Horticulture Toys

I bought this Burpee seed starting kit at Cosco last spring and never used it. I generally reuse the deep plastic containers from the grocery store that hold all those easy salad fixings. It helps assuage my guilt if I reuse them as miniature greenhouses for seed starting, but I found this in the garage the other day and put it to work.

It is kind of like a toy for gardeners! Each little planting cell had a pellet in the bottom and when you add warm water, the pellet expands and fills the cell. I did break up the planting medium a bit with a chopstick to hurry along the process. Then I delicately, using eyebrow tweezers, placed a seed in each cell. With flower shows coming up this spring, I sowed seeds of 2 different Violas and a perennial Geranium called ‘Splish Splash’ that I know The kit comes with a plastic sheet you lay on top to hold in the moisture. On top of that I placed a newspaper because the seeds like to germinate in the dark.

Now I have to wait (patiently) and see what happens because it could take 14 – 21 days. In the meantime, I can’t forget about them because adequate moisture is crucial to growing nice healthy seedlings.

I belatedly opened a box of bulbs that had been shoved aside since before Christmas and found a Cybister variety of Amaryllis growing enthusiastically within its mesh bag. John Scheepers’ catalog describes them as having unique spidery flowers. I thought their skinny white necks would remain contorted but very quickly they found the southern light and are putting on an inch a day trying to get closer to it. I’m finally going to put them in soil!

I read that heat helps them put out strong roots while developing all their flower stalks at once. The stone floor is heated by our front door so that off they go!

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