“You are also far less likely to waste food when you have nurtured it from a seed into a plant.” — Darina Allen
Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. It’s tall wispy stalks teasing to cut back and cook on a grill slathered with thyme infused olive oil… oh yum. Spring’s bounty can’t come quickly enough!
As many of you follow me on Facebook and Instagram know, I just recently received my Purple Passion and Martha Washington asparagus crowns. Well, I certainly am not ready to plant these beauties, and I need to make sure they remain moist and viable for when I am ready to plant them.
Check out my video at my YouTube Channel!
Here’s my easy step by step on how to store your asparagus crowns!
Here is a super quick and easy tutorial on how to store your asparagus crowns if you receive them before you are ready to plant them. Be sure to check out my blog on How-to Plant and Care for Asparagus if you missed it!
Step 1: Carefully remove the asparagus crowns from packaging, making sure not to cut any of the roots when opening.
Step 2: Take 4 to 5 sheets of paper towel and stack together, then get them wet; wring out about 90 percent of the water.
Step 3: Place the wet paper towels on your counter or table; Carefully layer the asparagus crowns on the center of the sheets.
Step 4: Carefully fold the wet paper towels over the crowns like an envelope.
Step 5: Place the packaged asparagus crowns into a zip lock type storage bag; carefully press out most of the air being sure not to press on the crowns.
Step 6: Place the package in your vegetable crisper drawer or in the fridge in a location they won’t get crushed or banged around.
Be sure to let your family members know what they are and to be careful.
Check the package weekly to make sure the paper towels are still damp. If they begin to dry out, repeat the process being careful not to damage the crowns or roots.
Once you are ready to plant your asparagus crowns, remove them from the packaging and follow my planting instructions found at my blog post!
“It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.” James Douglas
You all know how much I love my herbs, so taking care of them and ensuring they continue to grow & thrive is essential to a bountiful harvest. Dividing them helps to keep them from getting too crowded, which can lead to poor growth and disease.
In this guide, I’ll be taking you through the benefits of dividing overgrown herbs, signs that your herbs need dividing, the best time to divide overgrown herbs, tools needed for dividing herbs, steps for dividing overgrown herbs, tips for planting and caring for divided herbs, common mistakes to avoid when dividing herbs, and recommended herbs to divide. So now lets get rolling friends!
Dividing overgrown herbs is a great way to keep your herbs looking and tasting their best. When you divide your herbs, you’re essentially creating new plants from one plant. This means that the new plants will have fresh, healthy roots and plenty of space to grow. Dividing your herbs can also help to promote new growth and increase the yield of your herb garden. And that’s what we want right friends… more herbs!
What are some of the signs that my herbs need dividing?
So, how do you know when it’s time to divide your herbs? There are a few signs to look out for. If your herbs are looking crowded or are starting to wilt, it’s probably time to divide them. You may also notice that your herbs are not growing as well as they used to, or that they are producing fewer leaves or flowers.
When is the best time to divide my overgrown herbs?
The best time to divide overgrown herbs is in the early spring or fall. This is when the plants are not actively growing, which makes it easier to divide them without causing too much stress. It’s also important to divide your herbs when the soil is moist, as this will help to minimize shock to the plants. If the soil is dry, I advise watering the soil and letting it set for about an hour before you divide.
Some of the tools you’ll need to divide your herbs!
To divide your herbs, you’ll need a few tools. These include a sharp pair of pruning shears or scissors, a garden fork or spade, and a container or pot for your new plants. You may also want to have some compost or fertilizer on hand to give your new plants a boost. If you are dividing herbs you purchased from a garden center still in its original planter, then you’ll need to carefully remove the plant and separate. See my video.
Here are the herbs I recommend that divide easily!
Not all herbs need to be divided, but some do better when they are divided regularly. Here are a few herbs that are great candidates for dividing:
5 Easy Steps to Dividing Your Overgrown Herbs!
Now that you have all of your tools ready, it’s time to start dividing your overgrown herbs. Follow these steps if you are dividing plants you already have planted or if you are dividing plants still in their original container:
Start by gently digging up the entire plant using your garden fork or spade. Be careful not to damage the roots. If you have a new plant in it’s original container, simply slide the whole plant out of the container.
