Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Seeding Process

Each year I seem to plant more and more outgrowing my space and giving myself more to care for than I can handle. I suppose there are far worse addictions than gardening. 

It's that time of year to get my seeds started. I'm about one month behind on quite a bit of it. I made a seed order that was lost in the mail and had to be sent a second time. I should just order in December to avoid problems. 

Today I'll share my current set-up. At the end of summer I filled the barrel on the left with what soil I had left. A pick-up full runs $75. I stock pile it on a tarp in the yard. I should have hauled another load before snowfall as I am going to run out this Spring. 

The barrels are old military storage drums and are a little larger than a 55-gallon drum. 

 I mix the soil with perlite...

and peat moss. No real formula. Just whatever makes me happy.

Now I have my seeding soil.

 This is my new planting station this year. My husband ran water lines to the plant room and I have both hot and cold. Love being able to water with warm water. Previously I watered from a milk jug carried from the kitchen. Thirty minutes of watering took 1.5 hours!

I wet the soil and I must say it took a few trials to get the right consistency for my new gadgets.

Last year my husband got me soil block makers as a gift. If the soil is just right they work great. Too wet it sticks, too dry they fall apart. The idea is to make soil blocks to allow the roots more freedom than a small plastic 6-pack allows.

The roots will grow out and then stop at the air barrier between blocks. In a plastic container they begin circling around becoming bound up.

Next I have my pelleted wave or double petunia seeds in a portion cup using tweezers to place them in each dimple in the soil block.

I only have a handful of plastic greenhouse tops so the remaining are covered in plastic wrap.

Here are the first orchid mist seeds leftover from last season making an appearance. 

I am planting a ridiculous amount of petunia seeds this season. I'm halfway through 3500 seeds. Olivia is always such a great helper when gardening so the idea is to let her have a little plant sale this Spring. I have no doubts that she'll sell out. My only concern is room. I didn't think that through and am wondering where I am going to put all this plants until June? 


sue in mexico mo said...

That is a great idea for Olivia. If I lived near you I would buy some from her.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Hi Gayle ~ I'm always amazed at the amount of seeds you start every year. You have a great helper with Olivia.

Happy Growing ~ FlowerLady

Here I Am Carrie said...

I love your little soil blocker. Sure beats all the extra little pots and divided trays. I know you think each year you are going to down size seeding, but somehow you get your hands in the soil and just can't stop. What I do isn't even a drop in the bucket to what you do, but even this year as we are going to be spending alot of time at a new property developing it I though I shouldn't do flowers and keep the garden simply. But a few days again I was down in the greenhouse on a blistery day with rain and snow showers and couldn't help myself and got started preparing soil and pots for planted. Will be starting seeds in a few days. Still trying to get work done in the yard and house since arriving back here. At first I was so overwhelmed with catching up and trying to get the beds done, but soon the beautiful forests and green grass just calmed me again. I do prefer the green here to the browns of the desert. Happy Spring to you and Happy Gardening..