Northern Gardening forum: Is anyone else starting seeds yet?

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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Feb 13, 2012 8:48 PM CST
I'm trying wintersowing for the first time this year. I've planted seeds for

Mirabilis (4 o'clocks)
Delphinium "Pacific Giants"
Lupine "Tutti Fruiti" and wild lupine
Peony-flowered poppies
Aquilegia (native eastern columbine and McKana's Giants)
Bearded Iris (from my plants)
Digitalis (foxglove) (from my plants)
Asparagus (from my plants)
Parsley (flat leaf and triple curled)
Winter Savory
Common Sage
Redskin Dahlia (seeds)

Although it seems somewhat counterintuitive to be putting this stuff outside at this time of year, I've been assured that it is a very stress-free method of growing plants!

I also have a flower box with lettuce and a smaller planter with micro greens sprouting under my fluorescent lights, and alfalfa and radish seeds in my Bioset sprouter.

Wednesday 2/15 I plan to get my onion seeds started (indoors, under the lights), and by the weekend i want to plant a few tomato and pepper seeds for plants that I can hopefully put out in my unheated hoophouse by April 1st.

Feels good to be digging in some dirt, even if it did come out of a bag!
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momm1122
Feb 15, 2012 11:14 AM CST
I'm zone 7 and I plant all my onion, leak, garlic in the fall. I get an excellent harvest every year doing this.
I'm not sure how this would work in colder zone, maybe someone else with experience can say for sure if you can plant them in the fall as well.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Feb 15, 2012 11:54 AM CST
Do you pIant onion and leek seeds directly in the ground in the fall? Or plants? I do plant garlic cloves in the fall and have good success with those. If you're direct-sowing seeds, do you have a problem with weeds overwhelming the tiny onions and leeks?
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Feb 15, 2012 12:53 PM CST
Weeds are one of the reasons I don't direct sow. My garden is surrounded by fields full of weeds, so even the containers are hard to keep free of weeds. I have my onion seeds started in my greenhouse right now. And a couple of garlic plants in pots. I'm not sure how well those Mirabilis will do being winter sown. I grow them from seed every year here, and I've never had any volunteers show up the following year.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Feb 15, 2012 3:39 PM CST
Mirabilis -- good thing I only used some of my seed; if the winter sowing doesn't work I'll start the other ones later on! Woofie, what are you doing with the potted garlic, do you use the tops or are you going to wait for it to make heads? I understand about the weeds, my veg garden is pretty good now, after years of weeding and using LOTS of grass clippings to mulch, but my poor perennial flower garden is quite a challenge for me!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 15, 2012 3:55 PM CST
Now, don't take my word for it on the Mirabilis; I mostly don't winter sow, so I don't really know. I've just never had volunteers come up the next year. I'd love to get some of the ones they call "broken colors" to try. I have pink, magenta, yellow and white, but none of the mixed color ones.
Ha, I only have the garlic in pots because some of the cloves I had in the kitchen started to sprout, so I stuck them in pots. I sampled the greens and may go ahead and use some in salads. I'm hoping to be able to grow some early greens in a cool greenhouse.....but the sun keeps coming out and heating the darn thing up! Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Feb 15, 2012 6:03 PM CST
oh don't worry - everything that is out there is going to have a chance to sprout no matter what anyone says to the contrary... Green Grin!

I'm planning to sow some lettuce and maybe some other greens in my (unheated hoop house) soon -- last spring some lettuce that I had planted the previous July came back and grew into beautiful heads; I never did a later planting last year, so I'm going to try seeding it and hopefully will get very early lettuce.

This is some of the lettuce that re-grew for me (the photo was taken on 5/20/2011)


Thumb of 2012-02-16/Weedwhacker/8c6d39
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 15, 2012 6:13 PM CST
Yum! Is that butter lettuce?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Feb 15, 2012 8:00 PM CST
yes, 2 are butterhead types (Buttercrunch, I think), the other was a cos type. It was probably the nicest lettuce I've ever grown!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 15, 2012 8:17 PM CST
Drool! For some reason, I have had no luck growing lettuce and/or spinach here. I had no problems growing in down in Eastern Oregon, and the climate here doesn't seem that much different, but *sigh* it's fighting me here.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: barb allison
Fate, Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Texas Sempervivums
mamajack
Feb 16, 2012 11:05 AM CST
i have prob. 40 flats of seeds that i have already winter sowed. prob. have 200 more to go. lol. i already have babies too. this is my favorite time of year in texas........AT LEAST THIS YEAR. lol.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Feb 16, 2012 2:14 PM CST
All I can say, Barb, is that it's one heck of a long way from the Michigan Upper Peninsula to Texas! Hilarious!

and that is one heck of a lot of plants you are growing!!!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: barb allison
Fate, Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Texas Sempervivums
mamajack
Feb 19, 2012 12:06 PM CST
well what i want to do will be a lot more than what i actually accomplish. the real trick will be to keep them alive thru their first texas summer.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Feb 19, 2012 6:32 PM CST
Hopefully you will have more rainfall in Texas this year, at least!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: barb allison
Fate, Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Texas Sempervivums
mamajack
Mar 5, 2012 12:24 AM CST
that would be too much to hope for. i only hope for maybe a few weeks of 100 plus degree days instead of 3 months. lol.


at what point do you fertilize seedlings? and what do you use?
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Mar 5, 2012 9:46 AM CST
We were discussing that over in another thread. Some people use weak compost tea, but several others (myself included) just use a dilute solution of Miracle Gro, about quarter strength or less. And wait till they've been pricked out and re-potted to start fertilizing.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: barb allison
Fate, Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Texas Sempervivums
mamajack
Mar 6, 2012 1:21 PM CST
i saw a fertilizer at my garden center that was something like this.....3-8-4 and it said it was especially for seedlings.

i have miracle grow...........so when you say dilute it...........if the package calls for a tablespoon for a gallon pot.........would you then put only half that? or a quarter of that? what i have is granules. dry.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Mar 7, 2012 1:44 PM CST
I'd probably use something like a teaspoon to a gallon... I use the granules as well, and just look for a very light blue color to the solution. Not very scientific, I'm afraid!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Mar 7, 2012 2:23 PM CST
And Barb, that tablespoon per gallon is per gallon of water, not per gallon pot!
Sounds like Sandy and I use about the same strength, too; about a quarter to a third of full strength.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: barb allison
Fate, Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Region: Texas Sempervivums
mamajack
Mar 8, 2012 1:37 PM CST
thanks for the recipe woofie. great. so i will dissolve my granules.........1/4 tsp. in a gallon of water

and then do i just pour it on the soil or do you use foliar type fertilizer? and what's the difference anyway? would i burn the leaves of a plant by spraying nonfoliar fertilizer on them?

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