When the going gets tough….

The tough get sowing 🙂

Young 'masquerade' hot pepper seedlings, some onions, and other stuff.

Young ‘masquerade’ hot pepper seedlings, some onions, and other stuff.

I guess for as cold as February was spring is almost on schedule.  Maybe a week late.  I should be cleaning the yard and getting things ready, but nothing’s ever perfect, and as long as there’s not a couple bikes laying on top of the hellebores I think there’s no rush and it will all work out just fine.  In case you’re wondering I started a few more seeds to sooth my anxiety.

lunaria annua rosemary verey seedlings

Money plant (lunaria annua) ‘Rosemary Verey’ was one of my oops plantings.  They surprised me by sprouting in the fridge, so out of the wet paper towels they came and under the growlights they went.  They’re a purple foliage version of the regular moneyplant, and I think their dark purple stems look extremely promising!

I’ve never been this bad with seed starting.  My thinking is that as long as I have the seeds I might as well plant them, so besides the ones sprouting under the lights I have a bunch outside in pots exposed to the cold as well.  Also I suppose I should fess up to the dozens of baggies of seeds folded up in damp paper towels in the fridge which are also getting a nice cold treatment.

Why do I need dozens of hot pepper seedling?  Not important.  Why do I need non-hardy South African velthemia bracteata seedling?  Because I can.  (that’s a nearly direct quote from Chloris btw).  So I’ll just continue sowing and growing more seedlings than I’ll ever need until finally I can get outside without a facemask and gloves.

veltheimia bracteata seedling

The first of possibly five veltheimia bracteata seedlings just sprouting.  I’ll report back in a couple years to let you know how this turns out… 

I’m ready for warmer weather.  There’s still snow sitting in every shaded nook of the yard and far too many not-up-yet bulb plantings, but  I want to see them now!  Plus I need warmer weather in order to think over where the approximately 30-40 Magnolia Grandiflora trees will go.  I potted those seeds up today.

26 comments on “When the going gets tough….

  1. A lot of people talk about money plant like it was almost a weed, but I can never get it to self sow. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

    • bittster says:

      You know what? I’m also struggling to get a few money plants to take hold. I’ve had a few seedlings try and grow but they either froze back to the roots or dried out over the summer. I never really checked the hardiness on them but maybe they’re borderline up here?
      The batch I have now will get a little more pampering so hopefully will be a bit more successful, but if they don’t make it this time I might have to leave money plants to other, more successful gardeners!

  2. Pauline says:

    I think you are very organised, I haven’t started my seed sowing yet, but everything seems to catch up later in the year, I hope it does this time too!

    • bittster says:

      Hi Pauline,
      I’ve noticed that too that later plantings catch up fairly quickly… I might be one who has procrastinated in the past and might have a bit of experience with late plantings!
      Thanks for the organized comment. I am feeling fairly under control right now, but once I can get out there for spring cleanup everything else goes onto a back burner and the system falls apart! It’s still fun though and over the years I’ve learned to just let go of my failures and move on. In the end it all makes good compost, and I can always use more of that!

  3. Christina says:

    I have come to the not very profound conclusion that seed sowing is seriously addictive and their should be warnings about this on seed packets!

    • bittster says:

      Haha! I agree! Getting new seeds is so easy and there’s never the pressure and guilt that unplanted purchased plants can give. That said… I do feel a little bad as the new plants sit stunted and unloved in their seedling pots all summer. That will be my next step to conquer as I deal with my addiction!

  4. Kevin says:

    Seed starting is the primary reason I enjoy gardening. I enjoy the challenge of starting something that shouldn’t be able to grow in my zone and the wonder of what emerges from the tiniest of seeds. Well done!

    • bittster says:

      I bet you have a bunch of exciting things to try in your new climate. Palms alone could keep you busy for years -even though your garden would fill in no time at all :/
      Ha, I know you already have a little bit of a sprouting coconuts thing 🙂

  5. “30-40 magnolia trees”?? I think I just died of pure envy, LOL

    • bittster says:

      You will surely rethink your magnolia envy when you see a crowded stand of spindly seedlings. I barely have room for a single magnolia, let alone a grove of borderline hardy, might look miserable all winter, barely holding on to life, scarecrow trees!
      Hmmm, but now I’m thinking. I bet there are other hardier magnolias I could try 🙂

  6. pbmgarden says:

    This passion looks very therapeutic.

    • bittster says:

      It does relax the stress of yet another snow shower and one more day of icy roads. Hopefully some day my hyacinths and daffodils will also be back in bloom!

  7. johnvic8 says:

    Re 30-40 magnolias. I would calculate (very roughly) that your descendants will need approximately 10 acres (not sure what that is in hectares or square meters) to provide for those beauties. Keep at it!

    • bittster says:

      10 acres for my magnolia forest? Hmmm, my calculations must be off a bit. I thought I could get by with just two or three containers!
      Maybe if I keep them pruned back a little 🙂

  8. Cathy says:

    Oh dear, a serious case of seed-sowing mania. 😉 Those Magnolia seedlings will need a while to become a problem so I’m sure you’ll find homes for them all. In the meantime, hope it continues to warm up for you or you may find some more hidden away seeds that need sowing!

    • bittster says:

      I’m dealing with the additional cold by escaping south for a day. Came back yesterday and it was great seeing things in bloom even if the temperatures were still a little low for my taste!
      This weekend I suspect I’ll be putting just a few more things into pots since it’s STILL cold. Plus it’s finally warm weather vegetable time!

  9. donna213 says:

    At least you are keeping gardening busy. No seed sowing for me, but I do have bulbs in bloom (inside) that were planted last fall. I have to wonder when it will be our turn in the garden. Long winter so far.

    • bittster says:

      I don’t know when our time will come. I still see plenty if below freezing lows but at least the rain is clearing out some more of the snow today.
      Bulbs are a much saner diversion during the winter cold. Plant, grow, enjoy…. All in one pot, all in a few weeks and then when the weather breaks you can just send them to the compost pile!

  10. I need to grow any plant that germinates in the fridge without any help from you! If all your magnolia seeds sprout, you can start selling the seedlings on the side, assuming you can bear to part with them.

    • bittster says:

      I like the selling angle. I can start the “oops I seeded too much out” nursery and ship magnolias all over the country. But then to not see them again? I need to work on my coping skills.

  11. I am so house bound that I am planting many more seeds now….we still have a foot of snow even on the sunny spots….all spots of my garden…sigh!

    • bittster says:

      Yuck. I hope this rain and slightly warmer weather is washing away some of the snow. Winter can’t go in forever can it?
      I think after tomorrow I’ll be able to see all my plants again…. Regardless of how dead and brown they are it’s still a start.

  12. Chloris says:

    How exciting having so many seeds coming on. It will keep you happy until the weather gets warmer. But even I would be a tad daunted by 30 to 40 Magnolia grandiflora children. . And I don’ t usually let this sort of thing worry me.
    Germinating things in the fridge is a good idea, I hadn’ t thought of that.

    • bittster says:

      The happily growing seedlings really makes up for the depressing grays and browns outside. Hopefully in another week or two I can at least count on a crocus or two to light up the end of the tunnel. I just hope we don’t jump directly into summer, I hate a fleeting spring.

  13. I understand, Frank. Seed sowing is keeping me sane right now. P. x

    • bittster says:

      Pam I hope it’s only another two or three weeks and we start to see a turn. I see sprouts as the snow retreats so maybe there is some hope for a quick turnaround? I’m looking forward to seeing you tulips!

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