Saturday, March 18, 2006

T&M Teasers and Poppin' Petunias

See 'em? Look... there... no, there. Those teeny, weeny green thingies in the dirt. Those are petunias, those are!

For size comparison, you can see the divider of the six-pack in the middle. Did I have to use a magnifying glass to find the little critters? Just about.

These babies started off as seeds that I bought from Thompson and Morgan, those marvelous folks who will sell you seeds for just about anything that will grow from seeds, and even some that don't (packet of fern spores, anyone?). Some are what you might call "challenging" -- that is, "Don't try this at home, kids! Leave it to the professionals." But there's plenty in the catalog that will grow, even for the rank beginner. And this year they tempted me beyond any semblance of self-control with a whole slew of freebies: "Buy anything from these two pages and get a packet of such-and-such for free!" I spent several happy hours paging through the catalog looking for all the free seed offers, and snapping up the ones that were appealing. At the very end of it all, after I filled out the order form online (I learned after two tries NOT to add the letter listed at the end of the product number in the catalog for the freebies -- the online system will spot them automatically), I got another offer for two free packets of their choosing. Well, of course I clicked on it! When the order came, one of the packets was a lovely lime basil. All told, of the nineteen packets I ordered (besides petunias, I ordered some special picotee cosmos, double cosmos, dianthus, asters, clarkia, sweet peas, and hollyhocks), nine were free. Not bad!

Among the seeds that I ordered were packets of petunias. I wanted some for the container gardens I've planned, and thought maybe I'd try growing some instead of buying six-packs. Man, those seeds are as tiny as dust! Not at all easy to handle, and static cling holds them firmly to the inside of the packet. I managed to sow some across several six-packs, and now the first of them have sprouted after two weeks on the heat mat.

Now I wish I could have afforded a bigger grow-light set-up. Well... there's next year.

Here's the same six-pack with the petunia babies in context of my little light set-up -- it's the six-pack on the left at the bottom of the picture. Yeah, those seedlings are microscopic!

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