Greenhouse/Sunroom Of Plenty

february-17-2009-009-21The 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.february-17-2009-007-2Joining the Golden Splendor pot on the shelf is a smaller pot of Chinese trumpet lily Regale.february-17-2009-001-2Black 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?february-17-2009-004-2Lettuces 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.february-17-2009-005-3Cobaea scandens is really getting tall. A temporary trellis and repotting into a larger container are needed, pronto!february-17-2009-006-2 To the left of the Cobaea is a cell tray of Clary sage, Salvia sclaraea ‘Turkestanica’ that is is growing whiskers on the leaves.february-17-2009-011-2In 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’.february-17-2009-014-2This 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!february-17-2009-018-2Under 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.february-17-2009-012-2Under 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.february-17-2009-016-2Larger 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.february-17-2009-013-2Golden 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.

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57 Responses to Greenhouse/Sunroom Of Plenty

  1. Darla says:

    Oh my stars Frances! You have A LOT of seedlings and I am sure you know just where their forever homes are! LOL Hope you show us where you place them in the garden.

    HA Darla, thanks for visiting. I believe you see the subtext of this post! LOL What am I going to do with all these babies, and there are more on the heat mats just popping up, and more to sow! It is so darn fun to see something rise up out of the soilless mix, like magic. I can’t stop myself. Getting them into the garden is always the hardest part for me. I should say getting them to LIVE in the garden. It gets hot quickly here and by the time of last frost, it is like summer. I must figure out a system to keep them safe from the elements.

  2. gittan says:

    Oh Frances, ur really have sawn a lot of seeds allready! Seeing all that green, puts a smile on my face =) I’ve done the same thing, as you with the lilies, with my Montbretia ‘Lucifer’. And now I have over 30 small ‘Lucifers’ for free. That’s the way I like it. Thinking abou how expencive he was, purhaps I should start to sell my plants instead =)

    Hi Gittan, thanks. It does make one smile to open the greenhouse door and see life all around, but you know that too! πŸ™‚ Hooray for Lucifer! I saved seeds, but they weren’t right, maybe gathered at the wrong time. So many were produced, maybe some fell to earth and will germinate there. I have been dividing him in fall, started with one purchased plant and now have six or seven. Hope your seeds all give you babies to keep or sell!

  3. Janet says:

    Lots and lots of babies! My goodness. Good for you. I am just now thinking of some lettuces to start.

    Hi Janet, thanks for stopping by. We are way early this year. The first lettuce was sown in November on a whim. That is the way to do it to have salads all winter too. I wanted to have seedlings that were larger like the ones at the nursery come spring. Earlier sowing along with the heat mats and lights is the answer. We shall see how they do in the garden, but it has been fun so far. πŸ™‚

  4. Sylvia (England) says:

    Frances, I am in a panic reading this – thinking I haven’t started sowing yet! I am so glad you gave your last frost date – ours is more like beginning of May. I am trying so hard not to sow too early but… I do find that hardening off plants is really difficult, even with no frosts in May temperatures can fluctuate so much.

    Right, made the coffee, calmed down and re-read! I do admire your system and love the selection of seeds. I look forward to hearing how they get on.

    Best wishes and thanks for a great post. Sylvia (England)

    Hi Sylvia, thanks, but don’t panic! HA This was an experiment to try and have larger seedlings to go outside, ones that could take the heat, wind and rain better without death, the usual fate of the seedlings here. In the past, sowing too early meant long leggy plants that could not stand up on their own. The lights are the answer, so far anyway. I need a better seed selection system, but am overwhelmed by the number of choices. As they say, so many plants, so little space. πŸ™‚

  5. Gail says:

    Frances, As I was looking at your healthy seedlings, two thoughts came to mind~~what a wonderful setup you have and what a success it has been! Very impressive! It’s fun to imagine the fuller grown plants in place…I can’t wait to see what you do with the clary sage and the, well really, all of them! Your garden is already beautiful the new additions are going to make it spectacularly beautiful. Must put grow room on the list! Keep warm dear~~gail

    Hi Gail, thanks. Having the seedlings has made the winter go by faster. You do need something, and it could be managed even with the plant eating cat. I can advise. πŸ™‚ I am very excited about the perennials, the only way to be able to afford so many for that desired mass planting is seeds. Next year more thought needs to go into the seed selection. Nearly every plant can be found as seed somewhere or another, even across the pond!

