Thursday, April 01, 2010

April: Seed GROW project

I am excited to be participating in the GROW project this year with many other bloggers! The seeds were generously provided by Renee's Garden; the selected plant is the 'Spitfire' climbing nasturtium. I've never grown nasturtiums before and I rarely grow anything from seed because spring also is my busiest time with work/school obligations. Still, surely I can keep a few seedlings alive and healthy this year!

I have been gardening at this house for 15 years now but wintersowing is still an entirely new concept to me. Thanks to Monica and Kylee, I think I now have the basics down, and the GROW project is a perfect place to try it out. I started pretty late; I planted on March 13 when it was in the 50s and hardly "winter" in Chicago anymore. Still, the nights get cold and I fully expected more snow and bitter cold (and I was right!).

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I washed a gallon milk jug, cut it in half, and punched holes in the bottom with an awl.

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I then filled it with about two inches of potting soil. I use Miracle Grow potting mix with some perlite mixed in, and moisten it well in a bucket. I planted nine nasturtium seeds to a depth of an inch, covered the seeds, sealed the jug with duct tape, labeled it and set it outside.

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I have lots of seeds left over, and some of those will be planted directly in the garden after the last-frost date of May 15.

As of April 1, no sign of seedlings yet.

"I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee's Garden for the seeds."

11 comments:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm trying the milk jug method too, only my jug is much smaller. I've got some seeds sprouted in it (can't remember the name), but the Angelica gigas seedlings have done nothing. Was I supposed to keep the bottle cap?

Diane said...

No, the caps should be off; I left mine on at first b/c was paranoid about the temperatures, but it's been off for a week or so now. Still no sprouts!

garden girl said...

It's going to be fun comparing notes with everyone who's participating in this!

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

I think the cap needs to be off to promote proper aeration of the soil. I'm not too familiar with winter sowing, but I thought nasturtiums needed warm temperatures to germinate? Maybe that's why yours haven't sprouted? I'd think that after 17 days, they would have sprouted.

Colleen said...

I haven't wintersown nasturtiums, but I wouldn't worry too much about not seeing sprouts yet. One of the things I love about winter sowing is that things just seem to sprout when the time is right. Once the weather is consistently warm, I'm sure they'll start sprouting -- I'll have to try winter sowing them next year -- I always start my nasturtiums indoors, and wsing would save me some room, for sure!

Xan said...

My wintersown ones popped up just yesterday. MMD-- if you use the narrower jugs, you may want to think about propping them up with bricks, or sinking them into the dirt a little ways. I've found the smaller ones get knocked over by the wind.

Diane said...

I checked yesterday and there were two seedlings up, so it took about 20 days. Hooray!

Mr Brown Thumb said...

It is cool that you learned a new method of seed starting. Congrats on the new seedlings.

Shady Gardener said...

I should have done this, too! Looks great! :-)

Tamara Jansen said...

Wow! That takes a lot of determination :) No wonder we've never grown nasturtium in the greenhouse!

Thank You Gifts said...

I have never seen this method before! I am going to have to try it out. Thanks for sharing!