So Seedy 2017



These are the seeds I'll be sowing in 2017. This is double the number of plants I started last year and I've already made plans to expand my seed starting empire to the dining room table, having run out of space in the basement. But hey, to quote Game of Thrones, winter is coming, which means so is summer so let's get growing!



Every plant in red ink attracts pollinators.


NAME
HEIGHT
SPECIAL
NOTES
COMPANY
Ammi majus
Ammi visnaga

3 ft
Short lived annual, high germination rate, sow thinly to avoid disturbing the roots

Calceolaria Valentine Hybrids

6 inches
Likes a cool, moist spot in partial shade. I’m putting it in a pot.
Cilantro
1-2 ft
I’m growing this for the leaves and flowers, which attract pollinators
Cleome
'Color Fountain'

4-5 ft
Easy, very heat/humidity tolerant
May self-seed.

Cobaea scandens
(Cup and Saucer Vine)

15 ft
Soak the seeds overnight and sow them on their sides with half the seed sticking out of the soil.

Convolvulus
'Ensign Mix'
trailing
Close in the afternoon like morning glories, easy

Cosmos bipinnatus
‘Xanthos’

1-2 ft
Lemon yellow, dwarf cosmos
Hot, dry sun

Cosmos
‘Linara Lemon’

8”
Extra small cosmos with lemon yellow flowers that like partial shade!

Cosmos ‘Rubenza’

2 ft
Dark red with yellow centers.

Cosmos sulphureus
‘Dwarf Red/Orange Mix’

18”
Poor soil, very easy

Dahlia
‘Double Extreme’


Easy
 Can quickly become root bound

Dahlia
‘Figaro Violet Shades’


Easy
 Can quickly become root bound
Dahlia
‘Figaro White'
2 ft
Easy
Can quickly become root bound
Dahlia
‘Fireworks'
16”
Easy
Can quickly become root bound
Dahlia
‘Harlequin'
20”
Easy
Can quickly become root bound

Dahlia
'Watercolor Silks'


12-18”
Easy
Can quickly become root bound
Dill
15-20”
I’m letting this flower to attract beneficial insects.

Dolichos lablab
(Hyacinth bean vine)

12 ft
Vigorous grower with purple beans and showy flowers. BEANS ARE POISONOUS!

Emilia javanica
Irish Poet (orange)

18”
Enjoys a hot, sunny spot

Gomphrena
'Ping Pong Purple'

16-20”
Need heat to germinate

Gomphrena
'QIS Carmine, Orange'
1 ft
Floppier stems than the purple

Gomphrena
‘Strawberry Fields’

18-22”
Red gomphrena with silvery leaves.

Ipomoea (Morning Glories)
‘Keiryu Mountain Stream’

8-12 ft
Cool variegated foliage on vigorous plants. Nick seed and soak overnight before sowing.

Lagurus ovatus
(Bunny tails grass)

15”
Very drought tolerant
Takes bright partial shade
NAME
  
HEIGHT


SPECIAL
NOTES

COMPANY

Monarda bergamo
(Bergamo bouquet)

2.5 ft
Heat tolerant, vivid blooms

Monarda citriodora
(Lemon beebalm)

3 ft
May be slow to germinate

Pilotus exaltus
‘Joey’

12-18”
Soft, fuzzy flowers that thrive in hot, dry conditions

Rhynchelytrum nerviglumis
(Ruby grass)

2 ft
Well drained, bright partial shade to full sun

Rudbeckia hirta
‘Cherry Brandy’

2 ft
Keep pinched to grow strong, well branched plants
Rudbeckia ‘Denver Daisy’
18”
Early bloomers with cool
 bi-colored flowers

Rudbeckia hirta
‘Indian Summer’

3 ft
Giant 6-9 inch flowers on sturdy, wind tolerant plants
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Marmalade’
16 inches
Keep pinched to grow strong, well branched plants

Rudbeckia hirta
‘Prairie Sun’

3 ft
Giant yellow flowers with green centers
Rudbeckia  hybrid ‘Tiger’s Eye Gold’
2 ft
Deep golden yellow flowers

Salvia
‘Summer Jewel Lavender’

20”
Very easy to grow
 Bloom quickly from seed

Salvia
‘Summer Jewel
Red’

20”
Very easy to grow
Bloom quickly from seed

Snapdragons
‘Candy Showers Red’

8”
Trailing snapdragon that can grow 2 feet wide
Snapdragons ‘Frosted Flames Mix’
18”
Like cool weather so start early
Snapdragons
‘Orange Wonder’
3 ft
Rosy-orange flowers

Snapdragons
‘Purple Twist’

3 – 5 ft
Purple/white striped flowers with variegation that changes depending on the temp

Stipa arundinacea
(Pheasants Tails grass)

2.5 ft
Needs dry sun. Has green, bronze, golden foliage. Some seeds started under lights while others were sown in place.

