Question for tom8olvr !!!!

ashley_minnigMarch 6, 2009

I had a question if you were willing to answer. First I must say how awesome your impatiens look! You are obviously are very, very skilled in growing them! So I just started impatiens for the very first time indoors march 1st!

My question is what light do you grow your plants under?

I have a two bulb 4" fluorescent fixture that has two cool white bulbs is them what do you use??

I can say that if you have any reccomendations for growing impatiens I sure could benefit from your great experiance !!!!!

I would to love to learn from someone that that starts them in there home!

It would be so great to learn and be able to have so many flowers to enjoy and share my extra plants with family! Thanx so much for sharing all your pictures. I just seen them the first time on this forum!

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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

I'm slightly embarrassed, b/c I'm sorry, I'm no expert. I certainly appreciate your compliments though!
I buy 'grow' lights, but I'm not sure they're necessary. I have
a friend who has fine luck with regular flourescent lights/bulbs.
This is my set up:

Nothing big... I have 3 steel racks going and I do have a
4' light in the basement.

Please keep us posted on how you do!


    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 10:48AM
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Thanks so much for your reply! I think you should call yourself the home growing expert, but again that's just me!! I started a flat and a half for the first time with impatiens and really could use some guidance! I saw how well your impatiens were doing last year and thought, if I can do that that would be so awesome! So here I am hopefully trying to learn from anyone I can.

I started sowing the seeds on march 1st and they started sprouting march 5!
I was pretty excited because the packet says it takes 14-21 days!
I don't want to overwhelm you but I seem to have so many questions!
Do you have your own garden diary??? It would be so helpful to learn what you do and when you do it, that way I could try the same method! It seems to be working for you great! Whatever your doing you must be doing right!! ha!
I will give you updates on how they are doing, So far I have a tray and a half just sprouting, each tray has 72 cells so I guess thats alot? How many impatiens do you plant per sq foot to get the display along your fence??
And am I supposed to lift the dome since the impatiens are beginning to sprout?
Like I said so so many questions! Don't feel like you have to answer them all!
I certainly wouldn't want to bombard with to many questions! ha ha!
Again thanks so much for your reply,
I have a post I started a few days ago in seed starting, it reads "how to successfully grow impatiens from seed? I describe what I did in hopes of others critiuqing me so I can effectively learn how to grow the seedlings well with healthier plants. Every year I continue to get barely big enough plants to transfer to my garden. And the ones I give away people are like "It is so cute" Instead of "they look so big and healthy! hee hee!! Oh well I am young so I just might have time to learn! I splurged on a industrial shelf with four foot fixtures and 2 cool white bulbs? What are your called, maybe I should look into using the same?? Anyway I better stop asking questions! Otherwise this will be a book!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 1:33PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

No, I don't keep a diary. I'm sorry.

I plant around 1500 impatien seeds a year. This year I've
cut back and only done 1000 - but I've picked up 500
begonias so it all evens out! :)
Ok, when I plant them - let's see - they're about 10-12"
apart. I think it also should be known I plant the large
flowered impatiens - the tempos, blitz, or envoy - They
grow taller as well... So they're different than other shorter growing/dwarf impatiens. The end of the season
they are 24"+ tall. Along the fence I approximate to about
36 plants per 10' of fencing. The fence I think has 11 or
so sections. :) So about 400 plants there. I have several
other places I plant - and the bags which are 10 plants per
bag - I do 20-25 bags... it all adds up to being a lot, I
guess. Then I have a few other places I like to plant. It
would not be something I could do if I bought all those as
plants - financially speaking...
I don't lift the dome immediately... I have a friend that
does... I find mine dry out too easily (I have a wood stove
and a dry home)... he takes his off ASAP and he transports
them to a cool sunroom (3 season porch) after they get their true set of leaves. His plants are GORGEOUS like nursery/greenhouse gorgeous when he sets his out - mine are
NOT. I know this is mainly b/c I keep them too warm...
They're like twirps compared to what you could by at
say home depot BUT Home Depot doesn't have the colors I do
OR the larger flowering/taller imps I do. NO ONE takes my
plants - they all pooh-pooh my plants, but they catch up -
and then some!

start off like this!

Geez, talk about a book! Please keep me posted on your
progress and let me know which type of impatien you're
growing. I'm always interested!

