Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Strong Sprouts, Gardening As Therapy, Week 8

What's blooming in our garden now

I am a writer.  So I see the world through those glasses.  After I write a rough draft, I have to edit.  Editing can take weeks and is so important to the whole creative process.  I see this phase, week 8, of raising flowers in our garden as an editing process.

Every morning and evening, I check the plants to make certain their soil is moist.  I continue to thin as more than one sprout might pop up in a peat pot.  Something really interesting happened with that this week.  This is the first year I've grown impatiens and I thought they might be hard to grow.  I had thinned a few and sometimes I just drop those "extras" into the tray that collects extra water from the pots.  Well, the next morning a few of those impatiens baby sprouts were still alive and well!  I'd pulled dirt with the sprout and they were laying in a low puddle of water.  Since they'd so vigorously survived, I replanted each one in a peat pot.  Three days later, they are still growing strong.  Sometimes these tender plants are heartier than we give them credit for.

Also during this time, I'm filling in pots with more soil.  One reason I water from the bottom and spritz on the top is so the soil doesn't erode.  Now the sprouting plants are growing taller and need more support.  As soon as they grow three to four leaves, I will transplant them into the next size pot.  Tomatoes might go through this process three times.  I save quart size yogurt containers and poke holes in the bottom and sides as well as using plastic pots I've collected over the years.

The earliest petunias are already larger than those that I usually buy at the garden center.  Each has plenty of room for the roots to elongate and spread.  I'm looking forward to them budding.  The two blue plants definitely haven't grown as well and do not look healthy.  They are miniscule compared to the purple and yellow plants.  Some seeds just don't germinate to their hoped potential.  I had a 75-80 percent grow rate on the purple and yellow seeds.

The geraniums are starting to form their third leaves.  The "Violet," "Elite Pink," and "Apple Blossom" varieties have pushed up the best.  The "Ice Rose" hybrid doesn't seem to be germinating as well but it could merely be slower.   Below I've included a 16 oz. water bottle in the photo to give size perspective.  The petunia is the tallest.  In front of that is a Marianna's Peace tomato and to the left is an "Apple Blossom" geranium.

With the heirloom tomatoes, Marianna's Peace and Carmello are the first and hardiest to spring up.  I've planted others in stages and will give you reports on them as they grow.  My husband is already counting how many neighbors we can give plants to!

Until next week...

© 2012 Karen Rose Smith


KRS said...

I had a comment by Kat about rose planting and it disappeared! I love roses. We just planted a "Paul McCartney" and another that's yellow and pink. I have seven bushes that require a lot of care. But I love them and I bring them in whenever they are blooming.

KRS said...


There is that feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment when you see your plants grow. Like for me, when I do rose planting, and see how colorful, healthy and vibrant the flower will become it gives me a sense of peace.