Thelesperma burridgeanum
(Brunette cosmidium)

2 ft
Heirloom cosmos-look alike with ferny foliage
Tithonia 'Goldfinger'
4 ft
Need warmth
Attract monarchs

Ursinia (anethoides)

1 ft
Scented orange flowers with a purple center. Ferny foliage. Needs poor, well-drained soil

Zinnia
‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’

2 ft
Easy
Double, cactus-type flowers

Zinnia
‘California Giants Mix’

3-5 ft
Easy
Very large, single flowers

Zinnia
‘Persian Carpet’

2 ft
Easy
Loads of bi-colored flowers
Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’
3-4 ft
Easy
Very large, single flowers
Zinnia
‘Rageddy Ann'
3-4 ft
Easy
Giant flowered cactus-type zinnia with curved, twisting petals




Seed Chart
NAME

DATE
SOWN

DATE
GERMINATED
& NOTES


GROUP 
& METHOD
CUP
QUANTITY
Ammi majus
Jan 1
Jan 7
Sprouts!
These prefer the lights up higher rather than right on top of them. They like soil that is drier on the surface but moister near the long tap root. They dislike having their roots bothered so don't thin them by pulling. Let them grow a bit and then cut out the seedlings  you don't want with tiny scissors.
Lights (1)
surface sow
heat mat
3
Ammi visnaga
Jan 1
Jan 8
Sprouts!
See notes above.
Lights (1)
surface sow
heat mat
3

Calceolaria Valentine Hybrids

Jan 1
Jan 13
Sprouts
I have two teensy seedlings.
Feb 3
1 healthy seedling
Lights (1)
surface sow
heat mat
1

Cobaea scandens
(Cup and Saucer Vine)

Jan 2
Jan 21
Their leaves are huge!
Lights (1)
Soaked and then sown on their sides.
1 pot

Lagurus ovatus
(Bunny tails grass)

Jan 1
Jan 5
Sprouts!!
High germination rate
Lights (1)
surface sow
heat mat
1 pot

Monarda bergamo
(Bergamo bouquet)

Jan 1, 7
Jan 6
sprouts!
Jan 25 - happy, healthy plants
Lights (1)
surface sow
heat mat
5

Monarda citriodora
(Lemon beebalm)

Jan 2
Jan 5
sprouts!
Very high germination rate!
Lights (1)
surface sown
heat mat
4

Rhynchelytrum nerviglumis
(Ruby grass)

Jan 1
Jan 4
 Sprouts!!
High germination rate
Lights (1)
surface sow
heat mat
2 small pots

Snapdragons
‘Candy Showers Red’

Jan 1
Jan 13
Sprouts
Just a few seedlings but that's ok. 
Lights (1)
surface sow
heat mat
2

Snapdragons
 ‘Frosted Flames Mix’

Jan 1
Jan 9
sprouts
Jan 25 - doing well!
Lights (1)
surface sow
heat mat
3

Snapdragons
‘Orange Wonder’

Jan 7
Jan 13
Sprouts
Very high germination rate!!
Lights (1)
surface sow
6

Snapdragons
‘Purple Twist’

Jan 1
Jan 6
two teensy sprouts
Jan 25 - big seedlings!
Lights (1)
surface sow
heat mat
1

Stipa arundinacea
(Pheasants Tails grass)

Jan 1
Jan 9
Sprouts
Medium germination rate Slow growers and like lights that are higher rather than close to the plant.
Lights (1)
surface sow
heat mat
3 small pots

Emiliana javanica 
(Irish Poet - orange)

