Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sowing Seeds Indoors

I ordered a lot of seeds this year from Park's Seeds for the vegetable garden and for my flower boxes. I intend to grow all our veg from seed this year. Here is a brief summary of my experience with the seeds and my recommendations.

Excellent Success Rate - Highly Recommend:

Celebrity Hybrid Tomato - I sowed two seeds per peat pod and had almost 100% success rate with both seeds in the pod. I recommend saving your seeds and sowing just one seed per pod. The plants are strong and healthy, and the seeds germinate rapidly, so if there are any failures, you can sow another one in short time. The plants grow very quickly.

Marcellino Hybrid Tomato - I sowed two seeds per peat pod and had almost 100% success rate with both seeds in the pod. I recommend saving your seeds and sowing just one seed per pod. The plants are strong and healthy, and the seeds germinate rapidly, so if there are any failures, you can sow another one in short time. The plants grow very quickly.

California Wonder Organic Pepper - I sowed two seeds per peat pod and had about 75% success rate. I recommend saving your seeds and sowing just one seed per pod. The plants are strong and healthy. The seeds germinated a little slower than the tomatoes, but if there are any failures, you can sow another one in short time. The plants don't grow very quickly, but they are strong plants.

Red Rubin Basil - I sowed two seeds per peat pod and had a 100% success rate with both seeds in the pod. I recommend saving your seeds and sowing just one seed per pod. The plants are strong and healthy, and the seeds germinate moderately quickly, so if there are any failures, you can sow another one in short time. The plants don't grow very quickly, but they are strong plants.

Lemon Sweet Dani Basil - I sowed two seeds per peat pod and had a 100% success rate with both seeds in the pod. I recommend saving your seeds and sowing just one seed per pod. The plants are strong and healthy, and the seeds germinate moderately quickly, so if there are any failures, you can sow another one in short time. The plants don't grow very quickly, but they are strong plants.

Marseille Basil - I sowed two seeds per peat pod and had a 100% success rate with both seeds in the pod. I recommend saving your seeds and sowing just one seed per pod. The plants are strong and healthy, and the seeds germinate moderately quickly, so if there are any failures, you can sow another one in short time. The plants don't grow very quickly, but they are strong plants.

Large Leaf Italian Basil - I sowed two seeds per peat pod and had a 100% success rate with both seeds in the pod. I recommend saving your seeds and sowing just one seed per pod. The plants are strong and healthy, and the seeds germinate moderately quickly, so if there are any failures, you can sow another one in short time. The plants don't grow very quickly, but they are strong plants.

Crookneck Squash - I sowed two seeds per peat pod and had a 100% success rate with both seeds in the pod. I recommend saving your seeds and sowing just one seed per pod. The plants are strong and healthy, even though the seeds germinate very slowly. The plants do grow INCREDIBLY quickly, so sow these a little later than it suggests on the packet.

Santo Cilantro - I sowed two seeds per peat pod and had a 25% success rate. I recommend sowing up to 4 seeds per pod to increase your success rate. The plants are healthy, but the seeds germinate very slowly. The plants don't grow very quickly, but they are strong plants.

Serena Purple Angelonia - I sowed one seed per peat pod and had a 100% success rate. The plants are strong and healthy, and the seeds germinate moderately quickly. The plants don't grow very quickly, but they are strong plants.

Questionable Success Rate - Purchase with Caution:

Cornado Crown Hybrid Broccoli - I sowed two seeds per peat pod and had nearly 100% success rate with both seeds. However, the plants were VERY weak and spindly, and the length of the stem outgrew the width, making the stem unable to support the weight of the leaves. I sowed these seeds twice with the same result. I doubt they will make it in the garden, but perhaps you know some secret to sowing broccoli. I think I will try to direct sow them and see if the results are better.

Chaenarrhinum Summer Skies - The claim is that this flower is quick and easy to grow, but that has not been my experience. I sowed two seeds per peat pod, and had about a 50% success rate. The plants are very weak and spindly and painfully slow growing. They seem to topple over and die for no apparent reason on a whim. I am very disappointed in these seeds. I am going to try a direct sow with the remaining three seeds I have left.

Awful Success Rate - Avoid Purchase:

Petunia Dolcissima Limoncello Park's website raves about the beauty of these petunias and boasts about the awards they have won, but they fail to mention that they are impossible to grow. Out of the 30 seeds I sowed, only 5 have turned into viable plants. Out of those 5, I consider only 3 of them to be thriving. I am going to try to direct sow some of the remaining seeds, but I have little hope for them. Mature petunias are cheap. Sure, they aren't these fancy Italian ones, but trust me - they aren't worth the trouble and the space they take to try to grow!

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