Back to the Drawing Board: Sunflower Seed Do-Over

Sunflower Seedlings: Long Gone

Did you see the sweet little photo I posted earlier this week?  It was my celebratory shot of my emerging sunflowers.  If I hadn’t snapped a picture, I’d have thought I imagined the whole thing.  Squirrels, you are my nemesis.

I lived with my discouragement for a few days then tried again.  I transplanted the seedlings I started indoors and planted the last of the remaining seeds in the pots along the deck. I covered some of the seeds with makeshift domes.  The larger dome worked and the three remaining seedlings are okay…for now.  The other “dome” was too light: I caught the squirrel lifting it up right in front of me.  The nerve! What remains: three little stick shaped shoots (photo “unavailable”…ha!).

Happiness arrived today in the form of an email from Botanical Interests entitled Sow Successful.  What timing.  I learned about soaking seeds for faster germination and I learned about Floating Row Covers or FRC.  I’m going to wrap up this post and head to my local garden center now before it closes.  Stay tuned…

In the meantime, you many want to take a look at Botanical Interests In The Garden blog.

Pumpkin’s Progress: Wilted Seedlings, Sagging Ego

First, the clichés:

Never give up hope. It’s not over till it’s over. Don’t give up!  Don’t be discouraged!  Okay…but…

Wilted Pumpkin Seedling

I am discouraged.  We transplanted our pumpkin seedlings Sunday evening into freshly prepared planter boxes.  The process was challenging on two fronts.  First, the seed pods were so close together, that the leaves and stems entangled.  As I gently pulled them apart, several of the stems bent or snapped.  It was disheartening.  Second, the seed pods had to be pushed out from the bottom, instead of scooping out from the top, further damaging the tender plants.  I improved my technique as I went along, so the lower box looks a bit better.

On the bright side, I have a reserve of seeds in all six varieties, so I’ll plant those directly into the bed.  Stay tuned.

Has this ever happened to you?

Lower Box

Volunteer Pumpkin
This seed survived the winter and is doing just fine without my help

True Leaves: Seedlings Ready to Go

Pushing Up Seed Casings

I learned the expression “true leaves” on a gardening forum called I Dig My Garden. True leaves are the second pair of leaves on an emerging plant indicating all systems are go for transplanting outdoors.  I like that expression, and find it far more interesting than my heretofore “second set of leaves” terminology.

Our Burpee Growing System delivered in spades.  We have over 72 pumpkin seedlings ready to go.  I prepped the garden beds a few weeks ago anticipating this day.  The stars have aligned, which is to say dry, warm inviting conditions to launch our pumpkin crop.  Here we go!

“The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies.”
–  Gertrude Jekyll

April 11th: Planted seeds indoors in a Burpee Seed Starting System.

April 18th: Will you look at these adorable sprouts?  What personality!

April 29th:  True Leaves!  So excited…

Kitchen Counter Pumpkin Crops