Feb 5
Feb 9
Sprouts!
High germination rate
Lights (2)
surface sow
heat mat
1

Gomphrena
'Ping Pong Purple

Feb 5
Feb 9
Sprouts!
Lights (2)
surface sow
heat mat
3

Gomphrena 
QIS Carmine

Feb 5
These finally sprouted and I forgot to log which day... Very low germination
Lights (2)
surface sow
heat mat
3

Gomphrena 
QIS Orange

Feb 5
These finally sprouted and I forgot to log which day... Very low germination
Lights (2)
surface sow
heat mat
 3


Rudbeckia hirta
‘Cherry Brandy’

Feb 1
Feb 7
Sprouts!
Lights (2)
surface sow
heat mat
2

Rudbeckia hirta
‘Denver Daisy’

Feb 1
Feb 7
Sprouts!
Lights (2)
surface sow
heat mat

Rudbeckia hirta
‘Indian Summer’

Feb 1
Feb 9
Sprouts!

Lights (2)
surface sow
heat mat
2

Rudbeckia hirta
‘Marmalade’

Feb 1
Feb 9
Sprouts!
Very high germination rate
Lights (2)
surface sow

heat mat
4

Rudbeckia hirta
‘Prairie Sun’

Feb 1
Feb 9
Sprouts!
Lights (2)
surface sow

heat mat
2

Rudbeckia hirta
‘Tiger Eye Gold’

Feb 1
Feb 9
Sprouts!
Lights (2)
surface sow
heat mat
2

Thelesperma burridgeanum
(Brunette cosmidium)

Feb 5
Feb 8
Sprouts!
High germination rate
Lights (2)
surface sow
heat mat
2
Convolvulus
Dwarf Morning Glories
‘Ensign Mix’
March 15

Lights (3)


Dahlia
‘Double Extreme’

Feb 20
Feb 28
Sprouts!
Lights (3)
 2 pots

Dahlia

‘Figaro Violet Shades’

Feb 20
Feb 28
Sprouts!
Lights (3)
2 pots

Dahlia
‘Figaro White’


Feb 20

Feb 28
Sprouts!
Lights (3)
2 pots

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’


Feb 20

Feb 28
Sprouts!
Lights (3)
2 pots

Dahlia ‘Harlequin’


Feb 20

Feb 28
Sprouts!
Lights (3)
2 pots

Dahlia
‘Watercolor Silks’



Feb 20

Feb 28
Sprouts!
Lights (3)      
2 pots

Dolichos lablab
(Hyacinth bean vine)



March 13


Lights (3) 

Gomphrena
‘Strawberry Fields’


I decided not to sow these.
 I don't have enough space!
Lights (3)


Ipomoea (Morning Glories)
‘Keiryu Mountain Stream’




March 13

Lights (3)


Ursinia (anethoides)


Feb 25

Feb 28
Sprouts!
( I knocked over one of the cups but slipped the teensy seedlings back in. Geez.....)
Lights (3)


Cilantro


March 15

Lights (4)


Cleome
‘Color Fountains’



March 15

Lights (4)


Cosmos bipinnatus
‘Xanthos’



March 15

Lights (4)


Cosmos
‘Linara Lemon’

March 15

Lights (4)


Cosmos ‘Rubenza’

March 15

Lights (4)


Cosmos sulphureus
‘Dwarf Red/Orange Mix’

March 15

Lights (4)

Dill
March 15

Lights (4)


Pilotus exaltus
‘Joey’


Feb 25
Feb 28
Sprouts!
Lights (4)
2

Salvia
‘Summer Jewel Lavender’


Feb 25
March 3
Sprouts!
Lights (4)
4

Salvia
‘Summer Jewel
Red’


Feb 25
March 3
Sprouts!
Lights (4)
4

Tithonia ‘GoldFinger’

March 15

Lights (4)


Zinnia
‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’



March 5


March 11
Sprouts!
Lights (4)
3

Zinnia
‘California Giants Mix’



March 5


March 11
Sprouts!
Lights (4)
3

Zinnia ‘Persian Carpet’


March 15


Lights (4)


Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’


March 5


March 11
Sprouts!
Lights (4)
1

Zinnia ‘Raggedy Anne’

March 5
March 11
Sprouts!
Lights (4)
3
TOTALS
Cups
Sown
Group 1 – 33   ( cups)
Group 2 – 26   ( cups)
Group 3 –  ( cups)
Group 4 –  ( cups)








These are the seeds I'll be sowing in 2016. I'll be updating the second chart to document their germination successes or failures in early Jan. I'm only winter sowing one plant this year - curly parsley. Plants in purple attract pollinators. Plants in italics were direct sown instead of being winter sown. In my climate, self-seeders rudbeckia and rose campion don't need any help so I've stopped helping them. I've linked all the seed companies to their websites. You can check out this post for the madness behind my methods.


