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Garden journal entry


south-fence nursery area
March 17, 2018. Back in Pennsylvania, I grew thousands of seedlings every year. I had a whole system going, from starting, to growing on under lights in the basement, to progressively hardening off. And after that, most seedlings would go into our orchard nursery area, segmented into sections that were sunnier and shadier, some with very good drainage, others retaining more moisture. Most seedlings would spend the first year of their life out there, before getting planted out in the garden proper, or going into my annual plant sale.
Here in Texas, I skipped a year of seed-starting, but this year I'm back at it. Not nearly at the same scale as before, mind you – but I'll still have plenty of seedlings that will need a first home, and so I scrambled this past week to prepare a couple of suitable places. For most general-purpose growing-on, I widened a strip of border along our south fence that I had dug last year but that was really too narrow to do much of anything with. Now (see photo) it is at least big enough to hold a good number of seedlings – you may be able to spot the first few in the middle (milkweed, potentilla, and Illinois bundleflower). This area gets afternoon shade from the fence for now, but in mid-summer, upright structures don't cast much shade this far south, so I may need to rig up some kind of shade structure to provide those tender seedlings some relief. For the drought-tolerant set that insists on excellent drainage, I prepared a different nursery area, this one immediately adjacent to the rock garden, raised above the surrounding border, and filled with a gravelly soil mix. It will house the many agave species I'm trying from seed this year, along with some succulents and other xeriscape-worthy plants. I'm anticipating I'll lose many of my seedlings to nature's whims, just as I did in Pennsylvania – but at least I'm trying to give them a good start!

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Last modified: September 09, 2009
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