My Seeds Have Arrived!
For the first time ever, I’m starting some tender annuals inside this year. As of now the letter carrier has delivered them all to our home from Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Burpee. (I like the name Burpee. You’ve got to admit it’s a funny name.)
So here’s what we’ve got:
Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia): Learning that I could no longer buy Mexican Sunflower plants at my neighborhood plant nursery is what pushed me into this seed-starting adventure. I’ve ordered 2 varieties, ‘Torch’ (which grows 5-6 feet, a normal height for Tithonia), and the compact ‘Sundance’, which is supposed to grow to just 3 feet. For now I’m thinking of keeping ‘Sundance’ in a pot.
Zinnias. Zinnias are not likely to droop if I forget to water them a while. They also make great cut flowers. I prefer the single flowers in hot colors, so I ordered ‘Zahara Sunburst’ (Z. marylandica) and ‘Zowie Yellow Flame’. We grew ‘Sunburst’ last year, the orange-yellow flowers are electrifying. I also got the more compact, mixed color ‘Pinwheel’.
Salvias. 2 varieties: S. farinacea ‘Victoria Blue’ and the hybrid ‘Big Blue’.
We also got some Basil, both regular sweet Basil and the Thai Basil ‘Siam Queen’.
These will all be starting inside. Sowing dates seem to vary considerably. Sowing dates seem to start with Salvia ‘Big Blue’ on March 1 and conclude with the Basil on May 1.
Of course, we ordered way more seeds than I’ll be able to sow given our modest basement setup (which will be the subject of another post). I’m trying to start small (which goes against my basic instincts), but I want to plant at least 3 or 4 pots of each plant that was ordered.
We also got 2 annual Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) that I’ll direct sow outside. The first is my old favorite ‘Italian White’, and another called ‘Valentine’ – but are multi-branched. Though I haven’t had great luck direct sowing Sunflowers – the rabbits eat them to the ground before they achieve much size.
The weather has been downright disgusting lately – not excessively cold, but cloudy days of alternating freezing rain, snow, and hail, leaving the ground slushy and slippery. And yet, when I see my little bundle of seed packets, I think of summer.