Direct Sow

I’m always hesitant to broadcast seeds directly into the garden because of the risk of poor germination rates. Granted, previous experience had me neglect seeds sown directly into the beds, which need the right temperature and moisture to thrive. Daytime highs are in the upper 60s while nighttime lows in the high 40s and low 50s. It’s still too cold for some delicate summer plants to tolerate, as some of the starts are beginning to show.

I hedge my bets wherever I can, sowing indoors those seeds that I trust will germinate successfully and can handle transplant.

Seeds I’ve sown and re-sown both inside and out:

Agastache rugosa, Korean Hyssop
Salvia coccinea, Scarlet Sage
Salvia farinacea, Sirius Blue Sage
Monarda citriodora, Lemon Bee Balm
Gomphrena haagena, Strawberry Fields
Tropaeolum minus Nasturtium Black Velvet (presoaked)
Nigella damascena, Miss Jekyll Blend
Zinnia elegans, Fireball Blend
Cosmos sulphureus, Diablo
Tropaeolum majus Nasturtium Alaska Variegated, Jewel Blend (presoaked)
Tithonia Speciosa Mexican Sunflower Red Torch (2017 seed)
Mirabilis jalapa, Marbles Yellow-Red (presoaked)
Tagetes tenuifolia Lemon & Tangerine Gems Signet Marigold

The last vegetable seeds I direct sowed beginning of March were the bok choy Tiny Hedou and Purple Lady, along with bunching onions Tokyo White. They are finally beginning to emerge. Meanwhile I’m giving the Thai Long Green Eggplant another try although I haven’t had any success with the last batch.

More March Plant Purchases

Undeterred by my recent shipping disaster, I went ahead and ordered more plants online.

From one of my favorite online shops, Colonial Creek Farm:

Description Qty
Kitten Around Catmint 1
John Whittlesey Salvia 1
Mirage Rose Bi-Color Salvia 1
African Blue Basil 2

It’s never too late to get bulbs. I’ve been needing to replace the calla lilies that turned into mush after the freeze. I ordered lilies through Brent & Beckys. It may be too late to enjoy the gladiolus, but I’m hoping I can get them into the ground by end of April.

Description Qty
Zantedeschia Picasso – Calla Lily 6
Lilium Lollipop – Asiatic 5
Lilium Muscadet – Oriental Lily 5
Gladiolus Zizanie – Sword Lily 10

I received a heads up on a new nursery in Denton, so I headed over Denton Plant Factory right away and got a trunkful of plants. Four Seasons Nursery was only a short drive away so I hopped over to get some ornamental basil, strawberries and golden sage.



Will It Live? Veggie Edition

Finally got around to cleaning out the stock tank beds of dead plants and withering leaves/stems. It looks like some veggies are extending their stay.

Brussel sprouts, red russian kale, kohlrabi, some Parris cos and red lettuce are being joined by some broccoli specimens. The wasabi radish turned out inedible, soft and mushy after sitting out on the counter. I’m not sure if the remaining specimen is salvageable, but I will leave it in-bed for now.

I lopped decaying tops and removed decaying leaves/debris to give the new offshoots some space and light.

In addition, I installed seedlings in the vacant square foot spaces, mostly lettuce starts and 9 chinese broccoli seedlings. I had to throw out my spinach and bok choy seedlings due to heavy infestations of aphids.

Instead, I direct sowed all my bok choy seeds into the stock tanks, along with some Tokyo White bunching onion seeds. Let’s see how these do.

Next time, I may have to buy a bag of ladybugs and a fine mesh cloth to clean up my beds, as suggested by my instructor from StartOrganic class.

Another useful tidbit I learned from garden class: certified organic means no applications of fertilizer/compost within 90 days of harvest.

March Buds, Blooms and Beds

March is the start of the busy gardening season. So posts come and go sporadically as I try to prep the garden, sow seeds, transplant starts and putter around back and forth trying to get as much yardwork done as possible.

But it’s also a chance to look, reflect and gaze upon the daily pulse of spring as it progresses slowly throughout the month.

Here are some new plants that I installed this week: verbena and delphinium.

Some emerging signs of life and budding from the golden oregano, lorapetalum, serissa, ligustrum, abelia, phlox, ajuga, shantung maple and redbud.

I’m also constantly working the flower beds, with special focus on the shade bed on the side of the house inside the fence line.

Risks of Ordering Plants Online

My order from Annie’s Annuals finally arrived, nearly a week later than the promised delivery date. I should have known that carriers are still dealing with large backlogs and delayed delivery schedules.

The plants didn’t look too good after unpacking, despite the great packaging. I reported the issue to the vendor and Annie’s was kind enough to offer store credit.

Good news for my tomato starts; 15g grow bags have arrived. I plan to transplant them around the beginning of April, once I have acquired cages and come up with a soil mix recipe.