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  •  Beautiful! That orange and red is a wonderful (9+ / 0-)

    mix. I'd love to see any more photos to have to share, of your flower beds, too.

    I'm curious about your propagation set up also. I use a greenhouse to get things going in the early spring. This year I'm also starting a whole lot of herbs, for my daughter's wedding this summer, reception table decoration and favors. I have a couple hundred going now from seed (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil), along with my own tomatoes and such, and it's a lot to manage. Sounds like you have seed propagation well arranged. Any pearls of wisdom?

    •  Part of the triune (8+ / 0-)

      I usually pick three colors--sometimes four--and do things on an almost musical beat around the garden.  Last year was scarlet, orange, yellow, and true blue (a nightmare in the plant world as there aren't many).  Blue was the minor note, yellow and orange were co-dominant.

      This year I'm repeating the colors, but with scarlet dominant, blue secondary, yellow third, and orange the minor.

      Pearls of wisdom...prepare to do some work.  :-)  It's a bit on the energetic side, but worth it.

      Stagger planting if possible.  In my case, the salvia were pretty early, then the marigolds, then zinnia.  Oddballs fit in wherever they were appropriate.  You don't have to be a slave to exact planting times, either.  A little too long is better than too short when it comes to growth times.

      Watering is easier if you can put the plants in plastic trays that hold some water for between times.  I try to give enough for 3 to 4 days of self-watering before I have to do it again--with 12 flats, that's hauling quite a bit.

      Seeded plants are kind of tender, so immediate transplant into the garden isn't recommended (or into pots for guests).  Harden them off a bit by slowly adjusting their sunlight times if grown under lights.  If in a greenhouse, they're probably used to sun...but not to as much ultraviolet as they'll be getting.

      Very shortly I'll put a fan on mine downstairs 17 hours a day to stress-harden the stems a little as well.  Otherwise they tend to break in the first good wind.  For smaller numbers of plants, gently ruffling your hand over the top daily will do fine.

      Plants with less than 4 leaves are very, very delicate.  Don't ruffle 'em just yet.  Fungi on the soil at this stage or before needs to be treated really fast or it can lead to damp-off disease and kill the plants.  I keep a gentle fungicide on-hand for this, although a spray with 2% dish soap in water will also do the job (it's just harder on the plants).

      Watch VERY CAREFULLY for aphids and thrips.  Every year I get aphids, but losses are minimal to zero as I expect it and watch for them.

      (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 03:38:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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