  6. Les says:

    You are like that mother in California who already had too many children and now has 8 more. Do you look like Angelina Jolie also?
    JUST KIDDING! You do have a lot of seedlings started. When I first started gardening I did this too, but now I am too impatient. Perhaps my lack of money this year will force me to grow more from seed. I love Clary Sage, more so for its distinctive stink, than for the pretty flowers.

    Hi Les, HA, how did you know that I have been wearing a mask for the photos shown on the blog of me and really look like AJ? I was way better this year, normally I would dump the whole package of seeds in the pot! Now it was just one or two in each cell, except for the bronze fennel. I don’t know what happened there. The expense of mass planting makes this seed starting stuff worth it. But the truth will come out when the plants are growing outside in the ground if this was a good idea. I like that clary scent and the presence it has in the garden, after seeing it at the UT blooms day festival last summer.

  7. Randy says:

    My goodness! Someone has been very productive lately!

    Hi Randy, thanks so much. As we were in the tornado watch here yesterday, I saw there was severe weather down your way. I assume you are okay, thank goodness! Your garden is a marvel and ode to the goodness of people.

  8. Diana says:

    Wow Frances — you are a seed-sowing Super woman! I am so impressed at your volume. I was successful with 8 little pots and I felt good about that. I aspire to achieve your level – so many mostly free plants. So, now that I have seedlings, how do I know when to transplant them?!!

    Hi Diana, thanks HA. This is a new situation for me, usually nothing germinates except the tomatoes, or if they do they are so leggy they cannot stand up. The heat mat and lights are the key. The transplanting of the seedlings is the hard part. I guess it depends on your weather, all danger of frost past?

  9. Diana says:

    Frances — oops – part #2 — I didn’t mean temperature-wise, I meant size/pot size-wise. Clearly my string like tomatoes have to wait but there are too many in the pot…

    Hi Diana, this one I think I know the answer to. The tomatoes can be repotted and buried down to the leaves. New roots will grow along the stem so they will not be so leggy. I don’t know if other plants are like that, but I usually put them to the leaves also with the initial repot.

  10. tina says:

    Super seed sowing momma is a good term for you:) Let me know when you are having a plant sale so I can be the first inline. Really you should go into business! So many Fairegarden will be truly awash in love and color this season. Well done! Thanks for the link love. I know you’ll like the nicotiana. I am so honored you wanted some from here too. I have yet to start one seed:( Can you tell I am not a seed person. I’m beginning to rethink though.

    Hi Tina, HA, impulsive to a fault is a better term! πŸ™‚ I have been in business before, it is too much work. I am very excited about the nicotiana and read in a blog somewhere, sorry cannot remember which one, that they like extra feeding as babies. You know they start out so tiny and grow into such large plants in one season. I thought you were a seed person, since you have collected them into little cute envelopes! And participated in Monica’s seed exchange. Or are you just a collector and sharer, not a sower? HA

  11. Dave says:

    Wow, you’ve got a great start! That sunroom of yours looks like an excellent place for the seeds to start. I need to get going, I still have to make an order! Maybe the girls will give me a few minutes to do that today.

    Hi Dave, thanks. The heat mats and lights are the secret to my success. Having the sunroom to grow them on after they get too big for the lights comes in handy too. I am so ready to start having them outdoors, but no way with the cold weather. Hope you get time to get your order in, if not, the big box has a good selection too. I am starting earlier this year to see how that works.

  12. Good grief, where are you going to put them all once they’ve grown a bit. I haven’t started sowing yet as there is not enough natural light yet, but soon there will be.

    BTW I did a post on my sunroom today too, almost published at the same time as well but there is where the remblance ends. Curious? You know the way. πŸ˜‰

    Ah YE, you see the dilemma. I really have thought about most of them, the veggie bed will accept many of these. Some annuals might go in the empty containers. Space will be found for the rest. I hope. I have been over to your sunroom, very very nice. Love the agapanthus! πŸ™‚

  13. Marnie says:

    The mats and lights are working very, very well;) Are you using the bronze fennel with perennial flowers. I thought I’d look for some this year. The color and feathery foliage look nice among studier plants.

