Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lights On!

Grow lights I mean, they must stay on for at least another six weeks.  I have them on a sixteen hour timer in my utility room and this is when the real work begins.  After sprouting, it is very important that those spindley little plants do not dry out.  I keep a plastic dome on each planting tray until they sprout and begin to grow.

Zinnia Highlight Seedlings

Zinnia Highlight

Zinnia Zahara Double Fire

Zinnia Zahara Double Fire

Amaranthus Seedlings (red and green)

I will have to thin these out by cutting off the extras.

Amaranthus Red

Amaranthus  Green

Snapdragon La Bella Seedlings

So small and delicate, it is diffiicult to believe that they will become 18 inch tall plantings.

Snapdragon La Bella

The seedlings require more water now and need to be checked on daily because of the heat of the lights.

Petunia Silver Tidal Wave Seedlings

Silver Tidal Wave Petunia

I will begin giving them a light dilution of fertilizer next week just to boost their strength and in about four or five weeks will begin a hardening off process that may last at least two weeks.

I had forgotten how much care these young seedlings take, like taking care of those little babies in the beginning rewarding but very time intensive.


Bernie said...

Time consuming ... yes! But so much fun and so rewarding watching these little beauties grow and flourish. Just love the Zinnias and Snaps!

Larry said...

Hi Eileen... I was thinking of you as I finally got my orchid case up and working... the idea had come to me when you did a post on considering a new lights set-up. I'll be doing a post on mine soon. We only got about 4" of snow with a mix of sleet, but 30 miles north got 12" and 17" in Green Bay... shouldn't last long as even with temps in the high 20's, the sun is warm! The only seedlings I've started so far are primulas... I like to wait until April where possible... Larry

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

The grow lights really do dry them out quickly, I was surprised by how fast. It's exciting to see those little sprouts knowing how beautiful they'll be in a couple of months. I've got so many seedlings going I'm going to run out of room in my garden for all the flowers :)
I've never tried petunias from seed before, I think that'll be a new one to try next year.

Karen said...

Hi Eileen, Your seedlings look so healthy. I'm so far behind you; my seeds first arrived in the mail this week. I am actually glad I didn't have the greenhouse up yet though, with this wet snow we got today, it would have been under a lot of weight. Did you get hit with a lot of snow, too? I love the look of the Zinnia 'Highlight', very pretty!

Anonymous said...

Seeing your seedlings flourish under their lights, make me excited about spring! It is dedication to those delicate sprouts, but when they flower...all worht it!

RainGardener said...

You are one busy lady Eileen. But it sure looks like the payoffs will be good. Love the Amaranthus - one I'm not familiar with and your La Bella Snapdragons are beautiful! I've really come to love Snapdragons because not only are they huge and lovely but they bloom all summer. So rewarding!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Bernie,

I just hope I don't kill all of them. I have to remember to check on them each day.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Larry, you think a lot bigger than I do. I saw your orchid case and it is wonderful.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Catherine.

They are a lot of work, more than I remembered but I think I will continue to do this each year.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen,

I am very interested in these new zinnias because of the warm weather we had last summer.


Gatsbys Gardens said...


I think it is worth it especially for the seeds that are ususual.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi RG,

The Amaranthus is a quite tall plant and many times needs to be staked to look good. They can be dried and look quite attractive in the fall.


garden girl said...

You're quite ambitious Eileen! Your seedlings look happy and healthy.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi GG,

I am surprised how much care they take. I did this on a much bigger scale years ago, guess I had forgotten.


Zoey said...

So far everything looks healthy. I don't mind the work, if they survive. You should have some nice plants by mid-May.

So far I have looked in two stores for amaranthus. It's not the easiest plant to find here. I still have a couple of possibilities - Wally's and Farm and Fleet. I am really hoping to find some for this year. Did you order yours from a catalog?

Becca's Dirt said...

Looks like you are adding a few new plants and I am loving that silver petunia. And those snapdragons will be stunning. Can't wait to see them planted in the gardens. Have a nice weekend.

Indoor Fountains said...


Good luck (though someone with your green thumb doesn't need it!).

joey said...

May all your hard work and hopeful dreams come true, Eileen. Will be anxious to see the fruits of your labor. Hoping the weather is spring friendly!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey,

I did buy a small pack of four amaranthus in the red last year at a specialty nursery.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Becca,

I sw those petunias on Larry Conrad's site last summer. He had them in baskets and they were gorgeous.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Indoor Fountains,

The planting was easy, now to take care of them.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Joey,

Our weather is not great, cold but at least no snow for now.