Sunday, February 10, 2013

Seed Planting and Starting: That time of year

This morning I purchased seeds for this year. I went mostly flowers because a Master Gardener friend in Wisconsin is growing all vegetables and we are going to split up the plants! So excited about this. It does put some pressure on me be successful.

My prior seed starting efforts included clayless seed bombs (prior post here) as well as some home-made seed starting trays (post here)  This year I will again make up the seed bombs as they worked so well in the guerrilla garden. However, I am adding commercial seed trays because of the volume of seeds I am starting this year.

Potting Station from old Bakers Rack
Here is where the work begins - my seed starting / potting station.  This is an old bakers rack that I sourced off CraigsList for ~$50, then added the wood/plastic tops to create work surfaces. My thought was to have it inside in the wintertime and then outside in the summertime. In reality, it stays inside all the time and I use it all year round.  I love this space and have tried to make it as productive and efficient as possible. It holds potting mix in containers, seeds, small pots, and hanging are bottles of various herbicides. Also holds pre-mixed fertilizer, root hormone, and other chemicals in different storage containers. On the right side you can see the pots with Sedums that I directly placed a few moths ago. They continue to do well and will head out into the garden in a few months.  I'm starting to lay out the seeds for the season as well as to accumulate some of the recycle materials I use as pots. The bottom of milk cartons will work well for the ginger root or cannas. Yogurt containers are just like little pots - just put holes in the bottom.  This is pretty messy now :) but not as much as it will be shortly!!



My selections of seeds for this year and plan for starting them are:

Flowers to start in trays:  I will start these around March 10th (6-8 weeks before last frost) assuming that our last frost will actually be earlier this year (Damn Climate change)


  • Echinacea, Warm Summer US7,982,110 - Exceptional 1st -yr flowering cone-flower from seed.
  • Coleus, Chocolate Covered Cherry  Non-fading bald pattern for sun and shade.
  • Coleus, Giant Leaf Mix - Mix of texture and color
  • Asclepias, Butterfly WeedProlific bloomer. My white butterfly bush needs friends ;)
  • Carnation, Giant Mix - My grandmother used to grow carnations, let's see if I can too!
  • Tradescantia, Blue & Gold - Wildflower is easy to grow, I liked the vibrant golden foliage with gentian-blue flowers which will be a good match to the purple ones I already have
  • Red Hot Poker - so hope these take, I love the Shock & Awe drama this brings to the garden
  • Blue Flax - interesting for the border
  • Holly Hock - a deep purple almost black color to mix with the pink ones I have already.
  • Wing Begonias - these seeds are 2 years old, they are last priority to start in trays.
Flower Seeds to start in seed bombs:  My seed mix this year will be mostly new Shasta Daisy seeds but I will make two batches mixed with other seeds. One batch will include a few packs of old "Garden Flower Mix Perennials" these seem to be taller flowers of many colors. I will place these carefully in the north-most edge of the guerrilla garden where they will be full sun.  The second batch will be the Shasta Daisy mixed with old "Moss Rose" seeds. These will go to the front edge of the rock garden where Shasta Daisy took from seed bombs a few years ago.  I will make these up and place them in the garden approximately April 15th.

Vegetables to Direct Sow: To be completed approximately May 1st - once I get the vegetable garden roto-tilled and plan made (that's next on my list!) Might add some more veggie seeds/plants depending on what my girlfriend has for me.


  • Chinese Cabbage, Pak Choi, Toy Choi Hybid; it grows fast so I will make several staggered plantings to enjoy over a longer period of time.
  • On the Deck Sweet Corn - this is going to be the architectural element in my large containers this year!

While on gardening sites, I found this little piece of technology that I just "had to have" - the Suncalc sunlight calculator.  While I roughly know the amount of sun each side of my garden gets, it will be interesting to measure it throughout the season and within a few feet across the garden. I have many trees and sometime just a few inches makes a great deal of different in whether a plant thrives or dies. 

This morning I'm singing "Come Rain or Come Shine" by Barbra :)


Teresa Marie