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Tag: bachelors buttons

January Hardy Annual Flowers and Hoophouse Update – Cut Flower Farm

January Hardy Annual Flowers and Hoophouse Update – Cut Flower Farm

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Large Scale Winter Sowing Experiment – Starting Flower and Vegetable Seeds Without Grow Lights

Large Scale Winter Sowing Experiment – Starting Flower and Vegetable Seeds Without Grow Lights

A few seasons ago, a brief introduction to the winter sowing method completely changed the way I garden. Without the need for grow lights or fancy seed starting setups, it is truly a way for those of us with tiny garden budgets to grow something […]

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Continuing the Winter Sowing Method – More Plantings for the Low Tunnel

Since my last post, my winter sowing has moved into full swing. This time of year, the process of starting all my flower seeds is such an exciting one. On one hand, I’m super eager to watch things start to grow. On the other, I’m always worried that absolutely nothing will grow and that things will be a complete failure. I guess that’s just my personality – either everything is great or everything is awful. Lol.

Today, I’m winter sowing some plants that I absolutely know will be successful. First to sow is bachelor’s buttons. I was able to find a packet of tall red bachelor’s buttons for just .99 cents – of course, I couldn’t resist. Bachelor’s buttons are an extremely cold tolerant annual flower in my garden. I usually plant these seeds in the fall and the bachelor button seedlings overwinter without protection, and then bloom in the following spring/early summer. On years that are exceptionally cold, I might lose some of the seedlings, but the rate at which these overwinter is usually pretty great. In fact, it is always one of the first hardy annual flowers that I suggest people try to grow.

I’m also sowing ‘Cherry Caramel’ phlox flowers again. I’ve grown phlox before in the past, and the more I learn about it – the more I’m beginning to think that I will need to grow these over winter in a low tunnel to get the best bloom possible. The good news for people with milder summer temperatures than me is that these annual phlox respond extremely well to the winter sowing method. It seems that the early season fluctuating temperatures really help with great germination rates. These packet from Baker Creek apparently has really crappy germination. It would have been nice to know that before I ordered them. Not to mention that was the rate from way back in April – but whatever. Hopefully, some of this packet will germinate. Who knows?

Statice is another of the more hardy annual flowers that does extremely well from the winter sowing method. In fact, the winter sowing method is the only way that I’ve ever germinated this seed. I tried making a fall planting this year, but the germination rate was absolutely terrible (even with cold treatment in the fridge). This tells me that they likely benefit from a combination of moisture and fluctuating temperatures that naturally happens with the winter sowing method. Anyhow, these are also super easy to transplant.

I also planted some spinach up in some cell trays. In general, spinach is not that great for starting in trays because their roots don’t really like to be disturbed. I find that growing each seed in their own cell makes the roots less likely to tangle and make transplant too difficult. Winter sowing spinach works great. This, in tandem with a direct sowing in the fall, will allow me to have spinach as long as possible (which isn’t very long) in my garden. Once the spring weather arrives, spinach season is practically over.

Gaillardia is another perennial flower that germinates really well when grown using the winter sowing method. For these, I always make sure to surface sow the seeds, as it seems that exposure to a little bit of light really seems to help get the highest germination rate possible. I can’t remember the name of the variety that I bought this year, but I do know that it’s a mix of double flowers. Hopefully, they’ll look really nice.

Last, but not least, I sowed some more herbs for the garden. This included some rosemary, sage, and even a little thyme. Winter sowing makes growing herbs from seed so insanely easy (at least here in my garden).

That’s really about it for this post! Thank you so much for taking the time to read it. I would love to hear all about what you’re growing in the comments below – have you ever used the winter sowing method before? What did you grow? I hope you’re having a great day!

Growing Bachelor’s Buttons from Seed – Hardy Annual Flower Favorites – Growing Flowers from Seed – Gardening for Beginners

Growing Bachelor’s Buttons from Seed – Hardy Annual Flower Favorites – Growing Flowers from Seed – Gardening for Beginners

Bachelor’s buttons will always be among one of my top five absolute favorite flowers. Now, I do realize that might sound a little odd. The plants don’t exactly have the show-stopping power of the likes of hydrangeas or roses – so what makes them so […]

How to Grow Annual Bachelor’s Buttons (Cornflower) in Zone 6/7

How to Grow Annual Bachelor’s Buttons (Cornflower) in Zone 6/7

Hi Lovelies, I’m back with some more growing notes! As always please leave your experiences in the comments below! Every garden is different, therefore, every gardener will have a different experience. The best thing that we can do is try to learn from each other! […]

An Update!

An Update!

Hi Lovelies,

I’ve been soooo busy. Like, seriously. I’ve had my hands covered in dirt for the past week. So, first off, sorry for skipping out on the comments section for the time being. I’ve planted thousands of plants this week, and made quite a few arrangements. Here are some quick photos from this week! Hope you enjoy, and I hope you’re having a wonderful day!

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Last year, I tried planting some biennials for the first time. The Siberian Wallflower (orange) started blooming this week. The color is bright, and I think it has a nice fragrance!
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The fall (September) direct sowing of German Chamomile also started blooming this week. So cute.
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The fall (September) direct sowing of bachelor’s buttons started blooming this week, too!
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If you look closely, you’ll see that the agrostemma has started blooming (also a direct sown flower in fall).
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The last anemone. This one is “growing wild” in the daffodil bed. I’m surprised that it over wintered outside without protection.
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The last of the daffodils.
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Look at those cute little chamomile in the background.
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The tulips are almost finished, too.
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The fragrance of these little tiny daffodils is so sweet!
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The ranunculus are starting to die back and turn yellow. I’m going to miss them!
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So pretty!
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I love this color!
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Sooo beautiful!

