What indoor seeds are you starting?

michelle_co(z5 CO)May 1, 2008

Ch-ch-chilly day out, I'm in planting some flower seeds.

delphinium'>Delphinium

Gaillardia (annual)

Marigolds

Zinnias

Foxgloves

Blue Flax

Lupine

Alyssum

And probably some others I've forgotten. I've not grown these before, so it should be fun. What seeds are you planting around May 1? I have room under the light for two more flats. :-)

Can I start coreopsis or shirley poppies indoors?

Cheers,

Michelle

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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Michelle,

If your Delphinium is the perennial kind rather than the annual larkspur, youll have much better luck if you stratify it for about four weeks before you try to start it. And with the poppies, I recommend starting them outsideÂeither in pots or directly in the ground. Poppies like it COLD. IÂve never tried starting them inside, but the ones I winter sowed outside on February 21 were up by the end of the first week in March. And the alyssum, with their tiny little leaves, are going to seem like theyÂll never get big enough to be useable, but once they get outside in the ground, itÂs amazing how they can take off!

I havenÂt really started much inside this year. I have my tomatoes and eggplants that IÂm carting in and out every dayÂbut definitely not today! And IÂve started some of the tender herbsÂmostly different basils, but some dill and some bronze fennel too that IÂve always wanted for the "feathery" effect. (Can anybody tell me if fennel is invasive? I want to put at least one of them in my perennial bed!) One of my tomatoes, Golden Jubilee, new seed this year from Totally Tomatoes, never germinated, and I just stuck another half dozen seeds in the pot yesterday, but it better get going FAST or itÂs gonna be too late! A few of the other seeds I got from TT had poor germination too, and IÂm debating if I want to order from them again. A couple of my red basils and dills didnÂt come up either, but they were old seed, and I just stuck a bunch more seed of those in the pots yesterday too.

And I have SteveÂs Lavatera too, but I donÂt think that counts since itÂs in a piece of paper towel in a zipper baggieÂon the heat pad with the other ungerminated seeds! .......and some of itÂs in another baggie in the fridge.......and some of itÂs outside in the winter sown flats.......and.......can you tell I really, really want to get some of that to germinate!

HereÂs a picture of my babies when they were sitting outside last week. Not much to look at, but theyÂve really taken off since then. The tomatoes and eggplants have a couple sets of true leaves, and the herbs are getting true leaves now too. I just checked and the tomatoes and eggplants are well rooted out to the edges of the pots and I probably ought to try to get the tomatoes potted up a size to get them in deeper at least once before I put them in the groundÂdeeper again. Will try to get that done Saturday.

IÂll be growing a few marigolds here and there around my veggies too, but IÂll just direct sow them pretty soon.

I have a question for any petunia growers around here! IÂve never grown petunias from seed, but this year I bought some pelleted seed (10 I think!) for Wave petunias. Brain glitch or whatever, I havenÂt gotten them in, and a few days ago I was thinking that IÂm probably too late for this year and that IÂll just save them for next year and try to get my arse in gear a little more quickly, but can anybody tell me if thereÂs still time for them to get big enough to put out in my (NEW) whisky barrels and have them get big enough to actually see before they freeze in fall? If theyÂre just not gonna make it this year, and IÂm gonna wind up having to buy a few anyway, I may as well wait till next year to use the seeds. They werenÂt cheap! I only bought them Âcause buying Wave plants is so expensive!

The snow is done here right now, and on radar it looks like it may be outta here,
Skybird

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 8:50PM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

First, I have been wondering - how is your concussion injury? Are you back to work yet?

Re delphs: some seeds are from last year and were in the fridge. I've read old ones don't sprout well. Some are new and not stratified, but I will put the little flat of them in the fridge. Could I still set them in the shade ala winter sowing and let them come up when they want to?? I'd like to order some NZ hybrids to start this Fall and will remember to order early and stratify. Anyone want to split up some NZ hybrid $seed? They are expensive, ouch.

