Branching Out's Seeds and Sprouts

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
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Calendula produces lots of seeds for saving, and while I tend to save and sow the largest ones I have often wondered if the little tiny seeds are viable. About six weeks ago I planted some in a deep pot and they are sprouting just fine. I will plant them in a spot away from the others, so I can see if the plants grow big and healthy.
 

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Branching Out

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Every time I sow pea seeds I think of Pulsegleaner, who suggested that birds like to peck in soil that has been disturbed. So each time I poke pea seeds in the ground I carefully smooth out the soil so nothing looks messed up, and then I carefully firm the dirt in. I also try to cover the seeds with something until they emerge, to make it even more difficult for animals to dig up the freshly sown seeds. These acrylic trays have come in really handy for protecting seeds, and they add a bit of insulation at the same time. I found them in a recycling box a few years ago; not sure what they are intended for, but I love them for germinating seeds.

Finding ways of supporting tall peas is a challenge for me. This patch has some raspberry canes from last year poked in the soil at an angle, sloping towards the hedge. If all goes well the peas will kind of lounge on the canes. 🤞
 

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Branching Out

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I collected asparagus seeds last winter, and sowed them in tall pots outdoors about six weeks ago. What a nice surprise to find several miniature asparagus stalks in the container yesterday. They're so cute! We also saw an adorable frog splashing in the water at the edge of the hoop house.

It's still a bit early for us to start heat-loving annual flowers, but we are going to need to have large patches of them in bloom by mid-June for an important event. Time to get creative. I've been noticing that tons of sunflower seeds are germinating and growing tall and leggy in my low black compost bin even with no light or water-- so I filled a market tray with nice potting mix, scattered some seeds on top, and stuck it inside the compost bin. There are three kinds of flower seeds in the tray: petunia Violet Wild, Cut and Come Again zinnias, and French Farm Mix marigolds. I put a stick and a small shovel handle across the rim of the composter to make a gap for air to circulate, and then added the mesh sides from an old box fan with a piece of acrylic sandwiched in between them. This should create a bright warm environment for the seeds to germinate. It it works this will be my seedling hot bed for the next few weeks. I also placed some marigold and zinnia seeds in the fridge under a damp paper towel to hydrate, and I will sow those seeds later this week.
 

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ducks4you

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One of my mom's 50 year old azaleas died last summer and had to be pulled out. My husband used his pickup truck and long straps to get it out of the ground, resulting in what he called 'a hole big enough to bury someone.' It took him the whole day to hack up the roots and shake the dirt off; he figured the root ball weighed several hundred pounds. Now that it's gone there will be more room for planting beans. ;)
I have made many changes to my landscape. Previous owners built a 4 car garage, which REALLY made the property for DH. On the south side of the garage, which is Course is a great place to grow!, there were 8 yews and they Had to come out. I spent 2 weekends digging down 12-18 inches, and cutting, until I found the tap root of each. I sawed their taproots and they came right out.
Just another way to do it. :cool:
 

Branching Out

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I have made many changes to my landscape. Previous owners built a 4 car garage, which REALLY made the property for DH. On the south side of the garage, which is Course is a great place to grow!, there were 8 yews and they Had to come out. I spent 2 weekends digging down 12-18 inches, and cutting, until I found the tap root of each. I sawed their taproots and they came right out.
Just another way to do it. :cool:
Yes-- there definitely are many approaches, and all are hard work when a mature tree is involved. Our old pick up truck has pulled out a lot of shrubs over the years.
 

Branching Out

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Some of the Sweet Basil seeds that I started April 18th on vermiculite in a propagating dome were ready to prick out today. I used the same small 12-cell tray that worked well for basil in the past; not sure how many I should have per cell, so I did various combinations to see what works best. There appear to be lots more seeds germinating on the vermiculite, so the cup will stay under lights for now and I will remove more seedlings as they mature.
 

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flowerbug

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Every time I sow pea seeds I think of Pulsegleaner, who suggested that birds like to peck in soil that has been disturbed. So each time I poke pea seeds in the ground I carefully smooth out the soil so nothing looks messed up, and then I carefully firm the dirt in.
...
i've always firmed the soil after planting my beans and pea seeds and very rarely does anything bother them.

the exception to that was the edamame soybeans which the chipmunks would hunt down and eat or move. one season i planted three times (three hundred seeds total) and only raised two plants.
 

Branching Out

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My fascination with starting seeds on vermiculite continues. Five days ago I tried placing a bunch of Red Ryder (bush, dry-- thank you flowerbug!) bean seeds on top of vermiculite in a sunny window. At the same time I rinsed more seeds with water, and placed them in a closed cup in the fridge. After several days some of the ones in the fridge plumped up, but many did not hydrate much at all; very erratic results. The seeds placed on the vermiculite were all nice and plump, with a few even showing signs of germinating. Today they are all going in to either soil blocks or small 6-cells, and then once they sprout I'll plant them out. I'm going to try to keep the two batches separated, so I can see if the ones that were in the fridge catch up to those started on vermiculite.
 

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