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Dirt Under The Fingernails

Category: gardening | Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:31 pm

Spent 2 1/2 hours yesterday transplanting 60 little "Happy Faces" (pansies) into 3 inch pots and 6 pak cells. Have been waiting..very patiently..for the youngsters roots to start showing at the base of the seed row starter tray telling me "get us into something BIGGER!", and it finally happened: felt SOO GOOD getting my hands dirty while playing in the soil once again!
Started an early variety called "Carolina Giants", and some OLD mixed pansy seeds of several types, in November, planted the old seeds a bit on the heavy side as I didn't know what to expect from them. Much to my surprise, had excellant germination with ALL, even had to cull a few because they were too thickly planted! Broke me heart to do it, but was necessary, watered in the potted seedlings with the tears that fell..what can I say?
I've had a terrible time with getting good pansy seed germination last few years no matter what I tried, so for this season bought/used Pro Mix seed starting medium..the results more than speak for themselves so far! Seedlings are strong and healthy, root systems absolutely beautiful!
They've been transplanted into Pro Mix potting soil now, should have blooming plants by Memorial Day if all goes according to Hoyle, can't WAIT for their lovely scents and joyous colors to greet me when I walk into the greenhouse later in the season! There's just something about them that "makes the day" when nothing else is doing much yet. Way it looks, there'll be hanging baskets and containers full of pansies everywhere, but that's okay in my book as they're such "happy plants".
At present, the trays are still in my sunroom in front of big, south-facing windows, are on bottom heat just in CASE temp out there wants to nosedive during a nasty cold spell (so far, knock on wood!, temp has been getting no lower than 50 degrees nights even tho' outside temps have been as low as 0!). Will let the babies adapt a bit to new potting up, then remove them to another shelf without heat til they can be evacuated into unheated greenhouse, probably in late February.
Next to start are gerberas, blue mealy sage (which looks like Russian Sage), and evening primroses (seeds I saved from a wild plant) end of this month, then in February will be about 30 other things, including peppers and cool weather plants. By May, poor sunroom AND greenhouse will be overflowing with "green" things of all descriptions imagineable! Needless to say, I just LOVE starting everything from seed and watching it grow, especially when the snow's still flyin' outside!

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zuzu's petals wrote on Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:02 pm:

What great joy I sense in your blog, here! :-D
Isn't it just the greatest feeling for a gardener . . .
You almost feel like you can speed up the arrival of spring,
as you plan and prepare for her coming.

I just moved quite a few water-rooted
coleus cuttings into pots yesterday,
it really made me feel so chirpy and hope-filled!

I'm sooo impressed that you grow your pansies from seed!
I don't think I could even attempt it -
It sounds like you have hit on something with the seed starting medium!

Oh, and I can relate to that heartbreaking feeling that
comes from having to "murder"
seedlings that have germinated too thickly.

;-) Silly things, aren't we?


Frank wrote on Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:49 pm:

>>> Broke me heart to do it, but was necessary, watered in the potted seedlings with the tears that fell..what can I say? <<<

Awwww weeds n seeds, a true gardening heart :D


Droopy wrote on Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:14 am:

I'm so happy for your success with the pansies. I hope they will perform outstandingly well for you. I don't like to thin seedlings either.

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