NAME
HEIGHT
SPECIAL
NOTES
COMPANY
Allium ‘Millenium’
18”
Well drained soil
Jen
Ammi majus 
 ‘Graceland’
Ammi visnaga 'Green Mist'
3 ft
Short lived annual with high germination rate.
 Sow thinly to avoid disturbing the roots. Tap rooted so use extra deep cups.
Centranthus ruber ‘Pretty Betsy’ and ‘Snow Cloud’
3 ft
Need very well drained soil
PERENNIAL
Convolvulus ‘Ensign Mix’
trailing
Close in the afternoon like morning glories, easy
Cosmos
 ‘Cosmic Orange’ and ‘Cosmic Red’
18”
Poor soil, very easy
Cuphea ‘Firefly
18”
Heat mat, surface sow
Start early Need afternoon
shade
Dahlia ‘Black Beauty’,
‘Figaro White’
2 ft
Easy, can quickly become root bound
Dahlia ‘Fireworks’
16”
Easy, can quickly become root bound
Dahlia ‘Sunny Reggae’
20”
Easy, can quickly become root bound
Emilia javanica ‘Irish Poet’ (orange) and Emilia coccinea (red)
18”
Did not winter sow well last year
Gomphrena – purple
1 ft
Need darkness to germinate
Gomphrena – ‘QIS Carmine, QIS Orange’
1 ft
Floppier stems than the purple
Lychnis coronaria ‘Angel’s Blush’
2 ft
Direct sown in fall
PERENNIAL
Nicotiana alata- species
3-4 ft
POISONOUS
Highly fragrant
NAME
HEIGHT
SPECIAL
NOTES
COMPANY
Nicotiana alata ‘Perfume Red’
12”
POISONOUS
Heat/drought tolerant
Highly fragrant
Phlox drummondii ‘Coral Reef’
1 ft
Night blooming
Need darkness to germinate
Rudbeckia ‘Denver Daisy’
1 ft
Direct sown in fall
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Alain’s Strain’, Marmalade’
2 ft
Direct sown in fall
Rudbeckia – hybrid ‘Tiger’s Eye Gold’
2 ft
Direct sown in fall
Rudbeckia – hybrid ‘Toto Lemon’
8”
Direct sown in fall
Rudbeckia ‘Little Henry’
3 ft
Direct sown in fall
PERENNIAL
Jen
Snapdragons ‘Frosted Flames Mix’
18”
Like cool weather so start early
Tithonia ‘GoldFinger’
4 ft
Need warmth
Verbena ‘Quartz Violet’
10”
Need dryish, well-draining soil
Zaluzianskya capensis
(Night Phlox) ‘Midnight Candy’
1 ft
Night blooming
 Highly fragrant
 Need sharply drained soil
Zinnia ‘Peggy’s Delight’
3 ft
Easy
Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’
3 ft
Easy
Zinnia ‘Super Cactus Lilac Emperor’
2.5 ft
Easy


***  Thanks to four months of insanely warm/wet weather, the rudbeckia and rose campion have already sprouted! I really hope the seedlings survive winter, if it ever arrives.

I'm organizing my germination categories according to the calendar so group 1 starts in Jan, group 2 in Feb, group 3 in March, and group 4 in April. Since I don't actually have room to grow all these plants, I'm hoping most of the plants from groups 1 and 2 will be hardening off outside in my tiny $50 greenhouse when it's time to start group 4.  
I'm also growing: Salvia coccinea 'Summer Jewel Red' (2 cups) thanks to this incredible post by Jennifer at Three Dogs in a Garden and downy mildew resistant basil 'Eleonora' after reading Margaret's fabulous review on Homegrown - Adventure's in my Garden. The salvia are in group 3 and attract hummingbirds as well as pollinators and the basil is in group 4.  ** See notes below for progress updates.

