Friday, February 26, 2010

Look Close

Yup they're there. New little babies of my ornamental grass. I forgot about them and came back and there they were!
Stipa arundinacea (Pheasant's Tail Grass)

Thursday, February 25, 2010 ~ Launched 2/22/2010 is a collection of communities, home to 76,967 posts in 2,290 different forums. (To Date and Growing every minute) So for all Readers, and Blotanical friends. I Welcome and Hope to see You there! Please come visit me and feel free to post and interact.  My Cubits

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's an Addiction

I did it again! I went to the Home Depot to buy everything but Plants. Low and behold I was pulled over to the Gardening section. Ohhh how Pretty! I thought... I can plant these here and there..To get home and find out. I already have these plants.

It's Truly an addiction when you have so many plants you forget what you have! LOL

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Babies from the Fridge

Anthyllis vulneraria 
(had these seeds for 10 years, all have germinated in the fridge)

Lunaria annua 'Variegata Alba'
(all have germinated in the fridge, wasn't expecting that)

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I received Datura stramonium var. tatula f. bernhardii for Datura quercifolia yesterday. I was delighted to receive them. And wanted to give a little brief "How To" for a certain species. It has been said that Datura quercifolia is one of the hardest Datura seeds to germinate. I have read it repeatedly stated on the internet. So I thought I'd share a few pointers...This species will not and I mean will not germinate before 30 days. It requires high moisture and warmth for germination. Therefore a medium that can be keep very moist without molding is best. Here are 2 methods I use and get almost 95% germination rate. Use moist vermiculite (seal them in a ziplock bag) and place in a sunny windowsill. Or use damp Bounty paper towel fold the seeds inside and place them in a ziplock bag, and wait 30 days. They are also errattic. But this will give you a 95% rate. Hope this helps and Happy Gardening.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

OHHH MY Goodness!

I just received this message from a fellow gardener:

Couple of pointers, if you put moist packed seeds in the fridge, watch them closely, they may start to sprout. I do this with ones that require a moist cold period and then plant them in pots when they are beginning to germinate (though I have been too late a couple of times). Works well with monkshoods (Aconitum) as an example.
If seed is refrigerated, not frozen, even short lived seed like Agapanthus will live for years. I germinated A. coddii seed that was more than five years old, but it was refrigerated upon reciept.
Short lived seeds, at room temp, are pretty common in the following families (there are exceptions) Asteraceae, Poaceae (grasses), Ranunculaceae (monkshoods, buttercups, delphiniums, etc), and Amaryllaceae (fleshy seeds need planting even with refrigeration within a few weeks, black flattened seeds like Zephyanthes last longer but should be refrigerated if you plan on keeping more than 6 months).
Particularly long lived seeds often have hard impermeable seed coats, some examples would be Hibiscus and some scented leaved pelargoniums.
Of course, if you have old seeds, there's no harm in trying them out, pleasant surprises are one of the fun things about gardening!

So What did I do???

I just run to the fridge after I got the message. Wouldn't you know..I'm in trouble now. I have seeds I have had for 10 years and every last one is germinated in the bag. What to do now??? And the Aconitum seeds I paid big money are germinated. I wasn't ready for that..Now what?? I didn't know seeds germinate in the cold. Ohhhh phooey. Not set's cold here, grow lights in a box, and I'm just not ready.

Growing Adventures...that's why I named this Blog.

Needless to say... I guess the method really works!

Vermiculite Germination Bag all the Aconitums potted up and out the fridge. Stuck the ones that didn't germinate back in with more vermiculite. Well if you want to call this potted up. It was the best I could do for now and stuck them in a windowsill..until I get set up.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Astrantia Frenzy!

This is the First and Last Astrantia I've seen.

Great Masterwort 'Rubra'...

I was inexperienced and didn't know any better. I killed this poor plant before the flower fully opened up. This was the onset of flowering 5 years ago when I took this picture, and 5 years ago I just didn't know better then to pull a plant up. I was so excited that is was about to flower I pulled and placed it somewhere else. It flopped, got an attitude, withered, and died. Well I have never germinated an Astrantia seed in my life. This plant was sent to me from one of my fellow gardening friends in the mail. The bottom line is... now I am determined to grow whatever and any Astrantia I can. Haven't got a clue what this seed requires. But I have collected many different species and used my little germination baggy method with vermiculite, wishing and hoping. These seeds have been moist packed and refrigerating for 8 weeks now. I'm gonna give it another 4 weeks and bring them out for success or failure...sigh. To the growing lights and warmth (heat mats) they go!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Vermiculite Germination Bag

Some seeds require cold, warm, or moist treatment. Wether you plan to sow your seeds right away or store them for later. Vermiculite is an ideal growing medium for germination and starting seeds. It retains moisture without rotting or molding the seeds. In addition, vermiculite is loose and you can easily remove seedlings without damaging the roots. Which makes it easier to transplant from the vermiculite to soil. For tiny seeds (like snapdragons) Sprinkle the seeds on top of moist vermiculite and they usually sprout in a couple of days. Vermiculite is also ideal for when a plant seems to be dampening off. I have sprinkled it around the plant and it usually recovers quickly.