    Hi Marnie, thanks. I owe it all to the mats and lights. I do use the bronze fennel as an ornamental. It is not the culinary kind, for the bulb anyway. I have seen someone mention the ferny bits in salad mixes though. Might have to give it a taste. It smells so strongly of licorice, I wonder if it tastes like that? The bronze fennel is perennial here and self sows outdoors so it has never been tried indoors from seeds before. I want to add it to the redone heather bed so put seeds in the ground there and inside as a back up. Nothing happening outside yet, but it is still quite cold. You will love the butterflies it brings too.

  14. Gail says:

    Frances, Massed plantings of perennials will look wonderful in your garden. You are so right…there are ways I can sow indoors. I think a set up over the guest bath tub would work! Guest can use our shower. Also the Mosaic shed is crying out to be used all winter! I do want to grow native grasses like Little Bluestem. Plugs might be just the thing to replace the ‘lawn’ in the sunnier areas. gail

    Oh Gail, imagining a lawn of Little Bluestem is wonderful! Yours is the bluest I have ever seen. That bathroom sounds like a good idea, too. Way to get into it! πŸ™‚

  15. kerri says:

    It’s uplifting to see all your happy seedlings, Frances! I’m wishing them well on their journey to your garden and hoping you find space, and time to plant all of them. Sometimes that’s the hard part for me πŸ™‚
    I’ve been resisting planting too early, but the time is almost here.
    We had 4″ of new snow yesterday and more is predicted. Spring will be a while yet.
    Thanks for this peek into your lovely greenhouse.

    Hi Kerri, thanks, I like to do that kind of heavy lifting! πŸ™‚ Without the lights to keep them short and strong, the early sowing would not be a good idea. This is the first year so I really don’t know when the best time is, so just sowed when the lights arrived. The garden is pretty big, room can be found and time too. These guys are important! HA

  16. TC says:

    It looks as if damping off disease will not be a factor! That’s a big concern for a lot of folks. It also looks like you might have plenty to share with family, friends and neighbors. Last frost date here is a month later than there.

    Hi TC, thanks for visiting. I discovered the damping off preventative of vermiculite or chicken grit over and under the seeds is the key. There is an inhibitor in both of those that prevents the fungus that causes it from appearing. If the seeds need light to germinate, I sprinkle the vermiculite on the cell, then press the seeds into it. If the seeds need covering, I sprinkle with chicken grit to the depth given on the package. Works everytime, there has been zero damping off since I started doing that.

  17. commonweeder says:

    You do have an impressive set-up, and have impressively planted. Wow! I got as far as ordering my seeds, but they haven’t arrived yet. Just as well. This is Massachusetts.

    Hi Pat, thanks so much. The mats and lights have made a much greater difference than I could have imagined. Next year I will plan more carefully, maybe have fewer things. Or more. πŸ™‚

  18. LindaLunda says:

    How exiting! A black DRAGON lilly… mmmm for me??? LOL!

    Hi Linda, thanks. You do need the black dragon lily in your lovely garden!

  19. Frances, I think you could open a plant business! πŸ™‚


    Hi Cameron, thanks. I will find places for these babies, really. HA

  20. I’m just tickled that the Black Dragon seeds sprouted! (Thanks for the link love.) Now any decline in flowering won’t have gone to waste. Some of your photos look as if they could have been taken in a commercial greenhouse. Do you ever wonder if you’ve gotten a bit carried away? :^)

    Hi MMD, thanks. I do hope neither of us experiences flower decline! It is thrilling that these seeds really sprouted, I had my doubts that they even were real seeds. It looks pretty crowded in the greenhouse at the moment, don’t forget there are a bunch of orchids in there too. HA Me? Carried away? That is my middle name, impulsive. πŸ™‚

  21. katie says:

    Your starts look fantastic and your photos of them are truly inspiring! I’m headed off to work on my own “germination station”! THANKS!

    Hi Katie, thanks and welcome. That germination station was the name of the heat mat and tray that I ordered from Thompson and Morgan, LOL. Cute and catchy, a good marketing tool. πŸ™‚

  22. easygardener says:

    I hope you have got lots of space for planting! I’m always afraid of too many seedlings because I can’t bear to throw them away and end up squeezing them into any space I can find.
    BTW – I often use the leaves of bronze and green Fennel chopped into salads and cooked dishes. I think the bulbous Florence fennel was bred from the green variety.

    Hi EG, thanks for visiting. Space for planting is not an issue, space inside the greenhouse until planting can be done is the problem. I need a cold frame like yours! I cannot throw away the seedlings either, but have planted fewer of each variety this year, just more varieties! Thanks for that about the bronze fennel. Good to know it can be used with the other greens, that will keep the plants smaller too. Thanks!

