Balcony Gardening: Take-Two

It's that time of year again! End of February is seed sowing time! It always seems so early, with the weather still below freezing and the sunlight still under 5 hours a day. BUT! The gardening book say-ith it's seed sowing time! So it's seed sowing time.

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I decided to take a little bit of a different approach from last year. Last year I bought a little terrarium seed starter kit with little dehydrated soil puck things. It worked well but I ended up wasting a lot of the little soil puck things. This year I bought a 14 lb bag of soilless seed starter for $7 instead. (Yay Canadian Tire!) I filled the terrarium thing from last year, moistened the 'soil' and divided out little plots. I had a list of seeds that I wanted to plant: Tomatoes, squash, lettuce, herbs, citrus, apples, peppers and Alberta roses.

The roses are my 'something special' that I wanted to try this year. They always remind me of visiting my grandparents house as a kid. My grandma used to have two bushes on either side of the front door. Whenever we came to visit, she'd give us 3 or 4 blooms. We'd take them home and put them in a glass bowl filled with water and the kitchen would smell of roses.

These roses are from my lovely lady Lesley who came to visit me a bunch last year. She flew them here in a mug, fresh from an Alberta field. I tried to get the flower stems to root with some soft wood enzymes, but alas, it did not take. I wasn't overly hopeful so the disappointment was minimal. BUT what was successful was many of the flowers went to seed! (I maaaaaay have pollinated them by rubbing the different blooms all together... Plant sex is weird.) But yay! Seed pods! Results!

I'd never collected seeds before so I kept the whole seed pod of each flower. I was actually just going to plant the pods themselves when, because I had a bunch of them, I decided see what was inside by breaking one open with the flat of my scissors. Poof! A million little under developed seeds came puffing out. Ack! Well under developed seeds are probs not going to grow, so I broke open the biggest seed pod and out puffed a load of under developed seeds AND 5 fully developed seeds. Haphazard gardening skills, check.

And that's the story so far! Watered and lidded the terrarium thing and now to wait. All the future seed babies get to live on my kitchen counter for the time being. (I may have to figure out a warming lamp/mat situation because winter is back with a vengeance....) Everything I planted has a 10 - 12 day germination period so I'll see what sprouts in a couple weeks! Fingers crossed!

-Andrea

The Half-Assed Hobbyist