Saturday, September 06, 2008

Garden FAIL, part 1: seeds


At the end of every summer, I imagine all gardeners think about what might have been: plants they wish they had planted, plants they wish they had had better success with, hardscaping or other general garden improvements that did not take place. I’m no different.


This year, in spite of all my good intentions, and the purchase of several packets from good vendors, I grew only one plant from seed, and even that one I didn’t plant until early June. It’s a cute little castor bean plant but needed a longer period to gain its proper height. This (above) is the puny result of several packs of seeds including hyacinth bean, cleome, nigella, and amaranth. “Why,” I hear you saying, “Those are all easy, quick-germinating seeds!” Well, I did plant some of them in peat pots, but the ones that came up failed for whatever reason.

Today I went over to my BFF Cheryl’s house and saw her hyacinth bean, which she had twining up both sides of her front porch. It is shown at the top of this post. C. tells me that she planted them quite late (in May) and used an inside/outside method of growing them. Of course, these were seeds that I had given her. It’s somewhat humiliating!

Next spring, those seeds are being planted, and successfully, or else.

16 comments:

Lori said...

Wow, I'm impressed. We both planted the exact same things from seed and got exactly the same results! Next year I'm going to buy my caster beans in 4" pots and I really don't have room for a monster hyacinth bean vine anyway-- the one that did sprout was ten feet up into the mesquite tree before I noticed it.

Carol said...

Yes, you've got to try seeds again. I get a lot of satisfaction from growing most of my vegetable garden plants from seeds, along with many kinds of flowers.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Seeds are fun when they actually grow but I have such trouble with seeds. I am going to try to winter sow some this year to see what might happen. Gardeners keep on keeping on...so keep on.

Karl said...

I love your blog name.

Swampgardener said...

Don't give up! I got addicted to planting from seed this year. I'm like a proud parent of my seed-grown plants. It's the best feeling.

JGH said...

Regardless, your puny plants are very cute!

I also know the humiliation of giving seeds to someone and having them outperform the same seeds in my garden. It happened this year with some cucumber that didn't even sprout for me. My friend was overwhelmed with the ones she grew from my seeds and gave me a large bag of them. Wonderful confidence booster that was!

Barbarapc said...

Castor beans need hot and sun - when in doubt, blame the weather!

Gail said...

Been there and experienced that! I buy my hyacinth and moonflower vine in small pots...I just haven't a place to sow them! The seeds that are always successful are sewn directly into the garden...zinnias and cosmos.

fishes and loaves said...

Pardon me for my ignorance, I live in Southern California and castor beans are a weed out here. Why do you want to grow them?

Layanee said...

It happens to all of us! I have learned way more from the mishaps and mistakes than from the successes! I think they still look nice in the little pots!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm a completely failure at indoor seed starting. If it can't be sowed directly, I've given up trying to start it. It seems that somepeople have got it, & some people don't. I'm assuming that this was merely an aberration for you.

ConsciousGardener said...

I have a thousand "wish I woulda's"
one of them is plant hyacinth bean vine...hope to try it out next year, oh well...

EAL said...

de gustibus non est disputandum, loaves and fishes!

Vanillalotus said...

How funny. I had hyacinth bean vine seeds that I planted. They sprouted but the minute they got outside did not do well. They just started to take off but are so scraggly looking even though they are pushing out blooms finely. I generally have good success with seeds and I start inside and grow in containers since I live in an apartment. I think growing indoor requires more care then one would expect. I mist a lot and water a lot and try to give them as much light. In the next few months I'll be making a grow station to give them enough light so they don't get spindly again.

sixty-five said...

With some exceptions, seeds need MOISTURE and WARMTH to germinate. Then they need light, water, and FOOD. My secret weapon this year was spreading a thin layer of vermiculite on top of the seeds (started, for the most part in small pots) and keeping it moist by using a squirt bottle. It also helps to have all the containers in an easy to access place so you can watch and tend to the little babies on a daily basis - at least in the beginning.

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