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  1. #1
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    First Time Gardeners

    Starting Seeds Indoors

    Fill clean containers with seedling mix. Use soilless peat moss and mix in equal parts vermiculite and perlite to hold enough water and allow oxygen to flow. Don’t use potting soil.

    Pour soilless mix into a large bucket and moisten with warm water. Fill your containers to just below the rim.

    Plant your seeds according to your seed packet. Most seeds can simply be gently pressed into the mixture; you can use the eraser end of a pencil to push in seeds. When planting seeds, plant the largest seeds in the package to get the best germination rate.

    Cover containers with plastic. Prick holes with a toothpick for ventilation. Water as directed.

    Water newly started seedlings carefully. A pitcher may let the water out too forcefully. A mist sprayer is gentle but can take a long time. Try using a meat-basting syringe, which will dispense the water effectively without causing too much soil disruption.

    Find a place in the kitchen where there is natural bottom heat—on top of the refrigerator or near the oven. (Move the tray if the oven is on, as it may become too hot.)

    Seeds sprout best at temperatures of 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C).
    When seedlings appear, remove the plastic and move containers into bright light.
    When the seedlings get their second pair of leaves, prepare individual pots filled with a potting mix with plenty of compost. Move the seedlings carefully to the new pots and water well. Keep pots out of direct sun for a few days.

    Here’s another "[Only registered and activated users can see links. ][Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Once your seeds have sprouted, see how to [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]!

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    We didn't know about "Don't use potting soil," that could be the reason many of seeds didn't sprout last year.
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  2. #2
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    13 Plants That Give You Bang for Your Buck

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    Here’s a list of some inexpensive and lower maintenance plants that will really add beauty to your garden. The spiraea, pictured above, is one of my favorites and will be a newcomer in my garden this year. It’s absolutely gorgeous and provides year-round interest.

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    I'm thinking about putting in some Spiraea Shrub, love the way it looks, also the price is pretty good.
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  3. #3
    Administrator sunny47's Avatar
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    Oh Thank You Aubrey for this site~13 Plants That Give You Bang for Your Buck!! I already have the Caladiums & DAYLILIES AND Lavender in my garden~~Now I want to get the Cleome I always want to add more to my garden!! Thanks!!

  4. #4
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    Nice article! We are redoing our backyard now. Put in a putting green last year cuz grass wouldn't grow. Now we have installed flexible drip system above the ground and under rock so that we can direct water as needed. We have also laid 7 tons of rock. I'm also going to plant more plants.

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    The Spirea are pretty easy to grow, Aubrey. And they are very pretty in bloom and as a leafy shrub.

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    the article forgot to mention gardenia's. i know they don't thrive everywhere but oh my heaven's they love it where i live and i could not have a yard without them. i bring in the blossoms almost year round and have them in all areas of the house.

  7. #7
    Administrator sunny47's Avatar
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    Hi Laura I love gardenia's!! It is my favorite scent to wear & favorite flower ever!!!! I had gardenia plants when I lived in the South but will not grow here in Illinois at all too cold for them.

  8. #8
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    hi sunny47. i tried to quote you but i got an error message again. it's been happening to me all morning. luckily i hit the back button and was able to copy the original. here it is

    i've never found a gardenia scent that i have fallen in love with. maybe it's because i haven't found anything that comes close to the original. i bought about 8 of these little glass cups, i think they are for nuts or candles, at goodwill last year and plop a gardenia in each one and scatter them throughout the house. my mom has a hard time growing gardenia's as well but i live in California and they do very well here. at my last house i had three huge shrubs about 4 feet tall and equally as wide.

  9. #9
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    I love gardenias, too, they are so pretty!

    I can grow them in pots here (central WI) but they don't so se well if direct-planted - for the same reason Sunny mentioned, the weather is just too iffy.

    I've had some luck with growing them in pots, mostly on the sun porch .
    Last edited by maryjane; 05-02-2016 at 04:36 AM.

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    I have some of these growing as starter plants right now (started from seed):

    Cardinal climber:


    Canary climber:


    Thunbergia, African sunset:




    Thunbergia (orange):


    and my usual morning glory mix and moon flowers.

    It's a bit of work to get them started and transplanted carefully, but I love them. I put some in deep rectangular planters below trellises on a section of privacy fence, I usually grow one BIG morning glory 'tree', lol (potted with bamboo poles for them to climb) and the cardinal climbers and orange thunbergia (relative of the lazy susan) I grow on smaller trellises between windows on the outside of the sun porch.

    I have grown all of the above in the past except the canary climber, I've never tried that one before. Wish me luck, lol!
    Last edited by maryjane; 05-02-2016 at 04:36 AM.

  11. #11
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    And this one (I wasn't able to post more than 4 pics in one post).

