Thursday, March 31, 2011

Seedlings, Birds

March 24th, I got some seeds planted.  I used Planter's Pride biodegradable pellets.   The first batch I planted weren't expanding like the ones I've used in the past, so, I looked up how long it should take for them to get the proper size, and how big that is.  I came across a February, 2010 blog post by Joan, from I'm in the Garden Today that was helpful. She's in the Seattle area, by the way.  (The first link is to the post I was referring to, the second, to her home page.  She has another post about seedlings you can see if you scroll down.)

This is second batch, planted a day or two after the first.  This photo was taken after the pellets had soaked around 30 minutes. 

I had noticed that the first group of pellets expanded more as I handled them while planting.  I reread Joan's post where she mentioned gently squeezing the pellets helped them expand, so I went ahead and did each one, then planted them.  I didn't worry about the tops tearing a bit.  

Here are the first two that were my first batch.  I put them on the refrigerator to germinate because I have some idea that it may be warmer there.  I'm not sure if it really is, though.  I don't use heating pads, but would consider it.

Once some of the seeds germinated, I had planned on putting them in the garden window, but decided to put them under the lights in the kitchen for awhile, because not all of the seeds were up, and it was warmer there.

I'm thinking these came up after only two days.  The Mexican Sunflower package said not to start them inside, because sunflowers don't transplant well, but I started some inside a couple years ago, and had blooms sooner than those planted in the ground last year.  The little seedlings next to them are Night Scented Stocks.

The plants on the left here are hybrid super bush tomatoes.  The ones on the right are German Red Strawberry Tomatoes.

I can't find the legend I wrote for this tray, but those are Genovese Basil plants on the left.  I've been pulling a few extras when it won't disturb the other plants, but I've also been pinching some at the bases of them.  I'll need to do it some more soon.  I prefer to only have one plant per pellet.

This morning, I went ahead and put the seedlings in the garden window, because they were starting to get a bit leggy.  I took these photos after work.  The bottom row has the Hybrid Super Bush, the next, Canary Bell Peppers, then the German Red Strawberry Tomato plants.

I'm thinking the 2 little plants coming up on the left are a pepper of some kind.  Whatever is next to the basil plants is not up yet.

The tall plants are the Mexican Sunflowers.  The American Bull Nose Peppers and Sioux Tomatoes are not up yet.  The friend from work whose Baker's Creek catalog I ordered from said his Sioux Tomatoes are not up yet, either.  I didn't get a closer photo of the stock, but they are growing.

I normally don't like to plant mixtures of seeds, because I want to know what color something is, or what kind it is when I plant it, but on a whim, got a mixture of 7 kinds of basils from Botanical Interests.  I figured when they came up, I would try to see if I could see differences in them.  So far, I can tell the darker ones are whatever red kind was in there, and some of the seedlings are larger than others.  I hope I can let them get some more leaves before thinning them out so I can smell them to see if I can tell them apart.

 We are expecting one more estimate for cutting our tree down, then we need to be making a decision this week so we can get it over with.  Brian,  the co-worker who I bought seeds with has a friend who makes spoons and things with wood.  I am hoping we can afford to hire him, if he is available, to make some spoons to give Larry's siblings and our kids, and one for ourselves from the tree, and then we would give him some of the wood if he wants it.  (Hi Bryan and Lily.)

It was supposed to get up to 50 today, but only made it to 42ish.  They say 59 for the next couple of days, then up to 66 on Sunday, with Monday back to 47.  Well, I hope my seedlings continue to grow well and don't get leggy.  I won't be able to take good bird photos now that the top shelf is back in the garden window.  Here are a few I took the other day.

I still haven't been able to get a photo of the female cardinal.  She flies off as soon as I move even the tiniest bit.  The male isn't as shy, but doesn't hang out as long as the house finches.  The chickadees have been around, too, but for some reason I didn't include any newer photos of them.

The male house finches are on the friendly side.  I sure enjoy them.  I can move around the room, and they don't fly off.

I've seen this scenario with two females eating, and a male waiting for his turn a few times.

While I'm showing birds, I'll include a few from the same day taken from other places.  Here's a male and female house finch enjoying sunflower seeds.  I'm surprised the squirrels haven't knocked it down yet.

I enjoyed watching the robin landi in a few different spots, deciding if it was going to join the squirrel, or wait until it left.  Some of these photos didn't turn out very good, and there is a new feature on my updated iphoto where you can click, "enhance" and it will turn out like the next couple of photos.  It's not great, but it's better than it was.

I haven't seen the doves around as much as usual, but probably will more now that the weather is warming up.  I made this photo larger so the flowers showed up better.

Well, it's spring, and soon we will be having lots of outdoor fun.  I hope things are going well in your homes and gardens.


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  2. I need to start planting some seeds again. I just like to allow about 6 weeks before planting out side so try to time it accordingly.

    I have lost my bag of peat pellets........again!

    Love the bird pictures. I have quit feeding so I won't have many now.

    Hoping everyone has a nice, warm weekend.

  3. Those pellets looked like little baked had me fooled to start with. Super post & pictures as always, Sue. That little squirrel stole my heart!

  4. I use a couple of shop lights hung in my basement. I used to use an old water bed heater, which worked GREAT!! But one of the 4 rats that live in my house misplaced the cord somewhere. .this year I tried a heat pad. .it worked well. .but has an auto off. .so never stayed on long. But everything germinated great!! So I guess that's all that mattered. Was hoping to start my zinnia this morning. .and headed out shortly to get those beets in the ground. .did yours come up?? Have a beautiful spring weekend!! We are to hit 90 here by Sunday. .YUCK. .too cold. .too hot. .whine, whine WHINE :-)

  5. What a nice start on your garden. The getting them close to your lights is amusing. I have a rack of shelves that I can lower my shop lights down with an adjustable chain and S hooks.I keep them about an inch over the plants.

  6. Hello fellow Nebraska gardener! I just did a google search for Nebraska gardening blogs and yours was one of the first ones to come up. I enjoyed the pictures of your new little seedlings and the birds. Anyway, I will be bookmarking this site and I'll be back. Enjoy the sunny day!

  7. Hi Sue. Looks like the Robin is waiting for the squirrel to leave so it can check out the seed. LOL! Your seedlings are looking good. I use a few of them too. When I plant the seedlings out I usually tear off the outer wrapper. Those thing never brake down in the soil. They should make them biodegradable. Hope you are enjoying your spring.

  8. Wow, you've been busy sowing! I just put some kale, spinach, and swiss chard seeds in the veggie bed recently.
    Always enjoy viewing your bird photos.
    Happy spring to you!

  9. I just transplanted my early planted seedlings last week into 4" pots. Used jiffy pots, peat pots, and plastic 2" pots. Had some seeds in the jiffy pots in the refrigerator for two months to scarify. They haven't germed yet. I suppose I should write a post. Planted some in the garden also, alyssum, south african daisy, and dutch iris. They seemed to be ready. Ohh some glads and liatris also.

  10. so much fun to see the seedlings! Hope you have great success in all your seeds germinating. You always have the nicest gardens to look at.

  11. I love those little pellets for starting seeds. I used them last year. I think they help seedlings transplant much easier, because the roots don't get messed up in the planting process.

  12. Love the pictures of the beautiful birds and squirrel! You have a really nice blog, all the best with your garden =)

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