Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Planting Next Years Garden in November

We've had a lovely November with lots of mild sunny days. Its been the perfect time to plant perennial seeds that will provide pollinator friendly flowers and grasses next spring, summer and fall.  I had really good results this past year growing plants such as Anise Hyssop, Cardinal Flower, Rose Milkweed, St. John's Wort, Bee Balm, Germander and Hairy Golden Aster.  I grew all of them from seed, I planted  outdoors in November 2020. They all needed from 30 to 90 days of cold weather to germinate in the spring.        

Anise Hyssop with Hairy Golden Aster behind
Rose Milkweed
These plants are some of the best for bees and butterflies.  The Anise Hyssop bloomed from late June through October.  The Rose Milkweed flowered a little later than the Common Milkweed, making a nice succession of blooms for the Monarch's that then laid their eggs on the leaves.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Majestic Red Fox

 We rarely see a red fox, or any fox for that matter, on our farm these days.  One of my best childhood memories is of walking the farm with my Dad when I was about five and having him stop and crouch down whispering to me to look at the red fox sunning itself on the opposite hillside.   

We were totally surprised to see this fox come out of the woods and along the pond in our backyard, turn and come toward the house and then stop and pose on  top of the septic tank!

For a minute we thought he might be headed for our cat door, but he veered off at the last minute and headed into the woods on the other side of the house.  This morning I thought it best to keep the chickens locked in their house and run!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Seeds Started, Now What?

Large Dahlia plants ready to go outside.
Back in January I had the bright idea to raise dahlias from seed to sell as cut flowers at our local farmers market.  Dahlias make big, showy flowers that last forever in a vase.  Most people buy them as tubers and you plant them as you would potatoes. But dahlias can also be grown from seed, will bloom the same year if you start them indoors and will produce tubers you can save for next year.

I wanted to have about 750 stems of dahlia flowers to sell so a couple of $5.00 packages of seed seemed like a better way to go then shelling out a couple of hundred dollars for tubers.

The seed catalog said start the seed indoors 8 to 10 weeks before your last frost date to get flowers by July. I set up my grow lights and planted 150 dahlia seeds on March 1.  I planted tall dahlias (2 to 3 feet) and short dahlias (10 to 12 inches).  Now its March 31 and I have some very big seedlings and some small seedlings and am wondering if the market will be open in May.  Whatever happens with Covid 19, I'm going to have lots of dahlias.

Short dahlia plants coming along slowly