Friday, April 22, 2016

DIY Marigold Seeds

Remember how we saved our marigolds seeds at the end of summer? See my Reuse Marigolds Every Year post. Time to put them to use!

Six weeks before the last frost you can start these steps. Your marigolds will be ready to plant right as the last frost is over. Here is a very cost effective way to have A LOT of beautiful marigold plants in the spring.

Here are the seeds I saved from last Fall.
I recommend starting with simple pellets. These are very inexpensive and can be found in most of your big box hardware stores. These came from Menards in the winter time, each box was on clearance for less than a dollar.  The pellets and fibers have really great nutrients that help your seeds germinate.
Soak the pellets in warm water for a few minutes. You will be surprised at how much they expand.
Place each individual marigold seed into your pellet. I recommend only a few seeds per pellet.
I like to mark my pellets with the type of seed and color when I am germinating multiple types of plants.  Keep your pellet moist. I use a cheap shop florescent light with a 'natural light' bulb ($15 set up) or just keep your pellets in your windowsill.

Within a week to two weeks you should start to see sprouts.

When you start to see roots coming out of the pellet fibers at the bottom you know it is time to transplant to a bigger container.
I like to reuse old plastic containers from my store bought plants. I fill with potting soil and leave room for the pellet soil as well. Make sure to remove the fiber off your pellet before transplanting.

Closer to the 6 week mark the marigolds start to bud.

Now I have a beautiful marigold plant straight from my own seed from last year's flower bed! This puppy will get huge by the end of summer. More pictures to come!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Lamb's Ear Winter Maintenance

Before Spring comes each year there is a quick step I take to insure my Lamb's Ear comes back vibrant and fresh. I cut back as much as I possibly can and throw the scraps in my compost. It may look like a goner...but, don't worry! This will grow back in no time.  Lamb's Ear grow like weeds.

(Above pictures taken end of February 2016. Below picture taken beginning of April 2016)

Cutting old growth back before Spring helps to promote new clean growth.  This plant will end up being about four times the size by the end of Summer.