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March Week One Update

March Week One Update

Hi Lovelies, Brace yourselves! This post has a lot of pictures. Just a quick peek at  nearly everything that’s going on right now! Let’s all just hope that this warmer weather will keep on coming our way! Not pictured is the progress on the dahlia tubers […]

Seed Saving – Bachelor’s Buttons

Seed Saving – Bachelor’s Buttons

Hi Lovelies, Today’s post was definitely one of those spur of the moment, random ideas that I get. I started seed saving back when I started growing veggies. In fact, seed saving is important for many reasons – but alas, I’ll save that for another […]

Preparing for Hardy Annuals

Preparing for Hardy Annuals

Hi Lovelies,

So, it’s raining again. I know I shouldn’t be complaining because a lot of folks are suffering from heat and a major drought, but I’m itching to get back into the garden so badly. The stargazer oriental lilies started to bloom this week. Unfortunately, they did so during the rain. That means there are hundreds of beautiful pink blooms that are completely stained with orange pollen. Since I plant my lily bulbs into the ground and not into bulb crates, I’m not concerned about this mishap. In my zone, lilies will come back every year and are perennial. Lucky for me, I’ll just have more big strong, plants next season.

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“I wish it would stop raining so that I can go watch the birds in the garden.”

I have a few bad habits that I always fall into when it rains a lot. I tend to get a little lazy, watch too much television, and the worst offense of all – I spend too much money. Watching it rain cats and dogs has helped me realize a lot of things, the first being that I still have a huge bag of gladiolus bulbs that need to be planted immediately; the  second being that I had completely forgotten about ordering my hardy annuals and planting my biennials.

Before I started gardening, I’d always get “annuals” confused with “perennials” and all the jargon would be jumbled in my head. What difference did it even make? Well, turns out, to grow lovely flowers, it makes a huge difference! Annuals are pretty simple. Annuals can complete their lifecycle in one season. This includes making seeds, blooming, and obviously; being planted.  When I think of annuals, I automatically picture sunflowers, zinnias, petunias, and marigolds. But wait, do all annuals have to be planted in the spring after the chance of frost and grow in the summer? The answer is no! It wasn’t until very recently that I finally understood the term “hardy annual”.As you might already know, “hardiness” refers to a plants ability to survive in a climate zone, specifically to endure winter. While I wouldn’t consider myself a “northern” gardener, the winters here can still be pretty blustery. Last season, we were covered in snow and at one point the thermometer read -11 f as the low for the night before. I wasn’t even aware that temperatures like that were even possible.

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I usually seed my fall hardy annuals around the same time that I plant my tulips and daffodils.

As I’ve learned about growing hardy annuals, I’ve run into many bumps in the road. Since these annuals are “hardy”, I wouldn’t have to worry about a frost ending their lives, and could therefore, plant them much earlier. First, I’d read that these annuals need to be sown as early as the soil could be worked. I did this, but the results really weren’t anything like I had wanted. Some of seeds germinated and grew, but the plants and flowers were diminutive. They looked nothing like the pictures I’d seen online, or like they looked growing in my neighbors yard. Ugh! In addition to this disappointment, some of the seeds that I had planted didn’t even germinate! I didn’t know what I was doing wrong.

My first season growing bachelor’s buttons was a complete failure. The flowers were impossible to pick and the plants were less than a foot tall. In frustration, I let the flowers go to seed and just forgot about them. At the end of the season, I mowed down the plants and chose to try again next year. However, when spring rolled around next season, I was astonished to find several cornflower seedlings happily growing in the same patch. Before they began to bloom, the plants had grown to be over 4 ft tall! As, it turns out – fall planting was the solution that I’d been looking for!

After this experience, my love of fall sowing has grown tremendously. Each year, I’ve made it a point to try more and more annuals. It’s so satisfying to see these seedlings emerge right as spring begins. The great part is that all you’ve got to do is watch it happen. Winter and spring here is always extremely wet – that means that even when the soil has warmed somewhat, it remains unworkable for much longer. Fall sowing is a great way to get the head start that I need.

I direct sow my hardy annuals at the end of September or beginning of October, around the same time that I would plant ranunculus and anemones, as well as tulip and daffodil bulbs. The seeds of hardy annuals shouldn’t have any trouble dealing with frozen soil.  In fact, many of these varieties will require a period of vernalization. Vernalization refers to a period of exposure to low temperatures for proper growth. For this reason, some seed packages may instruct you to refrigerate the contents for a certain amount of weeks before planting.

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After a long and miserable winter, it’s so nice to see some color! Planning ahead now can help to give you a major jump on the growing season!

Here’s a list of the things I’m going to try to direct sow this fall. If you’ve had success or failure, please let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

2016 Hardy Annuals – Bells of Ireland, Godetia, Calendula, California Poppy, Love-in-a-Mist, Shirley Poppy, Agrostemma, Larkspur, Scabiosa, Lace Flower, Bachelor’s Buttons

If you’re interested in checking out what’s growing for 2016 – you can check it out on Pinterest!

Updates – Sweet Peas, Lisianthus, Catmint, and Planting Time

Updates – Sweet Peas, Lisianthus, Catmint, and Planting Time

Hi Lovelies, I hope that everyone is doing quite well. I’ve been on the road to recovery for the past week after a quick visit to the emergency room, yuck! With this, I’ve been away from the flowers and so much has gone on without […]


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