Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while know that I love to give seed packets as valentines, and over the years I have shared my blank seed packet template as well as printable seed packetsfor that very purpose. This year I thought I would mix it up a bit and make plantable seed paper.
This is a great project not only for Valentine’s Day, but for other occasions when you want to share the love of gardening. Start to finish, it does take some time (mostly dry time), but is an easy, fun project for a winter weekend day. All you need is some recycled paper, a packet of seed (or the equivalent of saved seed or your own custom blend), a blender, and your creativity!
In the February installment of Garden Boot Camp we are going to cover everything you need to know about seed starting.
Chances are you want to grow something in your garden that needs a little more time to reach maturity than your growing season allows, so in order to enjoy your own homegrown tomatoes, you will need a head start. You have two options: you can wait until spring and purchase your plants at a local garden center, or you can start your own seeds indoors in the weeks leading up spring.
Tonight I am bringing you the last set of prompts for the #garden365 Photo Challenge. When I think back to last year when I was creating each of these sets of prompts, it feels a little bittersweet to finally be at the end. It has definitely been a huge undertaking and a good personal challenge (even if I fell a little short of my initial goals).
Though baby made completing the challenge a challenge in itself at times, I am excited to finish this year-long endeavor on a strong note. This is such a great time of year, as the excitement for a new growing season (literally and figuratively) starts to grow. Seeds are purchased, plans are finalized, and garden dreams start to take shape under grow lights. It’s a great time to start capturing and sharing your garden! Read more →
Get ready for it: in about a week, there are going to be a lot of gardeners getting their seed starting on. Groundhog’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday are often used as the kick off to seed starting season by many gardeners, and depending on what and where you are growing, you might be ready to start some seeds in the coming weeks as well–or you might be sitting on the seed starting sideline for a few more weeks. Either way, there are a few things you can do now that will have you well prepared when the time comes–whenever that might be!
Here are three great DIY seed starting projects from the Sweet Domesticity archives that you can tackle this weekend:
Before I started growing my own dry beans, I have to admit that I tended to think of beans as a rather neutral ingredient, adding body and texture to a dish, but mostly serving as a vehicle for the other flavors around them. Now several years into expanding my heirloom bean repertoire, I have a much greater appreciation for the surprising diversity of texture, bite, and flavor that can be found in heirloom bean varieties.
No other bean has made me more acutely aware of this than Lina Sisco’s Bird Egg.
If you can hardly wait to start sowing seeds, then this Weekend Project is for you!
The concept of winter sowing is that you set containers of seed outside during the winter months where they are exposed to the cold and snow. As the snow starts to melt in the spring, it provides moisture for the seeds, and as the sun gets stronger, it warms up the soil and initiates germination. Winter sown containers will warm up more quickly than garden soil, giving you a head start without having to dedicate indoor space or worry about hardening off seedlings. It can also be a great way to satisfy your itch to start doing some gardening when traditional seed starting is still several weeks away!
After spending the weekend in the deep freeze, yesterday we warmed up to a balmy 20 degrees. The warmer air and a light dusting of fresh snow convinced me to grab the camera and spend some time walking through the gardens. I don’t know how I missed this zinnia in my previous walks, but it was the first thing to catch my eye in the pollinator garden yesterday. I just love how it looks as if the wind was cold enough to to freeze it in time just before it scattered the seed.
In keeping with tradition, today I am bringing you my annual list of new-to-me varieties that I am considering for the 2016 garden. It’s always fun to share the new varieties that have caught my attention, and the variety-specific feedback and first hand experience that you guys share in the comments and on social media are always incredibly helpful in making my final selections. Hopefully these posts have also had the benefit of introducing you to a few new varieties worthy of consideration for your gardens.
Throughout the coming year, I will be running an occasional series on Fridays called Weekend Projects, where I will feature easy, timely garden projects to kick off your weekend with a little garden DIY inspiration.
And what better place to start than the seed stash? I don’t know about you, but by the end of the garden season, mine is usually looking a little rough. More than likely there are a few packets that were quickly re-stashed wherever it was convenient at the time, at least one or two empty seed packets filed neatly back in place, and random jars of saved seed scattered throughout my kitchen. It’s not the worst thing that happens throughout a busy garden season, but it is nice to start out a new season with everything in its place, and if you are already taking an inventory as a part of your garden planning efforts, you can easily make it a two-for-one and get organized at the same time.
Today I am kicking off a new series for 2016: Garden Boot Camp.
The idea for this series was born out of the many conversations I have had over the years with individuals who are very interested in gardening, but just need a little help getting started. I am guessing that we can all relate, whether you are (or at one time were) new to gardening, or are an experienced gardener looking for inspiration to build upon your current gardening efforts. Growing a garden is a big undertaking, so you’re not alone if you feel a little overwhelmed as you start to contemplate everything you need to do over the better part of the next year to grow a garden.
Growing a garden is a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Over the course of the year, I am going to break it down into manageable pieces, focusing on one timely topic each month that will guide you through an entire year of gardening. My hope is to make the basics easily accessible to beginners, while still providing some really good resources and inspiration for those who might be on their second, third, or thirtieth year of gardening.
The first installment is all about garden planning, and it starts right now!