    Cypress vine:


  12. #12
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    oooooh, i love the Thunbergia with it's bright orange color and the cypress vine looks like fireworks! you are going to love them!

  13. #13
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    hubby texted me today. they were having some sort of silent auction at his office today. he said 'do you like japanese maple?' i said yes! what variety is it? he said japanese maple. i explained that there are all sorts of varieties and could he give me the botanical name.
    final text. 'i won the japanese maple...............and a grass fed meat package with chicken, fillet and pork.'

    my take, he wanted the meat. i got the maple as a way to buffer his purchase. LOL

  14. #14
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    so my japanese maple ^^^ i think is supposed to be a bonsai. it's in this little shallow dish and the main lead and two off sprouts are trimmed. i'm afraid this little maple will always be 11 inches tall and that i will have to take some sort of course in the art of Bonsai. argh. i bought a pot and am thinking of just planting it and seeing what happens.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    so my japanese maple ^^^ i think is supposed to be a bonsai. it's in this little shallow dish and the main lead and two off sprouts are trimmed. i'm afraid this little maple will always be 11 inches tall and that i will have to take some sort of course in the art of Bonsai. argh. i bought a pot and am thinking of just planting it and seeing what happens.
    By the size and how it's planted, it sounds like that may be what it is, a Japanese bonsai - they are very pretty!

    Let us know how it goes, Laura. I had to lol a little bit at 'taking a course in the art of Bonsai', you'll do just fine!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by maryjane [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    By the size and how it's planted, it sounds like that may be what it is, a Japanese bonsai - they are very pretty!

    Let us know how it goes, Laura. I had to lol a little bit at 'taking a course in the art of Bonsai', you'll do just fine!
    yeah i know but my neighbor is not the kindly old man from karate kid so i'm kinda flying solo here.

  17. #17
    Administrator mykittysmama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maryjane [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    And this one (I wasn't able to post more than 4 pics in one post).

    Cypress vine:

    I love this one! I live in an apt building and can't have a garden but love looking at the pics here!
    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mykittysmama [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    I love this one! I live in an apt building and can't have a garden but love looking at the pics here!
    Do you have a balcony? I love this cypress vine. I grew it in a pot with a small trellis and it was gorgeous!! Also, it reseeded every year!!

  19. #19
    Administrator mykittysmama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephie48 [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Do you have a balcony? I love this cypress vine. I grew it in a pot with a small trellis and it was gorgeous!! Also, it reseeded every year!!
    Unfortunately no balcony either. I am going to ask my landlord if I buy one can I or he plant it in the courtyard. It is really gorgeous!
    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  20. #20
    Admin dingo's Avatar
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    I love the cyprus vine,I have never seen it before,its beautiful.

  21. #21
    Administrator mykittysmama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dingo [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    I love the cyprus vine,I have never seen it before,its beautiful.
    I have never seen it before either to my knowledge, I took one look at it and fell in love...lol
    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

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    Admin dingo's Avatar
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    I looked them up,apparently they are classed as a weed here,a very pretty weed though.

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    If the vines are left to grow wild and not contained they can become invasive (a nuisance)...kind of like the 'wild' morning glories that spout from bird seed.

    Only a few of my cypress vine seeds have sprouted. I may have to get another pack of seeds.

    Stephie, I did the same thing with planting them in a pot with a trellis stuck inside and kept it outside in the patio. Mkm, you might be able to do that inside if you have a sunny window - but I like the idea of asking to put some in the courtyard!

  24. #24
    Admin dingo's Avatar
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    What about a hanging basket?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dingo [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    What about a hanging basket?
    That would work, too. The vines are pretty easy to 'train' to grow up/down/around whatever is near.

  26. #26
    Senior Member Asteroids Champion, Crazy Shuttle Champion, Barb Jump Champion, Arkanoid Champion MissWasabi's Avatar
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    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]


    "Tristan" strawberries.

    I just bought 3 of these from Mother's Market!

    They taste great!

    I'll be planting them in a pot since they do not put out runners.
    Last edited by MissWasabi; 05-13-2016 at 12:47 AM.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissWasabi [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]


    "Tristan" strawberries.

    I just bought 3 of these from Mother's Market!

    They taste great!

    I'll be planting them in a pot since they do not put out runners.

    beautiful! i've never heard of them before.

  28. #28
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    Love the strawberry plants, MissW!

    Are they big producers?

  29. #29
    Senior Member Asteroids Champion, Crazy Shuttle Champion, Barb Jump Champion, Arkanoid Champion MissWasabi's Avatar
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    This is the first time I've even seen them.

    According to what I've read about them, they are big producers.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissWasabi [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    This is the first time I've even seen them.

    According to what I've read about them, they are big producers.
    I'm going to look for some around here, maybe at one of the bigger greenhouse places .

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