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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Seed Wants to Germinate

So many butterflies are out and about these sunshiny days. I followed this monarch around today for a bit until it was pre-occupied with drinking from the lantana and didn't mind me getting close enough for this capture.

Note to reader: I wrote most of this post last night, Monday, and didn't get it posted until Tuesday morning which explains the use of the word 'today'; turns out it should now be the word 'yesterday'You get the idea....
As a follow up to my last post here is the run down of the plan for the veggie garden and my quest to conquer my intimidation over seed sowing.

Great advice was given in a comment from fellow blogger and vegetable gardener Carol at May Dreams Gardens. She said, “Remember that the seed wants to germinate and will likely do so even without conditions being absolutely perfect.” Isn’t that simple?... but great words of wisdom and encouragement. Thank you, Carol. Believe me, those words cheered me on today as I finished my seed sowing.

My initial order of seeds came from Pinetree. Since I didn't have much of a clue of what I was doing and since it was all brand new to me, I duplicated some (not all-- because her garden is MUCH bigger than mine) of what Carol purchased this year. You might wonder why I copied her? I’d been stalking her gardening posts reading every one she ever wrote about vegetable gardening trying to learn as much as I could before I ordered seeds. I found a treasure! She has been doing this for a long time. Kudos to her for her always informative & helpful gardening posts!

Well I didn't know how many seeds to order since my space is pretty small. Needless to say, I way over-ordered in quantity.I’m wondering if they can be kept from year to year?If so, what are the rules for storage?
Here’s the purchase list:
Pole Bean- Kentucky Wonder
Cucumber- Bush Crop
Squash- Goldbar
Zucchini- Eightball and Cueball
Leek - Lancelot
Tomato- Black Cherry; Big Boy Bush

I sowed some of each of these seeds last Thursday. All of them direct sown into the raised beds that were waiting empty for the last two weeks. Can I just reiterate--I have lots left over. You may remember I wanted to start small with my two beds. Somehow I didn't realize how quickly that small space would be used up. Uh-hmmm.... first lesson learned- build more boxes?
Which brings me around to the original dilemma and was part of my intimidation- how much to order- how many seeds to use in each row blah, blah. Can I just confess that now I have more compassion for folks who feel that way about landscape gardening. It's easy to blow it off when someone says they wish they knew how to garden but this or that keeps them from doing it... NOW I know how that feels. This counts for another valuable lesson learned.

Late this evening just as I was wrapping up a full day of gardening the last of the seeds I ordered from Burpee came in the mail. Excitement like I had received a present was how I felt when I saw the envelope. This is what arrived today:
Blue Lake Bush Bean
Lettuce Looseleaf
Carrot Sweet Treat
Marigold (for the nematodes)

I used Carol's idea to make my trench with a yardstick- this worked out very nicely for me.

It was perfect timing. The perfect way to end a day full of gardening glory. I already had my tools out and I was dressed for gardening. It wasn't long before my newly arrived seeds were tucked away in the warm, moist soil eager to germinate and do what they were meant to do-- grow.

I’ve decided it doesn’t really matter if my garden doesn't grow exactly like I hope. Gardening is a gift of life and this aspect of it will be a remarkable learning experience. Sowing seed and growing a veggie garden is a dream come true. I will learn as I go and make mistakes along the way just like I have with landscape gardening all these years. And besides… seeds want to germinate. So what if they aren’t sown exactly precisely? I have confidence in them--they will find their way out of the ground with a little water and sunshine.
Double Excitement Today!
The first box from my American Meadows order came today as well. 6 bare root Cardinal Flower (above) plants. The size of these was a bit of a surprise. I kind of - well not kind of - I definitely expected a larger plant. Ordering plants through the mail is new to me as well. I immediately put these in the ground as they are to stay wet at all times.

What a beautiful way to end a BEST day in the garden. I dug up, divided, and transplanted society garlic. I'm using it as a border around one of the beds I've prepared for the day lilies and the rest of the mail-order plants I'm still waiting to be delivered.

A really big thanks to all the veteran seed-sowing gardeners who don't mind sharing tips and how-to's and also lending encouragement to newbies. This seed-sowing experience has helped me realize that just because one thing comes easy to us doesn't mean the next thing will. We all need each other and we each have some thing to offer. As different as gardening is in each part of the country it seems sowing seeds is pretty much the same no matter where you live.

What about you? Is there an element of gardening you haven't tried yet because of timidity or maybe like me you're letting the 'unknown' keep you from trying something new? Well that and hubby urging me not to add more to my to-do list. Let's face it, that's never going to happen. :-)


  1. Hiya, Meems.
    Yup, you can store any leftover seed you have for a very long time. Sometimes several years. Just make sure they're dry and you can stick them in something small and airtight - like a ziplock bag or a locking food container - and stick in the back of the fridge. You can plop one of those silica gel packs or uncooked rice to absorb excess moisture, but I haven't found that necessary.
    If you find that something doesn't work for you this year (though I'm sure everything will do fine!) or you want to try something else next year, you can always do a 'seed swap' with other gardeners with those extra seeds too.

