Monday, January 25, 2021

Marigold: The easiest flower to grow


There. I said it. Based on my own experience the marigold is the easiest flower in my climate. Dwarf French marigolds also happen to be one of my favorite flowers as well. They are the first flower that I was able to grow on a large scale. This was primarily because they have an incredible will to live. The seeds germinate quickly and the seedlings grow with impressive vigor. They can also handle a moderate amount of competition. Throw in the facts that they are good companion plants not to mention they are very pretty and you have arguably one of the best overall flowers that you could have in your garden. If you are going to have only a few types of flowers in your garden, I highly recommend that one of them be a variety of marigold from the tagetes patula specie as they seem to offer the most benefits.

Monday, January 18, 2021

A return to wood gravel instead of sand

 About a year ago, I experimented with the use of wood gravel for garden paths. The wood gravel worked well but took a long time to produce on my bandsaw. My next attempt was to use sand from a sandpit on my property for the foot paths. The sand is plentiful and it's easier to obtain a large amount. After testing the sand for about a month, it became clear there were problems. The sand would stick to my shoes though not nearly as bad as clay. It also moved off the paths too much in any spot that wasn't level. Lastly, the sand became part of the soil again too quickly to be of much use for a foot path. Because of these reasons I'm switching back to wood gravel. It takes much longer to make but is vital for any paths that change elevation. Another advantage is that I'm adding organic matter back to the garden.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Starting perennial herb and rhubarb seeds

We are having a colder than usual week here, so I decided it was best to do some work inside. In particular, it was time to start the cold hardy herbs. Here's a quick list of what seeds I'm starting:





Anise Hyssop


Last but definitely not least is rhubarb.

While the rhubarb is considered more a vegetable than a herb, now is still a good time to start it in my growing zone of 6b. All of these plants can be put outside in early spring as long as you put in the effort of hardening them off. Some of the seed is 3 to 4 years old now so I don't expect great germination rates from them all. I have the highest hopes for the rhubarb since it will produce plenty of edible stems in addition to being an impressive plant to view.

Monday, January 4, 2021

What's the dill with herbs?

 In addition to the poppies that I'll be growing this year, I also will be planting a large amount of dill and much smaller amounts of other herbs to have a deer resistant garden. Dill is one of my favorite herbs. Not only are both the seeds and the leaves delicious, they have been one of the most reliable annual herbs we've ever grown. The other herbs I want to try are anise, bulb fennel and coriander. All the herbs will have to wait until all chance of frost has past to go outside but they will still have plenty of time to make seed. The bulb fennel might take two years to make seed so we'll let you know how it turns out.