Let the Transplanting begin!

Soil  D had to make the long trip to the city (Indy) so I took advantage of his need by combining it with a trip to the greenhouse supply store on the south side.  He would have preferred to take his SUV with heated seats, but we took my old full-size pick-up so I could get a load of potting soil and propagating mix.  Now the transplanting can begin…..well, as soon as the soil thaws and is up to room temperature, which will take a couple of days after I move some bags to the basement!  But, it certainly makes me feel efficient, and one big step closer to spring.  I haven’t used Sungro before, so it will be interesting to see how it differs from Sunshine or Metro Mix as a seed starting mix.   Flat 1  The seedlings will be relieved to have their own pots soon.  This flat is part of the (2/1) 2nd seeding, and although those baby cippolini in front look tiny, their roots are growing dense and intertwining as are the snapdragons in the center and the blue salvia at the far end.   I was surprised any of the 6 yr. old dwarf dahlia seeds sprouted, but there are 11, which will be plenty for containers.  Growing seedlings in the cool basement is ideal, because the low temperature generates strong root growth and slow top growth.  That’s exactly what we want for healthy plants.  The 1st plantings (1/20 not shown) are even further along, and the 3rd seeding (2/13 also not shown) is germinating nicely, especially the ageratums, although there is no sign of the sweet peas yet.  It was 3 yr. old seed, so we’ll just be patient.  There were a few things that were added to the 3rd seeding late, because the seeds just arrived in the mail:  “White Wonder” feverfew, alpine strawberries, Italian Red scallions and “Zinfandel” purple sweet peas.  The journal lists 39 varieties seeded so far, and things are still right on schedule.

I normally do about 4,000 individual pots a year (now that I’m retired) but I may do a few extra this year.  I’m worried that there will be more losses in the gardens and borders because of the lack of snow cover when the temperatures were -17,-12, -11, etc. and that so much mulch has washed away that roots may have been exposed causing even more perennial death.   I also want to beef up the cutting garden with more plants this year.  And, our garden club has taken on a bed for the community veg garden, so extra plants will be needed for that. Amaryllis blooms  Until the potting soil is thawed, I’m enjoying the first amaryllis bloom of the season, and the FIFTH sunny day of February.  Sunshine is such a treat, especially with snow flurries and freezing on its way again tonight.  And, apparently I missed “National Drink Wine” Day yesterday, so I think a belated celebration is in order.  After dealing with those heavy bags and stairs it will without doubt be deserved!

 

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About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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17 Responses to Let the Transplanting begin!

  1. bcparkison says:

    I think snaow makes the cold easier to get through. We don’t have any . Just cold and wet,wet,wet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cortney says:

    You can have some of our snow if you need it! Seriously, we already have 2 feet with more on the way… at least the plants are insulated?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s snowing here again tonight…it’s nice to have a bit this year-it pushes the reset button & makes it easier to deal with the cold! I didn’t know what to buy for dirt so I bought miracle grow of course….but I need to buy more dirt, perhaps I’ll buy one of the ones you listed and give it a try….we did buy a block of Beats Peat, as per the gardening guy at the hardware store who swears by it in his 20 years of growing…I haven’t tried it yet, I’m a bit unsure if I’m going to love it as much! Congratulations on the soil purchase!! So exciting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s interesting that you buy your propagation mix – even in such large quantities. We’re now trying our own home made (nothing fancy – coir, compost (mostly fine, bought :-)), blood & bone and vermiculite), but some days I think we got better results with the store-bought variety – before we started adding blood and bone, we definitely did… But mind you, it is satisfying to see sprouts come up in your own mix. Hope you continue to have good germination – that’s a lot of plants!

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    • carolee says:

      I’ve made it in the past, but at my age, some tasks just become too much…and good ingredients are difficult to find in this area. I can’t make enough compost….and where to store all the ingredients to keep them weed-free? Commercial products are the best option for me, and reliable. If one has the energy, time, space, etc. it is fine to make it, but for the most part it’s still “store-bought” ingredients. I certainly have no desire to make blood or bone meal!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re right – even if you mix it yourself – it is still all bought “stuff”. I have that same problem – not generating enough (fine, clean) compost. The last thing you want in there are weed seeds germinating all over the place!

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      • I have the same problem – not enough home-made compost and the problem of sourcing, buying, storing and mixing everything else. A friend put me onto a really good potting compost produced here in the UK from bracken and sheep wool, both ‘worthless’ products, in the Lake District. A neighbour and I buy it by the pallet-load delivered which saves us carrying a few bags at a time home in our cars. Even so moving it around the garden certainly deserves a glass (or two!) of wine.

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      • carolee says:

        Good potting soil is such a blessing. I often wonder how earlier gardeners managed. I’m sure much more weeding was involved…the bent over peasant weeder women were essential. And I remember Helen Dillon telling me the reason she got chickens for her Dublin gardens was a batch of “composted manure” she bought that ended up killing hundreds of her established plants. It is really hard to control what comes into your gardens.

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  5. Yes, a belated celebration is in order, and I tip my glass to you. How ambitious you are! I know you’ve scaled back, but still.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Leah Busch says:

    Carolee, this is completely unrelated but I was given your info as a source to a ‘lost’ artemisia. I am looking for info on Artemisia ‘Peach’. It is comparable to Silver King but has larger flower/seed heads–would be awesome for cutting. Teresa said she purchased from you nearly 20 years ago?
    Any help would be appreciated!

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    • carolee says:

      Yes, I had “Peach” artemisia and it was really great to work with both fresh and dried. Unfortunately, it died out during an exceptionally wet winter, so I have none left. Hope you can find it again!

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  7. I am envious of your formal garden and load of potting mix. Best wishes on the 2019 season, Karen

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    • carolee says:

      Took me 40 years of hard work to get it, but it is certainly my love and passion. Transplanting is on hold until I can move plants to the greenhouse to make some space in the basement!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know that feeling! I finally got a larger greenhouse (hoop) after 30years. Built a couple years ago and my first year in it was a challenge. Literally. My husband made me an offer I could not refuse, said if I sold x amount of flowers he would build me another one. We have a 100×100 standing hoop, but never in 20 years have we got the end walls on it or plastic and what happens to me on the first season of use on the smaller one, I land in the hospital and well, let us just not talk about those hospital bills! I am in the midwest and barely have a seed started for this season. Thank you for visiting my blog, wishing you a great gardening season.

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      • carolee says:

        Wow! That’s a big hoop house. My commercial greenhouses were all 62′ x 108′. Hope you haven’t had to be in hospital since then…and that it wasn’t a garden related injury!!!! There’s still plenty of time for seed starting, especially this year. Spring is definitely later than usual, and we’ll probably jump right into summer!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. LOL! Oh my, my bad, that was supposed to say 100×25! I wish we had it done by now, but it is what it is! Well, pay me a visit at my blog sometime again and I will have more on it as I get the chance. Enjoy the day!

    Liked by 1 person

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