  2. Good for you! It is great o get help and ideas from other bloggers - I love being able to watch and learn from others' good and bad experiences! It is amazing how much space you need. I added a new bed a few weeks ago and I am so excited about a little more square footage. My heirloom tomato seeds came yesterday, so that's going to be my post for the day. I'll be eager to watch your garden grow -- good luck!

  3. Beautiful butterfly on the lantana Meems! This is fun, watching you with your first vegetable garden!

    If I can ever talk DH into giving up any of his prime lawn real estate I'll have my own veggies again. In the meantime I'm enjoying vegetable gardening vicariously!

    Not because of timidity, only because I've never had a boggy planting site before, I'm in the process of learning alot about a whole new group of plants. Our neighbors lost a tree, we lost our privacy, and it's opened up an opportunity to make something special out the loss. But I am suffering from a new ailment called bog anxiety. I can identify with your seed intimidation!

  4. tina: Great advice for the seeds- it does kind of make sense I was confused when the Burpee pkg had a sell by date of 12.31.08- but that is probably a different story than storing seeds.Seed swap sounds fun too. Thanks so much for the handy help and thanks for visiting Hoe and Shovel.

    diana: Isn't it exciting when the seeds arrive? Who knew? Gardening bloggers are the BEST! Thanks for the rah-rah's and I'll be over to take a peek at your tomatos.Thanks for stopping by Hoe and Shovel and definitely come back for the updates. Meems

    garden girl: Hmmmm... that sort of happened to me a couple of months ago- the tree thing. My neighbor has slowly been eliminating his pine trees but a couple of months ago he cut down two sweet gums that kept part of my garden shady. I now have more sun to deal with than I ever have on one side so it is changing the conditions of things a bit.

    I wish you luck on the boggy plants- it should be fun though as you learn and expand your gardening gift! Can't wait to see it.

  5. Loved your entire post...

    I have never had a vegetable garden. Not from fear but I have been concerned about the amount of work. I would have to have raised beds, and the only spot in the yard with enough sun is way back behind the carport and a far distance from hose.

    I have had seeds for years and they are still viable.


  6. Well Meems over the years I was a little intimidated by many things. However any more I just jump in with both feet if I get the urge to try something.

    I guess one thing I would like to try is bonsai. However I kill most plants in pots as it is let alone trying to keep something sized smaller than usual. I just love the forms of bonsai plants. I have taken many pictures of bonsai. I have bought bonsai grass, and killed it unfortunately before I could even get it into a pot. Very scary.

  7. Gail: all really good considerations which I too had to contemplate. Priority one after sun of course was easy accessibility to water hose. I managed to accomplish both except I hope I don't have to trim back a tree to get a little more sun. Very interesting that you have had seeds for years. Maybe you will end up planting them afterall.

    Lisa: Bonsai would be interesting and challenging for certain. I have heard of taking classes to learn-- it is quite an art form which makes me think you would be perfect for giving it a try. Maybe you could start with 'one' just to see how you like it and how well you do?

  8. I think you're already having success if you're exicted and having fun.

    I'm not sure about your 'bog' conditions. I have the same conditions and it makes for late planting. My area stays cold and wet until the end of May. I've been planning raised beds for a couple years now - hopefully I'll get to it this year.

    I can't help but think of planting perennials in yours though. I know - I'm a perennial freak so I'm biased. Flowers first vegetables later :) It's just a good thing i have more than enough space for both.

  9. Meems, I'm all blushing about your post. But very happy that you've found some of my ramblings about vegetable gardening to be useful.

    Doesn't that yardstick work great for making a nice straight row, not too deep, for those little seeds? I'm glad that worked for you.

    I'll be coming by your blog frequently to check on your progress.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  10. Best of luck to you on your awesome new raised beds and all your new veggies. I am trying to grow my first veggies this season. Only tomatoes and onions starting easy.

    I read your old post on your orchid. You should try 1 more time. Next time your out at a garden show find an orchid, 1 NOT in bloom but that has new growth roots, bulbs, or yes even a baby spike coming from it. That way you are that much closer to growing an orchid to bloom. Then set it on your porch, you may have to try a few different spot until it is happy, water every couple of days they like morning and evening sun. Phalaenopsis and Dendrobiums are pretty easy. The key is not to let water run down on the leafs and get into the plant. Water the medium directly. Just keep and eye on the bulbs and roots, if the bulbs start to shrivel or the roots begin to brown then you need to water more often. My orchids get a lot of sun so the medium drys a lot faster than if they stayed in the shade. So there is no set watering for an orchid if it is thirsty go ahead and give it a drink. In a few months WHEN it blooms you can enjoy it that much more.

  11. Wiseacre: I like your thinking. If success is having fun and excitement then we're there! I'm going to commit that to memory to use even when things might not turn out like I'd hoped.

    Carol: Carol's vegetable gardening ramblings... note to self... VERY helpful!

    And yes, I read your yardstick post just in time for the final sowing and min turned into an instant tool.

    I had to chuckle thinking of all the handy uses my yardstick has had over the years rarely being used for measuring.

    Thanks again and I'll be checking your vegetable gardening every step of the way. :-)

    Mike: I am starting out slowly with veggies as well. Hope yours do well for you. We Floridians certainly have great growing conditions before and after the summer heat.

    Thanks so much for the orchid tips too. I will give your advice a try.


Have a blessed day,

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