Thanks for info on the poppies and alyssum. :-) I have a bunch of alyssum to direct seed, too.

Must look up wave petunias - tho' I am not a petunia grower.

Didn't know basil was a tender herb. I should bring it in from the coldframe tonight. I've been making it suffer outside (protected, but unheated). It may well freeze in there tonight.

Cheers,
Michelle

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:52PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

The only things I have started indoors this spring are tomatoes and peppers. All of the peppers germinated, though I think the one that got knocked down in the wind its first day outside isn't going to make it. With the tomatoes, all but two kinds germinated on the first try. The Opalka, and Black Cherry, the two that didn't germinate, were both from trades, and I've resown them twice. Still nothing on the Black Cherry, but I did see a sprout starting to come up this afternoon in the Opalka container. I'm like you Skybird, I'm beginning to feel like it's too late to try again with something else.

Michelle, I've never grown any of the ones on your list indoors, but I did wintersow Poppies and Alyssum this year, and had excellent germination on the Alyssum. Two containers of tiny little sprouts have already been planted out, and the third container, sowed outdoors 10 days ago, has already started germinating. Here is a picture of the babies. Each container was divided into three separate plantings, so this represents a third of one container of sprouts.

One of the Poppy containers has quite a few sprouts that are starting to get their first set of true leaves. The second type of Poppies that I sowed had a couple of sprouts come up and then die pretty quickly, not sure why, but anyway, I think I will resow them (in containers outdoors).

Zinnias I did about 10 days ago, again using the wintersowing technique, but waited until now to do them since they are not frost tolerant. They started germinating within 5 days. With the cold spell we are having, they will be spending the night in the garage for the next couple of nights, along with all of the contianers of basil.

Marigolds I will direct sow as soon as this cold spell passes.

Skybird, I'm still waiting on the red basil to germinate too, but it was only sown on 4/22, though all of the other basils have started sprouting already. I've not had good luck with the red/purple Basils. I've received seed from two different people, and the germination rate has been low both times. Even the few that do germinate are not near as vigorous as the green varieties have been for me.

The dill wintersows very well. Mine was sown 2/18, germ 3/18, and was potted up and put out on the porch last week. I didn't sow any herbs indoors this time, wintersowed them all, and most did very well.
Here is what I WS and how they did:

Basils - germination in 4 out of 5 containers all sown 4/22
Chives - no germination of regular or garlic chives
Dill - excellent germ.
Lavender - excellent germ., already planted out, lost a few sprouts from the snow and cold last night
Marjoram - excellent germ.
Oregano - great
Spearmint - great
Parsley - no germination yet, but did excellent last year. I used leftover seed from last year, so I will resow with fresh seed.
Sage - sparse germination, already planted out
Perilla (shiso) - no germ. yet, sown 4/22
Summer Savory - sparse germ., seed from '97
Rosemary - no germ., gave in and bought a plant today at Walmart

The basils are the only ones I'm babying, but all of the others have done fine outside in their mini-greenhouse containers even with lows well below freezing some nights.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:57PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Michelle, I just checked and your temps are supposed to be back up again by Saturday, so I dont think youd get enough cold outside anymore to qualify as stratification. I think, especially if some of the seed is iffy, that youd be better off with them in the fridge for at least three weeks. With perennials they can be planted anytime over the summer, so better off delaying them some in hopes of getting better germination. Are they the tall type Delphiniums? As in Pacific Giants or Magic Fountains? Ive never tried to start them from seed because I remember all the trouble my parents had somewhere around when I was in third or fourth grade. At times we had the freezer and/or fridge half full of flatsWOOD flats back thenand no matter what they did, they never seemed to get much germination. So definitely dont give up, but Id go for whatever might give you the best odds. I dont know how quickly the viability of delphin seed goes down, but what youve read about difficulty germinating old seed may have as much to do with general germination difficulty as with the age of the seed. You might want to go back and sow them more heavily than you already have, to improve your odds.

