Yes, it is cold all over the South today, and coastal Georgia has not been spared. But the Atlantic Ocean 5 miles from our home will moderate the temperatures and we will not see snow or ice like our Northern neighbors are fearing. Still, the sunless and cold day keeps me inside, which is just fine because it is time to transplant the basil and nasturtium seedlings to a larger space. The arugula did not germinate well. Any secrets, readers, to growing arugula that you would like to pass my way?
was a favorite of mine while I gardened in the Northeast, but it takes FOREVER to grow, and if you got it to bloom at all, it wasn’t until late September or October, and the frosts quickly brought it all down. The fleeting joy of observing this vine produce the very big blousy cuplike blooms with lovely light scent was too great to discourage me, and so I grew it for many years. If the vine reached 5 – 6 feet that was a success. HOWEVER, in Zone 9, I potentially have a monster on my hands! The seed pack says this half hearty perennial in this Zone could reach 70 feet. Grow me to the moon!!!! Do I believe this will happen? No, but I have to try!
The funny flat seeds need to be scarified or soaked in water overnight. A person like me who cringes to trim her dogs’ nails, certainly could not be trusted with a tiny fragile seed, so the soaking method works just fine. The seeds must be planted upright, not flat. I planted them just so, in an organic seed starting mix. Wish me luck!
Now, for my tip of the day. I know, I do not share tips every day but this one is worth MANY days’ worth of tips! Do you have trouble with ink or pencil staying legible throughout the season? Do you come upon a lovely plant you started from seed, look around for the label, only to find that by August the sun has faded or the rain has washed away your careful labeling? Sharpies were better than some, but the BEST, I have found is this Deco Color pen. You can find it in your local art store. If you keep the top on tight, they last forever, and can even stay outdoors in a covered area on your garden bench through Winter (oops!) Trust me, if you want to be able to read your label at the end of the season – this is the pen for you. Because I love dahlias and showed them – this was imperative in October when the shows demand you correctly label your dahlia. The labels shown above with the nasturtiums are not Deco Color. Why? Because if germination is poor, or is a complete failure, I don’t want to waste a perfectly good label with PERMANENT ink. So, if the plant goes on into the garden, I write over with the Deco Color paint!
Call me thrifty!
Hope you are enjoying some garden time inside; maybe you are also starting seeds in anticipation of a new growing season right around the corner!
P.S. As for the cup and saucer vine, all bets are off if the deer like this. I battled deer appetites for many years in the North, but so many gardeners I’ve met on Skidaway Island continually harp about the deer and claim they can’t grow plants because of them. I don’t buy that, because I always found a way to grow lilies, roses, hosta – their favorites – with the use of repellants. So, let’s see if I can battle their Southern cousins as successfully.