Sunday, May 02, 2010

May: Planting out the nasturtiums

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Milk jug crammed full of happy nasturtium leaves

Out of nine 'Spitfire' nasturtium seeds planted March 13th, eight germinated; time to sprouting was 20 days. They grew like weeds in their milk jug and I never had to do a thing for them. I am a believer; wintersowing is great!
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I tipped out the soil and found a tangled mess of roots:
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Now I see why people wintersow in individual peat pots! Luckily, the soil was nice and loose and teasing apart the roots wasn't very difficult.

I know I'm pushing the May 15th last-frost date a bit but 1) I'm in the Lake Michigan buffer zone, so am less likely to get frost in May than other parts of Zone 5, and 2) my urban backyard is a warmish microclimate. So, on May 1, I planted my seedlings out:

In the raised garage garden, by the trellis with the barely-flowering,
unmanageable, unkillable clematis...
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In the back of the prairie garden, in heavy, rocky soil, next to the alley fence 
(and another on the alley side, to dress up my trash cans)...
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In the recently top-dressed soil of the prairie garden, amidst downy sunflowers,
under the trellis with the white Henryi clematis...
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In heavy clay soil next to a downspout by the veggie garden...
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And the last two were potted up along with three more seeds because why not? I watered everybody and wished them luck. If they can escape being trampled by the resident beagle, I think they'll do well.

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

7 comments:

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

So glad they worked for you, Diane! I'm the queen of winter-sowing and only 1 of 5 came up for me in the milk jug--and I've never had a problem with them before. I still need to plant mine out...

garden girl said...

Yours look great Diane - nice and compact! Mine are very leggy, having been started in the basement under lights. I'm about to put them outside. I think I'll plant more seeds in the pot, and may even pull out the leggy ones after the new ones sprout if the new ones look better. Mine all sprouted within ten days in the basement, but they're looking pretty spindly.

Xan said...

Mine actually survived a heavy frost; these things seem to be fairly indestructible.

Rose said...

Your nasties look great, Diane! I've been reading a couple other accounts of this project, and so far yours look the best (ssh, don't tell Linda or Monica). I'm so impressed with how well they did in the milk jug. I winter sowed several different seeds in milk jugs, but only one--a sunflower--made it to maturity. Of course, that was more my fault than anything, because I was a little lax on some cold nights.

Your seedlings look very happy in their new homes; looking forward to seeing them bloom!

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

Wow, Diane! Your nasturtiums look GREAT! You're going to have those beautiful things growing all over the place. Can't wait to see when they get big enough to bloom!

thewritegardener said...

That's a good idea to plant yours in various spots around the yarden. It'll be interesting to see how each adapts to their unique spot and which grows best. Maybe they'll all do exceptionally well, that'd be nice.

rambleonrose said...

Isn't winter sowing fun? They look great!