Spring Has Sprung

Spring Has Sprung

raspberry cane

Somehow, the month of March completely slipped through my fingers.  The past month has been a big blur of baby milestones, holiday celebrations, and some pretty big (potentially life- and garden-altering) decisions, and it all happened in the blink of an eye.  One minute there was snow on the ground, the next minute it was 60 degrees and there are green things popping up all over the garden.

I figure there is no better way to jump back into things than to share a few updates of how spring is progressing in the garden:

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5 Common Seed Starting Mistakes [+ How to Avoid Them]

5 Common Seed Starting Mistakes [+ How to Avoid Them]

5 Common Seed Starting Mistakes [ + How to Avoid Them]

It’s that time of year again!  Seed starting season is here, and with it comes all the excitement and anticipation of getting down to the business of growing your garden.  It is the time of year that gardeners look forward to big ambitions, high energy, and endless optimism as an entire season of possibilities await our green thumbs and dirty fingernails–that is, until something doesn’t go exactly as planned.  When things go awry, seed starting season can also bring disappointment and frustration.

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Weekend Project: Flag Plant Markers

Weekend Project: Flag Plant Markers

Weekend Project: Flag Plant Markers

When it comes to plant markers for seed starting, I usually favor more practical solutions.  I need something quick, easy, water resistant, reusable (or at least recyclable), and bonus points if it still looks kind of cool.  My go-to aluminum plant markers hit all of the marks, but sometimes you just need to set practicality aside and indulge in something a little more creative–like when you’re coming off a long week that included a family funeral, an out of town husband, and a serious case of spring fever.  When this happens, the desire for something fun, festive, and colorful is far more convincing than any practical argument I might normally make.

And in this case, these sweet flag plant markers hit all the marks, brightening up my latest round of seed starting.

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Ground Heirloom Fish Pepper

Ground Heirloom Fish Pepper

Ground Heirloom Fish Pepper

It was a quiet week on the blog last week, in part because a certain 9 month old just up and changed her sleep schedule.  Great for us because we get to sleep in a little later in the morning; we just have to re-calibrate the rest of our routine (including my writing time) as well!

It may have been quiet around here, but things were actually quite busy last week on the garden front.  I managed to finalize my seed order (always a feat in itself!), Kate and I made a trip to the garden center to pick up compost and coco coir bricks for seed starting, and I finally processed the heirloom fish peppers I dried last fall.

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Weekend Project: How to Make Seed Paper

Weekend Project: How to Make Seed Paper

How to Make Seed Paper

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 packets for 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!

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Garden Boot Camp: Seed Starting

Garden Boot Camp: Seed Starting

Garden Boot Camp: Seed Starting

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.

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#garden365 February Prompts

#garden365 February Prompts

#garden365 February Prompts

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

Weekend Project: Seed Starting Prep

Weekend Project: Seed Starting Prep

Weekend Project: Seed Starting Prep

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:

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Cooking with Lina Sisco’s Bird Egg Beans

Cooking with Lina Sisco’s Bird Egg Beans

Cooking with Lina Sisco's Bird Egg Beans

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.

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Weekend Project: Winter Sowing

Weekend Project: Winter Sowing

Weekend Project: Winter Sowing

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!

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