NAME

DATE
SOWN
DATE
GERMINATED/
NOTES
METHOD/
GROUP 
CUP
QUANTITY

Centranthus ruber ‘Pretty Betsy’ and ‘Snow Cloud’

Jan 1
1/8 - Sprouts for both varieties
1/12 - Sprouts in every cup!
I added fine sand to the soil to help it drain freely. 
High germination rate. 
2/4 - More seedlings were pulled after looking miserable. A little research revealed they like to be cool after germination so I've turned off the heat mat. Ooops...
2/5 - They perked right up in a cooler spot with less intense light.

Lights (1)
Barely cover seed w/soil, heat mat until they germinate then turn it off
3 cups 

1 cup of both cultivars pooped out on me so I'm down to 2 for each. (2/13)

Snapdragons ‘Frosted Flames Mix’

Jan 1
1/8 - A few very tiny sprouts
1/12 - Sprouts in every cup!
I added fine sand to the soil to help it drain freely. Medium germination rate.** (See notes below)
4/12 - Planted in the garden
Lights (1)
Surface sow w/heat mat. Need light to germinate
4 cups

Each cup has strong, healthy seedlings. Yay!!

Allium ‘Millenium’

Feb 1
2/13 - A few tiny sprouts!

These were very easy to grow and have been added to the garden.
Lights (2)
Surface sow
Need light to germinate
Heat mat
1 cup

Ammi majus ‘Graceland’

Feb 1

2/9 - Sprouts in every cup!
These prefer less intense light so I've moved them under grow lights that are much higher. When the lights were closer to the seedlings, the leaves began to yellow and growth slowed down.

 3/25 - I only have 2 seedlings left. They are unhappy campers and I'm not sure why. 
4/18 - Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.
May - I don't think these like the ProMix.
Lights (2)
Surface sow
Need light to germinate
Heat mat
3 cups

Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’

Feb 1
2/9 - Sprouts in every cup!
3/25 - These are vigorous, healthy seedlings growing in the same conditions as the ammi majus. Hmmm...
4/24 - These bit the dust, too. They were very happy until I thinned them out. They really hate having their roots disturbed. 
May - This was the year of the great Ammi Disaster. I need to thin them by just snipping out the seedlings I don't want so I don't have to worry about bothering their roots. 
Lights (2)
Need light to germinate
Heat mat
3 cups

Cuphea ‘Firefly’

Feb 1
2/5 - Sprouts in every cup!
These have deep roots already!
** See my notes below
Lights (2)
Surface sow
Need light to germinate
Heat mat 
3 cups

I'm down to 1 cup after pulling all the weirdly super tall seedlings.

Dahlia ‘Black Beauty’
March 1
3/6- A few sprouts in each pot!
Low germination rate
4/18 - 2 seedlings left. They're whiny pains in my butt and I stuck them in a pot to do or die.
4/24 - They're happy and growing! 

Lights (3)
Heat mat


2 pots 

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

March 1
3/5 - A few sprouts in each pot!
May - Vigorous and easy to grow
Lights (3)
Heat mat
2 pots 

Dahlia ‘Sunny Reggae’

March 1
3/6- A few sprouts in each pot!
May - Vigorous and easy to grow
Lights (3)
Heat mat
2 pots 

Dahlia ‘Figaro White’

March 1
3/5 - Lots of sprouts in each pot!
Very high germination rate
Vigorous and easy to grow
Lights (3)
Heat mat
2 pots 

Emilia javanica ‘Irish Poet’ (orange)



March 1


3/6 - A few sprouts in each pot!
May - added to the garden
Lights (3)
2 cups

Emilia coccinea (red)


March 1

3/6 - Lots of sprouts in each pot!
May - added to the garden
Lights (3)
2 cups

Gomphrena  ‘QIS Carmine’







March 3
I've read these germinate best in full light as well as in the dark and I've had them sprout both ways. This year I'm not covering the cups with newspaper as I've done previously. But I am going to keep the heat mat on all night to see if that speeds things up. 

3/8 - Several sprouts in each cup!
May - added to the garden
Lights (3)
Heat mat
Need darkness to germinate? NO
3 cups

Gomphrena ‘QIS Orange’





March 3

Maybe it wasn't the darkness that helped them grow last year but the heat that built up in the cup. Hmmmm.....

