Seed-starting Success

The Spring seed-starting season is over. I’m happy with the results. Lessons learned from previous seasons made a difference.

Over-planting has long been a problem. Yeah, I plant too much–that’s just my style. I like mass plantings.

Growing too much causes problems. I quickly run out of room under lights and in the coldframe. Planting tiny seedlings too early is counterproductive. Most don’t grow until the soil warms up.

Poor vision, a bad memory, and the lack of planning too often cause more problems. I sometimes mistake tiny seedlings for weeds. Planting on top of tiny seedlings planted earlier is common. Many get crowded out.

This year, I vowed to wait for warmer weather and seedlings big enough to see without trouble. I started the same number of varieties as last year, but fewer seeds of each. Some varieties were planted directly in the garden rather than started early indoors.

Planning to hold seedlings longer meant using bigger containers. Instead of 72-cell flats, seeds went into 32- and 36-cell flats or 4-inch pots. At least one of everything came up. Failures were from seed I’ve had for years.

As part of my plan to avoid over-planting, I didn’t plant any cold-hardy annuals last fall. Spring flowers have been few and far between this year. Avoiding garden centers to keep from buying more has been the hard part.

Except for still tiny Canterbury bells, foxgloves and an ornamental grass, everything has been planted. Most of the direct-sown seed has come up. Once everything is up, I’ll hit garden centers to fill any empty spots.

Although my flower beds look bare, there’s not much space left. Individual plants have room to grow. I’m anxious to see how well areas fill in over the next six weeks or so. I’ll keep you posted. As always, thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.