Thanks, and hope I've helped!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 2:56PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

same bed:

same bed:

just illustrating that they might start slow, but they catch up!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 3:39PM
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Tomolvr, Thanks so much for posting more pics!
1000 plants sure is alot! Today I had to go back to get more impatiens seeds!
It is funny how 72 sounds like way to much then you get to thinking MORE! MORE! MORE! I need MORE! HA ha! I have two kinds I am starting (Not much selection were I live, I will most likely buy earlier for more variety next year through catalogs) I bought, Ferry Morse Dwarf pink baby (Enana Rosa Palido) height 12"
and Flavours Hybrid Vanilla, height 8" I sure wish I could find some of the big ones! If only I could go to Columbus this weekend I could find some!
So I had another question When should I start fertilizing? And what kind of fertilizer do you use? And do you dilute it?
My impatiens now have a dark green stem instead of just white. They seem to pretty much all started germinating 100% yay!!
Sorry to ask again but do you know what kind of bulb you are using for your plants, I remember you mentioned they were grow bulbs but do you know exactly what they are called and what kind you bought?? Sorry for asking again! I just am hoping my lights are going to be sufficient. So when do you decide to transplant? 2 weeks, 4 weeks, first or second set of true leaves?
Thank you so much for helping others like myself to learn from your growing shelf! What would I do without the Internet! All I can say is it sure helps!
I will keep you posted! I wish I knew how to upload photos like your doing!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 10:11PM
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This is a little off the subject but did you ever find out about what kind a flower you asked about back in sept. 08? I was surfing the forums and thought maybe it could be Lady's slipper! My neighbor has them growing wild near the alley around the trees were it is nice and moist. Hummingbirds love Lady's slipper!
Just wondering!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 10:23PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

1000 seed is not really that bad - I can pick and chose
the strongest seedlings and I'm happy if I end up with 75%
of that... 750 plants is nothing to sneeze at...

Lights - go to Home Depot or the like - go into the tube
light section - There will be cool florescents, black
lights and 'plant' lights... they're expensive... and I
don't believe they're necessary. REALLY I don't think
they are. If you are having good germination now, you'll
be fine with what your using now.

After I transplant them (1st true set of leaves) they
don't get the benefit of being under the lights - they're
stuck in the window... (which is why mine look straggly -
that and it's too warm in my house). My begonias need
roughly 15 hours of light which the window can't provide,
so the imps take a back seat :(

Then of course I'm on to tomatoes and other things... :)

I have to tell you, I am extremely casual with this
stuff... I get what I get and I don't get upset. :)

I don't start fertilizing until they're transplanted into
their 48 cell trays - when they're in the house I use 1/2
strength... I'll use anything really - I'm not picky.

I do nail them once they're outside though. I do a
granular fert when I'm planting and I nail them with
Miracle grow to get them growing... usually a week or so
after I've planted them.

If you want your imps to look like mine - you gotta go
with the larger flower/larger habit ones - I have grown
Tempo, Blitz and Envoy. Envoy is and blitz
or Infinity you can get from Hazzard seed. Tempo you can
get just about anywhere. I think they all sell tempo.
These will grow upwards of 24" - that's 2 feet!!! NICE!

I have seed I saved from last year if you want it. I was
going to donate it, but haven't yet.

Get an account on photobucket - it's free - load pictures
on there and I'll walk you through posting pictures.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 12:37PM
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Hello Again,
Yesterday I searched nearly half the day 45 minutes away in pursuit of
some big impatiens seed like you suggested. I went to Lowes, Home Depot, to
two Ace hardware stores,Walmart,Kmart And Meadow View nursery. All of which did not have any larger variety Impatien seeds :(
I could barely believe what a narrow selection they had on impatiens. It seemed like every place I tried had nearly all the same selection. I learned my lesson. Next time I better order online. I simply bought more of the same impatiens as I already sowed. Maybe I might have a short but hopefully thick bed?

Thanks so much for offering your seeds, I am afraid that sounds like that would be alot of trouble for you though? I wanted to tell you how much you been helpeing me in this process.! Thanks so much!

So you literally take them away from the lights as soon as they develope there first true leaves?? That bit of information might save the space for my tomatoes that are going to need the lights desperately! I had no idea they could still grow that considerbley with just window light! Thats great, I now only need to find some bright sunny window, hmmm,I am not sure if I have one very bright? We'll see.

I will look into the photbucket site, thanks for the information.
Have you ever grown 'Tidal Wave Petunias' before??
I bought some seeds and suppsedly they are supposed to nearly overtake the pots were you plant them! And Petunias smell so pretty!
I hope to get some pictures up of my grow setup. I hope to show you how the impatiens are growing, they have there coltodean leaves?? Or what ever the seed leaves are called, ha ha! They are a very green, green, Yet it almost seems there's a tad of yellow?? For the most part they look healthy! Well its pretty late so I better go.
Hope to hear from you soon,

Thanks again, Hummer_girl

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 1:23AM
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I don't really know how do do this so may take a few try's.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 1:45AM
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here it go's

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 1:47AM
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I am still trying to post a pic?!

