Plantings – Manic Monday Update

This post is definitely a bit later than most. I have a good excuse. I live in New Jersey and already the snowflakes are falling, only the beginning of what they are saying could be a record-breaking snowfall. Hopefully, we will get only about a foot of the white stuff. Are you gasping in disbelief? Only a foot! Am I crazy? No, I’m just glad I don’t live further north where they are forecasting near thirty inches will fall before the blizzard is over. When you compare twelve inches to thirty, twelve certainly seems better!

I was one of those crazy people who drove to the Supermarket at 8:00 this morning. I have a gallon of milk, I have bread in the freezer, but wouldn’t you know it, I needed cat food and the orange juice bottle was empty. I ventured out. In the rush of the crowds, comparable to the eve of a major holiday, wouldn’t you know it, I forgot eggs. Grrrrr….

Anyway, it’s a good day for a quick update on my recent plantings. All are doing exceptionally well. The Heavenly Blue Morning Glories sprouted in less than a week. Hooray! If you look closely at the picture you can see I have a “sport.” One sprout a little different than the others. I will definitely keep this one growing. Who knows? It might turn out to the best morning glory ever grown. I can hope!


Some of the coleus seeds have sprouted too. They grow slowly. It will be weeks before there is a hint of color in the leaves.


The Meyer Lemon Sprouts are still erupting from the soil. As of now, I have eleven sprouts, but there are a least two more seeds ready to burst into leaf. O Happy Day!


Planting – Heavenly Blue Morning Glory


The 2015 seed displays are in place in many garden centers and box stores. The first packet I purchased was Heavenly Blue Morning Glory. I love morning glories; I have grown them every year for as long as I have gardened.

golden tortoise beetle
Photograph courtesy of Flicker and Charles Lam

I plant dozens of morning glory seeds around my front porch. Each year they start off great, develop oodles of buds, and DO burst into bloom, but…they also draw Golden Tortoise Beetles that decimate the leaves, turning all the foliage into shreds. I use only natural pesticides, and since this pest dines on the underside of the hundreds of leaves, it is impossible to handpick them.

Some people think the golden tortoise beetle so beautiful; they don’t mind the bug eating their plants. That might be fine if my main morning glory display was in the back yard, but the vines twine around my front porch. This year, I don’t want to cultivate the swiss cheese effect again. Instead, I’ve decided to grow my beautiful Heavenly Blue Morning Glories in the house this year, and allow them to twine themselves around my sunniest window frames.

The first step in growing morning glories is to soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. The next day, drain the water away. You will notice their hard shell has split and they are double in size.


I prepared the plastic pots for planting by placing a coffee filter in the bottom to keep the dirt from spilling out.


In the bottom 3/4 of the pot place regular potting soil, for the top 1/4 use seed starting soil. This technique gives the seed a good medium for starting, but also provides more nourishment when the roots extend into the soil. This enables the seeds to grow for several weeks without the need to repot several times.


When the seeds are sown cover them with a plastic bag. The bag acts as a small greenhouse. Place the pots near a heating vent or on the top of your fridge. I will update the progress of mine as they grow.