What are you planting "new to you" this year?

Branching Out

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Sometimes I grow 'new' seeds of plants that I have never even seen before, and it is an adventure. Flax is one of those plants for me this year. The seeds of perennial Golden Flax that I sowed have not germinated yet, however the annual flax seeds took off running and they are very pretty seedlings. The seeds were sown on February 20th, and the gold and the scarlet germinated in just 5 days. The blue is a bit slower, with some signs of life at 5 days and certainly slow growth compared to the other two. This photo shows annual Gold Flax on the left, Blue Flax in the middle, and ornamental Scarlet Flax on the right. They are all in 3/4" mini-soil blocks; I am thinking of bumping them up to small paper pots, so I can start to harden them off outdoors.
 

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heirloomgal

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Sometimes I grow 'new' seeds of plants that I have never even seen before, and it is an adventure. Flax is one of those plants for me this year. The seeds of perennial Golden Flax that I sowed have not germinated yet, however the annual flax seeds took off running and they are very pretty seedlings. The seeds were sown on February 20th, and the gold and the scarlet germinated in just 5 days. The blue is a bit slower, with some signs of life at 5 days and certainly slow growth compared to the other two. This photo shows annual Gold Flax on the left, Blue Flax in the middle, and ornamental Scarlet Flax on the right. They are all in 3/4" mini-soil blocks; I am thinking of bumping them up to small paper pots, so I can start to harden them off indoors.
I had no idea that you could start flax indoors. I might try that. Last year I grew both Scarlet Flax and Blue Flax in window boxes. I was shocked how differently they performed, I thought it was the same plant with just different flowers. I harvested all the seeds from the scarlet plants and didn't get even a single blue flower! Even the foliage was rather different with the blue flowering plants being more delicate. I haven't done any research but I'm thinking there are more significant differences between them than just the flower colours.
20220802_154531-jpg.50984
 

Eleanor

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Sometimes I grow 'new' seeds of plants that I have never even seen before, and it is an adventure. Flax is one of those plants for me this year. The seeds of perennial Golden Flax that I sowed have not germinated yet, however the annual flax seeds took off running and they are very pretty seedlings. The seeds were sown on February 20th, and the gold and the scarlet germinated in just 5 days. The blue is a bit slower, with some signs of life at 5 days and certainly slow growth compared to the other two. This photo shows annual Gold Flax on the left, Blue Flax in the middle, and ornamental Scarlet Flax on the right. They are all in 3/4" mini-soil blocks; I am thinking of bumping them up to small paper pots, so I can start to harden them off indoors.

Perhaps the Golden Flax needs vernalization as is typical with perennial flowers?
 

Eleanor

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I had no idea that you could start flax indoors. I might try that. Last year I grew both Scarlet Flax and Blue Flax in window boxes. I was shocked how differently they performed, I thought it was the same plant with just different flowers. I harvested all the seeds from the scarlet plants and didn't get even a single blue flower! Even the foliage was rather different with the blue flowering plants being more delicate. I haven't done any research but I'm thinking there are more significant differences between them than just the flower colours.
20220802_154531-jpg.50984

The Blue Flax is most likely Linum usitatissimum while Scarlet Flax is Linum grandiflorum which probably explains the different characteristics.
 

Branching Out

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Perhaps the Golden Flax needs vernalization as is typical with perennial flowers?
While I have sown a few
I had no idea that you could start flax indoors.
I am starting to think that most seeds can be started indoors, although many cannot remain indoors for very long. Annual Golden Flax would likely fall in to that catagory, given the speed of their growth. For me, these soil blockers have been such a game changer for getting these small seeds going indoors with almost no soil. Last year I was purchasing bags of soil almost weekly; this year I think I am on only my second $8.99 bag, and I have sown thousands of starts in 3/4" blocks. If I can get the timing right, in theory the seedlings would be indoors for just 2-3 weeks, and then get planted straight out to the garden in the 3/4" blocks.
 

heirloomgal

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That's pretty incredible to have sown thousands with only 2 - 8.99 bags. Is there a reason you don't buy a Pro-mix bale? Maybe you wouldn't need so much now that you have the blocker?
 

Crealcritter

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Not really new but very limited success in the past. I'm going to try califlower again. It gets to warm here fast. So I went with a quick maturing F1 this time called snow king (50 day). It's just coming into its first true leaf, I'll wait for another leaf or two before I start hardening it off.
IMG_20230305_231757272~2.jpg


Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤️🇺🇸
 

Branching Out

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That's pretty incredible to have sown thousands with only 2 - 8.99 bags. Is there a reason you don't buy a Pro-mix bale? Maybe you wouldn't need so much now that you have the blocker?
It in indeed incredible, and in fact I use both the large bale and also the small bags of ProMix, for different applications. I have the large ProMix bale, along with a bulk bin of composted manure and compost for making soil mixes for bumping up the seedlings to cell packs or 3-4" pots. Those big bales of ProMix are very cost effective too, at about $50 or so-- but I think that product is too coarse for the tiny 3/4" blocking tool. I buy the HP bale (high porosity), and it has a ton of perlite in it.

The $8.99 bags that I was referring to are the finer textured ProMix Premium Potting Mix that I sift for making the mini soil blocks, and it is astounding how many blocks you can make with such a small amount of potting soil. Last year I was running to the store on a regular basis to pick up more bags of that stuff; I saved the empty bags, and there was a big stack of them by the end of spring. I suspect that I will save $100 a year in potting soil just by using this tiny soil blocker to start small seeds. So far I cannot find this fine-textured product in a larger format; if I could, a half bale would be perfect. You have got me thinking though. Maybe I will pick up one of the other ProMix potting soils that is available in a half-bale format-- to see if I can find one with a texture that is appropriate for little blocks.

Today I made a list of things to do, and number one on the list is to make large soil blocks to start lots of sweet peas, shelling peas, and a few chick peas. Those large 2" soil blocks will be made with the coarser, grainier ProMix from the inexpensive large bale. :)
 

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