March and April are the time to begin starting seeds indoors if desired. Be careful not to start seeds to early! For best results and per packet instructions, count the number of weeks backwards from May 20 for proper sow dates here in Madison….that can range from early March for petunias to the last week of April for many fast growing warm weather crops.
A SEED STARTING PRIMER–
Starting your own plants from seed can be both rewarding and frustrating for the beginning gardener. From experience, it’s best to start out slow. This eliminates some of the frustration. Experience will gain you knowledge and confidence. Before starting your seeds, read the packet and get a little basic information. Some seeds are best sown directly in the garden come spring and not started indoors. It’s best to do a little research by going on-line or purchasing a good gardening book. The packets themselves will usually tell you whether to direct sow in the garden or how many weeks before our last frost date to sow indoors. Our last frost date is about May 10. Using a calendar, count back from May 10 and this will be your sow date.
One can start seeds on any sunny windowsill and in almost any container. Warmth and moisture are critical in getting most seeds to germinate. But a few pieces of basic and inexpensive equipment purchased at your garden center and/or hardware store will help you get started and make your seed starting experience a great success. Here is a shopping list:
*A heating mat–makes seeds germinate quickly and uniformly
*A few 10×20” trays without holes
*A few clear humidity domes
*A sterile seed starting mix
*A 4’ shop lamp w/ 2 fluorescent bulbs (you don’t need “gro-lights”)
or a seed growing rack if you’d like to make an investment
*A few 10×20” trays with holes
*A few sheets of empty cell packs, e.g. 4-packs or 6-packs
*A water mister
*A soilless potting mix
All of the above items, except the timer, are available at Klein’s.
Again, following package instructions, sow the seeds, as many as you want, in a very shallow, open container, filled with moistened seed starting mix. This container can be anything from very low or cut off dairy containers to disposable food storage containers. Per package instructions, cover or don’t cover the seed. Some seeds require light for germination. Next place your seeded containers in a tray without holes, mist them till well watered and cover with a humidity dome. Place your covered tray on the plugged in heating mat under the shop light. Set your timer so the shop light is on for 13 hours (off for 11 hours).
In a few days, as your seeds begin to sprout, remove them from under the humidity dome and place in a well-lit, warm location. Keep your seeds and seedlings moist. Different seeds sprout at different rates so this can take from a few days to a few weeks. Once all your seeds have germinated, unplug your heating mat. You can now move all of your seedlings to under the shop light still set at 13 hours.
Once your seedlings have 2 sets of “real” leaves it’s time to “prick them out” (transplant them). Do this by placing a sheet of empty cell packs in a tray with holes. The holes now become necessary for proper drainage. Fill the cells with soilless potting mix and moisten well with the mister. Using a pen or pencil “dibble” a hole into each of the cells. This is where you’ll now place your seedling. Remove the seed starting mix and seedlings as a clump from their starting containers. Gently break apart this root ball, separating your seedlings. The pen or pencil will come in handy as an added tool to help separate the seedlings. Carefully place one seedling in each of the holes you put in the prepped cells. Gently firm in with your finger tips. Mist well to water thoroughly and place in a warm, well lit area. Using your shop light again makes this easy. The seedlings may seem weak and somewhat abused, but they’re very resilient and will pop back quickly. When watering, fertilize your new plants with a very dilute solution, rather than at full rate. By May 10 your flowers and vegetables should be ready to put in your garden and you can say that you did it yourself–beginning to end.
Now is the time to stop in and ask for an application or fill one out at Employee Application. We’re primarily looking for seasonal, part-time retail help. Responsibilities include customer service, stocking, etc. Retail experience and computer skills are a plus. Benefits include our generous discount and a hands-on opportunity in a horticultural setting. Hours can be flexible. If possible, we’re seeking people with 20 or more hours availability per week. Some weekend and evening shifts are expected. Seasonal positions usually begin during March and/or early April and run into early June.
In addition, we are currently seeking people to work primarily in our perennial and shrub area. These positions will run from about mid-April into the late summer and fall as needed. We’re looking for those who are available about 24 hours/week; more in the spring and less as the summer progresses. Some weekend and evening shifts are expected. A basic knowledge of our area’s most popular perennials and shrubs is helpful. Please call the store @ 608-244-5661 or stop by and ask for Rick if you are interested in this position.
Did you know that if you buy both a plant and it’s new pot at Klein’s, we will pot it up for free and on the spot—time and staff permitting. That means no mess or hassle at home. Let Klein’s staff make it easy for you.
Klein’s has an amazing assortment of houseplants ranging from the smallest plants for terrariums and dish gardens, to tropical trees, to succulents and cactus and a huge assortment of air plants. Our knowledgeable staff will help select the perfect plant for any location and occasion, offering care tips and sound advice.
Obviously, if we are overly busy or understaffed, we may ask that you pick up your newly potted plants at a later convenient time.
Similarly, if your current houseplants have outgrown their pots, take advantage of Klein’s repotting services. Our repotting fees for existing plants are based on pot size and include soil and labor.
***Please note that this service is only available with houseplant purchases and not for seasonal bedding plant and tropical patio plant purchases where normal potting charges apply.
that you would like posted on our web site or in our monthly newsletters, please contact Rick at (608) 244-5661 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include all details, i.e. dates, locations, prices, brief description, etc. Our readership is ever-growing so this is a great opportunity for free advertising. Events must be garden related and must take place in the immediate Madison vicinity.
We offer a 10% Off Senior Citizen Discount every Tuesday to those 62 and above. This discount is not in addition to other discounts or sales. Please mention that you are a senior before we ring up your purchases. Does not apply to wire out orders or services, i.e. delivery, potting, etc.