Nasturtiums! November Seed starting adventures

Nasturtium seeds: Alaska, Jewel and Black Velvet

I’m bound and determined to grow nasturtiums this year. I had some old packets of Alaska Variegated, but turns out they were too old to germinate. So I picked up several packets at Calloway’s and online from Amazon. While seed shopping I also picked up Spinach and Lettuce seeds, along with bunching onions, chives, marigolds and coneflower seeds. I’m also looking forward to my order from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds, consisting of baby bok and Chinese broccoli, coming soon!

As it turns out, my last seed starting venture left me with a lot of unsprouted soil blocks: arugula, spinach, bok choy, and various types of basil. Cleaning out the old seeds from my collection turned out to be a simple matter of dumping packets into wet paper towels and storing them in plastic zip lock bags.

No surprise here…well except for a single spinach seed that germinated. It just wasn’t worth the effort to keep it.

I also started another flat of soil blocks. The Parris Cos lettuce germinated within a few days. I’m hoping that the basils germinate. I also broke out the fenugreek seeds and sowed them in a pot. I purchased these seeds from Amazon pantry a few years ago, which sold them as spices. But whole fenugreek can also grown from these spice seeds. Even as sprouts, they are very fragrant.

If this batch of soil blocks fails to produce any basil, I may have to run them all through the paper towel method. I’m still hopeful I’ll get some to germinate. Stay tuned.

First plant purchases of the season!

I’ve caught the spring fever bug if you’ve sneaked a peek at my Instagram. Temperatures in the North Texas area are in the low 80s for the past week. It was time for my seasonal commute to North Haven Gardens and big box stores around town.

First, off to North Haven Gardens…herbs, colorful annuals and perennials snagged:

I wanted to start some lemongrass from seed, but haven’t found any local retailers selling seed. Calloway’s Nursery in Denton had this one specimen in stock, so I figured I’d pick it up…along with a bag of expanded shale. The kitties like inspecting grassy things.

I need to shop for some catgrass seed!

I finally found some Red Rubin basil seeds at Home Depot. Couldn’t resist picking up lily bulbs and more annual/perennial color. Weekend garden project, here we come!

 

Cuttings and seedings

I plan on populating the new garden bed cinder block wall with oregano and thyme cuttings. I divided the newest thyme (elfin) in 2 and already planted them in 2 blocks. I took golden oregano, variegated oregano, variegated lemon thyme, and lime thyme cuttings yesterday. Oregano, especially the golden variety, tends to be a very tricky plant to take cuttings from, since they are very sensitive to disturbance. Both the mother plants and baby plants suffered serious wilt. I decided to bring the cuttings indoors and keep them under artificial light. I’m not sure that the golden oregano will make it. The variegated oregano had tiny white flowers when I divided it; unfortunately, the mother plant is not doing so well. The cuttings however look as fresh as the day I took them. Too bad I can’t grow these things from seed.

I did take some verbena cuttings as well. I have one big mother specimen that survived the last two summers that I’d like to increase. The purple bed looks especially lovely because of them.

8/14/2012 Cuttings and Seedings (1) 8/14/2012 Cuttings and Seedings (2)

I decided to sow my Toy Choy and Guy Lan seeds today. It’s about the right time of the year for the fall harvest season. I hope I get to feast on Chinese broccoli and baby pak choy  this coming October. I also started Bride Eggplant and Red Rubin basil indoors. I need some ornamental pepper seeds to grow in time for the October/November holidays.