Direct Sowing in February?!

Hello all you gorgeous and wonderful blog readers! How’s it going? I hope you’re well.

The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous lately. The sun is shining; the birds are singing. Most importantly, I’m thinking about starting my vegetable garden for the spring! Last time I took a look-see at the 10 day forecast, I immediately became giggly with excitement. Ten days worth of sunshine, moderate temperatures, and nights above freezing. I decided to take action.

I’ve decided to go ahead and do a little gambling, and roll the dice with an early spring planting. Now, I should be clear – my last frost date isn’t until the first week of May. I am NOT planting out anything that is tender. Summer annuals are NOT something I’m even thinking about. However, there are several plants whose tolerance to cold and frost make them a great candidate to go ahead and direct sow into the garden early in the season.

Normally, veggies like peas and spinach are safe to direct sow here in my zone (zone 6b/7) on March 1st. With the extended forecast looking as it does, I feel completely safe about going ahead and putting some seeds into the ground. When you think about it, I’m only really planting out a few weeks earlier than I normally would. Below is a list of the seeds that I direct sowed, and a little bit of an explanation as to why I decided to do so –

  • Shell Peas – Edible garden peas are surprisingly hardy. In the past, I’ve planted them into the garden and had them briefly covered in snow and ice without any damaged. If I remember correctly, germination is best when the soil temperature is around 50F. I don’t have a soil thermometer, but with warmer air temperatures and lots of sunshine – I feel fairly confident that there will not be any issues.
  • Spinach – Literally the only time that I’ve ever been successful with spinach is when I direct sow it. I threw a giant handful of seeds onto the ground, and I’m hoping for the best. I know that the spinach will have no issues with the cold because somehow I still have spinach growing that I planted from last fall. I love greens that keep on growing without me.
  • Quinoa and Orach – I fall planted my quinoa and orach last year in an effort to over winter it. Even though the plants died when the temperatures hit 8F, they did survive a lot of cold weather – down to about 25F. Quinoa seems to germinate very readily at a variety of soil temperatures.
  • Chamomile – Chamomile over winters quite easily in my garden. Additionally, it germinates well at various soil temperatures. I know this will not be an issue.
  • Shiso – I’ve never grown this before. I know it requires cold stratification. I’m interested to see if this will actually germinate and how to performs.
  • Wheat – Germination is always great and the cold doesn’t seem to impact the grass-like plants at all. Definitely a good choice, as long as I can keep animals from eating all of the seeds.
  • Cilantro – I’ve actually never grown cilantro. The internet told me to plant it. We’ll see what happens. I’m skeptical. Lol.

That’s about it! I hope that this was somehow helpful! I’d love to hear all about how your garden is growing! What are some of the first things that you direct sow outside into the garden? Tell me in the comments! Hope you’re having a really great day!

Don’t forget to check out the podcast! 🙂

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Starting Tomatoes and Peppers, Already??!

Hi Lovelies,

This is it – the first step I’m taking to get back into the rhythm of blogging on the regular. With that said, I’ve definitely failed. So, being totally honest, I had every single intention of making this a full-on detail oriented blog post. But, guess who completely forgot to take ANY pictures….

That’s right. I completely forgot. If it’s any consolation (probably not), there is a somewhat detailed video below that you can check out if you’re absolutely new to gardening and to starting tomato and pepper seeds for the first time.

Though I will admit that the details of this blog post were kind of a letdown, I do have some exciting news – at least, I think it’s exciting! The first episode of the podcast is up and online! Hooray! The podcast is definitely something that I’ve wanted to do for a long while now, and even though there are still a lot of kinks to work out (both format and technical stuff), I really hope that you enjoy it. I’m sure that it will continue to improve and evolve over time.

Check out the podcast! 🙂 🙂

I hope that everyone is having a really wonderful day! 🙂

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I’m back!

Hi Lovelies,

Oh my! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? With the growing season right around the corner, I’m happy to say that one of my goals for the season is to get back into the habit of blogging (in addition to posting regular content all over social media, lol).

When the winter is the coldest, I always start dreaming of the beautiful things that are possible for the season. This season is no exception, and I really hope I have the opportunity to make it great! 🙂 🙂 The “wheels” have been “falling off the wagon” over here, so I’m hopeful for good things to come.