Well, after all that, I just checked the Tom Clothier site and this is what it says:

"Delphinium belladonna, cardinale, cashmirianum, chinense, elatum, glareosum, glaucum, grandiflorum, nudicaule, patens, requinni, and tatsienense , Sow at 22-24ºC (71-75ºF), germination in less than 2 weeks "

I you have the tall ones you probably have D. elatum, so according to that it should be easy to germinatebut that sure doesnt explain why my parents had so much troubleand they WERE good with green growin things! Not sure what to suggest anymore! Pick your choice of the suggestions above!!!

Lets see if theres something else that I can maybe actually help with! Yes! Definitely bring the basil in tonite and probably tomorrow nite! And I dont think there will be any opposing opinions about that one! ;-)

Wave petunias have been around for quite a few years now---theyre better than the "regular" ones. The spread out a lotare good for hanging basketsand dont get leggy and ratty looking after a couple months, so they stay nice looking all summer. There are some other very similar ones out by now, I can never remember for sure, but I thing SuperTunias (or something like that) are one of them.

Four months and counting with the concussion! Several times I felt enough better that I told my doctor I was going back to work in two weeks if it heldand it didnt "held!" Just a couple weeks ago I felt so bad for a few days that one nite I actually thought about going to the ERbut I felt too bad to try to get up and get thereand it seemed to me that hanging out on a gurney for a few hours would have only made me feel even worsewhich didnt seem possibleso I didnt go! Right now Im feeling much better again! Like I keep telling people, all I did was get hit in the head! Who ever would have thought THIS could happen? Not me! On the bright side! At least Im around here to watch my robins! They have three eggs and Im not sure how long it takes, but Im thinking in another couple weeks I should have peeps along with all the rest of you! But I wont have to take care of mine! Ill be the godmother and get to just enjoy them! :-)

Bonnie, you sure dont have any luck with chives! But it sounds like youre going to be inundated by it at the swap! Youll get yours, girl! Just you wait!

My red basil seed is VERY old, so Im not surprised Im having trouble with it. I got it from the herb grower at Paulinos when I was still there, and she gave it to me cause it was old, and I left there the beginning of 00so its olde! Ive tried Purple Ruffles a couple years in a row now, and found it to be a VERY wimpy plant, so Im not doing that one again, but the regular red basil, once I get it started, Ive found to be pretty sturdy plants, similar to the regular green. I put a whole bunch of seed in when I reseeded, so I figure a few of them will germinate.

Andyou dont need to buy any new parsley seed! Parsley is viable into infinity! Lets see! I think somebody grew some parsley seed they found in an Anasazi community, didnt they? Orwas that beans??? But if they found parsley seed, they COULD have germinated it. If yours was just sown within the last couple weeks, just give it more time.

Rosemary is difficult to germinateand even more difficult to grow from a seedling if you succeed in germinating it! Its very sensitive to watering conditions, especially overwatering. Good choice to buy a plant, and if you want more, do some small tip cuttings. Theyre not real easy either, but better than seeds!

Skybird

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:12AM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

Hi Skybird & Bonnie -

Bonnie, I have been following the wintersowing with interest and learning about it. I'm also interested to know how your springsowing goes, and will be trying that, too. Guess I could try to start some sunflower plugs, too.

Skybird, The Pacific Giants are already stratified, the Magic Fountains are not. The flats are in the mini fridge... There is plenty of room for them to stay in there. I should buy another packet of MF delphs and put them in the fridge now to plant this Fall in case these don't sprout for me...

I'd like to try a few outside, though, ala SpringSowing. The north patio is pretty cool on warm days, and really cold at night. Seems like a flat sitting on concrete would mimic seeds in cool soil. Could try some poppies, extra delphs and sunflowers that way, just for fun.

