Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thawing Dirt and Sprouts

All my seeds have arrived. I've done some planting, but really I'm 1-2 weeks behind with much of it. It's so time consuming mixing dirt, filling 6-packs, seeding, watering when I have so many other obligations (and kids). Hoping to crank out quite a few flats today and get caught up.

These are pelleted wave petunia seeds. They are expensive and I made a mistake in ordering. When I changed my mind about the color of the ditch bed (110-feet long) I forgot to delete the original order. Now I will have 125 Hot Pink Tidal Wave Petunias without a place. That will also take up much of the grow room and later the greenhouse that I did not plan for.

Awhile back Nick brought in some of the frozen dirt and yesterday Emily got me more. 

It thaws by the wood stove that I keep going to keep the grow room warm. I think I had things a little too hot last night and we were chased out of there!

There are quite a few thing sprouting. These are geraniums that already have 3-4 leaves now. The peppers are up as well as some petunias. It will all keep me very busy for the next few months, but it's a busy I love.

Yes, the plant room is still a mess. I'm running out of places for flats so today I will have to do some cleaning.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Very Little Progress

My Harris Seeds order arrived. I've been using them for several years for my Wave Petunia seeds. While still expensive they are far more reasonable than other places. Those particular seeds are $18 for 100 and I get about 500 of them. 

Progress for Monday was minimal and Tuesday was non-existent. Today I have to get cracking. I'm already behind. I got 36 California Bell Peppers planted. I'm thinking I should have done one more flat and may still do that.

8 6-packs of Dwarf Carnations. Last year I did a bed of carnations for the first time. The plants grew wonderfully, but flowers were limited. They just started to bloom as summer came to an end. This year I am going to put some in pots that can spend some extra time in the greenhouse hopefully helping.

18 Jalapeno Peppers. I thought I had a packet of another variety of pepper, but can't find it. I confuse myself a lot like this.

20 Mixed Geraniums.

I have no idea what I am going to do with these jars. With my big kitchen yet-to-be-built and my "temporary" kitchen full they all went here. We have a heated slab so I can't put them on the floor. I'm just dreading this....

....and mostly this mess. All winter long my shelves become a catch-all for tote lids, newspapers, tools, even my chainsaw. This week has been a nightmare of broken-down cars and my husband working out-of-town that I've been dragging my feet on getting in here and getting it done. Last year I swore to not let this happen again. So much for good intentions.

My dirt is still under two feet of snow. The son I asked for help "forgot". I hear that we are getting a couple more inches of snow this weekend. Blah. I want summer and this is reality.

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.