Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Impatiens Experiment

I was warned that it's a real bear to grow Impatiens from seeds. Someone told me you could keep cuttings over the winter, but I couldn't. So the options were: pay through the nose for plants. or grow my own.

Well, that one is easy. What can go wrong?

I found a package of 500 seeds online for three bucks delivered. And I set up for it.

Instructions call for warm soil: 60 - 75 degrees, but don't ever go above 85 or you'll kill 'em.

I got a larger heating mat (20x20), and it turned out to be warmer in the middle. With a little juggling of the cover, we could keep it in the range.

I set the seed package in there overnight, waiting for the moist soil to warm up: I wanted to plant into warm soil.

But condensation soaked the package, so I spread the seeds on the surface in a hurry and left to mow the lawn and help a friend build a gate.

No problem. It takes a couple of weeks to germinate. I'll check 'em in a week.

I couldn't wait. Four days later, I found this: They were sprouting!

I could see which side was warmer, so I flipped 'em around. A few days later, we had this: this was getting out of hand.

For several days, I watched the temperature and marveled!

A week later it looked like this:

Now they were getting real crowded. And if I looked closely, more seeds were just now germinating.

So I grabbed some small tools and some small pots and began transplanting the ones that were forming their first pair of real leaves.

I had a small tray with sixteen pockets, so I planted one or two impatiens starts in each pocket.

And I decided I wanted a flower pot this year.

I hooked chains on one of my larger (3 gallon?) greenhouse pots, drilled some holes in the sides, and planted impatiens!

I also planted some marigold starts, and some seeds for some black-eyed susan vines, and left room for some schizanthus later on.

That reduced the crowding on the impatiens for about two days.

I needed to transplant them to real pots, starter pots, but real pots. Fortunately, a friend gave me a bunch recently.

I got busy.

I only transplanted the bigger plants.

But the more I transplanted out, the more seeds germinated. The tray stayed full.

After all this, the tray remained as full of impatiens starts as it ever was.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with so many flowers.