First seeds sown indoors in 2021!

The first indoor seeding for 2021! Doesn’t look like much now, but it’s filled with magic!

Despite my resolve to put off starting seeds indoors, thus avoiding daily trudges up and down stairs, I suddenly realized that if I want blooms this year, the lisianthus must be seeded. I’ve only tried growing it once before, with only minimal success. It’s an extremely slow-growing crop that first of all may take 20 days to just germinate, and then takes months from seeding to even reach a transplanting to small pot stage. As a crop, it just didn’t fit into my commercial greenhouse production (temperatures, time, space) well enough to be profitable and by the time it finally looked presentable enough for customers, the main buying season had long passed. However, now that I’m just growing plants and flowers for my own enjoyment and not profit, the catalog photos tempted me to give it another go. Plus one of my goals this year is to actually make at least a weekly bouquet from my rather neglected Cutting Garden and lisianthus is an absolutely gorgeous, VERY long-lasting cut flower.

Lisianthus “Super Magic Apricot,” a beauty worth climbing up and down the stairs for!

Of course, once that course was set, there might as well be a full flat of seeds sown, rather than just one row, to help justify plugging in the heating mat. So the seed box and “first seeding” list was carried downstairs, along with the “Indoor Seeding Journal.” Some years, I’ve started seeds as early as November, and one year because of travels, as late as mid-February. This year, the end of January or first of February had been the plan, but the seed-starting bug has bit and the 2021 season is officially launched!

Added to the flat were 1) collected seeds of one of my very favorite perennials, “Gold Moss” feverfew. More about it in an upcoming post. 2) Shasta daisy “Silver Princess,” because I found an old packet of seed in the bottom of a box and want to see if it’s good! 3) Sweet fennel, another outdated packet so if it works, great! If not, there’s plenty of time to plant fresher seed. 4) Hollyhock “White,” saved seed from the one that bloomed under the Lady Cottage windowbox last summer. I need more for the Addition Garden! 5) Gaillardia “Arizona Sun,” again saved seed. I love this plant because it blooms from early summer through to frost if I clip off those cute seed balls. However, it seems to be a short-lived perennial only lasting about 3 years, so I always need to start more. Surprisingly, it does seem to come “true” from saved seed, as I’ve done this for several years. With an early start like this, it will bloom yet this year. 6) Lavender “Blue Spear” finishes up the flat, the seeds having just arrived in the mail in timely fashion!

The feverfew and shasta require light to germinate, so they were planted at one end and a light placed nearby. The rest of the seeds were covered. And suddenly, I find myself looking forward to making that trip downstairs to look for signs of life!


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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16 Responses to First seeds sown indoors in 2021!

  1. juliejdonaldson says:

    It is a beautiful flower! Much success in growing the Lisianthus this season!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The lisianthus does look like it is worth going up and down stairs for! Have fun watching those seeds germinate! I start with chillis but not till Feb.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. March Picker says:

    So much to look forward to! All my seed starting begins this week as well — complete with hikes to and from the garden shed, so I can understand, Carolee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      But it’s a beautiful hike, down your slope, through the rose garden and you probably need to go anyway to tend your chicks. I love your spacious garden shed. What are you starting first?


      • March Picker says:

        I’m starting anemones and ranunculus in trays today! Lupines, delphs, and scabiosa will be next.I feel so ready, Carolee, and just bumped up the heat in the shed and set out my heating mats yesterday. Hope all your endeavors are showing growth!


  4. woollee1 says:

    Seed planting is so hopeful. Thanks for this Carol.

    Lee Towle


    Liked by 2 people

  5. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Growing is addictive! I had to giggle when, after you posted about seeding outdoors to avoid the stairs for a while, I read the title! Glad you are enjoying seeing signs of hope for a new season – we all need to be able to look forward at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. At times I wish I were set up to start seed indoors. I have a basement, but no lights, heat mats, related accoutrements. I will have to wait until closer to when I can actually plant seedlings out. I do start seeds in biodegradable egg carton, but not to extend the growing season, so much as to prevent squirrel damage. I find the little beasts love to dig in the garden and pay no mind to my carefully planted seedlings. I basically cut a section of bunny fence, and I lay it down so that lettuce, spinach, kale and chard grow up through the holes. To transplant, I just tear each section off the egg carton and plant the whole thing. It seems to foil the squirrels pretty well. Bunnies leave my garden alone for the most part, as long as the beans are fenced in.

    Liked by 2 people

    • carolee says:

      I’ve tried egg cartons, but the time limit in them before needing to go into either a larger pot or into the ground just doesn’t work for my growing routine, so I give them to friends who do like to use them. Squirrels and bunnies are a problem here always early on in the season, but not as much trouble as raccoons and deer.


      • It is true – the egg carton seedlings need to be in the ground about 10 days after planting at most. We do not seem to have racoons nor deer in my neighborhood, mostly just the squirrels. The bunny population is somewhat kept in check by some local hawks. In the four years I have lived here, for whatever reason, the bunnies are only interested in the beans.


      • carolee says:

        My bunnies are totally frustrating, mainly because they just clip off dozens of zinnias and other flowers about an inch from the ground, and then just leave the plant lying there. I wouldn’t mind so much if they were hungry and needed to eat the plant, but they will go through an entire section of the potager’s border and clip off every zinnia, aster, etc. And, then they have the audacity to move on to the Cutting garden!


  7. Pingback: January: Monthly review | herbalblessingsblog

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