christina_sanford03

"Newbies" Chapter 2

The Newbie thread has gotten long, so here's a fresh start!

Val- Hi All, are you new to GW and/or gardening in general? Just found our area here? Or have you already requested newbie seeds?

We'd love to hear from you...I thought this might be a good place to post as alot of newbies gravitate to the seed exchange area to find seeds/start trading. The various swaps are also a great way to get to know other gardeners here!

For those of you who've gotten newbie seeds, let us know how they grew for you! Post some pics! Feel free ask ask questions. Sometimes this site can be hard to find a chat on various subjects (vs. one smaller one),

Looking forward to hearing from you!

(Thanks Val for the start!)

Comments (232)

  • Adam Chester
    3 years ago

    I was just researching the cinnamon thing yesterday morning. According to the internet, you can dump some cinnamon into water, let it steep for a day or two, then strain it through a coffee filter and put it in a spray bottle to mist both soil and seedlings. Seems less messy than dumping cinnamon.

  • Kelli
    3 years ago

    Lizzie, ill pm you all the details! Order should be arriving tomorrow already!


    Adam, sounds less messy, but that's whole day of waiting around and if I'm already rolling around in dirt anyway..... Plus I'd probably make more of a mess dumping it into the sprayer LOL

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  • Kaylee
    3 years ago

    Hi guys sorry I'm late but I know tons about fungus gnats :D

    They're irritating first off, now how to get rid of them. Aside from the cinnamon:

    1. Let soil dry between watering, they need fungus (which needs water) and this throws off their life cycle

    2. Add a 1/4inch layer of sand/perlite/vermiculite/diatomaceous earth on top of planting medium to create a hostile environment. They lay eggs in the top 1/4inch of damp soil/peat moss where fungus is present (or sprinkle with cinnamon!)

    3. Trap them! Use jars of vinegar or sticky paper for the adults. To get rid of maggots place a slice of apple or potato on top of the soil, they'll be on the underside within a day and you can throw them down the disposal

    4. I heard you can dilute hydrogen peroxide and water the plants with it and that kills the eggs and maggots. The other ones all work for me though so I've never tried it!

  • Kelli
    3 years ago

    Ooh good tips! I've got a giant bag of potatoes. Thanks Kaylee! I found a bag of potatoes in the cabinet I guess I forgot about and the potatoes in it had a LOT of shoots. I'm wondering if I should plant them! It feels mean to throw them away when they've obviously tried so hard to grow lol.

  • Kaylee
    3 years ago

    That's so funny, I plant my sprouting potatoes because I feel sorry for them too! If you do plant them I'd just bury them whole with the largest sprouts pointing up. Lots of people say to cut them into pieces with a few eyes on each but I've found most of them will mold that way and take longer to get started. I grew them last year in 5 gallon containers with lots of compost and they did really well!

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    First morning glory is starting to actually climb. No idea what this one is, I sowed liked 3 colors in this pot. And then it turns out the original plant (some African thing that looks like bleeding heart) is still alive and coming back from the roots. Should be an interesting planter.

    So cloooose. First sunflower might be open by tomorrow. Much sooner than expected, I was thinking July. Probably ought to sow a bunch more for a longer show.

    Lizzie

  • Oladon
    3 years ago

    Strawberry true leaves!


    And blackberry sprouts from a rooted cutting!


    Funny you guys should be talking about cinnamon — I used it on the blackberry cutting after reading online that it might help.

    I've never propagated anything but tomatoes this way before!

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Hmm. I don't recall planting a marigold in the succulent pot. But there it is. I'll leave it, could be an interesting combo and it's still in the "likes to dry out before watering" club with the, rest of them.

    Lizzie

  • Kelli
    3 years ago

    Yay I love all the pictures! How are the strawberry sprouts Oladon? Does anyone have any special advice with tiny seeds? I usually sow them on the surface and water just with a spray bottle but I end up Losing so many still. I just got some cool coleus seeds and I definitely don't want to see them fall over! Maybe I over water them being too scared of them to get dry because they are so tiny.


    I love the succulent pot! Do you have a lot of them?

  • Oladon
    3 years ago

    Kelli, the strawberry sprouts are doing great! I went with the coffee filter method and then moved any with green showing to a plastic lidded container (with soil) under the lights about a week ago. There are still more starting to sprout in the plastic baggie, and those in the soil are settling in and starting to grow true leaves (you can see one such in the very middle of the picture above).

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Kelli- Only have one of the flower-looking ones and a few string-of-pearls. The flower one looks like it's making a baby, though. The rest of the pot is filled in with pinecones and geodes.

    Also curious about any small seed advice.

    Yeah, Oladon, how are those strawberries?

    Lizzie

  • Oladon
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Better picture of the strawberry status:

    11 transferred to soil so far, and no casualties yet!

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Oladin, wow, you're doing awesome. Paper towel germination really seems like the way to go. They're so healthy and cute!

