Sheri Ann Richerson's exotic gardening, elegant cooking, crafty creations, food preservation and animal husbandry... all on two and a half acres in Marion, Indiana!

February 2009 Archives

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Tomato variegata 

February is here again and once again the greenhouse is just not large enough for all the seedlings that I have going. Every year we increase the size of the greenhouse and every year, somehow, I manage to plant more seeds.

We have tomaotes, peppers, cabbage, celery and eggplant germinated already with more seeds in paper towels trying to germinate. I have some feverfew and Greek oregano seedlings going as well.

Most years I concentrate on vegetables or a few odd and end flowers. This year, while I am still concentrating on vegetables, I have changed my plan when it comes to flowers. In the past I would plant three to five flower seeds of each variety and hope they germinated and grew well. This year I am planting the entire packet of flower seeds.

I am making plans for a cutting garden which will be grown right alongside the vegetable garden. There are entire flats of delphiniums, black eyed Susans – many varieties, sweet William, bells of Ireland and more. I am really excited about this new aspect of the garden.

Extra plants will be added to the main flower beds and hopefully adding more plants will help eliminate some of the weeds. I have marigold and calendula already growing. In a few more weeks I will plant a variety of zinnia, aster and other annuals.

I have also found that germinating the seeds in paper towels helps save greenhouse space since I only plant what is germinated. It also helps me keep tabs on what is germinating and what I may need to replace. I save seeds from year to year as well as buy seeds on closeout specials. Some of my seeds are well over ten years old. So far, I am getting germination, but some of them are germinating at such a low rate I know I need to use them up and save new seeds.

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