Seed packets

Adorable little seed packets, all in a row

Wowza.

Who would have ever thought that it could be nearly 80 degrees in Minnesota on the first day of April?

What a contrast to that April 1st of a few years ago when not only did it snow, but my neighbor’s lighted up reindeer, still not put away from Christmas…nothing short of a crime to those of us who yearn for spring and believe that at least a few efforts to welcome the next season might help spur it along…fell smack dab into the middle of my lawn. It was unfortunately not an April Fool’s Day joke, and I remember thinking that things could not be worse. Those were the days before I discovered Vitamin D3. Those were not pretty days.

Anyway…the boys are on spring break, so Dylan played with his friend Chay and ran around outside this morning while I decided to finally get my seeds started. Jesse was in bed reading, saving up his energy for his important tennis match today. Congratulations to him, by the way; he made the Junior Varsity Tennis Team for Washburn High School!

I say to finally get my seeds started because I had planned to get going in February, then in March, and here I am. Never mind, I tell myself, they will still get a good head start before I put them in the ground. And this is true. I prefer to do annuals this way rather than put the seeds directly into the ground when it is warm enough (in situ, as they call it) because I never know where exactly they will end up. They seem to disappear before they can grow, either because of the wind blowing them away, critters eating them, or a basketball trampling them into oblivion. This way, I can see where they are and watch their progress.

Why do I start seeds? 1. They are cheap. You can produce a lot more plants for a lot less money.  2. You can access a much wider variety of plants for your garden this way. Many things that are not available as plants locally are available as seeds. 3. It’s not hard, but it takes an extra few steps to be successful, so it’s rewarding. I always feel an extra sense of accomplishment when I see that my plants started from seed are flourishing in the garden. 4. I can start gardening much earlier in the season. 5. There are usually lots left over to share with your friends.

So, here are a few photos. I can put the three trays in my office while they germinate, and on warm days I’ll be able to let them get bigger in my mini greenhouses (no, not my kids…it really is so confusing isn’t it?) on the deck. I got said greenhouses for a total of $3 last summer and I’m really looking forward to using them. (Thanks, Tami and Julie.) And at the bottom, photos of how my Hellebore/ Lenten Rose is looking as it opens up. I wish I could have gotten a better picture but I have a point and shoot camera. The real hues are much more saturated. As I told the boys today, when I was hearing for the 100th time that they were bored: I guess you’ll just have to use your imagination.

p.s. My seeds were ordered from Territorial Seeds. Here’s a list if you want to go see photos of what I selected on their web site. I got my seed starting supplies at Gardeners Supply.

FL2039 Alyssum – Wonderland Mulberry Mix
FL2256 Calendula – Neon
FL2268 Cape Daisy – Zulu Prince
FL2395 Cosmos – Psyche Mix
FL2602 Foxglove – Pam’s Choice
FL2666 Grass – Hare’s Tail
FL2705 Hollyhock – Happy Lights Mix
FL2718 Impatiens – Envoy Red
FL2581 White Crane Flowering Kale
FL3016  Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella) -Persian Jewels
FL 3001 Nasturtium – Black Velvet
FL3079 Poppy – Mother of Pearl
FL3315 Sweet Pea – Unwins Butterfly Mix

seed starting scene

Setting the scene

seed capsules

Some of my supplies...my third year using these seed starter sets and they are still holding up great!

mini greenhouses

Mini greenhouses

seed starter

Organic seed starter mix

Hellebore in bloom

Hellebores in bloom

Lenten Rose

A close-up of my Lenten Rose