Sowing

Sowing seeds, buying plants, or both?Β  Both. πŸ™‚

I’ve used a big five-shelf unit with lights that is perfect, but as I ‘mature’ dragging all of that down from the attic is a real challenge. So, the last few years, I’ve tried a few different things.

This year, I’m using a 4′ ft folding table, clear plastic self-adhesive on the table and carpet, and a pvc light hanger that my husband enhanced so it will hold two lights.

The light hanger is not glued together so we can take it apart and store easily. Here’s a DIY link for the light holder. The cover on top is a $4 emergency blanket that keeps the light and heat inside. The temps stay right around 75+ under the cover.

My brother-in-law convinced me I needed purple asparagus. Since I wanted to enjoy them as soon as I can, I decided to go for seeds versus bare roots because they will develop quicker.

The seeds were started on February 15th as suggested, and so far 22 of the 25 seeds have germinated. 88% germination rate – not bad Urban Farmer. πŸ‘πŸ»

This week I’m going to start a couple of tomatoes, cucumbers, and a few flowers. I buy most of the flowers I want, but some aren’t available here such as Mexican Sunflowers, Sweet Peas, and Crocosmia Lucifer which the butterflies love.

Taking care of seeds is cathartic as I await the warmer weather so I can go outside and get going on spring chores.

My Walking Iris is still blooming as well as the last of three Amaryllis. Am I going to buy Amaryllis bulbs next year? You bet.

Do you garden? Veggies or flowers? Containers count. πŸ™‚

Speaking of containers, if you like looking at ‘really’ amazing containers, check out Deborah Silver a landscaper in MI. She is way out of my league, but I sure do love to ooh and aah over her huge creations. She’s on Pinterest, Facebook, and has a blog. It’s always fun to look plus you can pick up an idea every once in a while.

Need to vent about technology this week, check out Dan’s post today. We may not fix anything, but it feels good to share our frustrations. πŸ™‚

Happy second week in March, and stay well.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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68 Responses to Sowing

  1. Murphy's Law says:

    Sowing beats snowing any day in my book Judy!! You are well on your way to a productive growing season. I’m so thirsty for spring to arrive I can’t wait for the first creepy crawlie thingy to glom onto my shoe!! Yeah, desperate for spring! πŸ€—

    Your setup for getting plants started is amazing. Amaryllis is gorgeous.
    Ginger

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I like the hanging light stand. Great use of PVC and I like the fact that you can take it apart instead of having to find a place to store it. I’ve never heard of purple asparagus. I hope your crop is a good one and you can share some pictures. Thanks for the shout about my rant. Happy gardening πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is the first year I am not starting my own plants. I always do tomatoes because I like certain varieties which are not always available. This year, in a new house, I’ll probably just do a planter until I understand the sun and what works.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A planter will work just fine, and you just might find a greenhouse variety that you enjoy this first year in your new house. A MG friend moved from her big house and big yard to another state and her tiny house and tiny yard. She’s having a blast coming up with plans for container gardening. Everything is relative. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Joyce says:

    Our gardening experiences here are very limited, but I like to share them with you anyway! πŸ™‚ Last summer, we were gifted with two HUMONGOUS zucchinis! Seriously – from-another-planet huge! I saved a few seeds and they’ve been on my counter since last fall. I’m giving them to one of the kids to grow, so we’ll see what happens!
    Both locals have sunny areas (which I do not) and I am always bugging them to grow stuff. Last year one of them had a successful crop of four pumpkins. So much fun for the kids to pick their own to carve. She also had deck planters that did well with tomatoes and lettuce and herbs. I’ve been bugging the other daughter to do the same. They have a sunny acre to plant. I’d love to see the kids experience growing their own food outside of the deck cherry tomato plant I had to rehome with them last summer when it became apparent I didn’t have enough sun. I think the plant was ready to call 911 to report me!
    This is why your blog is an inspiration to me. Early March is not too early to start bugging the girls to start making plans!