3/6 - A few sprouts in one cup!
3/13 - More sprouts
3/21 - I was looking at the wrong cup. I have only 2 sprouts. Geez..... 
The third cup has been moved into the greenhouse with the other slackers. 
I ended up with only 2 seedlings but they're in the garden and growing.
Lights (3)
Heat mat
Need darkness to germinate?
NO
3 cups

Gomphrena – purple



March 3


These are one of my favorite flowers. I really hope this experiment works!
3/6 - Lots of sprouts in each cup!
Very high germination rate
May - Vigrous and very easy
Lights (3)
Heat mat
Need darkness to germinate?
NO
4 cups

Nicotiana alata – straight spieces



March 1


3/12 - A few sprouts in the cup!
4/18 - Planted in the garden
Lights (3)
Heat mat
1 cup

Nicotiana alata ‘Perfume Red’



March 1


3/13 - Nuthin', nada, zip, zilch....


3/16 - One intrepid, microscopic seedling....

The germination rate on the other nicotiana has been low, too. The second cup has been moved into the greenhouse. Do or die, little seeds! 
4/8- Only one tiny seedling
4/24 - Adios, seedling!
Lights (3)
Heat mat
2 cups

Phlox drummondii ‘Coral Reef’



March 1

3/13 - I've moved these into my cheapo outdoor greenhouse to see if that will inspire them to sprout.
3/28 - Two sprouts! 
4/3 - I knocked a cup over and have 1 tiny sprout left. Pathetic!
May - I'm going to winter sow these next year. My seedling was growing wonky so I pulled it.
Lights (3)
Need darkness, cool temps to germinate
2 cups

Verbena ‘Quartz Violet’



March 1


3/12 - A few sprouts in the cup!
4/18 - Fried by the sun. Oops...
Lights (3)
Keep soil dryish
1 cup

Zaluzianskya capensis
(Night Phlox) ‘Midnight Candy’



March 1


3/13 - Several happy sprouts in each cup!
May - added to the garden and growing well!
Lights (3)
2 cups

Convolvulus
(Dwarf Morning Glories)
‘Ensign Mix’



April 1



4/4 - Two sprouts! 
May - Several seedlings have been added to the garden but they're tired of the cool, rainy weather. They're a bit stalled at the moment.
Lights (4)
3 cups

Cosmos
‘Cosmic Orange’



April 1
The cosmos are on heat mats, which is totally unnecessary but I had an extra one, so hey, why not?
4/4 - Two sprouts! 
May - Vigrous and very easy
Lights (4)
3 cups

Cosmos
‘Cosmic Red’

April 1
4/7 - Sprouts! 
May - Vigrous and very easy
Lights (4)
3 cups

Tithonia ‘GoldFinger’

April 1
Heat mat
4/5 - Sprouts! 
I was surprised by how quickly these hardened off. I have too many!
Lights (4)
3 cups

Zinnia ‘Peggy’s Delight’


April 1

I sowed these in big cowpots and am very curious to see how well they grow. Zinnias love rich soil so it might be a happy combo.
4/8 - Sprouts! 
May - Vigrous and very easy but make sure you keep the cowpots moist.
Lights (4)
3 cowpots

Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’



April 1

4/5 - Sprouts! 

May - Vigrous and very easy but make sure you keep the cowpots moist.
Lights (4)
3 cowpots

Zinnia ‘Super Cactus Lilac Emperor’

April 1
I have one sprout... Sad! The cowpots dry out so quickly I sowed more seeds for each zinnia variety and covered them with plastic bags.... again!
May - Vigrous and very easy but make sure you keep the cowpots moist.

Lights (4)
3 cowpots
TOTALS
Cups
Sown
Group 1 –  10 cups
Group 2 –  10 cups
Group 3 –  27 cups/pots
Group 4  – 24  cups/cowpots**

71 as of 4/1










**  I wasn't sure if the snapdragons had a low germination rate or if there weren't many seeds in the packet but more have sprouted. It's a mystery...
** The cuphea are weird little critters. When I moved the lights close to the seedlings, they curved away from them but when I moved the lights higher, they grew really tall and skinny. How frustrating! I'm hoping they put out growth from the bottom, since they already have a substantial root system.
** I sowed the salvia March 1 and by March 5 the cups (3) are full of sprouts! Woohoo!
** I also sowed a cup of 'Persian Carpet' zinnias from seed leftover from 2015 and two cups of 'Eleonora' basil, which is supposed to be mildew-resistant.



