Tag Archives: Seedling Project

Mid May Already??? And Seedling Update!

Hi Friends!

It’s been more than a minute since I’ve even logged on to my blog. A couple weeks ago I thought I was getting my feet back under me, only to totally disappear all of last week again. Ugh! I’m soooo sorry!

Life happens tho. Am I right? Anyone else totally surprised to fully  partially comprehend that we are officially half way through the month of May? If I’m honest, I think part of my brain is still stuck in late March.

So much is happening around here. It is Spring, after all! And with Spring comes much to be done. Battling Colorado weather (you never know what you’re going to get), I’ve been trying to take advantage of every opportunity to get outside and get things rolling in my veggie and flower gardens. I’ll have much to update you on in the coming weeks…

I think I promised many, many weeks ago, an update on the seedling project. With Spring planting upon us the seedling project has mostly wrapped up so this is more a final post on the project than it is an update, but as I indicated above, time is flying by.

I’m quiet pleased with how the seedling project ended up. There were lessons learned, for sure, but it was mostly a success. A success very much felt <by my bank account> as I checked out at the nursery last week. I had to buy very few plants — and if I hadn’t had a total lapse in judgment, I’d have bought even fewer than what I ended up needing. As I said, lessons learned.

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As my seedling project wrapped up, I took care to acclimate my plants to the outdoors before sticking them in the ground (a step I’ve mostly neglected in the past – and likely the reason my previous attempts have been such a disaster).  I think a solid week of acclimation is the way to go. Find a place that gets some sun (but isn’t blazing hot) and is somewhat protected from the wind and just let the plants sit. Remember that being outdoors will also likely mean you need to water a little more frequently – but only do so when the soil has mostly dried out.

Where I went wrong was with my veggie plants. My tomatoes were struggling anyway (for reasons unknown) but my pepper and cucumber plants were going crazy….and then I put them outside too early. Well, not too early, but had my head been on straight, when the weather cooled off again (and didn’t warm up for 2 straight days) I should have brought them back in…which I didn’t….which is the reason I had to buy new pepper and tomato plants (GRR!) and will be a month and a half behind with my cucumbers (double GRR!). Oh well.

Everything else is doing wonderfully – I’ve even planted quite a few of my seedling babies and they are going strong. Aside from a couple plant varieties that didn’t come up at all (?) I’d mark my first run at this project a HUGE success and will probably look to expand on my efforts next year!

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Did anyone else take on a seedling project? Any final notes or updates from your end?

Happy Planting!
H

 


Seedlings: Seedaholic.com

I am approximately 6 weeks into my seedling project and things are coming along quite nicely. I’ll do a more detailed update another time but today I wanted to share with you this website I came across while searching for seeds during my planning phase (you can read about that by clicking here).

For this project, I wanted to grow lots of things that I can’t generally find in the nurseries, but also a handful of plants that are tried, true and loved. Turns out, some of those tried, true and loved plant varieties that I pick up in the nursery were hard to find in seed form.

I searched and searched and searched and eventually came across Seedaholic.com. This company, overseas, has all kinds of unique seed options that I couldn’t find anywhere else and I was surprised that their prices are competitive and shipping costs aren’t all that high (something I initially wondered about when I decided to order from them).

It takes a little longer for the order to arrive but what I found when I opened that package was jaw dropping. The way in which they package their materials and the information that comes with the seeds is something I’ve just never seen before.

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Each of the different varieties came with a full color information sheet on starting and ongoing care of the plants; and all the seeds were meticulously packaged in a small envelope which was inside a small plastic zip top bag.

When it came time for me to get these seeds started, I immediately understood why they were so hard to find…some of the seeds are so small they look like no more than a teeny-tiny speck of dirt. The sticker on the outside of the envelope cautioned me about the tiny seeds and encouraged having everything ready to go before even opening the package – but I was still in awe! I can’t even begin to imagine the difficulty in harvesting these seeds from plants at the end of season.

At the time of my order I figured I’d never have to order most of these seeds again because the listing indicated something like a gazillion seeds per package. In my ignorance I figured I would plant 3 seeds of each variety per seed-starting pod and they would last forever. Joke was on me. Just when I thought I kept it to around a dozen seeds per seed-starting pod, they germinated and I missed the mark by…well…a LOT.

Regardless, I’m super impressed with this company. Everything I’ve started has come up without any trouble and is growing wonderfully — even for this girl who really doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing and is making it up a bit as she goes with this project.

Give Seedaholic.com a look – they’re pretty impressive!

H

 

 


Seedlings: Product Review

The seedling project is well under way. If you missed reading about this endeavor, post 1 and post 2 will bring you up to speed.

As promised, I am writing some thoughts on this product, which I purchased and recommended in my ‘getting started’ post.

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Purchased through Burpee.com, this seedling starter kit contains all the essentials you will need to begin a seedling project. I decided on this kit because purchase of all individual components, from various sites in which I researched the best prices, wasn’t as cost effective.

