took some time to cut back the salvia wall, taking care to mulch where necessary. The weeds had rampaged much of the fall and I hoped the mulch would suppress some of it. I still need to move the white salvia over one foot, and add another.

In the flower bed, I sheared back all of the dianthus, trimming off much of the frost-bitten tops. I also cleared some debris, revealing some more early lily/daylily starts. I’ve had to cut down the dead gumpo azaleas and have been contemplating fertilizing and mulching the remaining specimens.

In the front beds, I’ve had to clear many leaves, though the gardenia bed proved extremely labor-intensive. Even today, another blanket of leaves has settled in the bed. I’ve decided to hold off on any more clearing until we are well into March.

I am concerned however that the Foxtail ferns may have succumbed to the frost, though some digging in the area unearthed some live root stock (which I took to make a planting out of). Unlike the other ferns in the bed, there is a distinct mound where each foxtail lay buried. I had hoped to find some new growth after I trimmed off the tops, but had no such luck. I await the warmer weather to stimulate the ferns back into green. Meanwhile, I planted the 4 daffodils in a row behind the planting astilbe. They were showing some live growth, and I am hoping that they will take off in a few weeks.

Next on the list to be planted are the red amaryllis and the rosemary. Meanwhile, I am thinking of expanding our grow light room to include bulbs and more seeds.