Today’s Transplanting

Anticipating that the first of the plants will be moved from the basement to the greenhouse soon, I transplanted more flats even though they had to go in awkward places here and there.  With all the “regular” growing space totally filled, the only criteria now is LEVEL!  I’ve learned over the years that seedlings actually appreciate a day or two of dim light or darkness after transplanting.  It must be exhausting and traumatic for them, requiring a rejuvenating nap afterwards.  So, several more flats were added, bringing the current total to 1,520.  What did I transplant?  Here’s the highlights.

feverfew_White_Wonder  Most of today’s babies are destined for the Cutting Garden, and include four favorites.  The first is “White Wonder” feverfew, that stalwart that produces clusters of double white daisies on durable stems.  It’s one of those lovely plants that always looks tidy; isn’t normally bothered by insects or eaten by critters.  It’s long-lasting in a vase and even dries nicely for winter arrangements and wreaths.  Sixty-four of the larger plants were transplanted today, about half of the seedlings that are growing.  The other half will be transplanted when they are larger.  Once they are planted into the garden, I’ll pinch out the top of about half of those plants so they will not only bloom a bit later than the unpinched plants, but they will immediately form more side branches.  I like the side branches, which are normally a bit smaller and slightly curved because they just fit into floral arrangements to much easier than the stiff, straight, bigger central stems.  If you don’t grow it, you should because it goes with everything!

Rud Chim The second batch was sixty-four Rudbeckia “Chim-Chimnee,” which is absolutely essential to summer bouquets.  I’ve raved about them before several times, mainly here.  Normally I have lots (but never too many!) because they return, but with this hard, hard winter without any snow cover, I’m worried they will be missing.  They are so outstanding in the garden, and such a great cutting flower that I can’t be without them.  They just bloom and bloom.

ageratumblherizonlarge  Next were thirty-two tall ageratum “Blue Horizon.”  These small powder-blue powder puffs in clusters atop stiff stems are lovely, and more tolerant of dry conditions than some cut flower plants.  Normally one sees the little dwarf ageratum for sale (and I transplanted ninety-six of those as well today!) but “Blue Horizon” is a tall variety bred for cutting.  While blue is not my favorite color, I use it in the gardens because it goes so well with all my beloved apricots and oranges.  Blue ageratum, white feverfew, and the rudbeckias are a perfect bouquet just as a trio, but add a vertical, like blue salvia or liatris and it’s even better.

salvia blue bedder  “Blue Bedder” salvia is my favorite salvia, although I’ve grown all of the others and many are quite nice, too.  I like “Blue Bedder” because it is taller, with longer stems and so much better for cutting than “Victoria” unless you are doing short bouquets or nosegays.  All the pollinators love it, and it just keeps blooming as long as you keep cutting.  Thirty-two of those were transplanted, which is about half the number growing.  Again, there normally is plenty already in the gardens, but I’m worried about winter kill with the salvia, too.  I’ll transplant the rest later when I have more space.

Now, if I’m wrong and there are plenty of survivors in the gardens, then I already have an alternate plan.  You recall my reluctance to cut flowers from the gardens, which resulted in the establishment of a designated Cutting Garden.  Then, I like that  pretty, sloped rectangular “bouquet” just beyond the potager’s back fence so much, that once again I hated to cut the flowers.  This winter I’ve been looking at the back two berry rows.  I have no clue why, but the red raspberries are just not doing well.  They’ve been in the ground (fall ones and summer ones) for three years now and are barely there.  Tha’t a lot of “wasted” space for all they work, water, and fertilizer it gets so I’m going to fill the space between the pathetic berry plants with excess cutting flowers.  1:  It will utilize good space, 2:  I think I will actually be able to cut flowers there without guilt  3: It makes running the drip hose more worthwhile and  4: It may make those raspberries get the message that they’d better up and doing something or they’re being replaced!

Transplanting certainly makes me feel like we’re moving forward (and I don’t just mean the stupid clocks!) toward the true gardening season.  Plus, we actually have sunshine today, the third so far this month!  Things are improving, kids, to just hang in there.  Someday soon, there WILL be crocus, I promise!  Meantime, I’m out to enjoy this sunshine by cleaning the greenhouse, moving the new heater in, and setting up the digital thermometer in preparation of moving those plants…maybe tomorrow!

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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11 Responses to Today’s Transplanting

  1. So exciting to hear about your adventures! Always nice to learn something new! We managed to get some sun also, I brought out a few seedlings to soak up some sun. I think I could hear them giggling!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bcparkison says:

    Your garden is going to be beautiful. Can’t wait to see.

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  3. BrassMermaid says:

    What sort of a set up does one need to grow seedlings in the cellar? Do you heat the cellar at all? We only have small, simple gardens that we buy seedlings for and/or direct-plant the seeds in the spring. I’ve always thought it would be nice to start our own seedlings but I’ll admit I have not done much research. We were thinking of building a small greenhouse. What advice could you give?

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    • carolee says:

      Our basement is heated but we keep it at about 50-55 degrees. I have a home-made light stand that can hold 20 “10-20” flats (that’s 32 plants in each) There’s also an 8′ x 4′ bench I moved over from the farm greenhouses. I’ve added two shelves with lights in another room that hold 4 flats each and that’s it. Small greenhouses (anything under 15′) are harder to manage than larger ones, in terms of regulating heat (both in too hot and too cold!) The smaller they are the harder it is. Read my greenhouse posts on insulation. It certainly has not worked as I expected, as serves it’s purpose minimally and for a very SHORT time for such a large investment. Not sure I would do one again, except it looks pretty! If you get a greenhouse, an automatic vent is a MUST, otherwise you must be there 24 hours a day or plants will fry or freeze!

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      • BrassMermaid says:

        Fantastic information! I never knew that smaller greenhouses were harder to regulate, but it makes perfect sense. I’ll be sure to find that post and read it. I have a lot of research to do before we decide if we want the cellar setup or the greenhouse. Thanks a bunch for you advice and expertise! 👩🏻‍💻

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      • carolee says:

        You are welcome. Have a great season.

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  4. March Picker says:

    I’ve taken note of your favorites, Carolee! I know that’s a lot of work (and loads of soil). Please tell me, should I pinch back young salvias I’m growing like you have with your feverfew?

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    • carolee says:

      No, the salvias will keep growing and blooming right up until frost if faded blooms are picked. The feverfew generally has one big flush of bloom (like phlox or monarda) and then a few side blooms, so by pinching some to make them later, it spreads out the bloom over a longer period of time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bonnie Carrell says:

    As usual, great information. Love the colors of these plants. I’ve always ended up with the old feverfew that spreads like crazy and impossible to control outside of a container, at least for me. I may have to give this one a try. Love the look. The Oxeye Daisy has always been my fav. white flower. My mom asked me what I wanted in my wedding bouquet and I told her “Anything as long as there are white daisies in there! I also was not aware of the cutting of the salvias making the plants bloom longer. Like that idea. You are such a good teacher.

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    • carolee says:

      My best friend Beth loved white daisies and carried them in her wedding bouquet as well. I miss her greatly and was thinking of her when I ordered the seeds. Hope they grow…no sign yet. I don’t think the double-flowered feverfew do spread like the common ones, as is often the case with doubles…more petals, less seed.

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