    My first sunflower bloomed and I have no idea which one it was. I thought I planted Mammoth or Skyscraper there, but this doesn't seem like either of those, does it? It's a bit over 3ft tall right now.

    You can see it has more than one flower. I didn't expect that. Edit: Hmm. At a glance this photo looks very inappropriate. Should I crop it?

    Lizzie

  • Kelli
    3 years ago

    Wow so yellow! Branching sunflowers are the best!


    Oladon, seems like the paper towel germination is the best way to go! I'm always scared to do it with tiny seeds but seems like it worked out! :)


  • Kaylee
    3 years ago

    Lizzie that's a skyscraper! They have brown centers and are very branched, like 10-15 foot tall sunflower bushes.

    Nice strawberries! I've never started any from seed but moisture domes and shallow soil really help with small seeds. My strawberries are all budding and I see some plants didn't make it through the blizzard we had this year so maybe I should have started some seeds!

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Thanks, Kaylee! Was going to sow more sunflowers in the spaces between them, but now after seeing better pictures of a mature Skyscraper.. Nope. How old are your strawberry plants?

    Lizzie

  • Kaylee
    3 years ago

    The tristar are a couple years old, the quinault and pine berries are three, and I've got alpine strawberries I kidnapped from the forest on the neighbors property a few years ago. So yah about time for some fresh plants, like I need an excuse :D

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Bet everyone is sick of marigolds, but I just made another harvest from a cute plant.

    This one is airier than the dwarf and has mostly single 1.5" red blooms with small gold pompom centers held above the foliage by slender stems.

    Available for SASE along with the Jolly Jesters and French Double Dwarf (plus a healthy amount of MYSTERY marigold seeds).

    Lizzie

  • Oladon
    3 years ago


    More baby strawberries ready to go into soil!

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Well done, Oladon! I'm not brave enough to try strawberries from seed. You're getting great results.

  • Oladon
    3 years ago

    Guess who's procrastinating on tabulating the results of the Great Container Inventory of 2017 and figuring out what I--I mean she--can actually fit in the garden?

  • Kelli
    3 years ago

    Go to the dollar tree or 99 cent store! They have tons! Use milk jugs or old kitty litter pails! You'll find a way!

  • Oladon
    3 years ago

    I actually think I have enough containers... I just have to go through the list I made the other day and figure out what's going to go where. And I don't wanna!

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Here is my second zinnia to bloom. I like it's color even more than the first, which was more of a bubblegum pink. But what makes this one really cool is the plant.

    Look at this BEAST. His bloom may be small, but he is branching as hard as he can. I count at least seven branches.

    Oh and I wanted to share this because it surprised me and a few of us are growing them for the first time. Bought a pair of Nasturtium Jewel Mix plants and did NOT expect the size of these blooms. So big.

    Lizzie

  • Oladon
    3 years ago

    So pretty!

  • Oladon
    3 years ago

    On Tuesday I was cleaning up from my soil test of a few months ago (I just sort of forgot about the little vials) and I found this:

    How cool is that? No idea what it is, but I decided to let it grow for now.

    Now for the more serious content... a tomatillo I bought on Sunday presented with this this morning:


    Any ideas as to what might be wrong with him?

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Oladon, not sure on the tomatillo. =( Can you see anything on the underside of the leaves?

    Kelli, after telling you my flowers weren't producing seeds, this is what I found this morning. I guess this was the first blossom to get pollinated? Anyway, yaaaay!

    Lizzie

  • Rose Small
    3 years ago

    Hi! I'm a newbie I started a garden last year but then lost my home in a fire so this will be my first year. I would really appreciate any seeds anyone has available. Thanks so much!

  • Christina Sanford
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Rose- set up your messaging so we can send you messages. The instructions are in one of the other newbie postings...( If someone remembers, please post it!)

    Now that I hope I have my seedlings reidentified(see prior help posting about jerk cat) tomorrow is final plant up day! Into their final homes all my little ones go. I'll post pictures. I'm also going to the local technical high school's plant sale, so we'll see what treats I find!

  • Christina Sanford
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    I meant to add another piece to that note! Do we need a new thread? I feel like it should be titled something other than chapter 3. Any ideas?

  • Jeremy M
    3 years ago

    I'm a newbie from the Chicago area. I've been obsessed with Shasta daisies and tried bareroot without much success so I tried starting from seeds to save money. I bought a Jiffy 72 peat pellet starter kit and only 1 plant made it the whole way, yes you read that correctly, ONE plant. I bought another 72 kit this year along with an LED light and a heat mat. I realize I could have bought 2-3 more mature plants with that money but I'm hooked on trying to get flowers growing from seed. So far the blanket flowers look good but the dianthus are leggy and none of the black eyed susans germinated. At this point I'm hoping to beat my record of one successful plant. I just found this site today so I'm hoping to learn from others before I get frustrated and quit.

  • Oladon
    3 years ago

    I haven't noticed any weirdnesses with this thread yet, Christina; and we're only just barely at 200 posts. Maybe we can keep going for a bit longer!