I’ve really got a lot planned. This year, I’ll be diving back into growing a lot of vegetables, in addition to flowers. Growing my own food sparked my love of gardening, so I’m really excited to be able to get that part of me back. Though I’m still limited on space (about 30’x30′ yard), I plan on cramming as many plants into the area as possible and just hoping for the best.

As for current growing news, I’ve already started my winter sowing for the year. I’ve already written up tons and tons of posts about winter sowing here on the blog, so I won’t make you read all about how much I love it again, lol. Even though it’s only January, I’ve already got cabbage and lettuce seedlings out in the jugs! Exciting!

If by chance you would like to check out what I’m winter sowing – these videos will definitely be helpful! I hope that everyone is well and that your gardens are growing beautifully! Much love! 🙂 🙂

An Update –

Hi Lovelies!

Yes, I realize it’s been a long time since I’ve updated the blog. I’m swear that I haven’t forgotten about it. However, I have used up all of my storage space for the free version of the site. Unfortunately, an upgrade isn’t currently in the budget. Therefore, posts here will probably be pretty seldom for the time being.

If you’re still interested in what’s going on in the garden – I’ve been extremely active over on YouTube. In fact, I’m making a video every single day this summer. I’ll be talking about both flowers and veggies – so I’d great appreciate it if you took the time to check it out!  Thanks so much for your support!!

http://www.youtube.com/pickinpetalsflowerfarm1

Cactus Canyon Ceramics

Hi Lovelies,

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Right in the middle of hanging these, it started thunder storming! At least I know that the planters were able to withstand some moderately strong wind and rain!

It’s been awhile, but I’m back with another review! Before we get onto the post, let’s get a few notes out of the way. I was recently in contact with the lovely folks at Cactus Canyon Ceramics and asked if I’d like to check out some of their Spanish wall hanging planters.  Of course, I said “yes”, because let’s just be honest – I’m completely obsessed with all things garden and plants! For the sake of total transparency – YES, I received these planters from the company at no cost. However, I have NOT been paid by the company in any way, and the opinions expressed here are solely my own. As always, I only accept opportunities that I think garden lovers may genuinely be interested in.

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Over the past few months, I’ve been working to make the garden feel a little more comfortable. I’ve added quite a bit of things, including hummingbird feeders and a bird bath.  However, I was still missing some key components – planters being one of them. Since I’m obviously pressed for garden space, adding containers was something I wasn’t so sure about. As it turns out, these hanging planters were the perfect solution. Going vertical not only saves space, but also creates an extremely welcoming atmosphere.

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In taking a look at the Cactus Canyon website, I was pleased to see that in addition to wall hanging planters, there are several other unique hand painted offerings. All the products are made in Spain, however, are shipped from Oregon. I’ll admit, this was one of my initial concerns, as I know from experience, international shipping can be both expensive and slow.

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As always, let’s go ahead and take a look at the things that I found to be positive about these wall hanging planters:

  • Well packaged – The planters were wrapped very well. I imagine that something would need to go seriously wrong during shipping for the product to be damaged or broken. I always worry about ordering fragile items online, so I appreciate the extra packaging steps that have been taken.
  • Reasonable pricing – The price of these planters is very reasonable considering that each one has been hand painted, hand thrown, and imported from Spain.
  • Fast Shipping. In addition to craftsmanship, items ship from an Oregon warehouse. Each package is shipped USPS with a tracking number. My package arrived very quickly, within 2-3 days.
  • Beautiful designs – Much of the allure of these wall hanging planters comes from the unique patterns and designs that are offered.  I can definitely see myself ordering from this website in the future, especially in the form of kitchenware. Additionally,  options vary depending upon what you order. For example, some are made using bisque clay; while others are made from terracotta. Additionally, there are also options in terms of glaze that’s used.
  • Heavy/Durable – These definitely appear to be very durable. The terracotta planters are surprisingly heavy, and I can definitely see that they will last quite a few seasons. Since they are so heavy, I don’t imagine that I’ll have any problems with them falling from their hanging place.
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Spanish wall orza. This design is called ‘Spanish Honey’. I love the granulated finish! Each orza is hand thrown by Spanish potters. This orza is approximately 11″ long.

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The design of this tinaja is called “Sunflower”. Unlike the orza, which was made from terracotta – this is made from bisque clay. This tinaja is approximately 7″ long.

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This is the Spanish wall pot. This design is called Spanish Oro (Spanish Gold). The surface of this one granulated, like that of the orza. This one is also made of terracotta, and feels extremely sturdy.