Here is a link that might be useful:[/IMG]

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 2:05AM
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No such luck posting from
Until I have some direction, I won't be trying again! HA ha!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 2:13AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Hummer girl - Yah, mail order is really the only way to
go. is one of my faves - I order from them
every year AND they have made *some* mistakes over the years
but they ALWAYS rectify the situ to my satisfaction. Great
company IMO.

I don't have the sun for petunias and if I did I'd put tomatoes
there. :)

Ok, pictures on - you have your account on photobucket...
you've put your pictures on...

there are 4 options under each picture... email, blah blah blah
click on the 3rd one down - HTML code - click on it. Right on the word... it'll say copied...

Then come back over to gardening web - paste it right into the message - something like this:

actio=view&current=TP-0355-2T.jpg" target="_blank">src="http a>

will show up.
That is perfectly correct... when you hit 'preview message' the picture will show up.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 9:13AM
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Thanks so much, I feel like a dummy. I am a little slow sometimes when it comes to certain things. This being one of those things. I will now since I can finally post pics Get some more photos to post on here!
So how are your impatiens going have you already started them. And are they with there first set of true leaves yet?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 11:15PM
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Here is my front yard. I hope to plant most of the impatiens in and around the hostas like crazy to finally get that feeling of Welcome! Well hopefully it will help to say that?? I love to read and sit outside and I hope to make the front alot more cozier with lots more flowers. I would like to make it a little more private too if I can.
I bought 4 hanging baskets to hang under the porch and I plan on filling a couple window boxes under there as well. I love your hanging planters on
your fence! Do you think I could get that look to if I am using the smaller impatiens?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 11:27PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

I tried the smaller impatiens last year and they were fine
but they weren't like using the larger ones - for whatever
reason that may be.
Looks like you have a perfect yard to incorporate imps. I
like your aluminum watering cans - very cute.
I have areas out front that I DON'T put imps - they just don't seem to fit...

These are those areas:

I also suggest people don't forget begonias b/c they can
really be super. I know this is the imp forum but I've been
very impressed with them:

My driveway was STAINED red with all the flowers.

These are Queen begonias and grow in deep shade (that imps
end up looking leggy and not so healthy... and begonias
still look fantastic...

Haven't decided what to do out back... guess I'll probably leave it alone. HA!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:57AM
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What a beautiful garden you have!
If I really had known what I was doing I would have probibly started some begonias, they are truly gorgous. I know what you mean about the blooms staining your cement, they look covered! Do you start these 12 weeks before your last frost, and do you treat these pretty much the same as your impatiens?

I know this is silly but do they smell good?
I love even more flowers that have sweet smell! I am a softy when it comes to any flower that smells good, either way I love flowers smelly or not!
Thanks for sharing your photos they look like you had a professional landscaper.
I would love to sit on the deck on the river, or is it a lake? Do you go swimming?
I keep telling my husband all the ideas I have for this years garden, but it tends to lull him to sleep, go figure!
Good thing there is garden web:)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 1:19AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

My hubby is the same way - his eyes start to glaze over when I start talking tomatoes, flowers and landscaping! He takes care of the grass - which is a lot easier since we got sprinkler systems.

Ok, Begonias take a little more to start in the house than impatiens. Imps are fairly easy - begonias are easy IF you have the right set up - warmth (heat mat) and lights (on a timer 15-18 hours a day) are necessary. And patience (not be be confused with impatiens!)... You have to maintain 70-75 degrees through germination - and they have to stay very moist. And they take forever to emerge - if you have interest (really) I can give you better instructions - or go on the begonia forum - there are some serious begonia people over there - I've learned a lot.

THere are some people who have found DW begonias fairly cheap to by (plants). I haven't found that in my area YET - so I still grow by seed - you can also take cuttings readily from DW begonias (they are sterile, so no seeds - just blooms). I've not done that yet either. There are some on line companies that sell begonia plugs for cheap - I might do that in the future.

We moved to this house 3 years ago and the yard had been neglected for about 10 years... so it was fun to start from nothing... and it's a lot smaller than our other place so it's managable.

It's a lake - swimmable... we bought a boat last year so now we're tooling the lake - it's about 170+ acres - good size. We love it - recommend becoming a lake lover to anyone! :)

Begonias and impatiens don't smell. There are some begonias that smell - but not the dragon wings...

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 8:56AM
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