Craft your seedling pots

 

As  the months get darker and cooler, a great project to engage in is crafting seedling pots from newspaper. If you dedicate a couple evenings a week for making a handful of pots, they would stack up to a lot of upcycled growing containers that are ready to go.

Priticious, a blog that combines my favorite subjects (crafting and gardening) offers a handy tutorial with step-by-step photos to demonstrate how the process works.

When it’s time to start seedlings, you’ll get to enjoy your work all over again as you fill them with starting mix.

See how to make newspaper pots here:  http://priticious.com/category/gardening/page/7/

 

Showing soil some love

Most gardeners already know that soil is really important.  We test it for ph levels, turn it in early spring, amend it, and mulch it. Even as we engage symbiotically with it throughout the year, it is important to remember to show soil your appreciation by giving back whenever possible and in as many ways as possible.

Healthier soil means a better planet. When we all care for what we have on our own scale, we make a big impact on the globe.

Food52 recently published a fantastic and inspiring article which addresses 4 ways that we can support good soil:  https://food52.com/blog/18103-4-ways-we-can-support-good-soil-the-source-of-good-food



Maximize Minimal Space

 

Got limited ground space for gardening? Are you confined to balconies and patios?

Things to consider:

Grow summer squash and cucumbers vertically- same for tomatoes. They can be trained!

Consider different root depths and spans. The right combination can keep vegetables tightly grown together without cramping healthy growth space. This can also make it difficult for weeds to find soil to land on.

Think of plant placement in a 3D way. Trellis, hanging plants, vertical gardens, and herb spirals can give you extra ‘cube’ footage.

Irish Eyes Garden Seeds

Here are three helpful blog posts with more ideas:

1. The Balance shares 10 high yield veggie ideas that fit the bill: https://www.thebalance.com/high-yield-vegetable-plants-for-small-garden-spaces-1388683

2. Here’s a great post with tips on balcony and small space gardening. They touch on making sure your plants are suited to your sun exposure and space limitations:  http://www.surrey.ca/community/5974.aspx

3. This post from She Knows gives some extra creative suggestions from growing herbs indoors to design strategies:  http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/957533/edible-gardens-in-small-spaces

Perennials – Three Drought Tolerant Champions

One of the best things you can do for your soil is protect it from the bare elements. Some spaces can prove challenging to start plants in if you do not plan to water regularly or your region experiences drought conditions.

Here are three particularly outstanding perennial performers in drought stricken climates. Perennials are ideal if you want low maintenance, don’t wish to deal with repeat annual plantings, or enjoy following permaculture principles. (Or maybe you just like perennials!)

Blue Mist Spirea by Patrick Standish
Blue Mist Spirea by Patrick Standish

 1. Blue Mist Spirea a.k.a Blue Mist a.k.a Caryopteris x clandonensis    This showy perennial reminds me of blue sage, but with more of a fan shape in the bloom. It’s a bit shrubby with leaves that are similar to the shape of Lemon Verbena or perhaps bay leaves. If you like the color blue or indigo in your garden, this is a great choice, especially if you want it to really pop against other evergreen shrubs. It’s hardy from Zones 5 through 9 and likes full sun to partial shade. Bees and Hummingbirds are quite attracted to Blue Mist!

Hollyhocks by Steve Slater
Hollyhocks by Steve Slater

2. Hollyhock a.k.a Alcea rosea  It’s a well known and well loved showy cottage extravaganza, but Hollyhocks also do more than just look good. They can grow to over 9 feet in height, provide edible flowers (albeit rather neutral in flavor) and can be a vital ground conditioning mulch. What better way to pretty up a destitute patch of crusty dirt than to toss some of these seeds during your wettest months and let them do their magic. Once established, they’re incredibly low maintenance. Hollyhocks form a deep taproot which is ideal for extracting nutrients from far down in the soil. Mulch them when they’re spent, and start improving your soil!

Mountain Sandwort
Mountain Sandwort by K M

3. Mountain Sandwort a.k.a Arenaria montana   This bright and beautiful white flowering rocky terrain lover is a brilliant solution for filling in crevices. This low lying evergreen’s roots will slowly spread in sandy soils, filling out your rock compositions in your landscape. Quite a sturdy plant, being hardy from Zone 2 through Zone 9. If you want big beautiful flowers, good ground cover and very low maintenance, Mountain Sandwort will make a great addition to your landscape and/or garden.

When to Plant Garlic (Now-ish)

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds has kindly provided a very helpful planting guide for Garlic. As you may know, its planting times can be similar to bulb flowers like Tulips or Iris.

As Mary mentions in her post, the biggest trick with garlic is remembering to plan ahead to grow it.

Other than that, garlic can be a low maintenance plant with minimal watering needs.

So without further ado, here is Mary’s helpful post:  https://www.marysheirloomseeds.com/blogs/news/when-to-plant-garlic-in-the-us

Hong Kong Hello Kitty Garden

Who doesn’t love the fusion of Hello Kitty and Gardens?

Garden Collage does a fine job of covering the Hello Kitty Go Green Organic Farm in Hong Kong, from it’s history to how visitors can rent a plot to grow their veggies!

May it inspire you to consider combining your own favorite themes, ideas and tastes together in a gardening project. You just never know when it could become a sensation and community collaboration!

Read all about it here: http://gardencollage.com/garden-destinations/city-gardens/exploring-hong-kongs-hello-kitty-garden/

Irish Eyes Garden Seeds

Fall Blooming Flowers

If you’re looking at a spent and tired garden this fall, consider these wonderful fall-blooming options care of whatcomflowers.net.

This is a great time to scope out what your garden looks like during fall and visualize where fall blooming flowers can improve the composition of your landscape.

The post includes  photos of the flowers so you can pick and choose what looks best to you!

Link: http://whatcomflowers.net/fall-blooming-flowers-for-your-garden.html

Soil Quotes

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