Now, onto the negative points:

  • Hanging – Pretty much the only major negative point for me was the difficulty I had hanging the pots. While the hanging holes in the back are sufficient, it did take a little bit of looking to find some hooks that would work just right. I could have easily used a strong nail, but admittedly, I was looking for something that would have a little more polished look. Since the size of the holes were different in each pot, I was able to make the hooks work – but in one case I had to use a power grinder to make my hook just a little bit smaller.
  • More info – I personally think it would be nice to have additional information about the painting of these pots. For example, customers may wonder why one type of planter has been painted “more completely” than another. In the instance of the orza, the inside terracotta is not painted or glazed. The interiors of the flower pot and tinaja also differ from each other.  Obviously, the inside of pots aren’t something that’s noticeable, especially once planted with beautiful flowers –  but it would be interesting to know why each are treated differently.

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That’s about it! I hope you guys enjoyed this post! If you are interested in checking out Cactus Canyon. You can find all of the link below! Hope you’re having a really wonderful day!

Cactus Canyon Website

Cactus Canyon Ceramics Facebook

Cactus Canyon Blog

Cactus Canyon Pinterest

Twitter: @cactus_canyon

Instagram: @cactuscanyonceramics

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The blues and yellows in this tinaja are so vibrant and beautiful! It will be interesting to see how they hold up in the hot sun!

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A closer look.

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A closer look at the Spanish hanging wall pot.

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A closer look at the orza.

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I think these would also work well as planters for succulents or vine plants!

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The small hanging pot also made a very cute hanging vase for my flower arrangements. All I did was slip my vase into the pot and hang it on the front door. If you do this though, be extremely careful! These pots are very heavy and I would be so upset if someone were to slam the door and accidentally break it, or worse, have it drop on their foot! Lol!

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Love it!

June Week 1 Update – Ornamental Cut Flower Gardening

Hi Lovelies,

It’s time for another photo update! Hope you enjoy!

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My scented geraniums haven’t grown very much, but they’re blooming!

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Laceflower are beginning to bloom, too!

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I think hydrangea are so lovely!

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The hardy annuals are starting to look very messy.

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The first time that I’ve successfully grown hollyhocks!

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Lilies are starting to bloom, as well.

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‘Delft Blue’ love-in-a-mist is quite a unique looking flower!

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Hanging some larkspur to dry for wreath-making this fall.

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Saving some agrostemma seeds for next year’s cut flower garden.

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Hollyhock and calla lily flower arrangement!

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A closer look at the hollyhocks!

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A new stray has somehow found his/her way to the garden.

 

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How to Grow Love-in-a-Mist in Zone 6b/7 – Ornamental Cut Flower Gardening

Hi Lovelies,

The love-in-a-mist flowers are finishing blooming in the garden, so I thought we’d take a look at my experience growing these unique flowers!

NAME: Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella)

TOXIC: YES. Always do your research and be responsible any time you add something new to the garden. Be aware of what you’re growing around kids, pets, and everyone else. Many ornamental plants and cut flowers are toxic. Use common sense, always wear gloves, wash hands, don’t touch your eyes or face, etc. Safety first! Before planting, ensure that plants are not considered invasive in your area. 

HOW: Easy to direct sow. Easy to germinate using the winter sowing method. Broadcasting seed onto prepared flower beds.

WHEN: In my garden, the best results come from seeds that were direct sown in fall (at the end of September in my garden). The seeds germinate and seedlings survive the winter. Overwintering of seedlings seems to vary greatly. One variety survived without much loss, but another variety completely died and did not make it through the winter. Obviously, results will vary from garden to garden. Overall, I had a decent success rate.  My seedlings survived a few nights down to 8F, with little damage.  They were also briefly covered in snow.

Direct sowing the seeds in the spring as soon as soil can be worked is also an option.  The resulting plants from a spring planting were much smaller, but the stems were still usable for bouquets. I imagine that people who live in cooler climates might be able to even succession sow these seeds for a longer bloom time, but I don’t think it would be very effective in my garden.

Love-in-a-Mist appear to germinate best when temperatures are cool. While I’m not sure if they require a period of cold before germination, this requirement would naturally be met when planted in the fall. The seeds also respond well to use of the winter sowing method. This year, I plan on trying to grow love-in-a-mist as a biennial in hopes of bigger plants and more blooms next spring.

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