So I have an extraordinarily busy schedule for this week and next after work.  Unfortunately, we are in prime seedling starting season, which means that poor J had to start my snapdragons.

Not grown by me

Snapdragons are native to North Africa and the Mediterranean, and are apparently incredibly fussy when it comes to getting them started.  The package directions say to sow them in vermiculite, and to only sow them on top of the soil and not to cover them as they need light to germinate.  They also need cooler temperatures, so they can’t be placed on a heat mat.  After sprinkling the seeds on top of the soil, they need to be misted lightly with water and monitored – they can take up to three weeks to germinate.  I picked about 4 different colors to grow, plus a type that drapes so I can grow my own hanging baskets this year.

The geraniums, apparently, need a completely different starting process.

Also not grown by me

We’re apparently already behind the 8-ball on this one, as many online gardening sites suggest sowing the seeds by mid-February for a mid-May planting.  The particular brand I selected this year requires soaking before planting.  Geraniums are sown into the soil and then thoroughly watered from underneath rather than sprinkling water on the top of the cells.  They need a lot of light and temperatures between 70-75 degrees during the day and 55-60 at night.  Under the right conditions, they will germinate in about 7-10 days. 

Ours germinated in two days.  Two.  And two of the five planted seeds germinated the next day.  Moral of the story?  Don’t believe everything you read on the internet; sometimes it’s wrong.  So our new concern is not killing them.  After all, this was the most expensive package of seeds – $2.25 for 5.  But a potted 4″ geranium retails for $3.99 around here, so if we can keep them alive, it’s a significant savings.

When we were placing our seed order, J told me that he was going to put all the flower seed starting in my hands.  So far he’s done all of it.  What a guy!  Of course, if this is successful, I will be unable to say that I grew all my own flowers from seed, because that will be categorically untrue as I have thus far done none of the work.

In August, when the gardens look great and my flower containers are at their height, I am always enormously pleased with how wonderful everything looks.  I forget what a pain in the you-know-what this is to get going.

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