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Starting from Seed

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Project by erika posted 04-01-2010 03:18 PM 2748 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Starting from Seed
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Hello All,

I haven’t written in a while, mainly because it was winter and what can you do? But now it’s Spring. Eeeh haww. So, I know what I did during those dreary months. I studied seed catalogues. I had orderd them from three different companies but chose Vesys because their catalogue had the best descriptions and pictures. I needed something visual to inspire me.

Anyway, I finally edited my list and by the third edit I ordered my seeds. They came and I spent all morning filling my saved egg cartons with potting mixture and seeds, sprayed with water, covered with Saran Wrap and there they sit on the kitchen table formerly used for meals. We will now eat at the kitchen island.

So, there you have it. I have attached a picture of my table for your viewing pleasure.

And there are more to be seeded but the directions say I have to seed in the ground.

-- Erika, Hastings, ON



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erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

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seeds saran wrap egg cartons germinating

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23 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3547 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-01-2010 05:31 PM

you are so organized!
who needs a table for meals .. pshaw :)

and which seeds are your most anticipated ???

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-01-2010 05:37 PM

Oh, gee, that’s hard to say although I am curious about Ricinus Zanzibarensis, also known as castor bean. Oh, I just hope they all do well. We’ll see. I’m so new at this.

How are your seeds coming along MsDebbieP?

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3547 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-01-2010 05:55 PM

quite pleased.
My winter sowing jugs have green sprouts in them .. yippee.
I have some good sized “long-neck gourds” plants and some green onions.
The pepper plants are just showing their little heads today.

I just got some more “pellets” today from Lee Valley so will be planting some more seeds this weekend I think.
I want to plant lots of the … can never remember the name ... plants to go around my apple tree, anyway.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 2809 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-01-2010 06:42 PM

Great start on all your spring plantings, Erika!

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3177 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-02-2010 05:24 AM

Your Ricinus Zanzibarensis should take off pretty well. You will need to transplant it into a larger container than an egg carton soon, as they grow HUGE roots. I’ve had them grow 15 feet tall in one season. Make sure that they get good light where you plant them, although I gave one to my neighbour, and he put it at the back of the house where it had to “reach” for the light, and it certainly did. In the fall, he had to take a saw to bring it down. Very impressive plant. I still have to plant mine. Thanks for reminding me.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3327 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-02-2010 07:09 AM

Wow look at all those seeds you have started Erika.Your gardens will look great this year.Good luck with them all.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View erika's profile

erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-02-2010 08:37 AM

Oh wow, jroot, thanks. I want to use them as a sort of screen, if you will. It will be getting loads of light. Is there anything else I should know? The instructions say to use “rich” soil, whatever that means. Could it be they’re talking about manure?

Also, I have about 14 seeds. Do you mean I will get 14 plants out of them? Will I need 14 pots until I get to transplant them?

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3177 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-02-2010 02:08 PM

I find that the castor plants germinate pretty well, so if you have 14 seeds you will likely get 14 plants or close to that number. They are indeed a hungry plant, so if you feed them, they will grow. I gather that you are aware of the poisonous qualities of the very attractive seed pods. Informing your loved ones and neighbours should be “a given”. They will also cast shade, so you have to be aware about what you plant beside them. If the surrounding plants need sun, they may complain about the light hogging neighbouring plant. LOL

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View erika's profile

erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-02-2010 02:52 PM

I hear ya, jroot. I’m planting them along the north side of my property. The house faces West. I’m no expert but I think the shade will probably be on my neighbour’s lawn north of me, don’t you think? If that is so, it won’t be a problem. He’ll probably like the shade. I think the castor bean will add an interesting contour to the property. Right now, it’s flat with nothing on it but grass. I know about the poisonous beans. They warn you on the package.

Today, we’re sinking the flat rocks into the earth to make a rustic garden path. What a back-breaking job! I’ve been using a pick-ax to cut into the grass so I can dig out the required space for the rocks, then backfill them. All this so Charlie can go over them with the lawn mower. Actually, he told me to get inside and he’ll continue. I guess he wants his supper. :)

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

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erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-10-2010 10:46 AM

It’s been a week and my castor plants still haven’t germinated. I’m getting nervous. I particularly wanted these because I want to use them as a screen.

The first ones to germinate were “love lies bleeding” and “cucumber bush”. By now, pretty much everything has started to come alive but a few. I don’t know anything about gardening and am getting very nervous. I’ve transplanted the cukes and “love lies bleeding” into a larger container. I hope I didn’t kill them in the

my garden>

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

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erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-10-2010 10:48 AM

It’s been a week and my castor plants still haven’t germinated. I’m getting nervous. I particularly wanted these because I want to use them as a screen.

The first ones to germinate were “love lies bleeding” and “cucumber bush”. By now, pretty much everything has started to come alive but a few. I don’t know anything about gardening and am getting very nervous. I’ve transplanted the cukes and “love lies bleeding” into a larger container. I hope I didn’t kill them in the rush
Photobucket

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

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erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-12-2010 05:16 AM

Well, I shouldn’t have worried. The castor beans don’t behave like other seeds. They don’t shoot up something green. Yesterday, I looked and the earth over each bean have formed mounds. Upon closer inspection, I realized the beans were expanding, for lack of a better term. So, I will watch them and transplant into pots in the next day or two.

