seed time

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk about seeds and stuff. You may remember me from such posts as “Another Cold Front”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I’m looking at something.
It was starting to snow again when this picture was taken, and getting colder, so I decided to come inside pretty quickly.
The last few days were pretty nice. The snow was melting. Melting into the ground, which isn’t what usually happens here. The guy I live with, who is accustomed to things being weird, said this was a good thing.
And I guess more snow is okay too.
This would ordinarily be the time of year when things warm up after some pretty cold weather right before Christmas, but that’s not what’s happening now.

I didn’t have to wear my boots yesterday, or this morning, because the snow was melting and soft, but I’ve had to wear them quite a bit in the last few days.
I think I look like an idiot.
I admit that the boots make walking in snow when it’s below freezing a lot easier. Ice doesn’t get into my paws.

We purebred border collies have a lot of peculiar issues, but the guy I live with is okay with that, because, as he explained, he has a lot of issues, too. At least, he said, he’s aware of them, unlike some people.

The guy I live with said that this time of year used to be his favorite; he would always take a vacation when he worked, and he and his wife would go shopping, or order seeds, or start new projects in the house or garden.
There isn’t much that can make up for not being able to do that any more, but I understand that there can be things that can still be excellent.
Like the other day, when something “exciting” was delivered. I thought it was kind of dumb, but the guy I live with felt quite differently about it.
It was a big, heavy box full of rock. Rock “products”, I guess you’d say.
There used to be garden centers here where you could buy bags of lava rock and so forth, but they’ve mostly gone out of business, or are very far away from our house.

A little bit of the vermiculite was used right away.
You can see there are seeds mixed in with the vermiculite, which was dampened with a little water.
These are seeds of various species of calochortus and fritillaria. The seeds need to be damp, but not frozen, for several weeks.
The guy I live with has talked about this before, I know.
Then the plastic bags go into this box, wrapped in towels so they don’t freeze (like if the refrigerator decides to freeze things for some reason), and put in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator.
This really does work.
The only problem, and it’s a big problem, is keeping the new seedlings growing for as long as possible in their first year. In a couple of months the guy I live with is going to dig some soil from near the back fence and grow the seedlings in that (the kind of soil the bulbs naturally grow in), rather than trying to keep them alive in the usual sort of porous mix that fatally dries the seedlings out in a day or so.
You would think that someone as ancient as the guy I live with would stick to the usual methods, but no. He babbles stuff like “the frontiers of knowledge” and “boldly going where no one has gone before”; maybe he’s just a nut. I sometimes wonder.

So that’s what I have for today. It’s snowing. By day after tomorrow it will warm up again, and be warm for a while, which is okay by me, because I won’t have to wear my boots.

Until next time, then.

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17 Responses to seed time

  1. Paddy Tobin says:

    Yes, the arrival of peculiar packages such as yours are always a welcome event in the life of the gardener. Keep your toes warm!

    • paridevita says:

      Very much welcome. I guess the days of getting seeds from overseas are long gone, unless the guy I live with decides to renew his import permit, but there are always bulbs (they don’t require a permit; the phyto is sufficient), and fun stuff like pumice and lava rock. And of course plants from nurseries in this country.
      I had to wear my boots again this morning. The guy I live with said I was “overly dramatic” when the boots were put on, but it did make walking in the new snow that fell last night pretty fun.

  2. Mee-yow Mani you look adorbss inn yore bootiess!! Iss a kewl fashion statemint an no icy pawss iss a bow-nuss!!!
    HURRAH fire sniw an more snow an reel meltin inn THE ground snow!!!4Wee furinallee are gettin snow here an cold tempyss an it lookss like Catmess, mew mew mew…….

    Wow Guy you sure bott sum innterestin rockss an stuff fore gardenin…you ‘boldlee go’ Guy! Yore amazin to purrsist with yore flower growin an wee givee you Hi-5 Pawss!!!!
    ***purrss*** BellaDharma an ((hugss)) BellaSita Mum

    Pee S: If wee go MIA it meenss our Pee C dyed….it has been actin weerd fore 2 weeks now….

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. Computers can be weird. The guy I live with has been having trouble with his email for some time, now. Like, we can no longer reply to comments just by using email; we have to log on to this website.
      And every so often one of the keys on the keyboard will stop working.
      We did get more snow; a couple of inches at least. It’s supposed to warm up tomorrow, which is good, because the guy I live with hurt his back shoveling snow. (He’s done that before.)
      He didn’t order the calcined clay or whatever it is, called Turface. It looks like….kitty litter. Really good for growing plants in.

      • Yore so rite Mani!! Pee C’ss ARE weerd!! An yoress soundss just as cray-cray as ourss!!!
        OMC wee are sorry Guy hert his back shovellin!! Pleese bee carefull
        Wee gotted about 6 inchess!!HURRAH!!! ‘Bout time! Iss furry chilley tho’…..
        Mew mew mew Calcined Clay lookss liek kitty litter:) Too bed Guy cuud not grow seedss inn ackshual kitty litter (cleen of coarse!)

      • paridevita says:

        Thanks; he’s hurt his back on and off for decades, now, after working outside in the cold for so long, back in the 1980s.
        He had to go up on the ladder just now, probably made his back worse, but the gutter downspout was clogged with ice. It’s fixed now.

      • Mee-yow wow Mani keep an eye on yore Guy….
        BellaSita Mum had to shovel snow an mee watched her carefullee.
        Hope there iss no more ice!
        BellaStia Mum has bad Hyperostosis an Arthritis so shee needss to bee carefull like Guy! Hu’man’ss sure are fragile aren’t they???

      • UGH Mani now BellaSita Mum has her Viral Sinusitis back!! Shee iss whiney an moanin an cranky….
        Iss gonna bee a l-o-n-g weekend… iss snowing an blowin out here!You want sum snow? 😉

      • paridevita says:

        Oh, sinusitis is no fun. We hope she gets better.
        We don’t need any snow, but thanks.

      • Mee-yow Mani mee thinkss shee iss a bit bettur today! Wee gettin MORE snow…seemss since THE Bay an Lakess are not frozen wee get Lake effect snowin. So wee not goin anywhere!
        Baby iss cold outside!!!!!!

      • paridevita says:

        We’ve heard of “lake effect”. The guy I live with has a cyclamen called that.

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Ancient?! Oh my! He probably is not really ‘ancient’. He just happens to be of a species that last a long time. You know, redwoods seem ancient to people, pure bred border collies, terriers and even kitties, because they live for thousands of years. However, by the standards of the redwoods, it is perfectly normal to live that long. Therefore, they do not think of themselves as ancient, even when they are a few centuries old.
    You do not look like an idiot with your boots on. You just look like you are doing what you must to stay comfortable and appease the guy you live with. Perhaps you would feel better about it if you had him wear comparably stylish boots.

  4. Lisa says:

    It’s so nice you have an indoor area for seed starting. I do tomatoes on the kitchen counter, and before spring milk jugs wintersown outdoors.
    I love the photo of you rushing back indoors! You don’t look like an idiot, you look like you are very intelligent and wise to wear the boots in the snow. Well, you look miserable, but not like an idiot.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I know wearing boots is the smart thing to do. At least the boots aren’t pink, less the ones Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, had to wear. (The guy I live with said it was the only color available at the time.)
      We have a “baker’s rack” in what was built as the upstairs master bedroom, but has never been used as one. The guy I live with was using regular fluorescent “grow lights”, but those didn’t work very well at all, so he switched to LED lights.
      He uses sort of fancy propagators which he got from Garden Talk some years ago, for starting seeds that need to be damp all the time, and heating pads underneath.

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