Seed starting

Finally got around to starting seeds indoors. I usually do it around March 15 but I just didn’t feel ready yet.

Here’s a list of what I planted today (grouped by family), the first batch of seeds to go into my indoor mini-greenhouse. It holds 4 standard flats, 3 with 72 cell trays and 1 with 2″ pots for the delicate-rooted melons and things. I’ve got a few fixtures rigged up (nothing fancy, just the kind sold as under-cabinet lighting,) with 18″ florescent grow light tubes.

Originally uploaded by mulysa_may

SOLANACEAE, The Tomato/Pepper/Eggplant/Potato family
Tomatoes – some favorites from years past:
‘First Lady’
‘Green Zebra’
‘Fourth of July’ not really ready on the forth, but definitely an early one.
‘Bloody Butcher’
‘Chadwick Cherry’ a large cherry.
‘Peacevine’ a very prolific cherry type.

plus a few new-to-me varieties:
‘Amana Orange’
‘Chocolate Cherry’
‘Husky Gold’

‘Hungarian Yellow Wax’ Hot Pepper
‘Early Crisp’ Bell Pepper
‘Corno di Toro’ Sweet Pepper
And I’ll probably buy a few starts to round out the mix. Peppers are tough here. Get stout seedings in the ground in your sunniest spot by mid-May and then it’s all about the weather from there on out. Last year we were lucky with a streak of 90 and 100 F days, but usually even if it gets warm enough during the day the temperature will cool off each night. They don’t like that.

‘Long Purple’ a Japanese type, best for stir-fry and Thai dishes.
‘Black Beauty’ a large heirloom, good for stuffing or eggplant parmesan.
Same deal as with peppers. They like it hot.

‘Toma Verde’
I probably will have plenty of volunteers to choose from, but just in case I planted three cells.

LAMIACEAE, The Mint family
‘Crispa’ A red leafed Perilla (Akashiso).

‘Verde a Palla’ a green globe type with tiny leaves.
‘Genovese’ basic sweet Italian basil.
‘Siam Queen’ spicy Thai basil.
‘Lime’ amazing shredded over slices of melon, or in salad dressings or tacos.

CUCURBITACEAE, The Squash family
Melon – I chose small, shorter season varieties in hopes of this not being a total waste of time.
‘Minnesota Midget’

Pumpkin – Small, useful variety. (Last year we let a volunteer pumpkin seeding take over 1/3 of the back yard and ended up with 8 tasteless jack-o-lanterns.)
‘Small Sugar’

‘Fordhook’ Zucchini
‘Delicata Honey Boat’ a winter squash

‘Sweet Slice’
‘Homemade Pickles’

LILIACEAE, The Lily family
‘Walla walla’ sweet onion. I think in the new raised bed area with all that sun and perfect drainage, the onions will rule.

I also started a selection of flower seeds:

RANUNCULACEAE, The Buttercup family
Columbine ‘Magpie’ (Aquilegia) “Haunting Black Blooms”

ROSACEAE, The Rose family
Lady’s Mantle ‘Thriller’ (Alchemilla mollis)

ASTERACEAE, The Aster family
Meadow Blazingstar (Liatris ligulystilis)
Scotch thistle (Ecinops)
Sea holly ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ (Eryngium giganteum)

AIZOACEAE, The Ice Plant family
Go-to-Bed, or Livingstone daisy (Mesembryanthemum)South African flower with the tiniest seeds. I grew these as an annual in Minnesota, but they might over winter here and like the sunny part of my parking strip.

LAMIACEAE, The Mint family
Bells of Ireland (Moleccella laevis)

FABACEAE, The Pea family
Sweet pea ‘Tara’ Cerise stripes. These seeds are really old, don’t know if they are viable. I soaked them overnight.
Sweet pea ‘Restmorel’ Cerise/Coral

CONVOLVULVACEAE, The Morning Glory family
Morning glory ‘Grandpa Ott’ purple flowers, 1930’s heirloom. I hope this doesn’t become as weedy as Scarlet O’Hara did in my last garden. Oh my. I soaked the seed overnight before planting.

TROPAEOLACEAE, The Nasturtium family
Nasturtium ‘Canary Creeper’ (Tropaeolum peregrinum) It’s a trailing/vining yellow flower with pretty leaves. I tried these last year, planting directly in the ground and got one seedling out of about 10 seeds, then it didn’t make it. Trying again now under controlled circumstances. Seed is pretty old, I might just need to get a new pack.

LILIACEAE, The Lily family
Freesia (Freesia x hybrid) These are a specialty which can take quite a while to germinate – a month or longer, and are best grown in a cool greenhouse. But with gardening you don’t know till you try, right? I had the seed and this is one of my favorite scents ever so I’ll give it a shot.

About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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