  23. YDavis says:

    I am totally drooling over those seedlings. Can’t wait to start mine.
    Hi, I’m new to your blog. I enjoyed my visit.

    Hi YD, thanks and welcome. I am so glad you enjoyed yourself here. Do come back now, y’hear! πŸ™‚ This is Tennessee you know.

  24. gisele schoene says:

    Francis, you can open a commercial nursery with all the seedlings you have! You have a very nice setup and I am sure the seedlings will become healthy and beautiful plants.
    I started some of my seeds and I am out of room! I have lights in the bathroom (no showers here until April!!) and my sunroom is so crowded and I didn’t even start the tomatoes!

    Hi Gisele, thanks. It seems like a lot, but these will all be planted in the ground here if I can keep them alive long enough. Running out of room until the babies can safely be kept outside on the deck before planting is a challenge. I had hoped the weather would be more agreeable to have some things outside by now. I see even at Lowe’s the carts full of veggie plants are indoors. Sigh. We will manage and be happy when spring finally arrives, won’t we? πŸ™‚

  25. teza says:

    Oh my…. oh me oh my!!! You have triggered a desire for me to try germinating some seeds this year. I don’t have nearly the room, only one of those HD three tiered rack systems, but seeing everything that has sprouted for you….. especially intirgued with the S. sclarea var. ‘Turkestanica’. I must remember to start more, as they are one of the truly architectural specimens in my garden. Please remember to post follow ups for us! Happy gardening Frances!

    Hi Teza, HA, sorry about that, but not really. Starting plants from seeds is so rewarding, think of the savings compared to buying potted plants. I do hope my Turkestanica looks as good as yours! I will post follow ups, of the living, not the dead. πŸ™‚

  26. Weeping Sore says:

    The first pic of a seed still covering the sprout looks like the new sprout is wearing a cozy woolen mitten. You sure stay busy in this “slow” time of year for most gardeners!

    Hi WS, thanks for visiting. I love seeing the seed casings hanging on, like a mother clinging to her child going away to college, or kindergarten. The fun with seeds keeps me occupied on the days when it is too cold for outdoor work. It seems there are fewer outdoor days this year, or I am turning into a wuss. Or both.

  27. Lola says:

    What a wonderful collection you have. I know you have a place for all of them. I wish I had the room to start my plants like that. Garage is too cold. Utility also. Guess I’ll have to wait.

    Hi Lola, thanks. It is varied. I need to put more thought into the choices now that success can be had. Good luck finding the perfect spot for your set up. Some people use a spare bedroom or closet even.

  28. Rosella says:

    Hi, Frances — love your blog! Your photos are superb, and I have really enjoyed the seed starting series. I started some on Valentine’s Day and they have come oop very well so far but not comes the hard part — keeping them going to the garden! Thanks for a delightful read! (newbie to Blotanical–trying to figure things out!)

    Hi Rosella, thank so much and welcome. And welcome to Blotanical as well. The hard part of seed starting is keeping the things going until they can go outside. And finding room to do it. And light. πŸ™‚

  29. nancybond says:

    It all looks so spectacular, Frances! I can’t get over how large your lettuces are. Kudos to you on having such success already!

    Hi Nancy, thanks. The large lettuce was sown in November. I don’t remember now what made me think to even do that, but will definitely do that with a nice mix of lettuces next year. We have been eating lots of salads from them. Nothing fresher.

  30. Catherine says:

    That’s a lot of seedlings. How rewarding to grow so much from seed!

    Hi Catherine, thanks. It is rewarding and helps make the winter months go by faster too. But germination is only step one. Getting these guys into the garden successfully is the harder part. My failure rate has been high in the past. That is why I started earlier and got the heat mats and lights, to have stronger babies to expose to the brave new world out of doors.

  31. ourfriendben says:

    Frances, you could be enjoying mesclun from those lettuces and baby chard! How delightful to see everyone up and thriving. (Silence is extremely jealous about the comparison to Angelina, btw, though frankly, Brad isn’t her type.) But, er, could you tour us around the greenhouse/sunroom so we could get the big picture? We’re dying to see more!

