perennial seed starting update 5.20.2021

Last fall, I collected seeds from and started several types of perennials. The containers of planted seeds stayed outside all winter, and I opened the tops of the containers when the weather got warm enough this spring.

The containers sat all winter in one of my raised garden beds. This photo was taken March 1, 2021.
And one week later, on March 8. The big snow melted fast!
Once it got warm enough, I opened the container tops and bent them back so more sun could reach the babies.
I cut the tops off most of the containers in April.

Here’s a report on how the seeds fared:

  • Orange (native) Columbine – lots of babies have appeared!
  • Purple Columbine – about 12 seedlings have sprouted.
  • Thalictrum – maybe 1? Its too early to tell if any of the seedlings coming up are Thalictrum.
  • Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) – don’t see any, but I’m not sure what’s a weed and what’s Indian Grass.
  • Coneflower “Cheyenne Spirit” – doesn’t look promising but I’ll let whatever’s sprouted grow for awhile before I decide.
  • Coneflower, White – another one that doesn’t look promising.
  • Lupine – two lupines are growing:)
  • Silene – lots of babies!
  • Purple and White Columbine (seeds saved from 2018) – nothing.
  • Early Sunflower or Oxeye (Heliopsis helianthoides) from a free seed packet I received from Prairie Moon Nursery – again, it doesn’t look promising and I don’t think any of the seedlings look like Oxeye, but I’ll wait for awhile longer before I decide for sure.

All of the successful seedlings are quite small right now, and if I transplant them in to my garden now, they’ll be lost amid the big plants already growing. So I’ll continue to grow them on in pots for a few more months, and hopefully transplant them into their final homes in the dirt this fall.

Orange (native) Columbine
Silene
Lupine amidst plants I don’t want

In other garden news, I had to move one of my two small raised beds because I’m getting a kiln and the kiln vents directly over one of the beds. Chemicals burning off from clay and glaze is probably not the best for food I intend to eat, so the bed had to be moved.

The raised bed to keep and revise is on the left, and I’ve got bricks ready for the new walls. The raised bed to empty is on the right.
I moved most of the dirt from the bed in the foreground to the bed in back. Then I planted a couple packets of wildflower seeds that my daughters gave me for Mother’s Day in the leftover rectangle of dirt:) You can see the vent for the kiln at the bottom of the garage siding.
Here’s the newly revised bed in progress. I have a little less raised bed space than I used to, but that’s okay. My yard doesn’t get enough sun for many vegetables to thrive, anyway. I’ll move the tulips in the middle to the edge of the bed. They bloom beautifully every year, then die back to make way for veggies:)
Here I am in the new bed! I still need to add some bricks and finish the area where I’m standing, but I’m off to a good start. Also, my husband did a lot of the heavy lifting, and I’m lucky to have a partner who’s willing to help me with the grunt work:)
Still a few bricks needed along the edges, but it’s basically finished. The tall blue structure is my tomato cage, with a tomato planted at each of the 4 legs. I’ve got tomatoes, beans, sweet peppers, carrots, basil, nasturtium, and zinnia planted in this bed.

My garden is green and growing. I hope yours is, too!

3 thoughts on “perennial seed starting update 5.20.2021

  1. Isn’t it amazing how much one can grow in a small space. What kind of potting soil did you use in your jugs, or did you just dig soil from your garden…if so, that would explain why there are so many weeds inside your jugs.

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    1. Hi Carolee, I dug the soil from my raised beds so you’re correct, that’s probably where the weeds came from:)

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