    Welcome, Jeremy and Rose!

    Jeremy, you'll find that a lot of people on here don't recommend peat pots for various reasons... it's quite possible that some of those reasons have contributed to your results thus far. But don't give up! Seed starting is tons of fun, and it's so worth it when it does work! You can get 48-packs of black plastic pots on Amazon for fairly low prices, or even just use trays, cups, and various containers you have at home. My local garden store has large "nursery-style" trays full of lightweight plastic 6-packs (like you buy flowers in) for $2.

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Jeremy, you're in the right place.

    I have never used the peat pellets, but I don't like the peat pots. I'm very diligent with watering and still found it impossible to keep my plants watered in peat pots. They dry out so fast. I don't think the pellets contain any food (neither does the Jiffy Mix that I use), so after your seedlings grow a second set of leaves, they get hungry. Legginess almost always means not enough light. The light needs to be positioned very close to your seedlings (a couple of inches above, give or take). Then you move it up as your seedlings grow.

    I don't know much about Shastas (also a newbie myself), but there's a chance you've just fallen in love with a plant that's challenging to propagate.

    If you're looking for an encouraging success rate to keep you motivated, consider trying a few Marigolds or Nasturtium. Zinnias are also easy to germinate (and there are some gorgeous varieties available), but they do just as will direct-sown in the garden.

    Lizzie

  • Jeremy M
    3 years ago

    This is what I'm seeing.

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Hmm, the light looks close, but some are still pretty stretched out. Not all, though. Your short ones look good. Are your short ones being treated any differently? Different position under the light? How many hours of light per day?

    Edit: if every seedling doesn't fit directly under the light, they will stretch toward it.

  • Jeremy M
    3 years ago

    15 hours of light a day. All treated the same. Where is the best place to go on this site to find out what soil, light, etc people prefer?

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Whoooooo! My first variegated leaf. Alaska! Probably! I wish these plants had a nicer shorter name. Nasties doesn't do them justice.

    First morning glory bloom! Kelli sent me some really cool ones that deserve a structure built just for them. It's going to rain tomorrow, but that'll give me some time to plan and soak seeds.

    Lizzie

  • Oladon
    3 years ago

    Someone or something ate one of my squash blossoms!




    ... it was delicious!

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Had almost 100% germination rate for the Nasturtiums sown with cinnamon and hydrogen peroxide. My mom is now a fan, so they're going all over the garden. The Carousel Zinnias are too leggy, not sure if they'll make it.

    This (below) will go in a metal chandelier-looking thing and hopefully it will go nuts. I can't remember which kinds I even planted.

    Lizzie

  • Kelli
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Wow so cute! You can already tell some of the differences in the leaf colors! Did the morning glory bloom yet?

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    They did bloom, but I forgot to take pics while they were open. They were white with periwinkle stars. There might be some blue and pink, but I can't tell what all germinated yet.

    Oh Kelli-

    New growth. Finally.

  • Kelli
    3 years ago

    Wow! It came on super fast huh! It wants to grow! It has antenna! Lol

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    That's the sole survivor of like 7 Lantana cuttings. Finally established enough to grow new leaves. It's from this plant, which I believe is sterile:

    Blooms are bubblegum pink with touches of banana yellow. Takes over and blooms profusely, but doesn't set seed.

  • Kelli
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Wow its huge! How long has it been growing there? What is that white flower too?

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    The white flower is coming off of a Hosta. The lantana has only been there for a couple of years. We got it as a large cutting from my aunt's plant. I cut it to the ground in December or January.

  • Claudia Martinez
    3 years ago

    i, I'm a former gardener. I started about five agos but stopped for a while there, family stuff came up, and I've just been missing the thrill of growing my own plants. I grow, or did, both flowers and fruits and vegetables and really want to get back to gardening but really have no seeds from my previous life as a gardener. Umm, I'm actually starting off by germinating store bought lemon seeds, fingers crossed, that's about it. Would be so grateful if anyone was willing to send any seeds my way. Don't have anything to exchange but lemon seeds. Thank you :

  • GardenMom
    3 years ago

    So i have gotten lots of seeds. None grew had a couple little seedlings. Must try again. Maybe today. Im just gonna throw some seeds in the dirt...

  • Aingeal Mc
    3 years ago

    Okay, so it is a bit that I have been able to post. What a crazy world. So much has happened last I wrote. Miss Emily and I did get our seeds, or at least a few of them. The Post Master and I are going to have a talk this week as it seems someone has been taking from my Mail Box. (I am grumbling inside.)

    Anyway, I will be making a blog post today, however I wanted to thank the ladies for the seeds we did get and I will be contacting the lady that the seeds did not show up yet. I am sure they will get here, it just may take a minute.

    So many fun seeds. Thank you again for all the help.

    I look forward to sharing next year.

    Aingeal

  • Lizzie
    3 years ago

    Hey guys, be sure to join us in the new Newbie thread (this one got too long). I think it's called May Updates.