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Old 04-13-2018, 03:00 PM   #41
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It has been a kind of up and down type of spring here. On the upside many of the spring birds have returned (sandhill cranes, blackbirds, bluebirds, robins, kestrels, etc.). And of course looking at all of the great posts in a thread like this is very uplifting.

On the downside we'll be getting 10 - 12 inches of snow here in northeast Wisconsin this weekend. Spring will come, spring will come ...
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:36 PM   #42
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It has been a kind of up and down type of spring here. On the upside many of the spring birds have returned (sandhill cranes, blackbirds, bluebirds, robins, kestrels, etc.). And of course looking at all of the great posts in a thread like this is very uplifting.

On the downside we'll be getting 10 - 12 inches of snow here in northeast Wisconsin this weekend. Spring will come, spring will come ...
Our spring is quite late this year.

Sorry you are getting so much snow. We had quite a few snow storms in March...somehow I was able to enjoy them. I think that was because a flock of red-winged blackbirds were singing a chorus in the tree tops (among other birds). Knowing the snow would melt quickly helped, too.

...but it got old. It has been an unusually cold April. The only good thing about all of the snow and the freezing temperatures is that I have more hope that my seeds will germinate. I got a very late start in winter sowing them. Normally I sow seeds in flats in January or early February (which always results in plenty of seedlings). This year, I planted them in March!

Here's hoping that they all germinate.

Plans and plants for 2018?-20180408_182824.jpg

Plans and plants for 2018?-20180413_203308.jpg

Plans and plants for 2018?-20180413_203243.jpg
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:57 AM   #43
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Our spring is quite late this year.

Sorry you are getting so much snow. We had quite a few snow storms in March...somehow I was able to enjoy them. I think that was because a flock of red-winged blackbirds were singing a chorus in the tree tops (among other birds). Knowing the snow would melt quickly helped, too.

...but it got old. It has been an unusually cold April. The only good thing about all of the snow and the freezing temperatures is that I have more hope that my seeds will germinate. I got a very late start in winter sowing them. Normally I sow seeds in flats in January or early February (which always results in plenty of seedlings). This year, I planted them in March!

Here's hoping that they all germinate.
Can you tell me a little about how you germinate seeds? Do you plant the seed in the soil then cover with perlite? What kind of soil did you use? If you have seed that requires light to germinate, do you place them on top of the perlite mulch? Is that a window screen covering, and what kind of sunlight exposure is it getting?
I tried something similar but i put the trays in a hoop house covered with row cover fabric and didnt use a perlite mulch. I am thinking i should have used a mulch.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:22 AM   #44
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Well my seeds are sprouting. I now have some of the mystery Liatris and even more of the Queen of the Prairie. On the down side I have them inside my barn. It has 4 south facing windows. But a month ago the sun would shine in and now with the sun moving higher in the sky I get pretty much no sunlight. My little seedlings are starting to look more of a lime green than a green green. Lack of sunlight I'm thinking.

The house has taller windows so that might help for a while. I'll have to sweet talk the house boss, my wife to allow me to bring them in. But I'm going to have do something different next spring.

Regarding mixtures for starting seeds. I used a pool sand that I bought at a local Farm store for a medium for stratifying the seeds. I put some seeds in the fridge and some in the loft of the barn. Once I had the stratifying done I planted them in a starting soil that I bought at a nursery. If the seeds where small and hard to handle I left them in the sand and just put about 1/2 of sand on top of the starter soil. They don't usually sell the starting soil but I sweet talked them into selling me a large bag of it. I mixed some with perlite. I think I'm going to leave out the perlite next time, it tends to make things messier, floating on the top when you water the seeds.

