Cottage Gardening forum: Piggy Swap # 26 Let the Sowing Begin

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Feb 27, 2012 9:27 AM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
Star!! You gave your poor guardian angel a workout that time for sure. I'm so glad you're not badly hurt; be really careful and call the doc right away if anything seems "off", because smoke inhalation can be tricky.

Rest as much as you can. Can you get help (maybe from a couple of the fire dept folks) taking those half-burned trees down? I know you're anxious to get some seeds started, but that's a lot of plug flats to fill... maybe this is the year to try sowing in little seedlings trays instead (I can get 50=75 tomato or pepper seeds started in a 6 inch square deli container), and then you can up-pot them in a couple of weeks... give them a start and also give your body some time to heal.

*very gentle, very grateful hugs*
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Feb 27, 2012 5:34 PM CST
Name: LeBug 6b
Greenville, In.
Ella I have some extra seed trays you can have just say the word and I'll send them for ya Critter is right this may be the year you need to go easy on your self fate sure isn't Grumbling Take care of yourself you know we are all pulling for you to get everything straightened out and yourslef Group hug

I was so proud that my coleus came up that I was coming in to let everyone know, still not sure it's the fishnet stockings but they are coming up but it seems so trivial now Lovey dubby
Feb 27, 2012 8:54 PM CST
Name: Jill
NW Missouri
Star, you're pushing way too hard! Gardening is supposed to be FUN! I do hope you take care of yourself and rest long enough to heal up. I don't post often, but I sure do enjoy this little group you have gathered here. Group hug All my best wishes for a speedy "get well soon" season! Smiling

I wanted to share that this is my first attempt at winter sowing - and I have tiny little Shirley Poppies sprouting! YIPPEEEE! What fun to see those first little sprouts! Those Shirley Poppies were from someone in the Hog Wild group, so a great big THANK YOU FELLOW PIGGIES! Thumbs up Thumbs up Hilarious!
Feb 28, 2012 12:42 PM CST
Name: Tonya Rose
Blanco, TX
Oh Wow Ella! So glad you are ok and that the damage to the neighbor's place wasn't any worse that it ended up being. Take care of yourself!

Lot's of sprouts down this way. I was surprised that the zinnias took off so quickly, figured they would be up later. We have been getting some spaced out doses of rain. Very thankful for that in this drought area! Lovely warm weather in the 70's also. I do love spring!!

Feb 28, 2012 1:16 PM CST
Name: Jonna
Belgium, Europe
Ella, I'm glad to hear you and your neighbours survived your horror experience.
Without doubt you will have to deal with a lot of things after this experience: physical, mental and maybe even legal.
Please come back here if you need some mental support, we will hug you! Group hug
Feb 28, 2012 1:18 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
I just stumbled onto this photo of my Winter of 2010/11 WS attempt.

One big problem was that I was afraid of slugs, so I kept it on my porch for a long time, without vents, drainage or sun.

Eventually I drilled holes in the bottom and replaced the opaque lid with translucent 3 mil film, with slits, and put it out on the deck where it got some more temperature swings and some sun.

I don't know which problem prevented me from seeing any sprouts except for tiny tiny Penstemon around June (maybe slugs), but if I try again next year, at least I have a translucent lid ready and my bait-and-beer slug strategy in place.

Thumb of 2012-02-28/RickCorey/253623
Feb 28, 2012 1:31 PM CST
Name: Jonna
Belgium, Europe
More seeds coming up. Hurray!

Sweet Bell Pepper 'Sweet Rainbow Blend'
Sweet Bell Pepper 'Corno di Toro Gaillo'
Vigna caracalla
Vigna phaseolus
Cuphea ignea
Clitoria tearnata
Calamintha incana
Mimulus cupreus
Mimilus naiandinus
Nepeta glomerata
Iotoma axillaris


Amberboa muratica
Gilia capitata
Androsace carnea
Delphinium kamaonense
Collomia grandiflora
Lepidium latifolium
Armeria formosa Joystick Red
Papaver somniferum white
Onobryghus vicifolia
Cenataurea montana 'Amathyst in snow'

Well, I don't know what to expect from the Centaurea 'Amathyst in Snow'. I got seeds the last three years, but I still only got the usual Centaurea montana. Will keep trying, because sometimes cultivars will come true.

Feb 28, 2012 1:34 PM CST
Name: Jonna
Belgium, Europe
Corey, no problem with slugs if you use my method of sowing in vermiculite Sticking tongue out
Feb 28, 2012 2:58 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
Rick, you could probably also cover with a little vermiculite or sand; bet the slugs wouldn't want to crawl over either one. A sprinkling of diatomaceous earth will also make slugs feel unwelcome, but I've found it tends to move down into the soil when I water, so I have to re-sprinkle regularly.

Jonna, do you up-pot your seedlings from the vermiculite pretty soon after they germinate? I start a lot of indoor seeds closely spaced in seedling trays (with sterilized potting mix, but I may also try your vermiculite method), and I pot them up fairly early... usually soon after they get their first set of true leaves (1 pair of cotyledons, then 1 pair of leaves).
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Feb 28, 2012 3:45 PM CST
Name: Anita Crusoe
Love forgives all wrongs.
Jonna, I just read your article. So when you are using the vermiculite there is no drainage hole on the bottom of containers or holes on top for air?
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
Feb 29, 2012 3:40 AM CST
Name: Jonna
Belgium, Europe
If I have time I pot up the seedlings when they have 2 true leaves. If I have no time I can wait about 2 weeks.
And even after that they are not lost, but they get leggy.
It's rather early, so there are not many sprouted, so I have enough room to leave some leftovers in the vermiculite. I have Salvia's, Lepidium, Helianthus Argophyllus already 3-4 weeks in the vermiculite after potting up the amount of seedlings I wanted. They are still alive, but the Lepidium shows now signs of mould.

