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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Let's Get Dirty!!! Planting the Geraniums

Today...we will plant the Geraniums. Roll up your sleeves...we are going to make a mess of those wonderful french tipped fingernails...lol
We will use several of these seed cells. I call them my 9 packs. I also have 6 packs and 4 packs.

This will be the home for our baby plants until it is time to transplant them to bigger quarters...(about 4-6 weeks from now)

We will also use these wonderful things....a full tray and a daisy tray...to hold them.

This is what is called a Daisy Tray. It adds some much needed support to the tray when it is full of water and plants. It goes under the full tray.
Wow...you guys work fast! Look at all the 9 packs you have filled with moderately packed soil already! Good Job!

I use a piece of plastic to line the inside of the full tray, as these little babies are known as being leaky...and we don't want to waste the water we are going to be using today.

Once our tray is inside the daisy tray...and the plastic is in there...lets fill it with 4 liters of water...okay....okay...about a gallon for you U.S. Citizens...lol

There we go! The reason we fill the tray with water rather than water from over the top, is to avoid washing away the soil that we put into the 9 packs and risk losing our seeds!

Speaking of seeds.....here we are...each one of these packages holds about 10 seeds.

This is the prettiest Geranium seed I have ever seen! They have been coated at the seed farm. A natural seed is light brown...almost like a caramel. They sort of look like blue mouse poop! Some of the others that I have seen are orange, red or gold color...even bright yellow. Neat hey?

I like to use these seed spoons that have different size "cups" in the ends. My fingers are not slender enough to muck around with the seeds. I scoop one seed at a time out of the palm of my hand and gently place it in the center of each of the 9 seed cells in our 9 packs.

See? Just like that! Wow...you guys are fast learners! lol
Next we cover them lightly with a bit of soil, as they require some darkness during the germination process.... Good Job! Now that they are "tucked" in....
We MUST label them! After all...what good is buying them in distinct color packages if we don't know which is which? I like to use old mini blinds...(or new cheap ones). I cut them up and write on them with permanent markers. I have also used tongue depressors, but they are hard to come by around here...and Popsicle sticks are often too skinny to write on. Those beautiful blue seeds are going to produce some wonderful, vibrant Red Geraniums.
Now...you see this? It is called NO DAMP. It is a medication that will kill off the bacteria that will potentially kill off our Geranium crop. Damping off is a disease that affects the stem of the plant at ground level. When you are in the garden center, look at the base of the plant. If the stem is discolored and brown looking, your plant is not good. What happens is the plant gets sick, and the stem rots at root level and the plant has no hope to survive.
I could wait for the signs of the disease to rear its ugly head, and then treat them, but I am not willing to do this. Three years ago, I had my first learning experience with this disease and lost almost 40 plants before I got it under control. The frustration and stress was awful. Now....I simply take preventative measures and go from there. What's that saying? "an ounce of prevention...."

So...we take 40 ml of NO DAMP and put it in our 4 liters of water. (2 tsp to 1 gallon) lol
Then last but certainly not least...we place our freshly planted 9 packs into the water to soak up the medicated moisture and start to germinate.
And now we wait....in a few days, we will see some wonderful little green leaves poking up through that soil. I will post it when they do!
And finally....I posted the crown I made the other night during a fit of insomnia...and painted the next morning...Many of you guys flattered me so much (thanks...I blushed) and some of you actually asked if I would reveal the real home made item...so here it is...the one I made.
I thought it was more than obvious...and I think you were just being super duper nice to me...I am thinking it will look just right in a plant.
I made it out of metal roof flashing. It is silver...and the top is made out of a curtain rod finial I had laying around. The metal with the holes in it...well that is metal strapping...lol....it is held together with the tiny nuts that hold the switch plates on your walls and nuts hold them in place!
I plan to try one more time at least...to see if I can do a better job...I might just post the process...and maybe...just maybe one day this summer...after all the planting is done...I will make some more...but for now...I have dirt under my fingernails, and I am happy with that...I have lots of planting to do...
Would you all like to see the process of different types of flowers?
Would you like to see some different seeds?
What about some tips for window sill gardening? (for those who don't have a greenhouse) (Raxx?)
I will take any suggestions you throw my way...and try to work them into the next couple of weeks.