Container gardening has become quite popular and is not limited to annuals alone. I started container gardening with a couple of hybrid tea roses about 10 years ago. Since then, my collection of container roses has expanded from a couple to about 20 pots. Hybrid tea roses, floribunda roses, small shrub roses, and miniatures are all fantastic in containers.
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, MgSO4, and should not be confused with common salt, sodium chloride NaCl. Magnesium and sulfur are both natural minerals that many plants need to thrive. I have used Epsom salts in my garden for years and am very pleased with the obvious results of increased plant vigor, more blooms, larger blooms, greener foliage, and overall better plant health. This is especially true of my roses.
Strawberries are of the rose plant family Rosaceae and genus Fragaria. There are over 20 different species and hundreds of varieties. In addition, there are three different "Types" of strawberries: June-Bearing, Ever-Bearing and Day-Neutral. The different types do require some different growing maintenance to achieve a good size crop in your home garden year after year.
XPetchoa is a recent new genus. The plants are a genetic cross between a petunia and calibrachoa. The Petchoa is a milestone in plant breeding and the result is a combination of the best characteristics of both the petunia and the calibrachoa. It is an amazing plant for home gardeners who enjoy hanging baskets loaded with blooms all season.
There are many annual vines that are very easy to start from seed. Some of these vines are enormous and will give you a gorgeous vertical display in the right spot. Most annual vines can be started from seed early, indoors, and/or direct sowed after the danger of frost is past. Many are suitable for either container gardening or directly in the ground.
Sometimes we get so busy watering our seedlings, we forget to fertilize them on a regular schedule. The plants will let you know when they need to be fed by looking sickly.
It's possible to have early blooms the first year. Lavender seeds break dormancy when stratified. Roll seeds in a damp paper towel, put in a freezer bag and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Place sealed bag in the freezer overnight. Thaw, sow in pre-moistened soil mix and place under lights. The seeds will germinate within a few days and will bloom by mid-June if you sow them the end of February. Lady Lavender is a consistent first year bloomer.
Lathyrus odoratus, the annual sweet pea, intrigues gardeners everywhere and the quest for an enchanting display of fragrant walls of colour is one of the most desired displays for many gardeners. Your geographical location will dictate whether sweet peas will be a winter, early spring or late summer and fall bloomer for you. There are a few things to do and consider in preparation for beautiful sweet peas in your garden.
The most significant difference between the two groups is that winter squash has a hard shell and stores well for long periods and summer squash has soft skin, which does not store and is perishable. Both are of the genus Cucurbita. Summer squash are all the species pepo and winter squash includes several species: maxima, argyrosperma, moschata and also some pepo. For example, zucchini is a common summer squash and pumpkin is a winter squash.
Breaking dormancy of a seed is like waking it up from a sleep. The four key requirements are water, oxygen, light and temperature. There are a few techniques that will increase the germination percentage and help control timing of germination. Basically, water and oxygen need to penetrate the seed coat to initiate the break of dormancy. Some seeds need a combination of water, oxygen, light and/or set temperature.
Press pellet (clay coated seed) lightly onto pre-moistened soil surface. Heavily mist seed until the clay coating darkens and you see the pellet settle in place ensuring good soil contact. Mist daily until germination. A strong brew of room temperature chamomile tea will help prevent damping-off and is what I use to mist with.
Pre-moisten the soil mix before you fill your seeding trays or pots to sow your seeds. Moisture level should be similar to a damp sponge. Add warm water to soil mix and let stand for about 10 minutes, then fill pots or cells and sow seeds as directed. In addition to early indoor seed starting, this method applies to wintersowing and/or preparation for stratification (cool/damp environment) of seeds.
Plant in the pot, not in the cup. Place the entire root ball in the pot so the plant crown is at the surface of the pot opening, not the cup opening. Mulch with mini-bark in each cup. Start with the bottom row of cups and add soil with each layer. Feed the plant through the holes from the inside of the pot. The cup holes are often too small to squeeze the root ball through the opening. I also add a little slow release fertilizer with each level. Take care to not have fertilizer in direct contact of roots.
Keep your soil-mix moisture level more consistent by mulching with an even, thin layer of pre-moistened vermiculite (just enough to cover soil). I like to grind it finer for small seeds that are recommended to be surface sowed. You will see quick germination and easier care for the seedlings
In late summer, you might find that potting soil in some of your baskets has become a bit compacted. Watering daily keeps the plants going, but often the plants become nutrient deficient and the soil medium has no nutritional value left to keep producing flower buds.
You see them hanging 12 feet up along boulevards, blowing in the wind and totally exposed to the elements. Big beautiful balls of colour! How is this possible for the entire season? You rarely see anyone maintaining them. Ah - but they are. Let's have a look at how you can create and maintain your own big ball of colour in your garden.
Even after many years of starting seeds indoors, I make the same mistake year after year. I inevitably run out of room. Partly because I sow way too many plants (can’t help it), but truly, I have not planned my spacing appropriately