I've kept my chart from 2015 listed below. DS = direct sow, WS = winter sow and  the rest will be under grow lights. Group One was started in early January, Group Two in early March, and Group Three in early April. Everything has been linked to the companies I purchased them from. Plants in italics attract pollinators.

Because the annuals available from local nurseries are full of pesticides, I've started growing my own. Instead of sowing them into little trays, I sow them directly into 18 oz/532 mL plastic drink cups with holes poked in the bottom that have been filled with a very light potting soil. It eliminates transplanting and gives them more room for root development.



To make watering easier, I put the cups into big containers so I don't damage the wooden shelves. The cups are labeled with the type of seed they contain and each group is color coded. 
Blue = Group 1, Red = Group 2, and Yellow = Group 3.


If they need humidity to germinate, I cover them with a plastic bag. 

 

But if they need darkness, I cover them with newspaper.



I wish I had a real greenhouse but these shelves will have to do.

My seed starting apparatus is very basic. These are cheap lights that I've doubled up to increase the amount of light available to the seedlings. I wrap them in foil to direct the light onto the seeds instead of allowing it to diffuse into the basement. I leave the area around the lights open so I don't burn the house down or fry my seedlings. This may look weird, but it's highly effective. 



The campanula germinated but then stopped growing and the first group of coneflowers struggled although I do have two healthy seedlings. The sprout on the left refused to take his seed hat off and eventually died from damping off. I'd read that you don't need to cold stratify coneflower seeds but my poor germination rates indicate otherwise since coneflowers seed so prolifically in my garden. I ordered a second packet of seeds and chilled them before planting.  Why yes, I will take that slice of humble pie. Thanks for offering. The sweet peas are growing vigorously and have already been pinched back.   

I'll keep this updated as I start to sow my seeds so you can track my progress. :o) The soil I'm using is ProMix Potting Mix.


Name
Company
Date
Sown
Date
Germinated
Method
Cup
Quantity
Bakers
March 1
March 3 Sprouting
30 seedlings!
Lights (2A)
Surface sow, no heat
5
6-7 seeds per cup
Bakers
March 1
March 4-11 Sprouted
15 seedlings
Lights (2A)
Covered seed, heat *See notes
5
5 seeds per cup
Bakers
March 1
March 4 -10 Sprouted
20 seedlings
Lights (2A)
Covered seed, heat
5
5 seeds per cup
Bakers
Jan 4
April 10
1 pathetic sprout and it might be a weed. Crap.
WS
1 large pot
Botanical Interests
Group 1
Jan 1
Group 2
Feb 15 
Group 1
2 healthy seedlings
Group 2
5 seedlings Feb 24-27
Lights (1)
Surface sow, heat for group 2
4
3 seeds per cup
Botanical Interests
Jan 1
OS- 8 sprouts Jan 8-14
HS- 9 sprouts Jan 5-9
Big healthy seedlings!
Lights (1)
Covered seed
3 of each
3 seeds per cup
Botanical Interests
March 1
March 5 - 12
3 seedlings

Lights (2A)
Covered seed, heat

4
4 seeds per cup
Botanical Interests
April 10
April 19
2 sprouts
Lights (3)
5
Bot. Interests
Jan 4
Early April - Lots of seedlings
WS
2 pots
Botanical Interests
Jan 4
Early April -1 big seedling
WS
1 pot
Botanical Interests


Jan 4

March 23
They're sprouting!
* Several sprouts died when our temps briefly hit the 70's. Next year I'll just sow them on bare soil and not worry about winter sowing them. They don't need any help.
WS
1 pot
Botanical Interests


Jan 4

April 10
A few sprouts
ATTACKED BY SQUIRRELS! STUPID RAT FACED BASTARDS!
WS
1 pot
Botanical Interests

Jan 4
April 10
A few sprouts
These self seed so easily, I'm just going to collect seedlings next year instead of buying seeds.
WS
1 pot
Botanical Interests

Jan 4
March 23
They're sprouting!
WS
1 large pot
Outside Pride

Jan 4

May 6

So many seedlings!
 I forgot I had sown these in two pots and couldn't figure out what all the other seedlings were. Duh... I need to read my own notes!
WS
1 large pot
1 small pot
Outside Pride
April 4
Sprouting!
DS
2 lb bag
Outside Pride