Just a few Tips:
Most seeds can be stored in the refrigerator, and can withstand cold treatment. Annual flowers and vine seeds usually germinate without any cold treatment. Although there are many Annual seeds that benefit from cold treatment (like Impatiens capensis and pallida) Very tiny seeds (like snapdragons) can be sown right on top of the growing medium surface for germination. Hard coated seeds can benefit from being nicked and soaked in water before sowing. For example, Morning Glory seeds germinate faster when soaked before sowing. Seeds that benefit from cold treatment are usually Cold Hardy Perennials. They can be winter sown in the ground or prepared indoors.

Keep in mind when sowing seeds indoors the key is: You are trying to duplicate how germination occurs in natural conditions for that particular plant. For preparing indoors, place seeds inside the vermiculite bag, add water. Just enough to wet the vermiculite and squeeze any excess water out the baggie, then seal it shut. Then place the ziplock bag in the freezer (very cold hardy plants) or in the refrigerator (semi-cold hary plants) for 6-12 weeks until ready to sow. Therefore they will already be cold stratified and ready for sowing indoors. Always use good seed starting soil (or vermiculite Smiles) when trying to start new seeds.

New Info: Seeds will germinate in the Baggie in the refrigerator. So keep an eye on them after a few weeks.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Before the Snow..

This picture was taken yesterday before the snow. When I woke up this morning I was snowed in. But here's my new backyard. A few months ago I went from hardly any yard to a small park. So I will make the best of it. I'm sure I can get a lot of plants in there! By the way..I can grow but I'm not a photographer. Might not get the best pictures here.

My project today was: I gathered every marigold seed I've ever collected, purchased, traded for, or stumbled upon. You name it's it's in there! Crackerjack, Disco Flame, Safari, Tashkent, Patula, Erecta, Lucida, Tenuifolia...Every species..Every kind and the list goes on and on and on.... Since I have this theory that marigolds aren't very viable over time. I Suppose Time will surely prove me right or wrong. I opened every bag, envelope, and dumped them all out and transferred to 1 bag. I have placed the HUGE bag of seeds in the fridge (for what I don't know). But I will keep them there until Spring. I am going to sow them all in a bed. Haven't decided where to place that bed. But I will come back and update on the place, size, and space. Hmmmm maybe I can get the Husband to build me a 15x20 raised bed

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Save the Seeds! for times like this...

I'm always putting something to the test. Here we have Iochroma cyanea 'Purple Queen'. Which I took this picture in October. I decided if it was tough enough it would pull through the winter. So I left it outside (maybe wishful thinking) I live in USDA zone 6b. The poor little plant doesn't look like it's coming back about right now. But time and Spring will tell. Just in case..being the seed junkie I am. Of course I saved the seeds

Monday, February 1, 2010

Who Has the Right Way?

No one. I'm sure there are a million and one ways to start seeds and everyone has there own preference. We can all learn from each other and then choose what works best for us. I am amazed at others growing techniques. Someone mentioned to me about winter sowing and I am not opposed to it at all. Maybe for columbines, marigolds, common annuals. Matter of fact I have about a kabillion Aquilegia seeds (all kinds of species) I'm going to sow out side this weekend. Whatever comes up comes up! I've decided to have a columbine garden. But for those plants I want to hand propagate I have to do something different. On March 1st I'm going to do something I've never done before. Buy these little doohickies here.

A sponge like material, all natural soilless organic grow plugs made of composted tree bark and organic materials.

Then I will place one each in a 50 cell 1020 Grow tray with the dome for humidity. Hardening off??!! Ahhhhh that's a whole nother story! Haven't gotten to that part yet. But for now my plans to germinate the Little Baggies will be to empty the seeds and vermiculite into a ziplock bag (with more vermiculite) keep warm, provide light, and when the seeds sprout. Remove each baby by hand and place it in the plug. I read to place the seeds into the plug for germination...But here's my thoughts and logic. Why waste a plug?? Not every seed germinates, so when it does then I will place it in the plug. More to come later..