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.