Saturday, March 2, 2013

It's That Time of Year

It's that time of year again. I was late putting in my seed orders (what's new?). I put in an order to Harris Seeds for the following:

**new plant
*new variety of previous grown plant

Tidal Wave Silver Petunia
Tidal Wave Hot Pink Petunia
Tidal Wave Collection (five colors)
Wave Super Save Seed Collection (five colors)
Wave Blue Petunia
Pirouette Rose Petunia*
Maverick Star Geranium*
Bonanza Deep Orange Marigold*
Swizzle Cherry + Ivory Zinnia*
Zahara Starlight Rose Zinnia*
Garden Collection Zinnia
Blue Danube Ageratum**
Figaro Dahlia*
Harlequin Mix Dahlia*
Dusty Miller Silver Dust**
Super Elfin XP Starburst Mix Impatiens*
Athena Red Flash Impatiens*
Magic Mix Mimulus*

Also, an order to Burpee for the following:

QIS Mix**
Bells of Ireland Pixie Bells*
Fireball Marigold*
Snowdrift Marigold*
California Watermelon Heaven Poppy**
Watermelon Coleus*
Philippine Cosmidium**
Harmony Mix Stocks*
Fresh Look Red Celosia*

I've also purchased a bunch of seeds from Fred Meyer that I'll list in another post. I can tell you... if I had unlimited money I would have purchased so much more. I want to grow one of everything! I've added a few new for this summer and if they do well will repeat. It's rather scary trying new plants as my growing season is so short. I start seeds in the plant room March-May and plant outside the beginning of June. Everything will be dead and gone by the middle of September. If too many seedlings don't make it I'll have empty beds. I would never be able to afford to purchase at the local greenhouses. 

My daughter Olivia, one of eight.... 5 of mine, 3 step kids.... is the only one really interested in gardening. She is so much like me it is scary. She bugged me all day to plant seeds, but my grow room is a disaster. All my quart jars of pickles are stored there because I have no where else to put them. My life story can be found at  my family blog.

Here she planted 3 begonia bulbs. My mother grew the most beautiful begonia hanging baskets, but I've never given them a try. I bought one package of 3 for $9 making them $3 a bulb at Fred Meyer.... I believe they are $5 a bulb at the local greenhouse. Too expensive so we just planted three bulbs to see if I can grow them before I purchase a lot. 

 Next up we planted one flat of Anaheim Chili Peppers. I don't need 18 plants, but you never know what will germinate. I also have seeds for several other varieties. We stopped here. I have to get things cleaned up and organized or it's just going to be frustrating. I also realized that I can't afford the potting soil. One bag was $15.99. I suspect it will fill 3 flats. I plant about 200!! I have a pile of soil on the hill under a tarp that is buried by two feet of snow and frozen solid. I am going to have to shovel it out, get the boys to pack the space heater across the yard up the hill and round up a few hundred feet of extension cord so I can thaw the pile. This was the foolish thing I did two years ago. Last year I filled 2 big drums in the plant room in the Fall and was ready to go. This last Fall I thought it was too much hassle and I'd just buy dirt. What a fool I was!!! This is going to be a lot of work that I'm dreading.

I cut up some sour cream containers for labels. Last year I thought I was clever using clear plastic cups I bought at Sam's Club. What a disaster! The ink faded in the sun and I got my petunias all mixed up. I've also learned that every single pot needs labelled. When seedlings die or don't germinate to begin with flats get combined. I end up mixing things up. Hopefully not this year. 

I'm also trying something new. Rather than toss the seeds and buying new, I will save them. I put them in portion cups, labelled and put a number on the bottom. I put that number on the seed package and will file those away so I have the planting instructions. I have to find ways to cut back costs. Just the two orders above (plus shipping) came to $249.00. Add to that what I buy at the store and I definitely need to save seeds!

Well, that's my update for today. I hope to do a better job keeping up with things this season. I'd like to meet some other gardeners through this blog. There's always so much to learn. 


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

How neat that Olivia is getting into gardening. I think that is GREAT! She's already a big help to you and she loves doing it.

Oh my gosh Gayle, all of the work and expense for the short time of beauty is amazing to me. But when I see your colorful exploding flower beds each garden season, I see why. What joy, not just for you, but for all who drive by too.

Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

Stephen Andrew said...

How lucky Olivia is to learn gardening from you at her young age. Most people ignore gardening until much older. Excited to see your plants grow!

Humble wife said...

I am not sure what you mean when you say you are saving the seeds. Do you mean you throw away your seed packs every season if you haven't planted them, or do you mean you don't reserve seeds from what you grow? Just wondering.

I make a map of what I water and sun fade my sticks. Last year I cut up milk gallons for my labels and boy they faded so fast. I have one of my kiddos go to the roof and take a photo of the gardens before I plant so I can plot where things go and then I have them take two or three through the summer to keep up. In my greenhouse(a bedroom that faces south-as Third moved out)I also have a map because I rotate the flats to maximize the suns rays. And when I say flats I say cardboard box that comes with soda from grocery stores I collect and use under cut plastic water bottles. I collect these from offices around town and cut and poke holes in the bottom, so my planters are free.

Anyhoo...I love how you accomplish so much while mastering the extreme weather you have.

Take care my friend