Cottage Gardening forum: Seed Arrival -- Let's chat about it #6

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Jan 29, 2015 9:25 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Lisa, I haven't started anything yet either -- other than planting some lettuce seeds in a flower box that's under my fluorescent lights. I'm going to start WS next week, hard to be patient when I read about how much the southerners already have growing -- but it IS nice to see what green plants look like, instead of just seeing snow Hilarious! I'm very grateful that the big storm that hit your area left us alone, we're having a much different winter (as in much better) than last year!!
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Jan 29, 2015 11:37 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
I too am wondering and worried about Bluespiral. Last she posted was on the night of the 27th adding names and descriptions of seed she had looked up. That was right before the storm hit and she was right in the worst path of it. I hope she and hers are all ok. Barbara00 is up that away too.

I haven't heard on news how long they will be without power. I hope it is not long at all. I just hope they are are all safe as they got it from the snow and the seas.

Jan 29, 2015 12:14 PM CST
Name: christine
barbara00 is ok. we text a lot, but she doesnt always have access to internet
Jan 29, 2015 12:21 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
The blizzard was more compact than anticipated.. Boston got hammered (2 feet of snow, nearly 3 ft in some areas), NYC got less than a foot, Philadelphia got a couple of inches, as did Baltimore and on across MD. So I'm pretty sure Bluespiral didn't get more than the couple of inches we had here, and I didn't hear anything about power outages out her way (although it can be hard to get info about that).

Hopefully she'll be able to drop by and reassure us, but at least I don't think the blizzard was an issue in her town.
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Jan 29, 2015 12:21 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
Thanks Christine... Glad to know she ok. Hopefully Blue will check when she is able too.
Jan 29, 2015 2:38 PM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Oh yay! Thanks, gardengus, for speaking up! I like to keep notes with my seed sources so I know who to talk to if I have issues and also if I have successes. It's probably my science background that makes me a compulsive note-taker. I've got one more box of cucurbits downstairs to seed and then I can start things free and clear. It's taking up a fair bit of space down there. I've got quite a few trays, cups, and inserts to wash as well.

I do have some good news to share, though: Duane's had almost 100% germination with his Chinense peppers and should be in good shape to sow the annuums soon. He's been creating a nice spreadsheet showing which varieties he's growing, the heat scale, and culinary uses. I find that information very helpful because peppers and hops are his crops. Every year, there are mysterious peppers that get little or no attention from me and I'm the cook. It's a joint New Year's Resolution that that cycle ends.
Grazie a tutti,
Jan 29, 2015 4:06 PM CST
Name: Alana
RedLeopard wrote:

The Ipomoea carnea I would expect near perfect germination, but I always worry about the Porterweeds. They start readily from cuttings, so I seldom use seed, but I've never seen a volunteer seedling of the purple or the coral, and even with thousands of seed shed by a row of 4-5' tall blue, I only see an occasional seedling. I never see seed-eating birds in there, but it makes me wish we had Goldfinches down here. I always loved Goldfinches when I was growing up in Ohio, and Porterweeds seem like perfect seed plants for them.

I encourage Porterweeds to germinate by soaking the seeds in a half cup water with a teaspoon or two of 3% H2O2 for an hour or so before planting, but this is the first time for mutabilis for me.
Jan 29, 2015 5:57 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
Just saw the evening news. Looks like you Northern and the EAst coast folks are in for some really terrible weather. Not just one bad blizzard and snows, but two , one right after the other. Stay warm folks and keep checking in as you can, so we know your doing ok.
Jan 29, 2015 6:46 PM CST
Name: Erica Braun
Benicia, CA
Joseph -- I just came across your site while looking for info on when to start my potato seeds. You have some excellent info. I got all the info I need right off your site!

For anyone else growing TPS this year, here's a link to Joseph's info:
Jan 29, 2015 7:26 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
Great timing; I was just about to ask who had a link to the potato seed info!
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Jan 29, 2015 8:45 PM CST
Hi everyone - we're fine here. Not much snow down, but with a recent fall of ice and sub-freezing temps to follow, no flat ground between house and street, and two eyes out of sync with each other since only one has had cataract surgery (1/19/15) and it's going to still need prescription lenses, let's say I'm not free to roam anywhere beyond the front door right now. I'm writing with a paper towel patch covering the right eye and the left one peering through the iffy left lens, but this is all temporary - it'll "come out right" as my favorite Amish song goes.

