Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gardener Mishap

As you all know, I started many of my garden seeds in my greenhouse several weeks ago. I thought that you all may enjoy a mishap that I encountered in my seed starting journey. I know it always makes ME feel more human when I read about other people's STUPID mistakes, so I wanted to share my stupidity with you. I am not ashamed or embarrassed, just irritated--so laugh out loud if you like, it won't hurt my feelings. I have been starting seeds in my basement for probably 7 or 8 years now, but this is the first time to start them in a different environment (AKA my greenhouse). The only real problem that I have encountered until this year was the year that I had a mouse loose in my basement. He enjoyed mowing the little seedlings down to the dirt before we caught him! (Grant was checking that trap the morning we caught him and yelled upstairs "No mouse" right before I heard a blood curdling scream of "It's ALIVE" that occurred right before the mouse jumped out of the middle of my seedlings and ran straight into the mouse trap, catching him by the foot--we don't care HOW we catch 'em, as long as we catch 'em!) Oh yeah, AND the year that C was in the hospital with RSV and J was supposed to be tending my seedlings. We were also in the process of remodeling the kitchen. He placed my flats of seedlings on the front porch to be out of the way. Needless to say they didn't survive the early March Kansas winter night when he forgot to bring them in. Any who, this spring it seems that my seeds weren't sprouting in as timely a manner as usual. That being said, I wasn't sure if it was the seed company from which I ordered, or the temp of the greenhouse. We have it set on about 70 degrees, but peppers like really warm soil. Only a few of the tomatos had sprouted and none of the peppers or coleus--so I picked up that flat and took it to the house. In the past, I have used an old water bed heater under the flats for warmth, but all I could find this year was the heater--no cord or thermometer for it. BOOOOYYYYYYSSSSSSSS! I finally settled on putting the flat in my lower oven in the kitchen. I warmed it up and then shut the door, leaving the oven light on, so as not to forget they were in there. Two days later in the excitement and busy-ness of having extra crew to cook for, I turned the bottom oven on to cook something. About 10 minutes later upon opening the oven to put my food in, I was greeted by the odor of melting plastic. You'll notice in the above picture what a flat SHOULD look like, and in the bottom photo, what my flat NOW looks like.
Don't worry Becky, the black Krims are sprouting in the greenhouse and looking good. So there you have the saga of impatience and bubble-headed-ness!! The seeds still aren't sprouted and quite probably will NOT now. Friday morning I ran out and replanted some tomatoes and peppers, thinking that they would at least bear later rather than not at all! Live and learn baby, live and learn!
Thought I would also share a little tutorial on seed starting/transplanting just for interest.
Yesterday I transplanted some of the black eyed susans and purple coneflowers into bigger pots. I broadcast multiple seeds into my flats to be sure that they germinated well. Many of them were developing their first true set of leaves--which is when you should transplant. Above you'll see the tiny set of new leaves coming up between the first big round leaves. I used a popsicle stick as a dibble to lift the plants and their roots out of the tiny cells.
Look at those big long roots that came with the leaves. Next I just put them into a larger peat pot filled with potting soil and filled it up a little. Now they will have adequate space to get bigger and will be easier to repot again if necessary before putting them out into my new flower bed. I love purple and yellow flower combos, and both of these make excellent cut flowers--not to EVEN mention that they are great native plants in my area, and are super additions to attract bees, butterflies, and birds to the yard--all of which I happen to adore!
Now we'll just keep them watered in good, until they are ready to go outside by the first of May. HMMM if I can just get that dear guy that does ANYTHING for me, to head his trailer north for another load of rocks--I gotta finish, er. .I mean start constructing the flower bed these will go into!! Nothing like counting your chickens before they hatch!


  1. I know how much you hate this but....lol....LOL.....ROTFLMAO (Which is Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off...MUCH better than LOL.
    I did this with a Pampered Chef cupcake holder of Aj and Steve's. They had brought cupcakes for JT's birthday and I had stuck in the oven out of the way and...well...:(

  2. I must admit that I also have done this...only with the deep fat fryer...it was a mess. I'm trying my hand in seed starting this year too; we'll see how they turn out!

  3. OOPS! Oh dear! I can see how that would be easy to do. With me it's "out of sight, out of mind." LOL Thanks for the tips on transplanting. Not that I'll be doing that anytime soon, but you never know. It's just that I DON'T HAVE A GREEN THUMB. :) But I still enjoy seeing others' efforts with growing things.

  4. Oh NO! I did that once at my mother-in-law's house, but it was her pots and pans that were in the oven. It's where she stores them. Who woulda thunk?

  5. Still cracking up about that. I figured you were going to say that they actually started growing. Darn.