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s right – we need ‘future’ gardeners to be in training right now. πŸ™‚ Now, the one with the sunny acre should pick up a couple of raspberry plants to go off in a corner. The kids would love to pick fresh raspberries AND they would learn that if you prune off the dark fruiting branches from this year, it will grow new branches for next year. Take care of it, and it takes care of your love of raspberries next year. Gardening really is a life skill that all kids can learn from because almost everyone has a balcony where they could grow a cherry tomato in a container. I heard that 911 call last year, but didn’t want to say anything. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks as though you came up with a great solution. I do garden here at my home in the woods, and thanks to the lily beetles that decimated the lilies, green is the predominate color in my gardens. But, as a blogging has reminded me, green is a color, too. Another blogging friend has reminded me that hostas are wonderful. πŸ˜‰

    I also love plants and flowers in containers. Generally, I buy a big bale of potting mix at a local gardening store. But I have been wondering if I should use something else. My results are mixed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll put in my two cents without knowing all the details. We buy ‘bales’ when we do potting parties, but we have to add compost to it. I’m wondering if maybe that could be an issue. I must admit I buy potting mix by the large bag all summer. It seems like I never have enough. πŸ™‚ Green is a good color especially after all this white. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. bikerchick57 says:

    Oh Judy, you have me wanting for planting season, which is still at least 10 weeks away. I have absolutely no space to grow seedlings, so will have to wait. Mexican sunflowers are gorgeous! I’m anxious to see how they will look in your garden, along with everything else you will plant. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Purple asparagus, huh? Never tried it, but you’ll have to tell us how you like it. Your seed starting set up looks like a good one, practical and affordable, both of which are high priorities for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love your system! It makes so much sense to have something you can take apart to save space. I adore sweet peas! Their fragrance is so delightful, and they remind me of my childhood. My mom always planted morning glories, her favorite especially Heavenly Blue, cosmos, zinnias, and sweet peas which were her second favorite!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Your light table is pretty cool.

    I’m not a gardener at all. I did purchase two big containers to put something pretty in them to bring more greenery or life to the back patio, but I have no clue what to put in them. I’d like flowers, but there’s no drip system out there or even a faucet handy.

    I’ll check that blog maybe I’ll get some inspiration!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Think ‘thriller, spiller, filler.’ It can be simple. You want something tall either in the center or back like a red grass maybe, something draping down like sweet potato vine or ivy, and something filling the area between like ‘super’ petunias that don’t need to be deadheaded. As for no water – no problem. You want to use good potting soil that lists moisture control, add some water storing crystals, and a good layer of mulch. Keep a couple of juice bottles and then use them to carry some water to the pots if it doesn’t rain. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I always enjoy reading about and seeing the results of both your sowing and sewing. I guess that makes you a sow-and-sew. πŸ™‚ I currently have a cherry tomato plant in a pot as well as two types of aloe in pots on our back patio. I think I probably already mentioned that my foray into planting didn’t go well last spring, with

    Liked by 2 people

  11. germac4 says:

    You are always so organised and have great ideas, Judy! I bet you’ll have a lovely crop of seedlings. Nice to be able to watch seedlings grow while it is still too cold to go out. Happy indoor gardening!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Donna says:

    Love your greenhouse!! You are becoming quite the McGuyver!! Good luck with all your seeds.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Oddment says:

    Purple asparagus! Another new one on me! Your entire set-up looks amazing, and I can well believe there is catharsis, most especially in this time. I checked out Deborah Silver and could only gasp. I also read Dan’s rant, and, even though I had no idea what he was talking about through most of it, I understood his feelings perfectly. That was cathartic too! I am late writing this because I got my second shot this morning, and it hit hard for a while. I’ll be looking forward to photos of your seedlings, and I won’t pretend to be patient!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Second shot – wahoo! You’re on the way! Deborah Silver produces containers that leave me shaking my head at her creations. I always come away with an idea or two but on a very small scale. :-). Dan always has interesting points, and there are several times, I don’t have a clue what he is saying without googling. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Eliza Waters says:

    It feels good to get growing again! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Dawn says:

    Such a clever seed starting set up, Judy! We are all looking forward to any signs of Spring! In my daily walks through the garden, I have noticed the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is already green and the Daffodils are about three inches tall today. I spotted a big patch of Snowdrops blooming on my walk through the neighborhood. I love perennials and herbs! I always fill containers with annuals for the front porch in May. Spring is just around the corner in the Chicago area! I’m counting the days!!πŸ’—

    Liked by 2 people

  16. tonytomeo says:

    Well, yes, we garden to grow vegetables. However, most can be sown directly into the garden. I prefer to get the tomatoes started in cell packs, because they are easier to protect from snails where they grow. Nothing gets started inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our gardening season is pretty short compared to yours so starting things like tomatoes and peppers inside allows us to harvest the crop rather than lose it to the first frost. It would be a real luxury to start things outside. Enjoy!

      Liked by 2 people

      • tonytomeo says:

        Yes, . . . but the season for cool season vegetables is brief. Broccoli, cauliflower and especially cabbage are not easy to grow for us, even though we are not far from the famous Salinas Valley.

