Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Garden Notes with Deb: Direct Sowing Annuals

Dear friends, Welcome to my new weekly series, Wednesday Garden Notes with Deb: Through out the growing season I'll be checking in each week with notes from my garden. This week, I'm sharing my low-tech tips for direct sowing annuals in raised beds and a simple way to keep track of what you've planted and where.

I'm a fanatic for seed packet art. I partially blame the artists behind these beautifully illustrated seed packets for turning me from hobby gardener to backyard flower farmer. There are just too many to choose from but every year I try to sneak in a few new varieties.

I've had my eye on the Zinnia Pink Senorita for a couple of years. So this year while I was making my seed list I was sure to add it along with the Will Rogers Zinnia and the Giants of California. All new to my cut flower collection this year.

 I fell hard for the Cosmos Rubenza, Scabiosa Tall Double Flowered Mix and the mixed Cockscomb.

Dampen your planting area lightly then make your rows. You will be able to see the distance between rows better this way.
I''m gardening in Zone 7-A in the northeast. The temps have been very moderate with danger of frost behind us so I feel quite confident with getting my annual seeds in the ground now.
 I'll be experimenting with succession planting this summer as well, but more on how that goes in a future post! 
 Before any seeds can be planted the raised beds were raked and weeded. I sprayed each bed lightly with the garden hose so that when I make my rows for seeds I can see the distance between rows better. I can make 4 rows in my 8x12x4 raised beds which gives me the equivalent of a 48 foot row and 96 square feet of growing space.  
Once the rows are made you can begin planting your seeds. Most annuals should be planted between 1/4 and 1/2 inches deep in fertile, well draining soil. I tend to plant my seeds closer than recommended. 

 I like the fullness of flowers crammed together, leaning in to one another as if they're long lost friends. 

Once your seeds are in cover them loosely by brushing the soil back over the top of them with your hands or the back of your garden trowel. Lightly water and keep moist until they germinate. Then water lightly daily until they area few inches above the ground.

I keep a small notepad nearby to record what seeds go in what bed and the date I planted them. When winter comes I can easily transfer my garden notes to an excel spread sheet with notes about what was successful and what wasn't. Now, I'm not saying I will actually do this but it's a good thought!
That's it for today friends...The garden calls! 
What kind of system to you use for keeping track of your plant collections?
Dandelion Wishes,


Friday, May 22, 2015

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 197

 Welcome back to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! Wow. Are we really just two hops away from our 200th Bloghopiversary? Debbie ( Farmgirl Unleashed) and I better get busy and plan something epic! 

My daughter, ( and Max ) and I had a little gardening adventure this week. I posted all about  in my Beach Farmgirl Blog titled: Garden Girls 
Come by and see us if you get a chance!

We wish you all a fabulous Memorial Day weekend and time with those you love.

Enter your posts and share the link to this blog hop with all of your blogging friends.
You don't have to live on a farm to be a farmgirl!

Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

Today's question:

What's the weirdest looking, tasting, heirloom veggie or flower you've planted on your homestead? 

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Sarah Rosedahl Book Giveaway

Cluck! Cluck!  It's chickens and gardening season my friends which makes this the perfect time for me to introduce you to artist/ author and chicken keeper Sarah Rosedahl. I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah at the Northeastern Poultry Congress last year. Her whimsical chicken art caught my eye right away and made me smile.

Sarah Rosedahl is an artist and recovering software engineer. After a 25 year hiatus from creating art, while working as an engineer in Silicon Valley, Sarah rediscovered her passion for art through a community art class in San Jose, CA; watercolor classes at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art; and ceramic classes at Hands In Clay, New Orleans. Sarah moved to Vermont’s Champlain Islands in 2012, inherited a few chickens from friends, raised more chickens, started painting chickens and then wrote, illustrated and published
“Chickens! Illustrated Chicken Breeds A to Z”. Many of the chickens featured in the book are modeled after Sarah’s small mixed flock of whimsical hens that include Chipmunk and Olive (Ameraucana), An (Cochin), Betty White (Brahma), Little Zelda (Hamburg), Big Zelda (Sicilian Buttercup), Shakey and Janet (Wyandotte) and Big Wilhelmina and Little Wilhelmina (Welsummer). 

Sarah is giving away a copy of Chickens! Illustrated Chicken Breeds A to Z to one lucky reader. 
Simply leave a comment below and tell us a little about your flock ( or flock to be ). And, while you're at it, what do you slog around in when you're out in the coop and garden?
Did you know Sarah's adorable chicken art is featured on Sloggers

  and T-shirts too? Congratulations Sarah! Sarah's products make the perfect for gifts for your friends and family from 1- 101!
Find Sarah and her charming books, sloggers  and T-shirts through these links.
 Website:  and Sarah will receive a commission of the sale.
 Chickens!Illustrated Chicken Breeds from A to Z

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