Tag: seed starting

Gardening Journal – Cold Stratification Update and Starting Lavender from Seed

Last week I popped these babies out of the fridge to plant them, and was surprised to see that one of the lavender varieties sprouted in the bag and grew over an inch in one week! Time to get them out of plastic and into the oven.

Of the four varieties of seed that I cold stratified, only the Hidcote lavender sprouted, and prolifically so. There were 15 visible sprouts in the bag of sand, 27 in the sand/peat moss mixture and just 4 sprouts in the peat moss.

I carefully transplanted them into this seed starting mix. Because this tray is perforated into smaller six packs, I planted like seeds in each section and am removing sections from the oven as the seeds sprout and their care needs change.

A week later, several of my lavender sprouts withered and died. I have 28 seedlings left. I’m struggling to find the right balance of moisture, light and warmth for these tiny guys. Any lavender experts out there? Help a girl out? If I can get a dozen sturdy lavender plants from this batch, I’ll call it a success. Fingers crossed!

The Munstead lavender and both varieties of milkweed have sprouted and are growing well. It’s too early to tell how they will do, but for now they’re all looking strong.

Pa Kettle thinks I’m crazy for tending milkweed because it’s little more than a roadside weed here in SW Virginia. He mows it in his yard and tills it under in his garden. I’m hoping the milkweed attracts pollinators, especially monarch butterflies to our yard.

That’s what is growing in my oven, on the stove and all over the kitchen! Have you started any seedlings yet?

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Gardening Journal and Half-Baked Seed Starting

With snow(!) in the forecast today, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Old Man Winter just yet. But signs of life are springing up all over the yard. My spring bulbs have sprouted, the daffodils and hydrangeas are budding out and the chives are up, and being nibbled on by some wascally wabbit.

Most surprisingly, the garlic has gone from zero to long shoots seemingly overnight! Bare soil one day, bursting with new growth the next. Amazing!

The herb garden is in need of a good weeding session and some fresh mulch.

The experimental deer fence has kept the deer out of the herb garden for about 8 months now, so I’m calling it a resounding success. I think I’ll string the entire yard with fishing line!

Can you believe that we’ve been able to snip fresh parsley all winter long? What a hardy plant!

Years ago, my sister Sarah shared her method for germinating seeds and I’ve used it successfully a few times since then. I’m trying it out again this year. I don’t have grow lights, warming mats and big, sunny south-facing windows for seed starting. But I do have an electric oven.

Pro tip: If you are planting multiple varieties in the same tray, plant seeds that take roughly the same length of time to germinate.

Here’s how this works:

Asparagus seeds soaking in water for 24 hours.

Fill trays with seed starting mix and plant seeds according to the package directions. Lightly moisten the soil, and pop the clear plastic covers on. Put a big ol’ note over your oven controls that says “DON’T TURN THE OVEN ON!”

Place the trays in the oven and turn on the oven light. Check on your seeds everyday and mist the soil with water as needed. You should soon see signs of life. Once the seedlings have sprouted, leave the oven light on and prop the door open for a few days. Next, move the trays to a bright, warm spot in your home and continue caring for them until they have grown enough to harden off outdoors or transplant into the garden.

I’m pleased with how this is working so far. I have my first lavender seedling after just 36 hours in the oven.

Happy planting!
Can you feel it? Spring is on the way!

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Gardening Journal – Cold Stratification

With Christmas in the rear-view mirror, I’d just as soon go straight to spring and gardening season. Since that won’t happen, I’ll busy myself with a few garden tasks while the snow flies.

This year I’m planting a few types of seeds that benefit from cold stratification. In a nutshell, stratification is subjecting the seeds to cold, moist conditions in order to mimic winter dormancy. This softens up the hard seed coat and when warm temperatures arrive, it signals the seed to open and grow. Some seeds will not germinate (or will germinate very poorly) without it.

Depending on the seed, it could need anywhere from 1-3 months of stratification; this information will be printed on the seed packet. I’m experimenting with two varieties of lavender because it is a good companion plant for nearly everything else in the garden.

I’m also planting milkweed to draw pollinators to the yard. My father-in-law (affectionately known as Pa Kettle) planted milkweed for my mother-in-law so she could collect monarch caterpillars and watch them transform. Each fall, her front porch and dining room table were filled with butterfly cages. She was the cutest little mad scientist! Her middle school students enjoyed watching the process and learning about the life cycle of monarch butterflies.

This is my first attempt at cold stratification, and I’ve read that you can use either peat moss or sand. Being a more-is-more girl, I decided to try each, plus a 1:1 mixture of peat and sand. The process is the same regardless of the medium.

Some articles suggested sterilizing the planting medium so I placed my peat and sand into the oven on the lowest setting for a few hours.

Prepare plastic bags or other containers by writing the seed name and date for removal from cold stratification on the bag.

Now for the fun part! Mix a little water into the peat or sand until you can form it into a ball. The medium should be thoroughly but only slightly dampened. You should not be able to squeeze water out of the mixture. Excess moisture could cause the seeds to mildew or rot.

Mix the seeds into the medium and place into the prepared bags. Pop the bags into the lowest part of your refrigerator and you’re done!

I’ll check on mine occasionally to make sure they haven’t germinated. If some seeds do sprout, I will transfer them to planting trays and keep them in a warm, sunny spot until I can plant them outside.

Have you had any success with cold stratification? Do you have any tips to share? I’m all ears!

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Seed Starting Pots – A Recycling Project

Do you know that you’ve got an endless supply of seed starting pots in your home? Well, they’re not pots yet. They’re more commonly known as empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls! (I’m trying to refrain from potty puns.)

If you’re using paper towel rolls, cut them in half or thirds.
(Do you think my background looks like tiny rolls of toilet paper?)
Press the tube flat.
Open up the tube and pinch the first folds together and press flat again to form a square.
Measure across the top; mine is just over one inch.
Use half of that measurement to mark the fold lines. My fold line is 1/2″ from the bottom.
Using sturdy scissors, cut along each of the 4 corners up to the fold line. You don’t have to mark the flaps A, B, C & D. I’ve done that to better explain this step. I hope!
Now fold each flap toward the center of the pot. Starting from the top (A),
work clockwise (B, C). When you reach the flap on the left (D), tuck the top half of it
under the first flap (A). That will secure the bottom of the pot.

You want the pot to close tightly at the bottom so the soil is contained.
If yours has a gap, re-fold the flap a little higher until the gap is closed.
Now you have a little seed starting pot!
But he needs some friends.
Fill with potting soil and plant those seeds!

When your seedlings are ready to transplant into a larger pot or the garden, open the flaps and plant it whole. Or, carefully cut the side of the pot open from top to bottom without disturbing the roots. The pot will decompose over time. Happy gardening!

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.