Zinnia -- Zinnia elegans -- Many Varieties
Bonus Tray Sown 4/23
Germination 4/19 (3 days)
Tray 1 (Double Zahara 56, Zinderella 18)
4/20, 6pm: 35/15 (50)
4/21, 10am: 36/15 (51)
4/22, 9am: 37/15 (52)
4/29, 6pm: 32/15 (47)
5/6 UPDATED COUNT: 27 GOOD/5 OK DZ, 15 GOOD ZIN (42)
Tray 2 (Cactus 74)
4/20, 6pm: 36
4/21, 10am: 39
4/22, 9am: 41
4/23, 9am: 43
4/29, 6pm: 36
5/6 UPDATED COUNT: 35 GOOD/6 OK DZ (35)
Tray 3 (Queen 12, '22 Benary 29, '21 Benary 24, Zinderella 17)
4/20, 6pm: 3/22/18/11 (54)
4/21, 10am: 3/23/19/11 (56)
4/23, 10am: 4/24/18/11 (57)
4/29, 6pm: 3/20/16/11 (50)
5/6 UPDATED COUNT: 3 QUEEN, 16 GOOD/4 OK '22 BEN, 12 GOOD '21 BEN, 10 GOOD ZIN (41)
Tray 4 ('21 Benary 30)
4/23, 7pm: 2
4/24, 7am: 8
4/24, 2pm: 13
4/24, 7pm: 13
4/25, 7am: 14
4/25, 6pm: 14
4/29, 6pm: 18
5/6 UPDATED COUNT: 35 GOOD/6 OK DZ (35)
Tray 5 ('21 Benary 160)
4/25, 9am: 9
4/25, 1pm: 32
4/25, 6pm: 41
4/26, 7am: 74
4/26, 6pm: 94
4/27, 7am: 101
4/27, 7am: 107
5/6 THINNED COUNT: 72
4/16 -- Sowed three trays of Zinnias using a variety of seed - old and new, five varieties total. Sowed into potting mix, bottom watered afterward, standard fare. Put onto the heat mat at 82 degrees.
4/21 -- Came back after a few days away and found quite a bit of germination! Things looking fine here. As I was sowing my cucumbers seeds into a 50 cell tray, realized that I had extra room on a tray that needed to be similarly warm to Zinnias, so decided to experiment and throw some additional 2021 Benary seed into the tray, two seeds per cell, so see what'll happen.
4/23 -- Still looking fine here, although germination seems to have massively slowed down. Checking the log from last year, I got 75% germination, although last year I foolishly didn't keep track of the number of seeds I actually sowed, so I suspect the overall percentage was at least a little bit lower than that. I'm at 67% this year so far. Also, not much germinated after the first week last year, so we'll see if that trend also continues. Lastly, I do still have a lot of 2021 Benary seeds that are probably sow or throw out now...so contemplating throwing another tray onto the heat mat to use those seeds up.
4/24 -- So in a last minute decision, made the call to plant one more full tray of Zinnias, using the majority of my 2021 Benary seeds. Couple of reasons for this: first, wanted to use up two year old seeds that would likely not be viable next year. Second, decided to run an experiment on the mix - a combination of the potting mix and my custom germination mix. Did an informal two parts potting mix to one part germination mix, the idea being to improve germination (which is fairly meh for the Zinnias I sowed into the potting mix) but also have the goodness of the potting mix feed these over the coming weeks. If things go well, I'll have a good option for these and maybe a few other seed types next year. We'll see how it does!
4/29 -- Amended final counts above to count for actually viable Zinnias. Overall, not very impressed with the germination rate this year - nothing has really made it past about 2/3rds, and some stuff was closer to 50%. My experimental tray is honestly doing about the same as the rest - 107 out of 160 so far, is, you guessed it, 67%. The good news, of course, is that having this many trays means I'll still have north of 200 Zinnias available come transplant time.
5/22 -- Transplanted 32 of these into a 4x8 bed, using 12 inch grid spacing. Pretty standard fare, these seedlings were all tall and happy, and as I write this three days later, they look just fine. Watered them in with high phosphorus fertilizer. I decided to plant a fun pattern using four different varieties - I omitted Double Zahara because they're dwarf Zinnias and would have looked odd in amongst much taller varieties. Also, I only had two really decent Queen Zinnias, so not a lot of options there. Here's the pattern:
B Z C B B C Z B
C B Z C C Z B C
Z C B Z Z B C Z
Q Z C B B C Z Q
5/28 -- Planted out 81 more Zinnias into one of my 40 foot rows, taking up about 75% of the space in the row. The front row (of three) is the Double Zahara dwarf variety, the middle row is mostly either Cactus or Zinderella Peach, and the far row is all Benary. I snuck the final Queen in there for good measure.
6/13 -- These are all looking good, no major issues. Seeing flower buds on quite a few of them now. Planted an additional 20 or so of these into a different spot in the yard three days ago as an experiment, we'll see how they do.
6/25 -- These are quite good across the board, in all locations. Many of them have their starter flowers as well.
7/2 -- Flowers coming in earnest now, in every location I've planted these. The most delightful flowers are the dwarf variety - such vibrant color, and they're making a TON of flowers. I think those are going to end up being a favorite. The ones I put in a pot are budding as well, so that experiment is looking like a success.
8/5 -- No entry in the last month has simply been because these are flourishing, look great, no issues whatsoever, save for the fact that I do keeping having to convince a few of these to grow straight. A twine to a bit of support irons that out nicely within a few days.
8/25 -- All good here - these look great, and I'm able to pick really magnificent individual flowers right now easily.
9/10 -- These are definitely starting to wind down, but the biggest problem was an insane thunderstorm a couple of days ago. The straight line winds were really strong and blew a bunch of these over, including ones that already had supports. Spent a bunch of time today re-staking many of them.
9/22 -- Still making beautiful flowers! These plants have taken a beating from all the rain, but I'm still able to cut flowers every couple of days without any trouble.