With winter underway and seed catalogs delivered, it’s easy to begin to get excited about planning for the upcoming garden season. In some areas, it’s already time to begin starting some types of seed indoors!
4 Tips for Improving Seed Starting Success
The best strategies for improving success and consistency with seed germination and to increase the quality of the seedlings you grow are:
- Use a high-quality seed starting media
- Provide the proper germination temperature
- Consistently keep the media properly moist
- Provide sufficient light intensity
‘Tis the season to order herb seeds in order to get ready for the seed starting season in the spring – they make the perfect holiday gift from Jung Seed.
Herbs such as rosemary or lemon thyme (above) can be grown inside the house or out in the garden and are incredibly easy to grow. Simply dig a hole in a fertile, well drained soil, add a bit of organic fertilizer into the planting hole, plant the plant, and wait for it to grow.
Hosta plants are fantastic for shady gardens. I have hundreds of them in my own Midwestern garden and love the amazing variety of hostas, either bare root or potted that are offered on Jung Seeds Website.
These tough little plants can survive drought, but prefer a moist, loamy soil whenever possible. In the northern states the foliage collapses when cold weather hits, but the little leaves will pop up out of the ground reliably in the spring. In order to have the best success with hosta plants, I simply plant them and ignore them except for an occasional water. Dividing of a hosta is not necessary unless the plant becomes overcrowded.
When I was growing up on a farm in Indiana, my most important dinner table goal was avoiding beets and brussels sprouts. Who could have known that I would grow up to love them with such a passion?
Beets make one of the most fantastic ornamental edibles to mix in with flower containers and work well in a cool season garden or for successive planting. Generally grown for their root, the beet green is my favorite part – it’s ornamental above ground and can be harvested for a delicious salad several times throughout the season.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables – it is full of nutritious vitamins and is excellent roughage for a healthy diet.
This season I experimented with Summer Purple Sprouting Broccoli, which produced amazing purple flower buds which were very tasty and produced a continuous stream of veg. I left the plant up and harvested the tops in snips and starts until I’d exhausted each plant’s summer growing season.
December can be filled with snow and mud – we garden addicts are needing a garden-fix in a bad way. Creating some amazing container gardens to display in a sunny window is a must. Try planting these amazing poinsettia ball containers which I originally spotted at the Chicago Botanic Garden greenhouse.
Make the balls small or large and give your holiday guests something creative to talk about for the holiday season.
How To Make Hanging Poinsettia Balls –
- Find or make a garden container that has holes on the bottom and sides (see photo right of an example)
Jung Seed knows that gardening can be tough on your back, particularly if you have a condition like spinal osteoarthritis like I do. Moving bags of soil and other large items can easily aggravate or injure your backs and joints. Coming up with an easy solution to help in the garden was as simple as finding an old blanket.
Put the blanket on the ground and gently load it with the large items you need to move. Carefully pull the item around the garden or yard until you have reached your destination – it is much easier than a wheelbarrow and is a quick and easy fix.
While it’s the end of the in-ground garden season for many, it is also the beginning of the fall growing season. Why not plant up some of those herbs from your garden in mason jars to have through the fall and winter? If you don’t have herb plants, no problem, order some herb seeds from Jung Seed and grow all through the winter.
In order to grow herbs in a mason jar, drill a hole in the mason jar with a glass drill bit in order to allow better drainage, mix some soil and organic fertilizer together and plant your plant or place the seeds at the top of the soil and gently press in. Water regularly. Easy as 1-2-3 (see video below).
Native plants are amazing — they require no fertilizer, no soil amendment, and no drama. Butterfly weed or asclepias tuberosa, is especially beautiful in the garden whether it is planted among native plants or blended in with your more traditional perennial beds. Once established the plant requires no watering and no attention.
Without a doubt this is a drought tolerant plant that is suited to harsh conditions, but the best benefit of this plant is it’s Monarch Butterfly attracting quality. Help save the butterflies with a little butterfly weed love planted in your garden this season. Watch the video below to see how easy it is to plant the butterfly weed in your garden.
One of the goals of a no-till garden is leave the soil undisturbed whenever possible. In a traditional garden, the end-of-season vegetables get uprooted, usually with the soil pulled out along with it, then the soil is turned over to aerate it. In a no-till garden, it is important NOT to destroy the microbes in the soil. Keeping most of the vegetable roots in the ground at the end of the season means the microbes will stay put and will not be destroyed.