Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Petunias-Watering, Week 5

Is it spring yet?

Not exactly.  But there are signs.

In the fall, I brought in a flower pot that had been decorating the patio all summer.  I fill these pots with some type of spiky greenery, petunias, geraniums, salvia and daisies.  This pot was in a corner of the basement and my husband noticed it coming back to life!  The salvia began pale green because it didn't have enough light.  So we put it near the grow lamp and now it's blooming.  I love those types of surprises.

This is week 5 of my petunia project.  As you can see, the sprouts are growing on the earliest seedlings I started.  They're green and healthy and getting more leaves.  But I'll repeat again that I prefer planting in peat pots rather than trays.  I lost so many of the plants to thinning.  I did manage to transplant a few and they're still alive a few days later.  But I wouldn't suggest it.  Usually at this stage, they're too tender and fragile to survive disruption.

Also...  ONE, yes, ONE blue petunia is popping up in that big tray.  One out of the whole packet of seeds.  I'll be tending that sprout with extra care.

I also want to discuss watering this week.  With the sprouts growing more each day, I can't let them become completely dry.  By BFF and her daughter were coming for a visit.  Her ten-year-old likes to plant and tend with me.  So I let the plants go an extra 12 hours so she could help me water them.  The tallest sprouts became dehydrated and started to droop.  I was afraid I would lose a few.  But we hydrated them and the next morning they were healthy again.  I've found the best method for petunias is to place the peat pots in a flat tray--I use foil pans--and water from the bottom and spritz from the top.  Even when the soil is moist and I don't need to water from the bottom, I spritz gently twice a day from the top.

I'm pleased with the progress and grow rate this year.  I might have enough petunias for a path border.  But these little plants have a long way to go.

More next week.

©2010 Karen Rose Smith

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