    Hi OFB, we have been enjoying just those types of deliciousness! Yum. The Angelina comment made my day. HA Now Brad is definitely MY type, but my heart belong to the Financier. To see more of the greenhouse/sunroom look here:

    There is a link to another post, one of my first about the sunroom too, in the above post.

    That should satisfy your curiosity about this wonderful room. HA


  32. Cinj says:

    What a wonderful collection of plants! I can’t wait until it’s warm enough here for me to do some of this stuff. I’m eyeing up some of those heat mats for myself. I hope I can afford some next year.

  33. I’m sitting here in complete awe and envy…you are amazing! I love the complete and utter randomness of your plants…you are going to have so much fun this summer, can come visit. I promise not to bring the camel, lol!!! Kim

    Hi Kim, thanks so much. I am not usually a random type person, quite the contrary in fact, but seed catalogs let my impulsiveness go crazy. I would love for you to visit, don’t call ahead, that way I have an excuse for not having the house clean! πŸ™‚

  34. Pam/Digging says:

    You could supply a nursery with that stash, Frances. Very impressive! It must be a source of pleasure to see everything growing so well even before spring arrives.

    Hi Pam, thanks. It is a few each of a lot of different things. I have made a list of heights and bloom time and color to figure out where they will go in the garden or containers. Many are annuals so finding places for them isn’t a life and death decision, more a close your eyes and point kind of thing. The seedlings are keeping me happy until the weather changes. It is in the teens right now!

  35. chuck b. says:

    And you told me you don’t have room for dahlias! What are you going to do with all that clary sage?!

    I’m esp excited about your ‘Cherry Brandy’ and ‘Milk Chocolate’. I’m growing a sunflower named ‘Claret’ to get some of that red color this year. (Hope it works out.)

    I recommend moving that Cobaea scandens out of the sunlight. That will really slow it down, but it will be just fine.

    Hi Chuck, thanks. I will move the Cobaea, it is now trellised and in a larger pot. The Claret sunflower sounds great. I am going for taller things this year too, they make a better long shot of the garden, and reds. As for the dahlias, I am weakening in my resolve as they flow into the markets here, growing right out of the bags. I do have room in the garden for them, I don’t have room in the greenhouse to get them going. It is well below freezing here right now, snow predicted for the weekend. No way to start having the plants outdoors again. My plan for the sage is in the redesigned heather bed and the gravel driveway bed. I am into mass plantings this year too. We’ll see how it goes. Trial and error, as always.

  36. Kathy in Napa says:

    Such exquisite things are the seedlings- I have a tray of ‘Old Mexico’ Zinnnias and Amaranthus viridus (amoung others) in the garage under lights. I rush home on my lunch hour to check on them as though they were puppies. The rising up of the cotyledon with the seed cover and sometimes the soil still clinging to it is an exciting and miraculous thing, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

    Love your photos-maybe you will share with us what type of camera you use ?

    Hi Kathy, thanks, I wrote about my cameras here and here

    Zinnias are next on my list. Normally sown outside, I want to get a jump start on them this time. The butterflies cannot keep away from them. Seeing the germination of each seed is thrilling every single time, I agree. They are like babies without the crying. πŸ™‚

  37. Katarina says:

    Frances, no doubt you’re a woman with green thumbs! So many seedlings in your sunroom makes me green with envy… That first shot of the newly sprouted Chinese trumpet lily is a stunner!

    Hi Katarina, thanks. Green thumbs come from lots of trial and error! LOL The heat mats and lights have made my efforts look professional though. I hope the plants do as well outside in the garden. Then it will be considered a successful seed sowing year. I was happy with the lily shot, the light was just right. That is always a key component and I need to learn the best times better. It would save a lot of time taking poor shots. πŸ™‚

  38. linda says:

    Wow Frances! I’m very impressed with the fruits(vegetables πŸ˜‰ of your labor! You’ve inspired me to start some greens in the basement greenhouse.

    Hi Linda, thanks. You have the perfect set up. Lettuce is the most rewarding. It germinates easily and grows quickly to eating size under lights. Do it! πŸ™‚

  39. wiseacre says:

    Posts like this almost make me want to start me own seedlings again. But I know better. I’ll soon be headed south to start my garden season and any seedlings left behind would be doomed.

    Hi Silly, it would not be wise to start seedlings and then leave them. They are pretty high maintenance as far as plants go. I didn’t realize you were a southern gardener. Thanks but no thanks for the brush art. πŸ™‚

  40. Jan says:

    Wow, Frances, it looks like you are starting your own little nursery. I can’t wait to see these seedlings planted in your garden; they should look wonderful when full grown.