This is the first year I started plants from seed so I'm by no means an expert. I'm sure there others who have a better way.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:57 PM   #45
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Cold, windy, rain/snow/sleet/freezing rain mix here for today and tomorrow. Winter storm warning in effect so we're laying low at home for the weekend. No playing outside for me, although I did venture out and fill the bird feeders.
I winter sowed seeds into 1020 flats this year and left them outside surrounded by chicken wire to keep the bunnies out. I think I put them out in December, as I recall. No germination yet, but it's been so cold here. Spring is a couple of weeks behind.
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:20 PM   #46
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I went to bowman hill wildflower preserve today and bought a ton of plants: Liatris spicata, monarda fistulosa, pycnanthemum incanum, penstemon digitalis, packera aurea, silene, tradescantia ohiensis, actaea racemosa, ceanothus americanus, viburnum prunifolium and viburnum opulus. Waiting for the heat to break to go plant them it is inexplicably hot today! 86 degrees and no foliage on the trees to block the sun. Ill start planting in a bit then its supposed to rain tomorrow through tuesday and drop temps into the 50s and 60s for the remainder of the week.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:33 PM   #47
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It is so cold and wet here but I was out in it anyway. We had a few nice days this week that warmed the soil enough that some of the plants we picked up last spring started sending up new leaves. The baby bunnies think it is a fine treat. Used sticks to build enclosures and added a clear glass jar filled with water to each enclosure. We shall see if I am smarter than a rabbit...ha.
The emerging wild geranium and the new wild columbine/Aquilegia Canadensis seem to not attract nibblers.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:17 PM   #48
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Can you tell me a little about how you germinate seeds? Do you plant the seed in the soil then cover with perlite? What kind of soil did you use? If you have seed that requires light to germinate, do you place them on top of the perlite mulch? Is that a window screen covering, and what kind of sunlight exposure is it getting?
I tried something similar but i put the trays in a hoop house covered with row cover fabric and didnt use a perlite mulch. I am thinking i should have used a mulch.
Skip,

I used ProMix potting soil. I hate to admit, but, in all of the years that I have been doing this, I have rarely researched germination requirements. Basically, I put ProMix in the pots, sow the seeds; if they are large, I cover with a light coating of the ProMix, if they are tiny, I just press them into the surface; then I cover them in snow (normally January or February), and let nature take its course. The screens are to deter animals from digging them up or eating the seeds.

For the most part, I have had a great deal of success. I recall, early on, saving seeds from my bloodroot...later on, I searched about how to propagate them--only to find out that they could not be stored and had to be sowed fresh.

I usually have them getting a southern exposure, but I put them along side the house (facing east) as it gets warmer (to keep them from drying out too quickly).

Good luck in your endeavors. Let us know how they do.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:24 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by weedy feilds View Post
Well my seeds are sprouting. I now have some of the mystery Liatris and even more of the Queen of the Prairie. On the down side I have them inside my barn. It has 4 south facing windows. But a month ago the sun would shine in and now with the sun moving higher in the sky I get pretty much no sunlight. My little seedlings are starting to look more of a lime green than a green green. Lack of sunlight I'm thinking.

The house has taller windows so that might help for a while. I'll have to sweet talk the house boss, my wife to allow me to bring them in. But I'm going to have do something different next spring.

Regarding mixtures for starting seeds. I used a pool sand that I bought at a local Farm store for a medium for stratifying the seeds. I put some seeds in the fridge and some in the loft of the barn. Once I had the stratifying done I planted them in a starting soil that I bought at a nursery. If the seeds where small and hard to handle I left them in the sand and just put about 1/2 of sand on top of the starter soil. They don't usually sell the starting soil but I sweet talked them into selling me a large bag of it. I mixed some with perlite. I think I'm going to leave out the perlite next time, it tends to make things messier, floating on the top when you water the seeds.

This is the first year I started plants from seed so I'm by no means an expert. I'm sure there others who have a better way.
I hope she lets you bring them into the house.

With lack of light, I'm afraid your seedlings will become leggy. Actually, if it is warm enough, I would put them outside...only move them back into the barn if there will be a frost or freeze. A lot of work, maybe, but probably worth it.

(I am no expert, either...but I have been doing this for at least 5 years. I basically try to let nature do its thing...but in post.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:30 PM   #50
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Cold, windy, rain/snow/sleet/freezing rain mix here for today and tomorrow. Winter storm warning in effect so we're laying low at home for the weekend. No playing outside for me, although I did venture out and fill the bird feeders.
I winter sowed seeds into 1020 flats this year and left them outside surrounded by chicken wire to keep the bunnies out. I think I put them out in December, as I recall. No germination yet, but it's been so cold here. Spring is a couple of weeks behind.
~sigh~ Sorry to hear that you have another storm coming, katjh.

We are definitely at least two weeks behind...colder than normal temperatures up until now. We had 81 yesterday and 72 today. It felt wonderful to work in the yard today!

It is only supposed to be 41 tomorrow...then 40s to 50 the rest of the week.

Hang in there...spring has to get here eventually, doesn't it!?
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