2012 Seedling Beds

dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)October 14, 2012

Here is how I started my seedlings this year. I'm going to make a series of photo posts, so be patient if you catch me in the middle. :)

I started 115 seeds from 9 different crosses in buckets in mid July under a piece of plastic screen to keep them from overheating.

Nate

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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Here were the same seedlings yesterday before I planted them out. There were 73 seedlings from 115 seeds, a success rate of 63%. It's plenty for me and far better than last year.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 11:52AM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Here is the dirt all torn up next to the 2011 seedling bed before I started. FIRE AGATE is the plant at the front, and the rest are all single-fan seedlings.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 11:55AM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Here it is from a different angle.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 11:58AM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Here is after I dumped the dirt. 2 large bags of Sta-Green garden soil, 2 40# bags of topsoil, and 1 40# bag of composted manure.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:01PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Here I've added the brick border and poured some chicken litter organic fertilizer on top (before mixing everything together).

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:04PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Here are the seedlings all planted.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:07PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

And in this one I've mulched the bed.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:10PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Here is after I shored up the bricks with some more mulch and replaced the PVC pipes with oyster shells to make borders between the different crosses.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:14PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

The oyster shells were my wife's idea, and I think they'll do well. I've had trouble coming up with ideas for how to separate the seedlings with something that won't rot away, wash away, or get buried.

As you might be able to see, the 2011 seedlings are separated with bamboo sticks. Maybe I'll replace those with oyster shells also. We have a large bucket of oyster shells that we dug up on the property when we bought the house.

Anyhow, thanks for reading. I'd love to hear any other ideas.

Nate

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:19PM
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Julia NY(6)

Very nice and I like the brick border that you did along with how the 2011 are in the first row along the building structure and you did the same with the 2012 ones.

I just use markers to designate the beginning of a seedling cross but if I have to stop in the middle of a row, I place another marker with the cross. So easy to get things mixed up so I rely on the markers.

I know how much work goes into setting up a new bed. It will fill in nicely next season.
Julia

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 1:56PM
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jean_ar(z8 Ar)

I don't have any ideas, but,I like yours.That looks real nice the way you have the bed fixed.The 2011 sedlings look really nice and green, too.It will look fantastic next spring when they have filed out.Thanks for the tour.

Jean

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 3:01PM
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organic_kitten(8)

Nate, you did a great job. Your bed looks wonderful, very nice and organized.
kay

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Ed(z7aOK)

Looks good Nate, and show us some pictures next spring.
Ed

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 2:52PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Thanks for the kind comments!

As Julia mentioned, I have markers at the beginning of each section. Of course, being a lefty, I put them at the right hand end of each section.

Today I saw that squirrels had dug little holes all over the place in the new mulch (they always do that with new mulch...I'm not sure if they actually find anything good), but only one seedling looked damaged by it.

Nate

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 9:19PM
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cavamarie(z8b/9a FL)

Very nicely done.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:06PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Yes, I've started a massive number of home crosses (really it's WAY too much) and it suddenly occurred to me a bit to late into the process that I'll need somewhere to plant them when they're old enough lol! I don't think I want them in my main field with all the named varieties so I'll have to find a different area and start building those beds.

Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:41PM
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lisa_3(5)

I have to start my seedlings at Dad's. The silly squirrels like to dig mine up when I try to plant the little seedlings here. When they get larger, I bring them home. Dad's not overrun by squirrels and has more room.
You've spaced them nicely. I always tend to over crowd thinking they are such small little things. lol

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:09PM
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flowergirl929(5)

It looks very nice and organized! Can't wait to see some of them when they bloom. Good job

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:27PM
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crackingtheconcrete(7a)

I was also amazed at how neat and organized your system was. It looks great and it was fun to see the pics of everything in progress. Is there a certain look/color you are going for with these crosses, or is it random?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:30PM
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dementieva(Zone 9 - Houston)

Thanks for the additional compliments!

My crosses are a mix of things that had flowers I like and things that didn't rust much. Lots of reds. I'm getting excited about spring coming -- hope to see some of these bloom!

Nate

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:27AM
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