Saturday, February 7, 2009

Getting Back on Track!

I'm pretty sure some of you think I might have fallen off the face of the earth. I seem to be posting less and less these past few weeks. For that I am sorry. It's been a cold, hard, long winter and I have gotten very lazy. I have enjoyed reading others' post, trying to leave cheerful and witty comments, but even that has been an effort some days.

Today, however, we had lovely blue skies and temperatures close to 60! Those things combined with a seed starting seminar at a local garden center have somewhat renewed my energies. At least my thoughts have once again turned to gardening and more importantly, to blogging and sharing.

Rose and I made our way to the garden center about 9:00 this morning. Grabbing a cup of their free coffee, we seated ourselves close to the front-all the better to see my dear! I think she is going to do a post on the actual information we received so I won't go into that, but we did get a 20% discount on all seed starting necessities.

I bought several of these type of peat pots. Last year I had very good luck with them and when it came time to transplant they easily went straight into the ground or container without worrying about damaging the roots. I think I will use these for morning glories ( Heavenly Blue!), sunflowers , Sweet Autumn clematis(from Racquel) and Verbena Bonariensis and Shirley single poppies (from Cheryl). Also, I am going to try, moon flower and Purple Hyacinth beans (from Monica).
Italic I also got a plastic tray with the cell packs and a top. I used this last year also and was pleased with the results. I stopped short of buying anything else as I knew I had some things left from last year and just need to take inventory before getting too carried away.
In these flats I intend to plant some zinnias, Antirrhinum, Love-in-a-Mist (from Cheryl), Mexican Mint Marigold, Cow Pen Daisy (from Aunt Debbi) and probably several other varieties I haven't bought yet. The seeds from Monica and Aunt Debbi were part of a seed swap started by Monica that Rose and I participated in. That was a lot of fun and we had a great afternoon looking through all the seeds and deciding which ones to try.
When thinking about doing this post, I Googled seed starting and found a few great sites with much more info. One has the time it takes for different seeds to germinate and be ready to transplant outdoors. This one is really interesting and tells how to plant each flower by name. The other site has information on seed starting medium, light, water, etc. Also very interesting and was a lot of what we discussed in the seminar.


With all this seed starting to look forward to-still a couple of weeks too early here-I am beginning to dream of flowers blooming in great masses all over my gardens.
Hope you have a garden dream going!

36 comments:

Cheryl said...

Dear Beckie.....I have been waiting so patiently for your to come out of hibernation. I knew the winter months were getting you down....the darm months often lead us into thinking too much and we take a downward spiral....I for one am so pleased that you have posted, sharing the joys of things to come....
I do hope love in the mist and verbena bonariensis come through successful, they really are wonderful plants and can be planted with gay abandon. They look lovely in a wild setting and if they like your space will reseed happily around the garden. They are the sort of plant you can never have too much of......

The spring will soon be here, my friend.....and the birds will be singing again....

Sending you positive thoughts....and hope for warmer days......

flydragon said...

Nothing like a warm up and sunny skies to get the juices flowing again. Seems like you're going to be mighty busy with all those seeds. I like using those seed starter discs too. Very convenient.

tina said...

It won't be long and those seeds will be up to cheer you. I will look for Rose's post. Sounds like a fun garden center with free coffee and all. I love those kinds!

Rose said...

This was a great way to get us into thinking spring, Beckie. And the warm temperatures were an added bonus! I know you were much more successful than I at starting seeds and transplanting them last year, but I thought the workshop gave me a lot of tips for correcting my mistakes from the past. Can't wait to actually plant some of these!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hi Beckie, good to see you here in blogland. Those cold dark days are a downer.

Just seeing all that you want to plant makes my heart go pitty patter. It will be so exciting to see everything start popping out of your peat pellets.

Hang in there. Spring is right around the corner.

Susie said...

I bet you and Rose had such a lovely time at the seed seminar. Those type events are fun to attend. I used those little flat discs to plant in last year too. They are nice to work with.

