Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday morning seed sorting.

I finally got my seeds organized last night. It was an exciting Friday night, let me tell you. I use a plastic filing box with hanging file folders to alphabetize my seeds. I'll sort through them after the swap seeds are mailed out, pulling the best candidates for wintersowing first. Direct sown seeds will be divided up based on the beds they'll go in, when they'll be sown, and varieties. I've been given lots of cosmos and zinnias from the swap. There's already a bag of poppy seeds I plan to sow today ahead of the rain/frozen stuff we're expecting tonight.

With all my seeds sorted, it's scary how many different kinds of plants I'm intending to grow this winter and next spring. I started counting with the A's and stopped when I got through the C folder. I had already reached 200 packs. I can't possibly sow all these seeds in containers like I did last year. I thought I was going overboard then. Turns out I sowed over 800 individual containers from 9 ounce styrofoam cups to lasagna pans. This year, I plan to try something different. Carla's returning my bandsaw on Sunday. I've got my parents and sister saving 2-liter bottles. I've got an idea.

In the garden, I plan to sow the seeds directly. I'll make a new hole, fill it with potting mix, and sow the seeds. They'll be covered using a cloche made from the top of the two liter containers. Yes, it will look tacky for the next couple of months as the seeds are protected by the bottle tops. No, I don't care. By mid June, I'll have forgotten all about that as the seeds turn into blooming flowers. It's the only way I can imagine getting all these new plants in the garden without having to transplant. Cutting out two steps in the process seems the most logical.

It's 34 degrees now, up from an overnight low of 24. On my way to the mailbox this morning, I noticed the Black and Blue salvia finally bit the dust. I hope it comes back. I've been told not to cut it down until spring. Water can get into the stems and cause the crown to rot.

I'm going to see a man about an old wood heater today on my way to the family Christmas dinner. It's a little over an hour's drive each way. I'm hoping the rain and slush holds off until I get home. I need to pick up coffee and cat food on the way too.

12:25pm - The kitchen is caulked. Aside from wiping down all the walls, it's ready to be painted as far as I am concerned. It's not perfect, nor will anything in this 63 year old house be. I've still got some details to finish, some quarter round to install, etc. I'll get to that in my own time just like everything else. I doubt I'll do any painting this weekend. I've got to finish other things first.

Also potted up two Honeycomb buddleia, a couple rooted lavender cuttings, some more lantana (either white or purple), and one Salvia leucantha cutting that had grown one long stringy root. Various other buddleia also got potted. I watered with transplant solution and will hope for the best.

If the rain holds off tomorrow, I'll be installing the plastic on the hoophouse and finishing the seed swap. I've run out of room on the light rack. Some things like rosemary and well rooted Miss Huff lantana can handle being outside for the winter. I may lose some foliage on those really cold nights, but overall, they should survive. Cotoneaster can also be moved out there freeing up a lot of space.


Nell Jean said...

That's an inspired idea: in-ground winter sowing. Buff the dog would have my cloches picked up and carried all over in nothing flat. She would be capable even of doing that with glass cloches. Nothing, but nothing is safe from her. There are pieces of hardware cloth over the hyacinths I planted the other day, either Buff or the cat will dig anywhere there's a soft spot.

In the spring, I'll stake all my new plants with bamboo skewers, sharp end up.

You'll know this time next year what your fav plants are, what thrived, what took over, what disappointed, what surprised.

Unknown said...

eekk!! i got the box, i got the box!! oh my goodness, christmas has come to amlo farms for sure. thank you soooooo much my dear..:)


Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Nell, I'm using my experience that direct sown seeds don't always germinate. Something eats them, they get buried from pounding rains, they wash away, or cats and dogs dig them up. So hopefully, this will help. I might need to use a stake or wire to hold them in place. We'll see. I might just bury them deeply.

Cat, I'm glad you got it. Hope it all grows wonderfully for you. It was a heavy box. LOL.

Darla said...

I do hope you post photos of how you do this...