Getting A Jump On Spring

I am a true addict. I bought a seed-starting kit with a heat mat and sowed a 72 flat of seeds last Friday night. Not that I have anywhere to put the resultant seedlings when spring trundles around, but they are ready for that possibility. I really can't get my old plot back--one too many broken collarbones to take care of it means I forfeited it. I may have a plot available at another garden, but, unfortunately, community gardens aren't able to let in new gardeners so early in the season--they have to wait to see how many of last year's gardeners are returning first.

Anyway, even though it has only been three days (it's last night as I write this), I already have some seeds germinating. Just like last year, the hollyhock and Star of the Veld were the first to pop, but close behind them are the tarragon and--wait for it--Sea Island cotton, seed that Michael Twitty shared with me last year and I didn't have a chance to sow.

Sea Island cotton poking up out of the soil! If I had moved the camera just a smidge to the right, you would also be able to see the Star of the Veld that germinated, but you can't. I'm sorry.

A little baby black hollyhock. I tried growing some in front of Mr. Yogato last year, but the corn took over and they either died or were just completely overshadowed by the vigorous vegetables growing in the same window planter. This year, I'll put these babies in before the vegetables will ever have time to get established.

And, finally, the tarragon. I'm not certain I've ever had tarragon germinate for me. Most herbs, other than, say, basil, chives, cilantro, and sage, refuse to germinate for me. It may have to do with the seed I try to grow or the way in which I try to grow them. Maybe the steady humidity and bottom heat helped--or maybe it's because this is fresh seed from Hudson Valley Seed Library instead of who-knows-how-old seed from my bag o' seeds? I oversowed a lot of cells because so many of my seed packets are a year, or two, or more old, so I am hoping with enough seed in one cell, I'll get at least one healthy seedling!

I sowed the seeds mostly in duplicate cells--so although there are 72 cells, there are only 39 different varieties in the tray (33 duplicates and six individuals).

Want a list? Okay!

  • Olive (c'mon, really? Yeah, I'm trying it from seed. We'll see...)

  • Rosa Bianca eggplant (Hudson Valley Seed Library)

  • Aunt Molly's ground cherry (HVSL)

  • Tarragon (HVSL)

  • King of the North pepper (HVSL)

  • Strawberry spinach (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)

  • French Perfume lavender (Renee's Garden)

  • Little Prince eggplant (RG)

  • Lilium NOID (seed I collected from a tree box lily last year)

  • Forget-me-not

  • Fennel (Botanical Interests)

  • Baby's Breath

  • Queenette Thai basil (RG)

  • Thyme (BI)

  • Mrs. Burn's lemon basil (Seed Savers Exchange)

  • Lemon grass (BCHS)

  • Oregano (BI)

  • Shiso

  • Seasoning celery (RG)

  • Dill (from Washington Gardener seed exchange 2010)

  • Sage (Old Sturbridge Village)

  • Nigra hollyhock (SSE)

  • Salvia splendens (from Washington Gardener seed exchange 2010)

  • Asclepias tuberosa (SSE)

  • Nigella papillosa (SSE)

  • Star of the Veld (SSE)

  • Passion flower (Prairie Moon Nursery)

  • Dr. Carolyn tomato (from Washington Gardener seed exchange 2010)

  • Sea Island cotton (Michael Twitty at Washington Gardener seed exchange 2010)

  • Cowhorn okra (Michael Twitty)

  • Carolina Black peanut (Southern Exposure Seed Exchange)

  • Huckleberry (shared with me via Twitter)

  • Sungold Cherry Tomato (BCHS)

  • "WTF?" (this was seed I had collected on a walk around Rock Creek Park. It looked odd, and it may have come from a tree. We'll see what germinates!) - Only one cell

  • Fennel (from the Washington Youth Garden) - Only one cell

  • White eggplant - only one cell (also shared via Twitter)

  • Zavory habanero - only one cell (from Washington Gardener seed exchange 2010)

  • Thai Dragon pepper - only one cell (from Washington Gardener seed exchange 2010)

  • Bhut Jolokia pepper - only one cell

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5 Responses to Getting A Jump On Spring

  1. Fantastic list! I just finished going thru my inventory of "old seed" and now I'm thinking about making seed bombs with them! Now we have to talk about you spending your Friday night with seed flats and heat mats.... :) I'm one to talk, huh?! - I think I was either sewing, reading, or ordering seeds LOL

  2. I like that you're trying some random seed that you found. Got a pic of the seed?

  3. Erin, Friday night is my fun night. What else would I do with it other than spend it with my plants?!

    Andrew... That would make too much sense, wouldn't it?

  4. I'd love to start seeds already, but I'm out of space to do it AGAIN - a month after moving to a bigger place! *headdesk*

  5. Holy cow - are you supplying Home Depot this year?
    I fear I may have the same number of 'incubatees' as you after all the seeds I got from the seed exchange last week.



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