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Spring is on the way! - Guest - 02-09-2009

Nice weather here is making me want to get out and plant things in the garden. It's way to early here but catalogs are a good way to dream. I've been paging through them and can't decide what, if anything, to order. Has anyone here ordered (or are planning on ordering)any plants yet? If so, what?

Re: Spring is on the way! - IntrepidMeredith - 02-14-2009

I haven't ordered anything (yet), but my mom sent me some rose campion, columbine and harebells seeds (they grow rampant in her yard) that I'll plant soon. Also, for Valentine's Day, my husband took the kids so I had time to pot up 38 cuttings from the geranium plants I brought to the basement last fall. Hooray for V-Day!!

Re: Spring is on the way! - Caroline - 02-22-2009

I'm getting the planting bug too. I planted some coleus seeds a couple weeks ago, inside, of course, but they have yet to germinate. Hopefully they will this week, but I don't know. I've never tried this before.

Re: Spring is on the way! - Guest - 02-23-2009

Caroline,I bet your coleus will be fine. Sometimes it takes a while for them to get warm enough.
I'm looking at the Annie's Annuals catalog - there's some really fun stuff in there. But I can't decide what to order. My eyes are always bigger than my budget, so to speak.
38 cuttings is a lot- go Meredith! Do you do anything special to keep them going through the winter? I always forget mine in a paper bag and by the time I remember them they're just to dry.

Planting to harvest bird seed - Lottsburg - 02-25-2009

What plants would be good to harvest for birdseed before winter? I plan to plant sunflowers, but what else? I have looked for the kinds of Thistles that Gertrude Jeckyl planted but haven't been able to locate them. Does anybody have any ideas that could help? Thank you. Lottsburg

Re: Spring is on the way! - IntrepidMeredith - 02-27-2009

I just stuffed the geraniums upside down into some paper grocery bags (about 8-10/bag, however many would fit), and put them in the darkest, coldest part of the basement where it stays in the low 40's all winter. By the time I got to them, only about 10% of the material was still green, and that's what I cut off & potted up. Some of those green parts were actually already trying to send out new growth, but because the plants were in the bags upside down, the new shoots/leaves were growing towards their roots! I put them into moist potting soil with water crystals and fertilizer pellets, and put them under some grow lights. After one week, the downward growing shoots were turning up towards the light, and more new growth was appearing! Goody, goody! I did not use any rooting hormone, but they seem to be doing well enough without. Five of the cuttings I took just withered and showed no root growth after 10 days, so I tossed them in the trash, and replaced them with some cuttings from the wax begonias I brought into the living room last fall. Smile

Re: Planting to harvest bird seed - IntrepidMeredith - 02-27-2009

In addition to sunflowers, the birds here just love eating the seeds from my Rudbeckia (black eyed susans) and Echinacea (coneflowers). I leave the plants up through the fall and winter, leaving the birds to 'collect' the seeds themselves.

Re: Spring is on the way! - IntrepidMeredith - 03-09-2009

Last fall I ordered a packet of Rosa blanda seeds from Prairie Moon Nursery. This is the Early Wild Rose, also called the Smooth Rose, a native of central Wisconsin prairies. They've spent the last 6 months going in, out, and back into the 'frige (they need 2 cold periods in order to germinate), and yesterday I potted up 50 seeds. I'm hoping for at least a 10& germination rate, but we'll see what happens. Hopefully I'll be surprised in a good way!

Info on the smooth rose: Grows 3-4' tall with a slightly wider spread. Pink, single blooms in June and July. Lightly fragrant. Recommended for larger landscapes where it can spread into thickets.

Yes, I'm a nut! :grin:

Re: Spring is on the way! - IntrepidMeredith - 04-16-2009

Geranium and Rose update:

19 of the geraniums took off. In fact, most of them are already blooming! I can see the definite advantage of cuttings over seeds now: much earlier bloom (by about 2 months)! In the pots where the geraniums did not grow, I pulled them out and put in some cuttings from the wax begonias that I brought inside last fall. Now I have plenty of those too!

On the rose front, after 30 days only 2 of the rose seeds sprouted. But those two roses are growing like, well, wild roses, and are already 6" tall! I put the seed tray with the unsprouted rose seeds in our unheated workshop. Maybe one more period of cold stratification will encourage a few more plants to sprout.

Last night I potted up 25 salvia and 50 pansies. Today I have some lupine, broccoli, tomatoes and eggplant to deal with. And some campanula, columbine and alyssum seeds to get into some Jiffy pellets. And some garden soil to turn over and amend. And shrubs to transplant. And... I think Spring is really finally here! Smile