    Always Growing

    Hi Jan, thanks. It is like my own little nursery. I need to do better with the selections though, these are a bit haphazard. I have never had things germinate like this before, it is the heat mats and lights. I do hope to do a before and after when these babies are in full bloom sometime this summer.

  41. Tyra says:

    My goodness Frances, you have got your own nursery and your babies are looking so healthy and good. I am one very impressed seedaholic! / Tyra

    Hi Tyra, thanks so much. The greenhouse is very cheering right now. I know that you can appreciate a cheerful greenhouse too, with your beautiful one. Seedaholic, that is a great term. HA I just ordered more seeds today. πŸ™‚

  42. Kathleen says:

    You are so far ahead of me Frances. I am just now starting seeds. Its hard to wait, but if I start too early, I just end up with a plethora of lanky seedlings. Your cup and saucer vines are doing spectacularly. I just sowed mine, I’m hoping for similar results. I started mine inbetween moist paper towels this year so we’ll see what happens. Of course I was eagerly scanning for primula veris seedlings but didn’t see them?? I love seed starting ~ so fun. Looks like you’ve mastered the art and your garden will be fabulous because of it (I wasn’t sure it could get any more fabulous???) but it seems so…

    Hi Kathleen,thanks. I am even ahead of myself this year I started so early. The goal is to have larger healthier seedlings when the greenhouse turns into an oven soon as the temps rise all at once. That is the way it works here, super cold to super hot, no in between long leisurely spring. Getting the seedlings ready for that time seems to make sense. There are places for them to sit on the deck with morning sun and protection from hard rains under the glass top table. I have high hopes for the Cobaea, so far it looks great. The Primula veris are in a pot by themselves and away from the sunny windows so didn’t get in any of the shots. They are small but look good. πŸ™‚

  43. Monica says:

    Well, that’s mighty planty! Nothing yet in my winter-sown trays. I love seedlings, but esp. Helenium! πŸ™‚

    HA Monica, thanks. I was thinking about you today as I took the milk jugs to the recycle. They are solid yellow and would not let light in so they would not be good for the winter sowing? They are like little greenhouses and need to be clear I assume? Helenium is a favorite here because my mother’s name was Helen, and that is Helen’s flower. πŸ™‚

  44. Rose says:

    Frances, This looks like the greenhouse at the local garden center/nursery! You should give lessons on seed starting as healthy as your plants look. I do envy you this room–I don’t have a good room with lots of light. I have been eyeing my daughter’s room, however; when she moves out, I think I may have the perfect place for some plants. Not that I’m trying to encourage her to leave the nest or anything:)

    Hi Rose, thanks. That is sort of my goal on a small scale. Healthy stocky plants of a size that can safely go into the garden at the correct time meant that I had to start the seeds much earlier using the heat mats and lights also. Sounds like you already have a plan for the future seed starting at your house too. πŸ™‚

  45. Oh my goodness! What a variety! Looks like you’ll be super busy, I can’t wait to see the spring and summer photos of your garden.
    Happy planting!

    Hi Karrita, thanks. I have been busy, thank goodness for I hate to be idle, taking care of these babies. I am looking forward to showing successes as well as failures. Honesty will be the key word here. πŸ™‚

  46. Jon says:

    Frances, May I call you “Ms. Two Green Thumbs and Ms. Eight Green Fingers”? Nice setup you have there and what a promising and diverse crop of seedlings! You will certainly start the spring planting battle off with a bang as you have plenty of
    ammunition for sure. Happy gardening.

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

    Hi Jon, HA, call me whatever you like! Don’t you find that having green fingers has a lot to do with making the extra effort and educating yourself on what the plants want and need? I like the thought of doing battle in the garden with plants as the ammo too. Great analogy! Thanks for dropping by. Loved the Doggie parade video too. πŸ™‚

  47. Monica says:

    Frances, It was Helen of Troy’s fav flower and is named after her. Containers for WS have to be clear enough to be able to see your thumb through, if you hold it against it. Normal milk jugs are fine, but yellow ones would not be. Dagnabbit, I still need to WS a bunch of tomatoes. I don’t have any more flats, but I do have extra milk jugs from that hand’s on class.