No drainage hole on the bottom or on top. It's a closed system.
Mar 1, 2012 8:17 AM CST
Name: Ann
Rock Hill, SC (Zone7-8)
Oh no, Ella!! I sat down here to check in on you guys for the first time in a while and was just expecting seed sprouting stories...not your horrible experience! I'm so sorry you went through that! Is your body healing? Burns can so easily get infected, and I have a feeling you are so busy worrying about everyone else that you don't take proper care of yourself. You give so much and do so much for everyone else, and it seems there is no one there to take care of you. It's such a shame that some of us aren't close enough to help you when you need it. And, gosh, taking care of all of that land by yourself...too much for one person.

I learned yesterday that the USDA has revised the map of hardiness zones because of the shifting weather tendencies. Apparently I'm now an 8a instead of a 7b. This may be old news that I'm just discovering, but if interested, go to

My seeds here are perking along pretty well. Lots and lots of perennial sprouts in the wintersown vermiculite containers outside. I found another group of seed packets that I intended to do and missed. Is it too late to do those? I planted a big tray of peppers indoors yesterday. Trying topping the vermiculite/perlite/peat mixture with worm castings this year. I'll be doing the same procedure with tomatoes today. If I can get outside before it rains today, I'm going to plant a little bed of onion sets and a row or two of swiss chards. If I can find a spot, I think I'll try some peas as well. I've never had luck with peas. Maybe I've planted them too late?

In the middle of one patch of daffodils is this one gorgeous flower, which has already been blooming for a week. The rest are beautiful but ordinary. Does anyone have an explanation? The bulbs all came from Kelly about 3 years ago and were all supposed to be the same variety. The color is the yellow of the first photo, but since it's a bit blurry I'm also posting the second photo (clear but not true color).

Thumb of 2012-03-01/ragtag/693e88
Thumb of 2012-03-01/ragtag/2db7fc
Mar 1, 2012 9:22 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
ragtag wrote:I learned yesterday that the USDA has revised the map of hardiness zones because of the shifting weather tendencies.

I'm thinking it has more to do with having a more detailed and precise temperature monitoring system, and more capable computer modeling software.

Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: Lofthouse
Mar 1, 2012 11:22 AM CST
Name: Kelly
Simpsonville, SC
Hey Ragtag, no guarantee that those were all the same. Not sure if they came from my garden or were left over from a swap, but either way they were divisions from someone at some point. You've seen my front yard, if they came from there, we can just guess that they are probably such and such, but may be one of several. Looks a bit like one I've got under the oak tree, I'll see if the tag can still be read :) Looks like it grew up purdy though!
Mar 1, 2012 7:16 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
Jonna said:
>> Corey, no problem with slugs if you use my method of sowing in vermiculite

Yes, slugs can't drill through solid plastic!

This year, I not only never got around to WS, I haven;t even srtarted trays of seeds indoors (my preferred method). In fact, I still have a few plants too tall to push outside under a low plastic cold frame I just made.

But I wnat to clear every plant (and their aphids) out of my bedroom before I start more seeds. Plus, I'm just too busy this year to do much of anything.

My first mabition is more Salvia, then Violas, then Poppies, Petunias & Lobelia. Maybe Larkspuir & Lupine.

But the boat has sailed for many of those ... next year, I guess! But I'm also thiniing that "ot's never too late in the season to plant a real perennial. I just shouldn;t expect much flwoering this year, right? So maybe I could still start perennial Salvia and hardy Violas any time this Spring and summer!

Since Poppies seem to be re-=seeders, they would need to flower and ripen seed this year if I hope them to come back next year.

(We have mild winters, average minimum 15-20F. And I'm starting to gear up with plastic film tunnels.)
Mar 1, 2012 7:21 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
I'm still "winter" sowing... the technique is also good for seeds that don't need cold stratification... actually, in our zone, March is usually just fine for sowing seeds of columbines, salvias etc. that do benefit from a little freeze-thaw action, but who knows what's up with our weather this year.

I've got a lot of "next year!" seeds, also. :-)
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Mar 1, 2012 8:05 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
>> but who knows what's up with our weather this year.

Agreed! After one of the warmest local winters I've heard of, we got 2-3 days of frosts down to 28 degrees, then 2 more days of sleet, slush and melting snow.

Not severe weather by most people's standards, but it was as if winter started two months late this year, after 2 months of spring! Could the calendar be runnings backwards?

When I hit 50, I decided that hencforth I would "young" instead of age. Why not get one year younger for each calendar year, instead of one year older? Shouldn't that be an individual choice? After 9 years of "younging" I'm down to 41. If only losing weight were this easy!

[Last edited Mar 2, 2012 11:42 AM CST]
Quote | Post #837043 (17)
Mar 1, 2012 11:25 PM CST
Name: Misti
Fate, TX
anyone have an aquarium with plants that need to be divided? I just got a 6 gal tank and Im trying to plant it.
Mar 2, 2012 8:33 AM CST
Name: Tonya Rose
Blanco, TX
Too funny Rick, I may try that!
Mar 2, 2012 3:43 PM CST
Name: Anita Crusoe
Love forgives all wrongs.
Ragtag, the change in the zones is interesting. I guess my zone changed as well
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

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