Hope everyone else is warm and toasty and safe with at least one water faucet working too,


ps - Lisa & Jill - sent ya cmail & dmail respectively
My religion is simple. My religion is kindness. Dalai Lama
Jan 30, 2015 5:04 AM CST
Name: Ron
Naples, FL
poisondartfrog wrote:I encourage Porterweeds to germinate by soaking the seeds in a half cup water with a teaspoon or two of 3% H2O2 for an hour or so before planting

I've never tried pre-soaking Porterweed seed, but it seems to have helped.

I'll have to try that when I plant my next batch of the Red Porterweed (Stachytarpheta microphylla), which doesn't handle the cold (below 40°F) or the dry season here very well, so I have to maintain more like an annual. Maybe I'll get a quicker, more consistent result than normal.

A couple years ago, when I was finally able to re-acquire the S. mutabilis, I managed to obtain seven seed. These were sown together in one over-sized pot. Two sprouted after a bit, but were a few inches tall before three more finally sprouted.

I would prefer quicker, more consistent results!

Jan 30, 2015 11:36 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity


The page about potatoes is the most popular page on my web site. Potatoes are the most popular seed that I share... I care more about other pages and other crops. I long for people to care about them also, but it's the potato page that draws people in.
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: Lofthouse
Jan 30, 2015 12:43 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
I mostly agree that "dry-cold" stratification doesn't break dormancy on seeds that need "cold-wet" stratification.

However, some species also lose dormancy gradually as they are stored dry. So when I;m lazy and have plenty of some kind of seed that USUALLY needs its dormancy broken, I may just sow it thickly and rely on getting 5% to 20% germination without stratification.

Wasteful, but easy. Not practical if you only have a small packet.
Jan 30, 2015 12:55 PM CST
Name: Erica Braun
Benicia, CA
Joseph -- I suspect your potato page might be so popular because that is something many people are unfamiliar with. You get a lot of people looking how to start potato seeds online, and I think you are the first link that pops up!
Jan 30, 2015 2:43 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
I looked up kabloom. Here is a quote from the site about germination:

Fast-germinating varieties:
Kabloom White
Kabloom Deep Pink
Kabloom Yellow
Stage 1 at 75F (25C) for 5 days
Stage 1 at 68F (20C) for 5 to 7 days

Slow-germinating varieties:
Kabloom Deep Blue
Kabloom Red
Stage 1 at 75F (25C) for 7 to 10 days
Stage 1 at 68F (20C) for 10+ days

from the site:

Kabloom wouldn't like the weather here! It was in the single digits last night. At least the pipes didn't freeze.
Jan 30, 2015 3:11 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
We are getting lots of snow, but the power/phone/internet are staying operational and the pipes haven't frozen. New England got more snow that we did during this last storm.

Winston the pug even ventures around the neighborhood without being dragged, unless it is snowing.

I have only been wintersowing, I haven't started any inside seeds, yet. Depending on the source, my last frost date is around May 11 or May 30. I generally wait until after May 30 to start planting tender seedlings outside.
Jan 30, 2015 3:47 PM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Grace had to get in on the piggy swap parcel action! All of the monsters have been very interested in the contents. I'm sure many of you have fur-kids, judging by all the sniffing going on.

Thumb of 2015-01-30/Sorellina/116dcf
Grazie a tutti,
Jan 30, 2015 4:10 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
"Now, where's the catnip? I'm ready to...ahem...plant!" Hilarious!
Jan 30, 2015 6:20 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
Andi, my Red Kabloom Calibrachoa germinated a lot quicker than I expected, about a week or less, but the Mixed germinated in about 4 days! Really surprising. My house is not very warm. We set the thermostat to 65 overnight and only raise it to 68 for a couple of hours in the morning when we first get up. Otherwise, 65. I am using a heat mat for my tomatoes and peppers and since I have them on a long tray on top of the mat, there was room to squeeze the container with the six paper pots that held the petunias, lineria and calibrachoa. That probably helped a lot. But many other flats are not on the heat mat and they are germinating in good time as well. I do have some older seeds that are not germinating and some that I suspect needed stratification.

My four days not babysitting just seem to get away from me. Yesterday we went to the farm and I weeded the row under cover, pulled out the broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. The cabbage was fine. Then I planted half the row with root crops and spinach. I didn't finish so I had to go back today and finish up and recover the row. My fava beans are starting to blossom.

So I lost today that was supposed to be for doing my WS. Tomorrow I have to meet my DIL at JoAnne Fabric to help her get fabric for costumes (drama teacher). She knows I don't have time to help actually sew the costumes so she didn't ask but she needs help figuring out how much of what to buy. At least I will have the morning to go at my WS, and then Sunday. Forget doing any cleaning other than laundry and dishes! And I don't care.

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