What a lot of backbreaking work this is. My husband dug out the vegetable garden for me. He worked at that for hours. We (he) still has to dig out all the garden beds for my flowers. I suspect, when you first start a garden is when the work is heaviest. Please tell me we don’t have to go through this every year.

Meanwhile, I took big pots, dropped big stones in them and also gravel. The plan is to make them so heavy, the wind can’t blow them over although that part of the porch doesn’t get cross-breeze. Next, I filled them with potting soil and transplanted two of my herbs. One pot for basil and one for chervil. My plan is to have the pots sitting on the porch on pedestals of various heights (for visual interest). That way, when I need fresh herbs, I don’t have to get my shoes dirty walking in the vegetable patch.

Oh, I also started composting. I know how I must sound to you experienced gardeners. Right now, I’m just like a kid working on a science project and being ever amazed at how the earth works.

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3547 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-12-2010 05:24 AM

I’ve been playing at gardens for a few years now .. and I still get as excited as you, Erika ;)

and yes.. the heaviest of the work is in the first year, then it is just the heavy work of re-doing stuff :)
Your potted herb garden sounds lovely. Can’t wait for it to be growing and we get to see pix! :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 2809 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-12-2010 05:38 AM

I hope I never stop being amazed how the earth works.

It sounds like your plants and gardening plans are coming along well. Herbs conveniently growing on the porch will make it easier to use them in cooking. Enjoy your “science experiments”!

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3327 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-12-2010 09:29 AM

If there is one thing you will learn with gardening Erika it will be patience.I can still remember when I first started gardening and I felt like you do now.Actually that “will it grow or not” feeling never goes away.(lol) Every year is a new experience with new plants and new techniques and never gets boring.If something doesn’t grow then just try something else.Most of your hard work is being done now.Once you have your beds the way you want them and good soil in them you will just have to top them up each year and keep them weeded.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View erika's profile

erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-12-2010 10:06 AM

Thanks, Bon. I tend to be the impatient kind. You’re right. I can’t hurry Mother Nature.

I have a question for all you knowledgeable gardeners. I have a hardy bamboo that I brought with me from Mississauga. I planted it last summer and it seemed to be doing well but this Spring I don’t see the usual signs of life. The leaves are still on but did turn a light brown during the winter. I know bamboo is a grass. Should I have cut it down to the ground before winter came? Should I cut it to the ground now? For about a foot and a half from the ground, the canes look greenish, so I’m guessing that’s a good sign.

What do you think? Do you think it’s dead? Do you think it’s alive?

One more question about the maples we transplanted last fall. They have buds on them but the buds are not swollen yet. Shouldn’t they look pregnant by now? I would be so disappointed if they didn’t take. We worked so hard digging them up and moving them. I watered them repeatedly until frost. That’s what I’d been reading. Come to think of it, they still had leaves on them when we moved them. But it was fall, that much I do know.

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

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erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-14-2010 07:31 AM

I needn’t have panicked over the bamboo. After Googling like mad I found a site dedicated to bamboo. It seems it is quite normal for hardy bamboo to look quite ratty in the Spring. Apparently, the new leaves will push out the old. I guess I’ll see.

Also, the Maples look OK. I think. Again, I’ll see.

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3811 posts in 3176 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-14-2010 07:48 AM

I suspect I am older than any of you and I’m here to tell you, ‘Gardening just gets better. Yes, it can be alot of work…..but the rewards will keep you going.’
Anyway, you sound like you are off to a good start, so I’m sure you will have a great gardening experience. :)

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View erika's profile

erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-14-2010 08:05 AM

Thanks Iris43, for the vote of confidence. :)

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 2809 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-24-2010 06:20 AM

Erika, I may never get to posting all my photos, so here is the promised bamboo photo. Notice that these plant leaves are a bit tan and ragged looking from the winter weather, but I also have noticed new green shoots growing to replace them. Not the best picture, because it is hard to see the bamboo against the green grass, but it will give you an idea.
Bamboo plant - early spring

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Penny's profile

Penny

318 posts in 2881 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-24-2010 06:41 AM

Looks great Erika, well done.

-- Gardening is Great Therapy!!.....Georgian Bay area....zone 5b

View erika's profile

erika

435 posts in 2596 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-24-2010 08:05 AM

Photobucketnew_shoot
Photobucketleaf_closeup
Photobucketbamboo

I’ve included these pics for you, Robin. Your bamboo looks healthy. Mine – not so much. However, notice that green whatever it is, thing, coming from the bamboo root. That means something, doesn’t it?

-- Erika, Hastings, ON

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 2809 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-24-2010 08:44 AM

Yes, I see the green shoot, but why is it so limp? When my shoots come up, they are rigid. Don’t panic. You probably have a different kind of bamboo. I do know that there are many types of bamboo and they have a wide variety of light and temperature needs. They want frequent watering but with good drainage (similar to a lawn). They enjoy a slightly acidic pH and loamy soil with lots of organic matter in it. Any advice for Erika from other GTs?

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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