    HA Monica, I guess we are in good company loving them then. Thanks for clarifying that. Our local dairy, Mayfield uses the yellow jugs and that is what we drink by the hundreds of gallons, but their orange juice is in clear jugs so I will begin saving those. I am still ordering seeds too.

  48. Sweet Bay says:

    As others have said, you do practically have a nursery going in your greenhouse! Very impressive. The lettuces look beautiful.

    Hi Sweetbay, thanks. I am trying to duplicate what I see for sale in early spring at the nurseries here. They must start their wares even earlier to have them be so large so early. Oh to have a commercial sized space. Think of what could be grown.

  49. I’m jealous. A proper greenhouse is on my wish list for the future. I’m going to have to give this winter sowing thing a try in the mean time. I could use Bulbarella’s method of collect, scatter and enjoy whatever happens, but I have plant placement issues.

    Hi Christopher, thanks for stopping by. I hope you are out working today for it turned out to be pretty nice, sunny and relatively warm. There is not a cloud in the sky but they are calling for snow tonight! I wish I had a proper greenhouse too, this is just a room with a lot of windows and skylights and a sink. It should not have drywall, as it does, even the green kind. Exterior primer and paint help, but it should have been done right in the first place. I like the winter sowing idea too and will try it next year for some things. Bulbarella is a wise woman, knowing she wouldn’t be there to baby things. HA to your plant placement issues. Is that why things get moved hundreds of times here too? πŸ™‚

  50. Racquel says:

    Your greenhouse plants are really thriving. Looks like you will have a wonderful assortment to add to your garden this year.

    Hi Racquel, thanks. Getting them into the garden without mishap will be the true test if it was worth it or not. It is supposed to keep me from buy so many plants each year, doing seeds instead. So far it is keeping me occupied until the weather warms. Spring will be here soon and I hope the babies can make the transition to the great outdoors.

  51. Monica says:

    I’m all for local dairies. My local fav, Calder’s, uses returnable glass bottles ($1 deposit that you get back when you return it). They also make ice cream. Ahem.

    HA Monica, ahem is right. Just kidding. We used to go to a dairy with glass bottles when we lived in PA, that was the freshest best milk ever. Mayfield is a big deal dairy serving many states and is headquartered in my little town. Now for the best ice cream you have to go to Asheville. πŸ™‚

  52. Brenda Kula says:

    I envy you all the little seedlings! I was in a nursery today and saw orchids. Every time I see one I think of you, of course!

    How nice of you to say that about the orchids, Brenda. And a very happy birthday to you too. I forgot to say how nice it was to see you and your friends, you all looked so happy. The little seedlings gladden my heart everytime I go in that room. They are getting big, almost time to go outside on the deck for a while, if the weather would warm up.

  53. Oh Frances,
    You are so ahead of the game!

    For when spring arrives you will be too busy to even shop for “those potted, well grown specimens that do have a habit of jumping on the cart at the nurseries.”

    And to think… I’ve been patting myself on the back for moving my two trays of tomato seedlings in out of better sunlight each day on the back porch. HA… you, my dear friend, have this system worked out.

    I can’t wait to see them flourishing and in their new homes in your beautiful garden… soon… it really will be sooner than you think.
    Happy day!
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

    Hi Meems, thanks. I hope this early start works out the way I hope it does, with larger healthier plants ready to go into the ground at the right time. Two trays of tomato babies is great. We are so pround of your veggie garden! πŸ™‚ Time marches on! HA

  54. Melanthia says:

    All of that looks so wonderful Frances! I look forward to someday growing half the seeds you’ve got going!

    Hi Melanthia, thanks. It looks like you have quite a few seeds growing yourself! Congrats on that. πŸ™‚

  55. Genevieve says:

    Lovely, Frances! I think the whiskery Clary Sage is the cutest. I’ve been too lazy to start seeds yet – it just doesn’t feel like time, somehow, though I know spring is creeping up on me! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Hi Genevieve, thanks. I am early this year in hopes of larger plants come time to set them in the ground. It heats up here all of a sudden, and stops raining too, which has been the death of many a seedling in the past. We shall see if this works.

  56. Beautiful babies! I love to see what others are growing- I get so many ideas! Happy almost spring!

    Hi Tessa, thanks, so are yours! I have the same problem with critters and have to put defenses around everything while it is small. Chickenwire, both metal and plastic works well and can be reused.

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