I hope you are doing well and am glad to see you posting again!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

It's been a long tiresome winter for sure, dear Beckie, and it's good to see you emerging to share your thoughts and wisdom with us again.

joey said...

Wonderful to see you back in action and posting, dear Beckie! Love that Thema & Louise are off again, sharing adventures ... Yea! Your day sounds delightful and since I know very little regarding seeds (too impatient and lack space), most informative. Your sunny post makes spring feel much closer.

beckie said...

Cheryl, hibernation os a good description of how I have been feeling. :} I don't do well in the dark of winter and this year even with my full sprectrum light it has been a struggle.

But the days are getting longer and we've has some wonderful sunny days. I'm getting excited about growing things again.

Hope you are doing well and the snow is staying away.

beckie said...

Flydragon, you are so right. I could smell spring in the air yesterday and it was wonderful.

I see you are starting begoinias. I have never tried those and it will be interesting to see how yours do.

beckie said...

Tina, the garden center is a great place to get you in the mood for spring. Now I am waiting for the right time to start planting tose seeds!

beckie said...

Lisa, I've missed writing, but have been suffering from writer's block or maybe just being lazy. :)

I do want to strat lots of seed inside, but am also planning on direct sowing several spots this year. To do that I will have to do some altering on my mulched beds. Wish me luck.

beckie said...

Susie, Rose and I always have a great time no matter what we are up to. But the seed seminar was fun. It's such a pleasure to talk to other gardeners. Those disc are the best when it cmes to starting seeds-I totally agree.

beckie said...

Jodi, I don't know about the 'wisdom' part. :} But you are right about the tiresome winter. I love "Farch" it almost sounds like a dirty word which explains this time of the year perfectly.

beckie said...

Joey, I would have taken you for a seed starter. You have the perfect room for it! Days like yesterday are a sign from above that spring is on it's way-slowly, but surely. :}

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Beckie, it is always good to hear from you, but don't push yourself too hard. Even though I am in the South, I have been feeling the same lethargy. I think it has to do with the holidays as much as the grey weather.

I would have loved catching that seed starting class. My efforts are mixed at best. I can't afford as many plants this year, so seeds are the way to economize, and still have lovely color this year. I hope you will keep us posted on your progress.

Wendy said...

Hi Beckie - welcome back! Oh, those dark days of winter really get me down too. That's when I need flowers and plants to cheer me up.
You and Rose must have had fun at the seed starting class. I've started seeds a few times. Once I started too early in the season and the little seedlings were too tall and leggy by the time I was ready to plant outdoors. They didn't survive.
At first I found those little pellet pots challenging. How much water do I add? I think I drowned my first ones. They just fell apart.
The next year, I just added water a bit at a time until they were wet, but not soggy.

Warm and sunny days - that's what we need a whole bunch of, to feel better!
Warm hugs and lots of spring flowers!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I'm so ready for spring too! I need to get my seeds started now.

Two years ago I grew moonflowers inside and they grew way too fast. They were already starting to vine before I could plant them outside. They were beautiful though.

Jan (ThanksFor2Day) said...

Sounds (and looks!) like you and Rose were up to some great things lately! Isn't it wonderful to know the winter won't be around forever;) You have such long winters where you live-I am sure it weighs on you after a while. Thinking about your garden all bright and cheery is so uplifting! Is that photo with the zinnias from your garden? It's gorgeous!

beckie said...

Rose. somehow I missed replying to your comment-one of those senior moments! Anyway, the class was fun and I look forward to doing more of them this spring. Isn't Judy F. great to listen to. She amazes me.

beckie said...

Morning Glory, we will all be glad whne winter is over and we can get out in the fresh air and sunshine.
Staring seeds is a good way to stretch the plant budget. :} That's one reason do it. And I enjoy watching them grow. Really it's not that hard just be careful with the watering. Good luck.

beckie said...

