Let’s start with a success story. The green zinnia named “Envy” is one you won’t find at the nursery. Odd that a green flower should capture my fancy when there is already so much green out there. Must have something to do with rarity, a concept familiar to all gardeners.
Regular zinnias are notoriously easy to grow. These: not so much. Early on (late April or so) my success rate was spotty. These three pots were each planted with five seeds from the same packet. One pot yielded three plants, one coughed up only one and the third…a big zero. I moved all three (and a few others) outside anyway. That laggart came alive and pumped out five plants that soon shot past their coddled brethren.
Placement is everything. Compare the vigorous growth in the first picture to this poor guy struggling in the shade.
The seeds for Amaranth were way tiny, so they were scattered as sparingly as possible…and guess what? Same story in the performance department.
I waited for the successful plants to reach this size before planting them out.
Pretty soon the ones I put in a pot were looking pretty good. My theory was that if they got wonderfully dangly the pot could be raised to show them off.
The ones in the ground had not thrived…exactly the opposite results from what was expected. Maybe the claims made by potting soil companies are legitimate?
In case you’re thinking I’ve stumbled upon a truism…not so fast. Here is one from the second batch that is doing fine in the ground.
If its neighbors had filled in as intended, this would be a nice looking bed filled with ‘Love-Lies-Bleeding’. As it is, one is doing well, the others, so so. But wait! That shade cloth is covering a little Rhody that R is babying along, and it just occurred to me that he must be fertilizing it as part of the program. So much for my “tough love” approach (but please don’t tell him…he’s already incorrigible).
The commercial seed tray setups gave pretty good results. Those four little cucumber plants on the right were responsible for mountains of cucumbers and are producing still.
I was greedy for Castor Beans, so bought two packets of seeds. The directions advise planting directly in the ground, but I was out to experiment. Some went in the ground and are still so small that I only discover them when weeding.
The rest went into the seed trays, which they quickly outgrew. Get a load of them roots.
They graduated to clay pots, here compared to a couple that were direct sown.
Proving again that each seed has a mind of its own, these two were raised under identical conditions and came from the same packet of seeds. The one in front is twice as big as the one in back, this time with no fertilizing intervention to account for the difference. This stuff must drive real scientists to the brink of insanity. Of course the one in R’s veggie bed is four times the size of my greatest success and already producing seeds for next year’s crop (sigh). How about you? Have you conducted any experiments this growing season?