April 4
April 10
6 seedlings
Lights (3)
5
Outside Pride

March 1

March 9 - sprouted
Several sturdy seedlings
Lights (2A)
Covered seed, no heat
5
6-7 seeds per cup
Outside Pride

April 4

April 10
What I thought was a sprout was a tithonia seedling from a dropped seed. These haven't sprouted at all.
Lights (3)
5
These seeds are microscopic!
Renee’s Gardens

March 1

March 7
They're all sprouting!
Lights (2A)
Surface sow, no heat
1
Sowed the entire packet
Select Seeds


April 10

April 16
Lots of seedlings
Lights (3)
5
Select Seeds



March 1

March 5-30
Pink - 19 seedlings
March 6-30
Orange - 5 seedlings
Lights (2A)
Covered seed,  heat
5 each
Sowed the entire packet
Stokes
Jan 1
These were duds! Moving on....
Lights (1)
5
2 seeds per cup
Stokes
Jan 4
April 10
A few sprouts
WS
1 pot
Stokes



March 1

March 5-30
Purple - 11 seedlings
White - 21 seedlings
Lights (2A)
Covered seed,  heat
5 white
3 purple
(I ran out of room!)
Stokes

Jan 17

Nothing nada zilch so I dumped the soil in the garden. Now they'll probably sprout like mad.

WS
1 pot 
Stokes
March 1
My sprout died and I decided these were duds when the others didn't germinate so I threw the soil/seeds into an empty pot and then found 1 SPROUT in the remaining cup. Oops...
Lights (2A)
Covered seed, no heat
5
5 seeds per cups
Summer Hill Seeds
April 4
April 8-10
11 sprouts
Lights (3)
5
5 seeds per cup
Summer Hill Seeds
March 1
March 13-17
7 seedlings
Lights (2A)
Surface sow, no heat
4
4 seeds per cup
Summer Hill Seeds
March 1
March 5-22, 30
8 seedlings
Lights (2A)
Covered seed, no heat
5
Sowed the entire packet

I couldn't resist growing just a few more....

Name
Company

Date
Sown

Date
Germinated

Method  
Cup
quantity
Prairie Moon
Nursery
Jan 10
1 sprout
WS
1 pot 
Swallowtail Garden Seeds
March 14
March 20-30
2 sprouts
Lights (2B)
4
(11 seeds sown)
Swallowtail Garden Seeds
April 10
April 16
4 seedlings
Lights (3)
5
Seeds of Change
April 10
April 16
8 seedlings
Lights (3)
5



TOTALS
Cups
Sown
Plant Varieties
Companies
Used
106
1 DS ---- 10 WS
23 W/Lights
Group 1 – 4 (19 cups)
Group 2 – 10 (48 cups)
Group 3 – 9 (40 cups)

10










NOTES:
* Soak sweet pea/dwarf morning glory seeds for 24 hours before planting.
* Cover gomphrena and verbena seed cups with newspaper. They need darkness to germinate.
* Verbena needs sandy soil so add fine sand to potting mix. ( I forgot to add sand to the 'Mammoth' cups. Geez.....)
Centranthus needs super sharp drainage. I added fine sand/pea gravel to potting soil.
* The first group of coneflower seeds weren't stratified and while most germinated, the seedlings were weak and many stopped growing or died. The second group was cold/moist stratified for 2 weeks. I think a few in the first batch might have damped off. Ugh... I added a seedling heating mat on Feb. 20 and gave them little plastic baggie tents on Feb 21.
* Seeds that need to be covered are surface sown and then covered with two layers of newsprint to give them the darkness they need to germinate. Seeds that need temps above 70F have heat mats under their cups.

2 comments:

  1. You are amazing-what organization, I have calendars that I put my info on-but BOY you sure make me look like messy may-I have mine scribbled on paper-thank you for sharing-great info!!!!! I can see where you WS and I CS which worked ...but now I see what you mean about WS for next year:-)

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    Replies
    1. I love a chart! With this many seeds, I need to be organized. By posting it on the blog, I never have to worry about losing it. I made the chart in Microsoft Word first and then copy/pasted it into the blog. I'll be direct sowing the mini clover seeds in early April into a spot where the grass won't grow well. I'm hoping it will be tighter and less rangy than regular clover, which I also have loads of in my grass. The bees love it. As for color, yes please!!

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