        Liked by 2 people

  17. Your set up is something! I am lazy this year, just giving the seedling a spot near a big window in the living room. No guests, so why not put them right there in plain sight! It I am vaccinated, so imagine….
    Expletive taking the place of seedlings!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Judy, I love your creative way of starting your seeds! I am fortunate that I can plant my seeds directly in the ground in March. I’m a little late this year but hope to get my zinnias and Mexican Sunflower seeds planted next week. I’ll buy some other flowering plants after that. Usually peppers are the only kind of vegetable I have any luck with. I’m hoping to plant a couple of citrus trees, too. A first for me!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’ll have to let me know how your citrus experiment goes. I potted up two seedless red grapes today to try and get going inside. I can’t imagine planting seeds directing in the ground. If I did that, they’d get going about the week before the first frost. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  19. It sure looks like someone is ready for warm weather to return! Thanks for sharing Dan’s post — I’m in solidarity with him about galleries and images with WordPress right now. They’ve forced us to move to the “Blocks” editor, but the image usage for it is unhelpful at best. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Look at all your little green babies. They’re doing well. I’ve always thought growing asparagus would be tricky so I’ll be following your progress with interest. We’ve been harvesting cherry tomatoes since last October and still they come. Every few days I pick a handful and they’re so delicious. I’ve made tomato sauce and several batches of oven dried tomatoes and the fresh ones are great too.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I’m very impressed! I live in Georgia so I’ll sow some seeds directly into the ground (in my new raised beds, yay!) and buy seedlings from some local community gardens. One of them starts seeds of heirloom tomatoes — dozens of different ones. I’ll have to limit how many indeterminate varieties I plant though. Last summer the tomato vines overwhelmed everything else, and I didn’t even get that many tomatoes — the chipmunks and birds did!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is nice that you have the opportunity to buy heirloom tomato plants grown locally, and those chipmunks seem to arrive before anyone else. I gave up tulips. I gave up strawberries. Judy 0 Chipmunks 2. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • I gave up tulips too, years ago! But daffodils are my favorite bulbs, so that’s okay. I did try one hanging basket of strawberries last year, but the birds got those! I don’t mind the chipmunks most of the time, I quite like them because I grew up in New England, with lots of old stone walls and chipmunks, so they remind me of my original home. And I think they’re very cute, even if they are veggie marauders. I’ll just have to grow enough for us all! I do have a new squash tunnel/arch, to keep melons and zucchini off the ground, so I’m optimistic about that. I think I’ll blog at my other site about the veg garden’s progress, since I have new raised beds on a formerly unsightly patch of bare ground, anchored at one end by the squash arch.

        Liked by 2 people

  22. Tina Schell says:

    Clearly you are far more patient than I am Judy! If only we lived closer to each other I’d be begging to share in your coming bounty! Glad to see you’re fully vaccinated, as are we. It’s a good feeling if not quite back to real normal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would gladly share because I’m usually looking for some to give produce to. πŸ™‚ Yes, being fully vaccinated is a relief, but things are not quite normal, and we’re hesitate to push our luck too far with regard to crowds. Stay well, and keep that camera clicking. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tina Schell says:

        thanks Judy – agree wholeheartedly about not pushing our luck! But I did break down and schedule a haircut for the first time since the pandemic started. The good news was it was very easy to get an appointment!!

        Liked by 2 people

  23. Ally Bean says:

    I have nothing started this year. So unusual for me to not have starts going, but with a dodgy deck I don’t see me doing my herb pot thing. Love the light hanger btw. That’s ingenious.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Lavinia Ross says:

    I like this DIY seed starting setup you have. Very nice! I may change my setup to something similar.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Karen says:

    If there is the will, there is a way and gardeners definitely have the will. Love your hanging light stand, it is particle for when you need it and then can be easily stored. I’ve got pots of basil and one orchid that is reblooming this year. That is the extent of my gardening on my back patio. Everything else is what is expected to have growing around your yard here in Florida. Lots of tropical shrubs and palms that survive whether or not you have a green thumb. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Nancy says:

    I love your set up for starting plants. You are amazing! Your amaryllis photos have been a delight here and on Instagram.
    I am still enjoying my container of Zinnias I planted in October! They love the Arizona sun!
    Having fun catching up with you dear friend!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. joey says:

    Exciting stuff! We won’t be sowing a darn thing until the weather breaks. Our youngest cat chew chomp bat nibble – NOPE!

    Liked by 2 people

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