Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

Seedling watch – week 5 & 6 March 22, 2009

Filed under: Indoor,Seeds,Spring — northernwindowgardener @ 2:09 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Marigold seedlingLots of catching up to do. At least I’ve been doing things, well nature has!

First, a quick review of early March. As you’ll see from the pictures below the seedlings have been coming on really well. As you’ll know if you’ve read any of this blog I have zero experience and therefore no real idea of how things should progess. This is both a blessing and a curse – as ever. Any expectations I have I can quickly rationalise and say “well, obviously I thought wrong”!

Putting that excuse to one side, the seedlings have outperformed my expectations. The Geraniums all seeded and have continued to grow in their 3″ pots in an unheated propagator. The sunny warm conditions have surely helped, as has being able to put them in good light in front of a window .

As I write the winds have returned and are steadily beating down my lovely tulips. The forecast is for cooler temperatures and windy weather for the next week and I’d guess that means cloud and therefore a lot less direct sun. Given how early in the season it is it might not be a bad thing for the seedlings to slow down a little as I don’t expect to be planting them out for another 6 to 8 weeks yet.

Since last time the French Marigold also got transplanted to 3″ pots as did the Asters and Lobelia. Out of ten marigold seeds I only got four seedlings so I planted another five seeds and they’re doing well just now. I’m still not sure how I intend to fill the boxes but I wanted some flexibility and four seedlings just didn’t seem enough, especially if a couple don’t keep going.

The Aster and Lobelia really didn’t work well at all. I got one, maybe two (I forget!) Aster seedlings so I’ve planted another five seeds to try again. After reading about the difficulty in transplanting Lobelia seedlings I didn’t feel so bad about them not germinating (I’m sure I ruined a few by drowing them too when I was watering) but my conscience got the better of me and I’ve planted another five 1″ pots (about three seeds a pot) to have another go. I have a vision of these trailing lobelia flowering generously as they spill over the window boxes so against my better judgement (what judgement, you ask!) I’ve given them another chance.

The Verbena have been as successful as the Lobelia were difficult. I sowed a couple of seeds to a pot and they germinated at least one seedling each. Like many gardeners (from the little I’ve read online) I have a problem thinning out seedlings and only picking the best so every seedling was transplanted, sometimes two to a 3″ pot. I know I may regret this but everything’s a learning experience at the moment and so far they’re going great guns.

So by my reckoning that makes the final scores from the first batch of seeds:

Geranium – 10/10 – one upside-down seedling is looking a bit weak, if still alive!

Verbena – 10/10 – although perhaps 14/20 is more accurate as I sowed about two seeds to a pot.

Marigold – 4/10 – one stringy one which was first to germinate and three sturdier looking specimens.

Lobelia – 2/10 – a pretty sorry looking couple of seedlings as well

Aster – 1/5 – It’s doing quite well though.

Overall – 26/45 – Better than I ever did at school!

Seedling Tray

Geranium and Marigold seedlings in early March

Seedling Tray

The seedling factory a week later


Geranium seedling mid-March


Geranium seedling late-ish March


3 Responses to “Seedling watch – week 5 & 6”

  1. Glo Says:

    Wow! That’s amazing 🙂 I bet you are thrilled to see such healthy growth! Just keep envisioning trailing lobelia and who knows!? Thanks for catching us up on how your plant nursery is doing 😉

  2. Flighty Says:

    Over just fifty percent overall is a pretty good average for growing seeds, so well done.
    They’re looking good and I’m sure that you’ll be well pleased when they’ve grown and flowered. The sense of achievement when they do is priceless!

  3. Folks, thanks for the kind words. I won’t pretend that I’m not chuffed with the results. Or that I don’t look at them every day to check for visible progress! It’s only a matter of time before I start talking to them. Thank goodness I don’t work from home though!

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