This time of year is pretty exciting in the greenhouse–seeds are germinating and every day there is something new to see. Some seeds need special treatment before they can be sown in the greenhouse.

Many legumes like to be soaked for planting, including peas. Peas like to be directly seeded in the garden, but they can be grown in pots, if you plan to keep them in pots their entire lives. I start these inside this time of year, in baskets, and harvest pea shoots for a couple of months. Then I let them grow and they produce peas for another two months.  Pea shoots are delicious, they taste just like peas, and they are great in stir fry or salads.

I soaked them overnight in warm water on February 4.

They started coming up one week later.

We use cold stratification to get penstemon, columbine, and many trees and shrubs to germinate. Here’s Xanthoceras sorbifolium (Yellowhorn) , a great tree for Colorado that survives on very little water:

Seeds germinating after six weeks in the refrigerator. They were planted later this day.

Seedlings, two weeks after planting in the flat.

We like to encourage everyone who enjoys gardening to try starting plants from seed.  You can save money and grow special varieties that you find particularly interesting.


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