22 April 2009

Seedlings... or maybe not

Hi Guys! Remember my post a couple months back about Winter Sowing? Well, it mostly worked.

I learned that I can't start pole beans this way and the Hubbard death rate was pretty high too but the leeks, poppies, and lawn daisies have done really well. My eggplants are coming up now too so we'll see how they do over the next couple weeks.

The poppies and daisies went into the ground yesterday, mainly in my new border to fill in where the daffodils will die back. It'll be poppies and peonies this summer. How beautiful will that be if it takes? Extra daisies went into some bare spots by the big oak tree out front. I know our British friends won't agree, but you can never have too many daisies in your lawn.

Seed starting in the greenhouse, on the other hand, has been a total flop. I'm starting over and really glad I didn't put every seed in the soil. Instead of the rather vague planting instructions on the packets I've gone to the oldest gardening books I can find for plain directions. You know the ones I mean... ones written before everyone presumes you're buying well-started plants at Walmart. I'm finding the USDA Bulletin 409 (part 2) from 1977 to be rich in detail and The Rockwell's Complete Guide to Successful Gardening of 1965 excellent for telling me where I've totally blown it. I must write Mrs. Stratton and thank her for leaving the latter.

Elliot Coleman, Sunset, and even the venerable James Crockett (whose Victory Garden I watched faithfully as a kid) have all failed me. Oh the anguish! Why do none of the modern books tell you what will go wrong, and why, so that you can avoid such disasters as mine? I've had exactly 6 seeds come up and all have croaked within the day.

Thus, as you might guess, I'm getting ready to start seeds again. The peas are only just emerging so I have plenty of time left, right? This time I'm making pages and pages of notes on what to do for the vegetables. Wildflowers are wildflowers so I'm going to just sow them thickly into recycled soup cans and put them out of sight where they won't get really hot. Whenever I get a bunch of seedlings I'll pot them up to grow on until they're big enough to transplant.

Wish me luck!

No comments: