The spinach seeds began sprouting last night, which is just under four days from planting. I started them off in toilet paper tubes filled with Jiffy Mix, then placed them in a cool area of the house on a windowsill on the north side that never gets direct light. I put them outside this morning because the temperature was 67 degrees and the high today should only be 80. By that time, however, they’ll be in the shade and I think the temperature will still be okay for the rest of them to germinate. I’ve got the spinach bed prepared with compost and composted manure mixed in. I will plant them in a few of weeks, after they’ve developed a couple sets of leaves. In the meantime, I’ll let the soil get happy.
Today, I ordered several packets of Texas wildflower seeds to sow next weekend. I’ve read that sowing the seeds in September-October will give them ample time to root and get established to put on a better Spring show. With el Nino expected to bring a wetter winter this year, the show should be pretty good for 2010 (2009 was a disappointment, especially for the Bluebonnets). The idea I have is just to work up about a foot or so of dirt along the East and North fence of the yard and sow the seeds there. I’m hoping that the flowers will add a nice border of color, while attracting birds, butterflies, bees and hummingbird to the yard.
I ordered the seeds locally from mybluebonnets.com. I picked up two packages of the assorted Texas Wildflower (containing bluebonnets, Indian blankets, purple coneflower, phlox, cornflower, cosmos, corn, California poppy, daisy, scarlet flax, primrose, Mexican hat and Indian paintbrush), plus an additional packet each of bluebonnet, Indian paintbrush and showy primrose.
This weekend, I thought I might visit a couple local nurseries and see if I can find some additional flowering plants for the yard. I’m leaning towards Mexican bush sage, Mexican mint marigold, fall asters, Copper Canyon daisies and/or snapdragon. All seem to do well in our area and now is the time to plant them. Anyone have any suggestions or experience raising any of these?
I think these plus the wildflowers, the lantana, cuphea and hibiscus will bring the beneficial insects and birds to the yard and make it look a whole lot nicer. I have plans to build a birdbath and birdfeeder over the next few weeks (hopefully) and pick up a couple of hummingbird feeders as well. All in all, I think we’re on our way to building a nice little sanctuary for the neighborhood insects and birds. 🙂