Wendy, your flowers are always lovely and I know they help brighten up your winter. I should try it. I should let Rose tell you about the peat pellets... but last year she threw all hers in a bucket of water to wet them-they floated upside down and sideways and all the peat came out. So you are not the only one who has had some problems with them. The one web link I showed has the number of days from starting the seed to planting time for lots of flowers and I plan on using it as a guide this year for starting mine. I was a little early with some last year. Take care!

beckie said...

Robin, since I didn't have any luck with buying moon flowers last year, I am going to start my own this year. They said at the class if they started vining to just provided them with a small trellis or something like it.

I remember your seed starting set up last year and was very impressed with it. Good luck this year!

beckie said...

Jan, we do have lonfg winters, but farther north with their winters-UGH! I don't know how they manage. I giess it's what you get used to. :} I am finally starting to plan my garden for this year and it does bring me joy. The sun the last few days has really helped too. The picture of the zinnias is one I took at the U of I I dea Garden this summer. They were beautiful. I plan on enlarging a bed or 2 and direct sowing bunches of the Profusion zinnias this year.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I know what you mean. I have run out of things to post anyone would be interested in reading.

I'm starting some seeds this year. I'm glad you mentioned success with those peat pellets (or whatever they are called). I didn't think they would work. My father always warned me away from them.
Marnie

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Saturday was awesome! (I can see my garden again.) I admire your seed starting efforts. I stink at it, so I'm sticking with direct sowing this year.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Beckie, glad you had fun at the class and with the seeds. BTW, if you ever decide to winter sow those peat pellets are not ideal for that (though fine for indoor sowing). Isn't it exciting? March can't be far off now, and March is NEARLY spring!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

And I forgot to mention, as someone else who doesn't update her blog as frequently as most, let's try to embrace it! I mean, doing what we can, when we can. :)

beckie said...

Marnie, it has been hard these last few weeks to come up with something to write about. Last spring , summer and fall, I was always seeing something I thought would be interesting. :} Oh well, spring will soon ene here and we will once again have our gardens to talk about.

I have good luck with the pellets. I use a tray and sit them close together-easier to keep them evenly watered. Hope you have fun with your seeds.

beckie said...

MMD, it is nice to see the gardens again! But mine is still that brown color. :} We had a gorgeous day to day too, but I know it's a false spring. I plan on doing a lo of direct sowing too, something I haven't done in years so wish me luck.

beckie said...

Monica, I do want to wintersow next year-looking forward to it. But I know I have a lot to learn from you about it.

You are so right about doing what we can when we can. I don't worry too much about not posting very often. But I can't even think of a good subject most of the time! I feel brain dead. :}

Gail said...

Beckie, Talk about off track! How did I miss your post... I am glad you're back! Cold gray days are hard on the spirit; they are for me too...I am just lucky enough to live in zone 7 so I can get out and about.

You have listed some very fine plants! The hyacinth bean is wonderful and I think very easy to grow and love in a mist reseeds here. It might in your garden, too.

I do have some marvelous garden dreams going on...thank you for asking!

Have a good week..gail

beckie said...

Gail, I am finally getting excited about the gardens. The last few days have reawakened the spirit. Can't wait to plant those seeds and watch them grow. I am looking forward to your plans for the GOBN!

Naturegirl said...

Beckie I think we all somehow lose our spark or inspiration during the winter blahs..February gives us hope..Valentines day..and small signs here and there that Spring is near..garden dreaming is inspiring!

perennialgardener said...

Glad to have you back Beckie. Looks like you have some inspiration to keep you going through the next couple of months. I love those peat pellets, saw them at Lowes & considered picking some up. Now I definitely will have to go back & get some. :)

Kathleen said...

It's good to "see" you Beckie ~ I clicked over here any number of times then missed this post! Glad you're back, especially since I can post now! :-) There's nothing like a few warm days to get the gardening juices flowing, is there? I love greenhouse seminars too. Yours sounds fun. I hope you get your moonflowers this year. Have fun starting the seeds.