Once the plant is out of the ground or container, gently shake off any excess soil. You can gently pull apart roots if they are root bound in the container.
Use your pruning shears or scissors to cut the plant into smaller sections. Make sure that each section has a healthy root system and a few leaves or stems.
Replant each section in a new container or pot, making sure to space them out evenly.
Water your new plants well and add some compost or fertilizer to give them a good start.
Here are a few tips & tricks for planting & caring for your newly divided herbs~
After dividing your herbs, it’s important to give them the proper care to ensure that they thrive. Here are a few tips to help you out:
Water your new plants regularly, but be careful not to over-water them. Herbs prefer well-drained soil, so make sure that your containers have drainage holes.
Place your new plants in a sunny spot. Most herbs prefer at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
Pinch back any flowers or buds that appear during the first few weeks after dividing. This will help your plants to focus on growing healthy roots and leaves.
Fertilize your new plants every 2-3 weeks with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer.
Harvest your herbs regularly to encourage new growth.
Avoid these common mistakes when you divide your herbs!
Dividing overgrown herbs is a relatively simple process, but there are a few common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid. These include:
Dividing your herbs too often. Most herbs only need to be divided every 2-3 years.
Don’t divide your herbs in the middle of the growing season. This can stress the plants and make it harder for them to recover.
Not giving your new plants enough space. Make sure that each new plant has enough room to grow and develop a healthy root system.
Over-watering your new plants. Herbs prefer well-drained soil, so make sure that your containers have drainage holes.
Dividing overgrown herbs is an important task for any herb gardener. By dividing your herbs, you’ll be able to keep them healthy and productive year after year. Remember to divide your herbs in the early spring or fall, and be sure to give them the proper care and attention they need to thrive. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be rewarded with a bountiful harvest of fresh, flavorful herbs that you can use in all of your favorite recipes.
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“The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. ” Gertrude Jekyll
If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know my passion for gardening & cooking. Of course in mind, they go hand in hand. Recently on both my Facebook & Instagram I shared starting my seeds! Well, here is the blog to go along with it!
Whether you’re a novice or experienced gardening enthusiast, you know that starting seeds indoors is a great way to get a head start on the growing season, although if you’re new to this process, it can seem overwhelming. There are so many different brands of seeds, seed starting soil mixes, and containers to choose from, where do you even begin?
Fear not, fellow green thumbs! Today, I’ll take you through the basics of starting seeds indoors, from selecting the right seeds to caring for your seedlings as they grow. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener looking to refine your skills or a newbie looking to dip your toes into the world of gardening, I’ve got you covered. So, roll up your sleeves, grab some dirt, and let’s get started on our journey from seed to sprout!
Now lets chat about how to successfully start your seeds indoors!
1. What are the benefits of starting seeds indoors?
There are several benefits to gardeners when starting seeds indoors.
First, it allows you to get a head start on the growing season, and who doesn’t want that! When you start your seeds indoors, you provide them the optimal conditions they need to germinate & grow before the weather outside is warm enough for outdoor planting. This allows you the opportunity to enjoy fresh produce earlier in the season.
Another benefit of starting seeds indoors is it gives you more control over the growing conditions. When you plant seeds outdoors, you’re at the mercy of the weather and the soil, & if you live in an area with cold winters, you know this is definitely a benefit. By starting seeds indoors, you can control the temperature, humidity, and light levels to ensure your seedlings get off to a good start.
Last, but certainly not least, starting seeds indoors can save you money. Buying seedlings from a nursery can be expensive, especially if you need to buy a large quantity. By starting your own seeds, you can save money and have more control over the varieties you grow.
2. What materials do I need to start my own seeds indoors?
Before you get started, you’ll need a few basic materials. Here’s a list of what I suggest you start with:
Seeds: Choose the seeds you want to start indoors. Make sure to choose varieties that are well-suited to your area. Like I always say, be sure to read the package instructions and guidelines for planting.
Seed starting containers: You can use plastic or biodegradable pots, trays, or cell flats. Make sure they have drainage holes. I save all my plastic salad, grape tomatoes, and even carry out containers to make great containers to start seeds in.
