After caring for my seedlings in eggshell pots for weeks, I decided to start some seeds in big pots. They won’t dry out as quickly and are able to stay outside overnight.
I gathered up pots of all sizes that had been lying around and cleaned them out. for drainage I used yard debris, which was a mix of oak leaves, catkins (those long brown things) and Spanish moss. That mixture was pushed into the bottom of each pot before adding dirt.
I’ve planted basil, dill, cherry tomatoes, marigolds and cosmos. I used freezer tape to label the pots with the date they were planted.
Basil can be difficult to grow in Florida, or so I’ve heard. I had some basil plants in the garden that lasted a couple of years, but then they died. Basil does self-sow if you let seeds form. I now have two pots of basil.
The basil seedlings became so crowded that I removed some of the plants by cutting them off. You should cut and not pull when thinning so as not to disturb the roots.
I kept the cuttings to use when cooking! So far, everything looks good and I hope to have nice big basil plants to pull from year round.
Cosmos and Marigolds
I chose two types of flower packets to grow from seeds. Marigolds are so wonderful for gardens, because they repel certain bugs that could be destructive. They should be dead-headed (pull off the old flowers) and I rip the flower head apart and scatter it among the vegetables. Every gardener probably includes marigolds when planting. I think certain varieties are better than others, but I didn’t have a lot to choose from at the store.
I bought two flowering marigold plants – see the orange one below – and will see what happens with the seeds.
The cosmos seedlings are looking pretty good. A little purple cosmos flower has bloomed in my grow box. That plant was begun in an eggshell pot.
This is certainly a different looking cosmos from what I am used to growing in New Hampshire. Or maybe the plant needs to mature to grow larger.
Actually, the secret is to plant seeds in real good dirt.
I always grew dill in my northern garden, but have not had luck growing it here in Florida. I do have a few small seedlings in the grow boxes, and now have dill sprouting in this terra cotta pot.
Because I don’t have much luck growing dill, I have chosen to grow fennel. It is similar in that it also grows tall and feathery and has flowers that attract beneficial bugs. Also the Swallowtail butterfly will leave her eggs on fennel, just like parsley and dill.
I needed up putting the dill into the potato garden and planted more dill seeds in a large pot.
My cherry tomato seedlings were not doing much at first, but now in May they are large plants. I’ve transplanted them a few times and they have little tomatoes on the vine.