The sunny coldness of late winter is upon the land. Let us go into the greenhouse/sunroom for some cheering gardening chores on this chilly day. With the new heat mats and light systems, seed starting has been a roaring success this year. But not all seeds need that special treatment. In the photo above is a Chinese trumpet lily, Golden Splendor seedling with casing still attached. New last year from bulbs, the yellow blooms were fragrant and long lasting. After flowering they formed giant pods and these were left to give seed propagation a try. The instructions say to not let the lilies form seed so their energy can go towards building the bulb for next year’s flowers. We did not follow the rules in hopes of many more bulbs someday for free. Happily the seeds germinated within the three week time interval after sowing.Joining the Golden Splendor pot on the shelf is a smaller pot of Chinese trumpet lily Regale.Black Dragon seeds from a friend (thanks!), are germinating right on time too. Lily seeds rise up from the middle rather than an end. There is another pot of lily seeds showing no signs of life yet, Black Beauty heirloom species lily. One would think the species lilies would be the easiest to sprout, but not so as yet. Now with all these seeds allowed to form, will we get any trumpet flowers this year?Lettuces and assorted greens have grown so large they were moved from under the light stands to the shelves on the south side of the room for maximum light. The red lettuces on the left are smaller than the green in the middle but growing well. On the right is a pot of mixed greens with the mustard being the most vigorous of the lot. Yes, we have enjoyed several fresh salads from these pots.Cobaea scandens is really getting tall. A temporary trellis and repotting into a larger container are needed, pronto! To the left of the Cobaea is a cell tray of Clary sage, Salvia sclaraea ‘Turkestanica’ that is is growing whiskers on the leaves.In the other end of the same tray, Helenium autumnale ‘Sunshine Hybrid Mix’ promises yellow and red blended blooms in summer and fall. In the middle of the tray, puny but alive is Salvia nemorosa ‘Rosenwein’.This group has been hardening off outside when the temps permit. Right at the moment the temps are not permitting outdoor placement so the only space for them is on the floor of the greenhouse. Maybe I will make room on a shelf with some rejiggering of pots and trays since a week of cold is predicted. In the front four-packs are dill and parsley. In the tray behind, from left is Redbor Kale, lettuce ‘Revolution’, dill, bronze fennel and cilantro. The bronze fennel is from collected seeds and the germination rate was 100 percent. There is serious crowding in the little pot that needs to be remedied ASAP!Under the lower light stand from front left are (the farthest groups are not visible in the photo) Nicotiana sylvestris, thanks Tina, Spicy Globe Basil, Phlox ‘Peppermint Candy’, Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’. Back row, more Nic., Monarda ‘Lambada’ (gathered from Semi’s garden) Hunnemannia fumariifolia ‘Sunlite’ and Digitalis parviflora ‘Milk Chocolate’. And yes, I know this is a weird conglomeration of plants. Some I have never even heard of, like the Hunn., but it caught my eye as the online catalog was perused. That is my system of selection.Under the double width light the tomatoes are in back, Money Maker, Red Short Vine, Black Russian and Bisignano. In the front tray beginning at the left front Cynoglossum amabile ‘Mystery Rose’, Amaranthus caudatus ‘Fat Spike’, Cuphea miniata ‘Summer Medley’ ( as these get too tall they are moved to a pot on the shelf, looks like a couple more need to get moved out now), Swiss chard ‘Golden Lights’. Back row of the same flat holds Amarathus paniculatus ‘Autumn Palette’, more Fat Spike, Malva sylvestris ‘Mystic Merlin’, more Autumn Palette.Larger pots hold Gomphrena ‘Qis Carmine’, Stipa gigantea in the first row, Vernonia and Scabiosa have not yet germinated at each end of this row. The middle row is home to Black Pearl peppers, Antohi pepper, Aruba pepper, overflow Heleniums and Inula magnifica. The back row has no action yet but hope lives.Golden Lights swiss chard has the seed case still attached.
More seeds are being sown each day, inside the greenhouse and outside in the still cool earth covered with plastic netting to keep all diggers at bay. Some are in rotation in and out of the garage refrigerator for cold stratification. We are just about at the six weeks before our last frost date, April 10, an indoor sowing milestone. The rest of the seeds will have to wait until the outside ground temperature is a balmy 70 degrees to be planted. All of these babies, if they survive, should fill the garden beds and save us money on buying plants. That will be the test, to see if those potted, well grown specimens can keep from jumping on the cart at the nurseries, for we have enough and more right here in the greenhouse/sunroom of plenty.
My name is Frances and I am a lifelong gardener, having lived in various parts of the USA over many years. Since 2000 I have been gardening on a slope in a small town in Tennessee. I have been blogging about this USDA Zone 7a garden since December of 2007. Thank you for visiting!
The slope in spring
The slope in fall
The slope in winter
Older Posts Of Interest:
An assortment of winter beauties growing in the Fairegarden. (2011)
Color in the winter garden can be achieved by using plants that come to life during the cold season. (2011)
Look around your world for the things that appeal to you and make it happen in your garden. (2011)
A rant about the mistaken thoughts of non-gardeners. (2009)
There was something hidden in the forest and we were lucky enough to be able to see it. (2011)
Dreams turn into reality, in a way. The Green Man/Leaf Man faces live well in my garden now. (2011)
Now, fall, is the time to harvest those brown iris leaves and make something useful out of them. (2010)
A yard without a lawn. (2010)
Very difficult to only pick your six favorite plants, some of us bent the rules a bit. (2009)
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