Happy First Day of Spring!
It's the first day of spring and I am raaaring to go! And while the garden is still a muddy mess from all the snow melt, my plans are in high gear.
|1st sign of life in the garden|
The gorgeous pink catkins of the Mount Oso Pussy Willow
This year, I'm growing a whole bunch of new ornamentals...from seed, of course! There's still a lot more to be sown, including the bulk of the veggies, but currently under the grow lights I have:
- Peppers (Shishito, Fiarello, Doce de Espanha, Brazilian Starfish, Odessa, Chervena Chushka, Pepperoncino, Anaheim)
- Eggplant (Ping Tung, Farmers Long, White Princess, Thai Long Green)
- Echinacea (Pallida, Green Twister, Tennesseensis, Mellow Yellow)
- Dianthus (Rainbow Loveliness)
- Snapdragons (Potomac: Dark Orange, White, Lavender)
- Gomphrena (Mandarin Orange, Globosa Mixed, Audray White)
- Hollyhock (Majorette Double Champagne)
- Nicotiana (Bronze Queen, Perfume Mix, Starlight Dancer)
- Strawflowers (Tall Double Mix, Rainbow Bouquet, Swiss Giant: Silvery Rose, White)
- Achillea ptarmica (Marshmallow)
- Venidium (Orange Prince)
- Scabiosa (Purple Black, Summer Fruits, Black Knight)
- Giant Yellow Scabious (Cephalaria gigantea - a perennial)
- Trachelium (Lake Michigan: Violet, White)
|Pepper & Eggplant Seedlings|
This year I'm concentrating on variety - a little of everything
(instead of a whole lot of any one thing!)
When you grow something for the first time, it's always a bit of a learning curve. And while Google is full of useful information, sometimes it's a little TOO full. More often than not, when I'm doing research on sowing a particular type of seed, I'll see varying opinions on everything from how deeply to sow it to how many weeks before my first frost I should start it.
As with most things, experience is the best way to figure out what will work for you.
Speaking of things that are new, this year I also decided to try something that I had been ummming & ahhhhing about for a long time - soil blocks.
|First ever soil blocks - a bit wonky but not bad|
In retrospect, I probably should have only used them for a few "reliable" ornamentals that I had grown in the past instead of starting a bunch of new-to-me seeds. I've only had one "oops" (so far!) when there was a "drying-out" incident which resulting in my resowing all of the nicotiana, otherwise, it's going ok.
|Nicotiana babies - 2nd sowing is coming up|
The 3/4" blocks are incredibly space saving & I have seen some people grow their seedlings to transplant size in blocks this small. There are numerous other benefits of using soil blocks but, at this point, I feel as if I've done enough experimenting with them for this year and will be doing the rest of my seeding in cell packs, which I feel much more comfortable with. Don't want to put too many eggs in a basket that I have virtually no experience with and regret it later!
I'll be sowing a few more ornamentals tonight - gomphrena, gaillardia, milkweed and statice - as well as a batch of kale. But what I'm really itching to do is get into the garden and start my cleanup. Gotta be patient though - it will take at least a week or two for things to dry out. But then it will be full steam ahead!