The cool thing is in the back of the fridge, I found packet of wild pink snapdragon seeds. :-)

Those wave petunias, especially the doubles, are sooo pretty. I've never been a petunia fan, but would like to try those. Grandma always gets her planters filled for mother's day, I'm going to plant those instead of the usual.

Sorry to hear your concussion is *still* giving you problems. But I am glad you are not having worse symptoms. Being a horse rider, I've heard of some terrible concussions from falls, for ex. people having to relearn to type or tie their shoes... Guess we need to rally for hard hats for you working up there in the air. :-) A riding helmet has saved my head during one bad fall - I heard a terrible crunch as my head hit the ground and the helmet cracked. It does seem kind of crazy that you folks work unrestrained in a plane with no head protection...

And YAY, it's going to warm up! Happy happy garden dance!!

Cheers,
Michelle

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 9:46AM
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melanieweitzenfeld

I planted snowflake pea pods and super sugar snap peas in March. They'd been doing well, but several of the plants were damaged by the wind and are hanging on to the main stem (near the soil) by a thread. I resowed yesterday (indoors), but am worried it might be too late. Any thoughts? Thank you!!

Melanie

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 10:28AM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

Hi Melanie,

I planted snow and snap peas in June one year and they still produced pretty well. I don't think you are too late. I am hoping to seed mine outside tomorrow.

Cheers,
Michelle

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 10:54AM
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billie_ladybug(5b)

Skybird - I wonder if something was up with TT this year. I bought new pepper seed from them this year and got poor germination on it too. Tomatoes were fair. I had half a flat that germinated nothing at all. I put it on the incubator (kept at 100*) for about a month and finally got a few sprouts. But my really really old seeds sprouted better.

How does rosemary do from root cuttings. I have a plant in my kitchen that I could try to bring a few pieces from if anyone is desperiate. I just don't want to overdo it. That poor plant has had a rough life.

Billie

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 1:48PM
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jamie_mt(z4/5 MT)

Zinnias for me this weekend, if I can get the pansies, violas, parsley, dill and snapdragons moved out of the greenhouse to make room. I guess if I can't get that done, I'll just direct-sow the zinnias, and see what comes up. I'm going to toss Thyme seeds out this weekend too, and see what happens. Other than the zinnias, thankfully, all my seed-sowing is *done* for the year! I'm ready to take care of plants now...even though it's still a few weeks before I can start hardening most of what's in the greenhouse off.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 1:56PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Hey Skybird, I just read on the package of parsley from Park's that it can aid germination if you soak the seed for 24 hours, so I've put some more seed in a cup of water, and will add those to the container tomorrow. It's the extra curled kind, which I like better than the flat parsley.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 2:10PM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

Jamie, how are the new roses? :-)

Cheers,
Michelle

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 2:39PM
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billie_ladybug(5b)

Forgot to say in my last post that my weekend chores, if I can get to them between baseball, 4-H and Awana, is to plant my squashes and melons. I decided for quantity reasons, I am going to plant the cucs outside. For transplanting reasons the marigolds, zinnia, alyssum and such is going to be direct sown too. Live or die, I am out of time and room.

Billie

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 4:40PM
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jamie_mt(z4/5 MT)

The roses are coming along slowly, Michelle. I just planted four more bare roots this weekend, and I think I'll put the new mini's out soon. Betty Boop is throwing up new canes already, but the others just got a little dry last week (I kept believing the weather guy when he said it was going to rain...big mistake!). We had a frost that killed off much of the new growth, so now they have to start all over. I got out the hose on Saturday, so we'll see how they do this week. Slow going in spring, as usual. :-)

I think I've decided to plant the zinnia seeds directly in the garden...next year, I'm going to just plan on buying any pansies/petunias I think I need, and I'll start the zinnias early instead. Now I'm looking at some of the plants I started, and wondering what on earth I'm going to do with them...I'll plan more careful use of my space/time next year. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 11:58AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Ha, ha, ha!!! Jamie, it's easy to say that you won't plant so many seeds, in May when you are up to your ears in sprouts, but you just wait until January rolls around again, and you are tired of the snow ... and the seed catalogs start rolling in. We'll see how determined you are to stick to that plan, LOL!