For around $20, the growing kit includes:
watering tray
play tray
plant stand
greenhouse top
*all of these items can be re-used in future seasons
self-watering mat
*TBD if this can be used again
growing cubes (i.e. starting soil)
fertilizer
plant markers
*these items will need to be replenished for future planting, the fertilizer and plant markers being options, of course
planting chart
*if you make photo-copies of this before you write on it, you’ll be set for next go-round

So far it’s been terribly convenient having all essential components in one kit, which is why I highly recommend purchase for getting started.

Things I’m on the fence about:
1. the kit indicates it self-waters for up to 10 days. I was drawn to self-watering mats while doing my research because I couldn’t figure out how I was going to keep my seedlings watered, thus alive, if I needed to be gone for a weekend or handful of days at a time. As much as I wanted to embark on this project, the honest truth is that I can’t just not leave town for 2-3 months due to seedlings needing watered!  Self-watering mats and this particular kit seemed like the ticket, however, 10 days is a FAR stretch. I find I need to replenish the water in the tray about every 4-5 days. While a touch of false advertisement, not a deal breaker, at least for how my life currently functions.
2. another observation about the self-watering mat…while it seems to work work sufficiently well, after the greenhouse top is removed I notice that the top layer of soil tends to dry out every several days. In an effort to be careful not to over-water I do re-moisten the top layer with a spray bottle but I’m honestly not sure how moist the rest of the soil in each pod remains. I need to get a soil moisture meter to check, but have yet to come across the one I have in mind. Everything seems to be doing well as far as growing is concerned so I haven’t hunted too hard quite yet either.
3. the greenhouse top is wonderful…except for that my seeds are starting at different times. Once germinated, the greenhouse top needs to come off which is tricky when you have new seeds starting while others are actively growing. Also not a deal breaker, I’ve found the use of plastic wrap just as effective and then I can cut away pieces as different pods are sprouting.
3. I’m not sure how long the self-watering mats will hold up, and if I’ll be able to get a couple seasons of seedling projects out of them but they are replaceable for relatively cheap so we’ll wait and see on this one.

These kits come in regular and XL size. I bought both with the intention of doing annual flowers in the regular size and garden veggies in the XL, but I don’t necessarily think you NEED both.

Oh, and a final tip, if you are going to order these online from Burpee, watch for free shipping deals. They occur often and it’s super nice to just have things show up at your doorstep rather than running out to the store to purchase. Additionally, the kits I’ve seen in stores are slightly different and seem to cost a touch more so the free shipping definitely makes ordering online a bonus!

H


Seedlings

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I love to garden. Veggies and flowers. We own a beautiful home with a gorgeous yard…lots of areas to plant, not to mention my sizeable veggie garden. In an effort to save money, several years ago I vowed to spend more money up front and put lots of perennials in the ground. The idea was that over the years our yard would be stunning and it would cost less an less.

Clearly that plan was a bust because each year, regardless of the perennial plan, I end up forking over lots of money for plants anyway. Annuals mostly.

There are just too many annuals to love <and buy>. And, I live in Colorado so there isn’t a veggie plant to survive our winter.

So this last year I came up with a new plan. I determined to start lots of my own little seedlings. I got excited flipping the pages of seed company catalogs — you have no idea (or maybe you do, how do I know what you know?) what sorts of wonderful and unique plants exist out there that you don’t usually find at your local nursery…or, I don’t find them at my local nursery anyway.

I launched into this project with enthusiasm and determination. I carefully selected many varieties of unique plants, researched the cheapest resouces to purchase, waited for sales and free shipping offers. I researched and read about starting seeds indoors and bought the recommended eqiupment (after shopping for the best deals, of course). I planned which seeds would need to be started at what time, since they all have different ‘time to bloom’ timelines. And then I waited…and waited…and waited…(I was way ahead of planting timelines).

Finally, the weekend arrived when the first seeds needed to make their way into moist soil and be nurtured with just the right amount of moisture, light and heat. Suddenly, my excitment faded into something different…anxiousness. You see, I rock the world of outdoor gardening. I can totally handle the uncontrollable elements outside the walls of my house. BUT, I have NEVER been successful growing plants from seeds in the controlled environment that exists within the confines of my own home. And here I am, in all my arrogance, with a full on seedling project planned. Yikes!

So, here’s what I do know:
1) I have only minor expertise of how to make this happen, thanks to the internet, not based on any of my own successful experience (as there has been none)
2) If I hadn’t already spent the money, I might have talked myself out of this project all together. But, since that ship has sailed, I’m diving in with moderate confidence.
3) I’m going to take you on this journey with me,via Simply Eclectic.
4) This project could be a total flop OR maybe I’ll find my new calling, quit my job, and open a nursery….(long shot, but hey, a girl can dream!).

Stay tuned…more to come on the specific details of this project…

Hope your weekend was relaxing and rejuvenating!
H