Tag Archives: garden

Seed Starting – What’s Growing in 2016

I’ve been blogging pretty regularly on my author website, but I’m afraid I don’t get over here as much as I’d like. But today, today I’m here. Why? Because it’s one of my favorite times of the year. Seed starting time!

I didn’t have a garden last year. It’s the first time since my kids were tiny babies that I didn’t start any seeds. I did, however, end up publishing three books and one novella, so it was a productive year. Just not for crafting or growing.

As you may know if you follow my author blog, we moved last November. I absolutely adore our new house, and this year I’m going to try container gardening. There are tons of pins all over Pinterest featuring homemade self-watering containers, usually made from storage tubs and five-gallon buckets, and my husband is going to make me a bunch! This is the plan he likes the best, and it’s the one we’re going to try.

I’m also going to try potatoes for the first time this year. Apparently they grow well in containers. I don’t know. We shall see.

If you’re new to seed starting, you can check out my original seed starting post back from 2014. There’s not much to it really, but it did take me a few years to get the knack of it.

So here’s what we have started so far:

  • Cherry Tomato – Gardener’s Delight: I’ve never grown this variety before, but it gets great reviews, so I’m excited to give it a go. We planted six cells.
  • Tomato – Fourth of July Hybrid:  These tomatoes are supposed to bear very early, very flavorful, small fruits. These and the cherry tomatoes are my only tomatoes, but I’m debating starting a late season heirloom variety as well. We’ve planted six.
  • Sweet Pepper – Carnival Blend: This seed packet contains a mix of purple, white, orange, yellow, and red bell peppers. I’ve planted six cells, but I’m thinking of adding more. The packet is supposed to contain 20% of each color, but you don’t know what you have until the peppers mature! I really want some purple.
  • Pepper – Anaheim Chili:  Every summer, my mom used to buy roasted anaheims from a local farm, and they are very good.  This year we’ve decided to roast our own. We’ve planted six.
  • Lettuce – Grand Rapids: I love salads fresh from the garden. After this batch moves outside, I’ll start more to grow inside for the hot summer months. We’ve planted twelve.
  • Spinach – Baby’s Leaf Hybrid: Just like with the lettuce, when these little guys move out, I’ll plant more inside. We planted six. (Note–I’ve found that spinach seeds do not save well. If you buy some, make sure you use them this year)
  • Basil – Mammoth: Basil smells amazing in the garden! We’ve planted six.
  • Parsley – Single Italian Plain-Leafed: This type of parsley is supposed to be more flavorful than the curly variety. I’ve never had luck growing it, but I’m hoping this year will be different. We’ve planted six.
  • Rosemary: I just now noticed the seed packet doesn’t have a variety printed on it, so I’m not sure exactly what type it is. Hopefully it’s good! We’ve planted six.
  • Cilantro – Coriandrum Sativum: I love cilantro! Like parsley, I’ve never been able to coax it to thrive, but since I’m container gardening this year, I’m hoping it will go better. We have six.
  • Moss Rose – Double Mixed Colors Portulaca: Moss rose is beautiful! If you’ve ever planted these vibrant annuals, you’ll know how easily they sprout up from seed (my mom has them come back in her containers every single year, and she brought the originals home from the garden center at least eight years ago). We planted seventy-two.
  • Marigold – Crackerjack, Mixed Colors: Marigolds are very fun for the kids to grow because they are nearly fool-proof, and they almost always start flowering before we get them outside. We planted seventy-two.
  • Zinnia – Mini – Zini Mixture: I’ve mentioned it before; zinnias are one of my favorite garden flowers! They are so bright and cheerful.  We planted seventy-two.

That’s all I have started for now. It’s still early, so I’m sure we’ll end up with more. We always do. I’ll definitely start some perennials once these are out of the seed-starting trays. In our last few moves, I’ve lost my all my daisies, so I’ll need to do some of those.

I’d also like some calendula and thyme. And I’d really love to try petunias this year. I planted a flat of them back in 2013, but they never sprouted. Since then, I learned they need light to germinate, so I’d like to give them another shot. They aren’t the easiest seeds to find, at least around here, so I might have to order some in.

What are you growing this year? Have you started your seeds yet? I’d love to hear about it!



First Year Growing Tomatillos

After a long and turbulent early spring, my garden is finally in, and it seems to be thriving. I’m growing all the veggies I started in this post, plus a few (couple dozen) more I couldn’t resist from the nursery. This must be our year for peppers, because we walked out with four chili peppers, one Big Jim pepper, one cherry pepper, and six various kinds of bell peppers–and that doesn’t count the twelve I started from seed! We also brought home a four-pack of tomatillos. I have never in my life grown, or know anyone who grows, tomatillos. Jake had a tomatillo sauce at a Mexican restaurant in Denver once, and loved it. So we thought, why not?


So far the tomatillos are the stars of the garden. They have tripled their size and are already starting to bloom.


My heirloom tomatoes are close behind, and the Early Start tomatoes I started from seed are right behind them.

A little tip for growing tomatoes–pull off a few of the bottom leaves and plant them deep in the soil. Their furry little stem will sprout roots and by mid-summer you will have more tomatoes than you know what to do with! I’ve heard you can do this with tomatillos as well, but I haven’t tested it.

This is one of my Early Start tomatoes. With the weather as crazy as it was this spring, they had a bit of a rough start. It's warmed up and they're doing great now!
This is one of my Early Start tomatoes. With the weather as crazy as it was this spring, they had a bit of a rough start. It’s warmed up and they’re doing great now!

And look-a friendly garden visitor!!! Unfortunately, it’s resting on a little weed that sprouted up right next to one of my tomatoes.




Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

This week’s photo challenge theme is Threshold. A threshold is a point of entering; that point just before a new beginning — that split-second moment in time, full of anticipation, as according to the Daily Post.

For this challenge, I’m showing you the empty, weed covered little plot of ground that will be my garden this year. In no time at all, the emptiness will be gone, and in it’s place will be a thriving, green garden filled with vegetables, flowers, and fruits. That’s the plan, anyway.

Though not much to look at right now, by summer this will be a lush and thriving vegetable garden–if all goes as planned, of course!

Spring is here, promising longer, warmer days!

Decorative Fruit Tree Blossoms
Decorative Fruit Tree Blossoms
Robins, the heralds of spring, have been making themselves at home.
Robins, the heralds of spring, have been making themselves at home.

Check out this week’s challenge here!