: ) Bonnie

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 12:23PM
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billie_ladybug(5b)

Sure fire way to get it to rain: spend 4 hours watering all of your plant including trees, spend two hours washing your car/truck, AND plan to cook dinner on the grill.

Billie

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 12:37PM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

I don't think we'll get rain until it's time to cut hay. Seems to always work like that.

Jamie, I'm interested to know how your roses do. I am only buying a few this year - mostly OGRs. The gallica I planted last year did so well compared to most everything else... The new minis didn't do well at all, which suprised me because we had such good snow cover. I haven't SP'd any yet this year, but if they don't look alive by June 7, they're toast. I'm at the point of having too many to winter protect (just over a hundred roses), so there're gonna have to be tough.

Today I planted squash and zucc's to start indoors - never tried it, but since Billie says it can be done... Also started 6 varieties of sunflower indoors. :-)

Cheers,
Michelle

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 2:14PM
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jamie_mt(z4/5 MT)

Now see Bonnie, I didn't say I was going to plant *less*, just that I was going to be more careful of *what* I planted. ;-) Always leave yourself a loophole...

Michelle, I'll keep you updated (and I'll post pics later when they're leafed out more). I grew hybrid teas, climbers and floribundas at my old house, and they did quite well after getting established. Like any plant, they take a little while to "settle in" though. I'm worried about the peace rose, which has been sulking since I transplanted it. But it doesn't normally leaf out until later, so I'm probably worried over nothing. That frost was a real bummer, since it pretty much killed off all the new growth. I hate it when they have to start all over again...

And thanks for reminding me - I have some packs of sunflower seeds I was going to start too!! Not sure where I'd put them now though, so I think they'll just stay in the packs. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 3:59PM
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billie_ladybug(5b)

Michelle - yes, squach and zuchinni can be started indoors, just be careful when transplanting, they are touchy about their roots. If they are exposed too long, they might have a problem. You can always start in larger 6-packs, that way they don't need to be transplanted until they are going out into the garden.

Billie

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 4:35PM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

Thanks Billie. I started them in 4 packs. I am out of the deeper 6 packs - need to buy some next year, I guess. Everything seems to grow better in those. I still have plenty of seed for direct seeding, if this doesn't go well for me.

Jamie, my Peace and Chi Peace haven't really tried to leaf out yet, either. None of the HT's in the garden have, actually, except the potted ones on the patio. We always get a frost around June 1, so it's OK with me if they wait. Seems like all of minis planted year before last did reasonably well... Ingrid is 2 years old and struggling, but it seems to be a bad combination of ambitious and not-cane-hardy. It keeps shooting basals and then getting them zapped by cold.

Guess I could send you all the roses I'm impatient with.

:-) Cheers,
Michelle

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 4:51PM
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lilacs_of_may

Indoors I've planted

tomatoes (mostly paste)
brassica (mostly broccoli)
sunflowers
herbs (the catnip and oregano just won't germinate!)
daisies
marigold
pepper (the seeds were free -- I don't care for peppers, but I thought maybe someone somewhere would)

Half of my potatoes are in my plant room sprouting, and half have been planted outside. I've also planted lettuce, carrots, peas, and spinach outside. Later I'll direct sow squash and melons. My garlic started popping up in March.

I bought some pansies and a raspberry from Lowes. The pansies died as soon as a I planted them, and the raspberry doesn't look that healthy. I sowed some pansy and viola seed, but nothing's germinated yet.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 1:26AM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

Hooray - most of the old Pacific Giants dephinium seed is germinating. :-) I am quite suprised.

Still tapping my fingers waiting for the Magic Fountains (come on... come on... come on...) I pulled one flat out of the fridge last week, and am going to pull another flat out today - testing how much cold they need to reliably germinate. Two more flats will stay in for a while.

