It has been too cold for the nasturtium seeds I sowed a few weeks ago to germinate. By the time they germinate and grow, it will be too hot for the plants to thrive. (As a landscaper neighbor and friend of mine said of this dilemma this morning: “welcome to spring in Washington”). Nasturtiums love cool weather and really only do well in my garden until June.
The solution: I bought a few seedlings. I planted the seedlings where I sowed the seeds. By the time the seedlings have long since flowered and are starting to get leggy, the seeds will have germinated, and I’ll get nasturtiums for an extra few weeks at the end when it starts to get hot.
This combination of sowing seeds and planting seedlings also works well for me with annual herbs such as basil, dill, and parsley. The seedlings give me a few weeks head start; the seeds give me plentiful, inexpensive new plants when the plants that started in my garden as seedlings are starting to bolt.
I do only seeds for greens — kale, chard, mache, arugula, spinach, cilantro and beets. I can sow them in March and by now they are starting to feed me. I do only seedlings for tomatoes and peppers (I don’t have the facilities to get strong seedlings and starting with seedlings extends my growing season up 6-8 weeks).
It would be wonderful to garden entirely from seeds (swapped or harvested from last year), but the reality is that I am not a full-time gardener, but want to have a garden full-time.