Since Spring has decided to take a little break this week, I’ve been able to get a few indoor chores checked off my list. This afternoon, I started going through my seed library.
Back in March, I received an invitation from Renee’s Garden to sample a dozen of their seed packets. Yaaassss! I ordered a variety their heirlooms to try out in the garden this year.
Let’s check out what came in the mail today!
First up, Sundancer border sunflowers for the border along the picket fence.
I picked these sunflowers because they grow quickly and they bloom early. They will be tall – 5 to 6 feet – and of course they need full sun.
Sunflower seeds look pretty much like you’d expect them to look. These Sundancer guys are a about the size of a grain of rice.
I’ll wait until this weekend to sow them directly outside.
Next up is a packet of poppies call Dancing Ballerinas.
Check out this pic tweeted out by Renee’s Garden of these beauties!
I’ve never had a ton of luck with poppies but my old neighbor, Jen, absolutely loved them and had no trouble getting them to thrive in her beds.
These guys can handle a light frost but I’m going to wait to plant them until mid-May here in Minnesota.
Even though people consider poppies to be pretty drought tolerant, they will actually have a brighter bloom and bloom longer with regular watering.
The seed for these poppies are sooooo little. I’m going to need to plant them with my little seed planter or they will be too hard for the kids (or me) to control.
Blue Borage has been on my wishlist for three years now.
A few friends have told me that you only need to plant it once because it reseeds it self quite heavily in the garden.
My IOS voice dictation just spelled reseeds as in recedes. Definitely not the same thing!!!
Cure for a receding hairline? A reseeding hairline.
I love the Blue Borage flower so much I really don’t care where it decides to plant itself.
Borage has a normal-sized seed; something you can actually hang onto and know where you’re planting it.
I’m starting this indoors as soon as this post is done and then I’ll transplant it outside in about two weeks.
I’m looking to add this to my kitchen garden on the deck as well as some mixed border beds around the house.
You might be wondering what I planned to do with Borage. Well… apparently it is a pretty and edible garnish for green and fruit salads. You can also use it as a garnish in summer drinks like lemonade or mojitos. It has a light, refreshing, cucumber-ish flavor. Bonus: Pollinators go crazy for it.
By the way. if you want to challenge your kids; ask them to spell nasturtium.
These guys are going to be planted along the picket fence by the swingset. They should be absolutely thrilled to have something to climb on and be happy with the higher elevation in that area for excellent drainage.
I always spray nasturtiums down with sharp streams of water from the garden hose throughout the season since the caterpillars and aphids love them as well.
Don’t forget these flowers are edible and I love sprinkling them on salads or cheese platters.
These Climbing Phoenix are some hefty, little seeds. I think of them as little nuggets.
They’re easy to work with and another great example of how you can’t tell the type plants that will grow just by looking at a seed.
Nasturtiums are in the Tropaeolum genus from the Latin Tropeaum or “trophy” because the flower and the leaf resemble a helmet and shield.
I totally see the leaves as little shields.
The flowers…. well, those make for some outlandishly pomp and circumstance-y helmets.
Can’t wait to see these little warriors!
John is responsible for planting these little Pink Beauty radish. Straw Bale Gardening pioneer Joel Karsten got his first gardening job planting radish for his Grandma Josephine. It’s a great first plant to learn about for little gardeners.
Did you know that radishes are spicier in hot weather and milder in cooler weather?
If the weather predictions are right, we will have some spicy radish this summer.
This Pink Beauty seed is small – but the lighter color and the pellet shape make it easier to grasp.
This seed could double as cat food for Barbie’s cat… if Barbie had a cat.
Emma is starting these Teatime Mix Four O’Clock’s indoors in some dixie cups.
They’ll be ready to go outside by the end of May. I always have a few varieties of Four O’Clocks and morning glories for the kids just like my mom planted with me.
Four O’Clock seeds are gritty and rough.
I was trying to think of how to describe them to you – but all I could think of is that they look like little grenades.
So…. if your G.I. Joe action figure runs out of ammo… he can blast the enemy within Four O’Clock seed:
“What time is it Mr. bad guy? I think it’s 4 O’Clock! Bam!”
I’m very excited to try it because the leaves are pretty darn cool. The seed packet says that they have a melt-in-your-mouth flavor. I’m in.
So I guess I’m taking my red lettuce fetish to the next level this year.
The seed looks like little tiny flakes and against the paper they make me think of those little bitty nats that can swarm you while you’re working in the garden. Yuck.
It’s easy to remember the name of this lettuce because…well, yeah – it pretty much looks like a tongue so I guess Red Deer Tongue it is!
I add these Ruby and Emerald Streaks salad mustards sparingly to salads. The kids (and some adults) can be a little overwhelmed or turned off by the mild spicy flavor.
Anytime I have a colorful, elaborate leaf like this, I’m always immediately thinking garnish and I generally don’t go overboard with them.
The Ruby and Emerald Streaks seeds are little and super rolly. They are very difficult to control and hold – so keep that in mind when you’re planting them.
I will broadcast spread these and just lightly cover them with soil.
I will also sow some of them in some of my part-shade containers for the pretty foliage. And, by avoiding super sunny areas, I can extend their growing season since they are a cool weather plant.
Here’s my teachable moment for the kids this summer which is to show them that carrots come in a kaleidoscope of fun colors including yellow white and purple. PJ loves carrots so these babies are all his to plant and harvest.
This Harlequin Mix will get tucked into a number of beds and containers all around the house wherever we can squeeze them in. Carrots are aerating – so all the plants around them consider them good neighbors.
The Harlequin Mix seed reminds me of the Red Deer Tongue lettuce seed because it’s flat and wispy. However, the lighter color will make it easier to see and plant.
I am going to persuade at least one of the kids to give them a try this summer.
If you have never tried sliced fresh beets sautéed in butter then you have something to add to your bucket list this summer!
I’ll let you know when I’m cooking them and you can come on over and try for yourself. Ah-May-Zeen!
Beet seeds are super funky-looking. They look a lot like granola and that’s because there’re actually a cluster of seeds.
Thus, the oft-quoted phrase: “Beet seeds – What a cluster”.
I’ll be waiting until late May or early June to plan the Mama’s Cannellini pole beans.
If you plant them too soon they won’t germinate – so there’s no sense in getting antsy with beans.
How do you know when it’s time to harvest them? The beans will look like dry and leathery pods and inside the seeds will be hard and smooth just like in the picture below.
Full circle moment baby.
Renee’s Garden had this tip on shelling out the dried beans by hand: put the whole pods in a pillowcase and whack it against the ground to “spill the beans”. Clever, clever.
I saved the Mighty Lion zinnia for last.
These beauties are going in the cottage garden on the south side of the house. They are going to be part of my cutting garden this year since I always seem to run out of orange blooms for my bouqets. This is my attempt to stockpile a bit.
This zinnia is called Mighty Lion because the intense orange blossom has multiple layers that resemble a lion’s mane
Once you’ve collected zinnia seeds, you never forget them.
These pointy little flakes from the seed heads of a bloom are easy to capture in the fall. I just the cut the blooms into a paper bag and the seeds fall out on their own.
Here’s the complete list of my order from Renee’s Garden.
You can place an order online at Renee’s Garden or give them a call at 831-335-7228!