Starting Seeds in 2018
Like many gardeners, looking at seed catalogs brings a great joy and excitement during the off season. It is a time for pondering what next years garden might look like. This year, it was even more enthralling knowing that I was going to grow flowers for our wedding. Knowing that it could freeze by mid-October, I chose to go with only flowers that can be dried. In addition to purchasing seed, I of course integrated a lot of saved seed because that is my passion.
First seed sown were onions on February 1st. First flower seeds sown were Gomphrena. That same day I stuck the snapdragon seeds in the fridge. Matt & Kelsey brought some flowers to a soils gathering last year, and I was able to glean some snapdragon seeds from there gift! We started sweet potatoes late February.
Bells of Ireland and 'Miss Willcott's Ghost' Sea Holly went in on March 19. Miss Willcott's Ghost is the only flower I have not been able to germ yet... Some sources say it takes up to 4 months! I'm still waiting, the song Crossed and Painless by the Talking Heads comes to mind: https://youtu.be/bOOhfS1hZVo
Starflower, not to be confused with Strawflower, went in on March 29 along with 'Flat Leaf' Parsley and Sweet Annie.
April was pretty much filled with transplanting the aforementioned baby plants into bigger spaces. I planted a few more trays of extra ageratum, strawflower, starflower, and others. Also seeded bulbing fennel, a personal favorite. Ben sowed some Shishito Peppers (his personal favorite) and eggplant. April was super cold and even into May we had freezing temperatures. Regardless, the plants had to move outside because our basement set up was full. Ben built a great little greenhouse setup to accommodate this shift. May 1st I seeded some tomatoes.
The soil didn't really warm up until the third week in May, so that is when 'Sunbright' Sunflower was sown. Pictures of direct sown babies soon to come!
Once I got the seeds in the mail I used my catalogs and go-to book, The New Seed Starters Handbook, to write little notes to myself all over the seed packets. Flower seeds are so fussy and unique, so I wanted to do right by them and see them into life.
March madness set in quick! 'Apricot/Peach Mix' Strawflowers will be the main floral decor for the wedding, I have sown them four different times over the season, with the first sowing on March 1. Also on March first was 'Forest Fire' Celosia (there's a story behind why I picked the one called, forest fire), Snapdragons, Cutting Celery, and Clary Sage Salvia.
March 8th 'White Swan Lake' Statice & 'Blazing Stars' Liatris were sown. That week I stuck the Bells of Ireland in the fridge.
'Red Flint' Ageratum, Drumstick flower, Basil (Sweet, Genovese, and Tulsi) , 'Melissa Savoy' & 'Pennant' Cabbage, 'Lacinato' Kale, 'Bright Lights' Chard, Collards, and more Strawflower went in on March 15.
When it was finally time to direct sow (around May 15). I cleared an area at Prairie Pines. There I sowed, Urecht Blue Spring Wheat, Persian Jewels 'Love in a Mist', Dara Carrot (specifically bred for the flowers), 'Irish Poet' Tassel flower, 'Single Alba' Baby's Breath, 'Classic Magic' Cornflower.
This is just the beginning check back soon to watch as these flowers grow and blossom!