The really old pink snapdragon seed is also germinating well.

Anyone want to split a few packs of ($$$$) NZ Hybrids delph seeds from NZ? I'd like to buy some this summer to stratify for germinating next Spring. Get out the iron lung, because the double blues are so breathtaking!

http://www.delphinium.co.nz/

Cheers,
Michelle

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:11PM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

Magic Fountains are germinating! Seems like a few days in the fridge was enough to do it. I pulled the rest of the seed out to start warming up and germinating.

I ordered some NZ delp seed for Fall planting. Better buy stock in iron stakes now. :-)

Cheers,
Michelle

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 11:26AM
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Azura(z5 CO)

Hi everyone! I have been lurking lately but havent posted anything in a while. I had surgery on Tuesday and I am healing now, perfect time to start planning next year's garden adventures. I have even more downtime ahead of me and the catalogs are ambushing my mailbox already.
My question related to this thread:
How did you all do with starting petunias from seed?
I am tired of spending large amounts of money on petunias for the pots in front of my garage.
I looked up petunias in my favorite seed book, The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing from Seed to Bloom by Eileen Powell and she says to start indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost or outdoors after last frost. She also suggests that fancy cultivars and hybrids be started indoors.
Does anyone have any advice for our climate? Did anyone winter sow them?
Thanks for your input!

Off topic: Bonnie, did you get my thank you email?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 3:51PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Hi Azura! Yes, I received your email, and shame on me for not responding. Do you forgive me?

I wintersowed Petunia 'Prism Sunshine' and 'Flambe Salmon' this year. The 'Flambe Salmon' didn't germinate, but the seeds were cheap from Valueseeds. The 'Prism Sunshine' seeds, which I purchased from Jung, did great. WS in late February, they germinated the third week of March, planted them out at the beginning of May in a pot on the porch, and they were blooming by the 1st of July. They bloomed right up until the first hard freeze! Love them!!!

I've already bought more seeds for 'Prism Sunshine' and another one called 'Aladdin Orange'. I'll definitely be wintersowing them again.

Glad you're feeling well enough to post today!

Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 4:25PM
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pondgardener

Azura,
I had fantastic luck starting some wave petunias from seed this last Spring. I used the pelletized seed that has a clay coating around it and planted 1 or 2 seeds per pot. The seed seems to be pricier than the uncoated type, but you can really see what you are planting.

George

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:24PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Azura,

I've never grown petunias from seed, but I just wanted to say, welcome back to RMG, and I hope you're doing well from the surgery.

I did have a petunia self seed and come up next to the pot I have on my front porch one year, and I hope it happens again! And I got some (pelleted) 'Purple Wave' seed from Pinetree last year (10 seeds for $2.95), but never got around to planting them. Luckily I found a fairly cheap 6-pack of them at Paulino's last spring--for my whisky barrels--but I plan to "get around" to planting the seed come spring this year!

Get well soon,
Skybird

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 9:45PM
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david52_gw

I have more fun with petunias. They're easy to grow from seed and the seedlings are easy to separate - just sprinkle however many seeds on the surface of a container, and keep moist - I use a mist thing several times a day. They germinate in a few days, tiny little things. let them grow until their first two leaves are the size of your thumb nail, and then they're very easy to transplant out into 2" six packs.

I've mentioned here before about using my own cuttings of some off-spring of the Purple Wave series, and this past year, I let the plants die. So I took all the dried, dead plants and crumbled them over a tray, knocking out the seeds, and then watered that. I had a bazillion of the things.

Personally, what I find most fun, if you have a large enough bed, is put in a few hundred of them of one color, which just makes a solid, show stopping bed contrasting with the roses or other perennials in that bed. I did that once with plain old red ones, and another year with purple ones.

Linked is the HPS website for petunias, who have a great selection and in bulk. Holy cow, prices have gone up this year.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:09PM
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