Sunday, May 2, 2010

Getting Out of the House for a Bit

In April, I started a few nasturtium seeds inside...I forgot to take a picture of that, but I took a takeout salad container with a clear lid and filled it with seed starting mix.  I put about 6 spitfire seeds in it, watered it, and put on the lid.  I did not soak them or nick the seed coats. I wanted to see how long it took without doing anything special, because I had always sown nasturtium seeds outside that way, but had never kept track to see when they came up.  Inside the little 'mini' greenhouse, they stayed warm and moist under my seed lights.  All of them had sprouted within 2 weeks.


Since it is now the beginning of May, I felt pretty safe putting some of my little seedlings outside.  Spring has been freakishly warm here in Iowa, as well as many other places in the country, so I'm not too worried about frost at this point. I put two seedlings in this planter by my front steps.  The planter is supposed to look like a pump.  I got it at a local craft fair a few years back.


Sorry for the pic being a little fuzzy, but the sunlight was incredibly bright, and this camera is getting old.  The funny story about the pump is that when I bought it, I brought it home and put it in front of our house at the time, my fiance's grandmother's house.  He basically implied that he didn't want it there, because it looked 'tacky', and he didn't 'go' with the image he had of his grandma's house.  I was like, "Excuse me? Are you implying that it is hickish?"  I mean, it's not like we have cars in the front yard up on blocks and such.  I was very insulted and asked him where I should put it. He said, I don't care, as long as nobody can see it.  I was really hacked off and dragged it into the backyard and slammed it down.  I didn't even take the pink tape off the top that the price tag had been attached to.  There it sat for weeks, with nothing in it. He finally asked if I was going to plant anything in it.  I said, no, I don't want to be all tacky or anything.  So, I let that thing set there empty in the backyard with the tape on it the whole first year just to irritate him.  We joke about the pump now, it is a metaphor for stubbornness in our house.  I thought it would be kind of funny when we moved to this house to put the pump out in front.  So far he hasn't said anything.  ;)


Here is where I put the rest, in front of a cool old garden gate I have by my garage.  I imagine the gate will be covered by the plants by the end of the summer. 

They aren't very robust yet, but I think nasturtium gets a little gangly under grow lights, compared to starting it outside.  The next stage for me is to find places to direct sow the remaining seeds outside.  By the time they sprout, the frost date will be past here, and they will be safe. I know I am going to put some seeds in my new whiskey barrel planter I bought.  Also, I am going to put some in my tippy pot planter I am building. 

The problem with the tippy pot planter is that I overestimated the strength of the rod I used.  It all looked well and good until I filled the fourth pot.  Then the whole thing started to tip.  I caught the pots before they fell.  I used a plastic coated rod with metal inside.  Very strong.  However, not strong enough for this kind of weight.  I will be going back to the hardware store for a solid metal rod of some kind.  I did pound the stake deeply into the ground, which is recommended to support the weight, but the top part bent when I was trying to situtate the pots. Oh well, I will try again.  Anyways, I am going to plant some spitfire seeds into one of these pots, and then they will be spilling beautiful edible foliage out in no time.  By this time next month, I should have some pretty significant plants.  

Renee's Garden also sent me some 'Double Cosmos:  Rose Bon Bon'.  I planted those today in my rose bed.  This is the 'before' pic.  The former owners did not use any kind of groundcover that I can tell, under the mulch, so the grass was coming up in it like crazy.  You can also see my very cruddy looking allium foliage.  They look kind of dead, but I guess some of this is normal for alliums.  Since the alliums will be a litte sparse, I filled in with some annual color.  After doing some weeding, of course.

It looked much better after getting rid of the grass. I planted some Amaranthus Burgundy in the middle, which gets 5 to 8 feet tall.  Then, I planted the Cosmos seeds, and stuck little wooden sticks in to remind myself where I planted them. The beautiful package says that the Cosmos get to be 3 to 4 feet.  I think this bed will look fantastic when everything is grown up and blooming.  I need to freshen up the mulch, but I won't do that until my seedlings are up.  Thanks to Renee's Garden again for the generous gifts of the seeds.

"I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee's Garden for the seeds."


  1. You have been a busy gal! Your yard is looking great! I want to do the tippy pots too! I just have a million other unfinished projects!

  2. This week I'm going to do an update on my progress in the yard. Have been so busy trying to get everything in...took time to clean up my kitchen tonight. Need to do house cleaning this week. But the gardening keeps calling me outdoors.

  3. I love the tippy pot planter! It's going to be a nasturtium waterfall! A nastyfall! (haha)

  4. The tippy pot planter is adorable! I can't wait to see it with Spitfire blooms filling it up. I love the amaranthus and pink cosmo combination...that will be stunning with your roses!! I haven't planted my pink cosmos yet...I think maybe I'll pair them with Italian White sunflowers. Congratulations on all of your hard work's amazing what you've done so far!! :-)

  5. Your yard looks great! And I don't think the pump is at all "hickish." It looks nice. You should've left the price tag on forever as a reminder. ;)

    Hey, do nasturiums come back, or do you have to replant them every year? I was thinking of putting some in my side yard. Those were pretty last year.

  6. Melissa- Nasturtiums do not come back, unless a seed gets left behind...they are pretty annuals to us. But they are SOOO easy to grow from seed. I will have more to give you this year prob, cause I have several varieties to grow this year.


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