Yesterday I potted on 140 assorted zinnias, most of which I had assumed would not be sprouting. The newest seed was 2 years old, the older seed went back as far as 1996, I think. The zinnias don’t really want to be potted on, they want to be planted. I refuse, though, to plant something that’s not frost hardy before the end of the first week of June. Even if we haven’t had frost for weeks, whoever is in charge of cold weather likes to stick in one last parting shot before summer really starts. Usually it’s just a light frost, but sometimes it’s a hard frost that kills anything it can get its hands on. However, most things have been staying outside in their little plastic cells 24/7, because I don’t see warnings for frost. If the weather forecast says “overnight lows in the upper 30s,” I take everything in. Chances are, it will really frost. The only exception is the 30+ basil plants. I’ve learned that if Basil plants have to cope with temperatures lower than 60 degrees, they remain stunted for the rest of the season. Needless to say, I don’t want my basil to get stunted while it’s still the size of my thumb.
My dad just went and bought more marigolds. I don’t think he realized I already had 80 marigold plants.