Hanging baskets from scratch

This is one of my most satisfying gardening projects. I start petunias in January the transplant them into hanging baskets in March. They spend the next six weeks growing in the cool greenhouse before moving to their hanging location at the front of our home.

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I start with clean, reused plastic hanging basket. A coffee filter helps contain the potting mix but allows drainage.

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I put in a layer of mix the some pre moistened water saving crystals. Pre moistened is the key word here. If you forget this step, you could see an erupting soil volcano when they finally absorb water!

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Then I gently transplanted the petunias into the pots. The following is an example of a pot by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

New Year, New Beginnings

I started my first trays of seeds yesterday. Slow germinating petunias, delphinium and a few others. Plus a wide variety of lettuce plants that will grow in my cool greenhouse for crunchy salads in March and April. My light system is totally laughable. I repurposed my SAD light and propped it over the seed trays. Instead of having the lights move up and down, I vary the distance from the lights with different sized plastic boxes. It works for me. I like to think it was a creative use of things on hand. I enjoy viewing the Rusted Gardener videos and hope you will also.

My goal is to use a heat mat and light to germinate the seeds then move them out to the greenhouse where it has been 50 to 60* F in recent days.
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Record keeping has been a learning component for this transplanted gardener. This is my second full season in this climate and my notes from seed starting in 2013 are paying off now. What I do is not fancy or professional, just enough so I do not feel like I have to guess every year or repeat mistakes!
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Hardy Fuchsia love the cool weather

Fuchsias are annual plants in Minnesota, so when I discovered hardy fuchsias here in Western Washington, another plant collection began. I love the delicate flowers, shape and variegated foliage on some plants. All they need is sone trimming in the spring and regular perennial formula fertilizer. I’m hooked!

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Oyster garden update

Oyster garden update

Oyster garden update


Last May we purchased Pacific triploid oyster seed from Taylor Seafood and have been growing them all summer. This is something really new for us. It is interesting to watch them grow and is about as messy as cleaning an aquarium once in a while. Today I went to check on them, at the dock about a mile from our home. They are really growing. Thanksgiving Oyster Feed anyone?

Discovery Garden – Skagit County WA

My errands today took me up to Mt. Vernon, WA to pick up several sheets of poly carb to replace the greenhouse roof. When I was looking at the map on Charley’s Greenhouse website I noticed that it is not far from a Master Gardeners display garden. I love places like this because the collective, creative gardening minds of Master Gardeners have been showcases, in my past garden tour experience. I was not disappointed!

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