Sunday, February 11, 2018

More is More: The Bat Shit Crazy School of Seed Starting

It must be said that I'm a passionate person and once I commit myself to a cause or hobby, I go all in. I'd get more sleep and have more money if these weren't defining characteristics, but they are so there ya go. To quote Popeye, "I yam what I yam!". 



It's not possible for me to just start a few packs of seeds. But turn my basement into a mini-greenhouse and start 55 different varieties? Yes, please! I open the seed catalogs or visit the websites and am seduced by the possibilities. So many flowers and so many options for just a few dollars. In the past I have methodically made my selections and drifted off to sleep designing my garden and filling all 100 of my containers. I allowed myself five or six purchases made on a whim but usually stuck to a plan. 


Many of these plants were grown from seed. Photo showing original Casa Mariposa garden.

Not this year. This year, I have no plan. I have no idea how much sun I have to work with although I doubt it will be much. I haven't arranged my containers or designed my new garden. There is too much work still to do. A retaining wall and terracing needs to built as well as two new brick paths in the front. The soil desperately needs to be amended, a new shady rain garden created, and shrubs added. But that didn't stop me from buying more seeds than I probably have grow light space for. It didn't slow me down at all. This year, I simply followed my heart and bought whatever seeds I damn well wanted to. Plants I don't have space or sunlight for will go to friends. A plant grown from seed and given as gift is a cup of love. Life could be worse.



Snapdragon seedlings 



I have 58 cups of seedlings but still have empty space under my grow lights for many more.

I grow my seedlings in big plastic drink cups that I've punched holes in the bottom with a hot screwdriver I've heated up on the stove. I cover the tops with a plastic sandwich baggie to act as a mini-greenhouse until the seeds start to germinate and then I remove it so I don't fry the seedlings.


I barely have any room between this set up and the nearby wall and have to squeeze through so I can do laundry. But I don't care because  I have plants growing in my basement in the middle of winter. To see what I'm growing this year, check out my So Seedy 2018 page. I went on a snapdragon bender when I was buying my seeds. Don't judge me. Alcohol may have been involved and I was left unsupervised. 

17 comments:

  1. Exciting to have a basement greenhouse full of the promise of blooming summer! Looking forward to seeing where these all end up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have gone kind of seed crazy this year too. I checked out your So Seedy 2018 page and Pffftt, you're a lightweight compared to me. Have you heard of winter sowing? You really should give it a try. Lots of what you're starting indoors could have been started outside in makeshift little greenhouse containers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As you're not sure what your new garden will support, I think it's very sensible to cover all the bases. It's one big experiment and I know you like those! I've gone more seedy (and bulby) this year than in prior years myself, although thus far all my seeds have been sown in place. My climate is more hospitable than yours for doing that but birds and critters and the lack of any significant rain this year have had a more negative impact than I envisioned at the start. I'm already facing space constraints too - the sweet peas, snapdragons, delphinium and ranunculus have been tardy in approaching bloom stage, leaving me wondering where in heck I'm going to put my zinnias (9 varieties), sunflowers (2 varieties so far) and other miscellaneous seeds for summer blooms, as well as all the dahlia tubers I've accumulated. I don't think my California poppy or flax seeds are going to do anything unless we get some rain soon or I break down and step up the irrigation either. There are always obstacles of some kind, aren't there? I think I'm going to pick up 2 half barrels soon to add to my cutting garden, assuming I can commandeer my husband's truck...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Unsupervised and alcohol involved: my idea of a good time. Hope all your seeds germinate and that anything you can't find room for finds a happy home. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Whenever did common sense and lack of space have anything to do with seed sowing? I can't look at a seed catalogue without losing all sense of control. Even without alcohol. What a good idea your big drinking cups are.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Amen "Garden " Sister...I hear ya!!! You speak my language. Your set up is pretty sweet-LOL. Oh, How I DO understand.
    I am just starting, I have been sidetracked by other things in my life. The seedaholic at heart never goes away, it is waiting deep down until the catalogs arrive!

    ReplyDelete
  7. A new garden to design and a basement to grow seeds...Both cool. Looking forward to what you discover about this new garden space.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We have come to expect nothing less from you...you are our inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can't wait to see how your new garden evolves. Sometimes I wish I could start all over. I have great faith in you. I bet you find room for all of these plants. Keep on keeping on...

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have no doubt that a wee bit of lubrication to the brain cells occurred when the crime was perpetrated !
    Plus who/where the heck was the adult in the room NOT there for ya' !!
    You are a seed-maniac woman ! LOL
    I have no luck with seeds .. I don't even try anymore .. it is just too cruel to the poor little things .. but wow!
    I applaud your "all in or nothing" you will have a jungle down there before you know it .. better have an emergency get away plan once they start to REACH out for you girl ! never mind ghost busters .. you need plant busters when it all fills in ! haha

    ReplyDelete
  11. Planning is overrated. When it comes to plants, just follow your heart. Very impressive setup in your basement! And I looked at your "Seedy" page - wow, that is truly a labor of love.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ooh girl, you are going to have so many pretties this summer. I love your basement set up. Keep us posted on your progress.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Goodness, you have a nursery in your basement!!! Way to go! Hahahahaha....alcohol and no supervising adults are fateful for me too! Can't wait to see where they go and how your garden will progress.xxx

    ReplyDelete
  14. LOL. I read your blog post title and thought it was gonna be about using bat guano in seed start. Guess I took it a little too literally! :D

    I checked out your So Seedy 2018 list. We're both growing Monarda citriodora! It's my first time trying to grow this Monarda species and while I did save a few to trying growing under seed lights, mostly I tried the easy/lazy/natural approach of buying loads of seed in bulk and scattering it indoors this winter :P

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Tammy, I remember your crazy setups for growing hundreds, thousands of plants from seed. You should never be left drunk in charge of a catalogue!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Alcohol and a lack of supervision has been the recipe for many great adventures.
    You weren't kidding about the snapdragons, but the zinnia selection shows amazing restraint. They grow quick though. I' sure you can correct that before May! You're off to an excellent start :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ha, there's something about a seed catalogue stock full of promise that somehow lowers one's inhibitions and leads to excessive buying. I will be right there with you in a few weeks!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting my blog! Feel free to comment on the posts or photos.