Soil mix: Use a soil mix that’s specifically formulated for seed starting. It should be light, well-draining, and nutrient-rich.
Watering can or spray bottle: You’ll need a way to water your seedlings. Be sure all your containers, no matter what you use, have proper drainage holes & a tray of some sort to catch water under the container.
Grow lights: If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, you’ll need grow lights to provide your seedlings with enough light. If you have your containers in a window, be sure to turn them everyday once they sprout to avoid becoming leggy due to ‘reaching’ for the sunlight.
Thermometer and humidity gauge: If you want to go the whole nine yards, you can invest in a way to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your growing area. I personally don’t use this.
3. How do I know what seeds to choose for indoor planting?
Unfortunately not all seeds are well-suited to indoor planting. Some seedlings require more light and space than you can provide indoors. If you have a four season room, this would make a great grow house, but it must be heated.
Here are some tips for choosing the right seeds:
Choose seeds that are well-suited to indoor growing conditions. Look for varieties that are compact, disease-resistant, and can be grown in containers.
Consider the space you have available. If you have limited space, choose seeds that can be grown in small pots or trays.
Think about the amount of light you have available. Some seeds require more light than others. If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, choose seeds that can be grown under grow lights.
5. You really need the right soil for seed starting!
Soil preparation is key to successful indoor seed starting. Here are some tips:
Use a soil mix that’s specifically formulated for seed starting. These mixes are light, well-draining, and nutrient-rich.
Moisten the soil before planting. Use a spray bottle or watering can to moisten the soil mix before planting your seeds.
Avoid using garden soil for indoor seed starting. Garden soil is too heavy and can contain diseases and pests that can harm your seedlings.
7. Proper watering and fertilization are important for the health of your seedlings.
Here’s what you need to know:
Water your seedlings regularly, but don’t overwater them. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other problems.
Use a spray bottle or watering can with a fine rose to water your seedlings gently.
Fertilize your seedlings with a diluted liquid fertilizer once they’ve developed their first set of true leaves.
Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for dilution rates and frequency of use.
4. Now it’s time to prepare your seed starting containers!
Once you’ve chosen your seeds, it’s time to prepare your containers. Here’s how:
Clean your containers: If you’re reusing containers from a previous growing season, make sure to clean them thoroughly with soap and water.
Add drainage holes: Make sure your containers have drainage holes in the bottom. This will allow excess water to drain away and prevent your seedlings from sitting in water, otherwise they will rot, or seedlings will drown. Watch my video for a simple how-to.
Fill containers with soil mix: Fill your containers with your chosen soil mix, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top. I always recommend an organic blend.
Label your containers: Use plant labels to identify the type of seed you’re planting and the date you planted it. Don’t believe you will remember… you won’t! Trust me!
6. Sowing your seeds properly is crucial to success!
Now the fun begins, it’s time to sow your seeds. Here’s how:
As I constantly say, be sure to read the seed packet for specific instructions on planting depth and spacing both when direct sowing, and when you transplant out to your garden.
Plant your seeds at the recommended depth. This is usually two to three times the diameter of the seed.
Space your seeds according to the instructions on the seed packet.
Cover the seeds with soil mix and gently ‘tamp’ down to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. I use a similar sized container so I don’t accidentally get a seed stuck to my hand! Yes it can happen!
Water your seeds gently using a spray bottle or watering can.
Lighting and temperature are crucial factors!
Light and temperature are critical factors for successful indoor seed starting. Here’s what you need to know:
Place your seedlings in a location that receives plenty of natural sunlight. If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, use grow lights.
Keep the temperature in your growing area between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have one, or choose to purchase one, use a thermometer and humidity gauge to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your growing area.
8. Let fun really begin~ How & when to transplant your seedlings outdoors!
Once your seedlings have developed their second set of true leaves, they’re ready to be transplanted outdoors. Here’s what you need to know:
Harden off your seedlings by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over the course of a week.
Choose a location that receives plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil.
Dig a hole that’s slightly larger than the root ball of your seedling.
Gently remove the seedling from its container and place it in the hole.
Backfill the hole with soil and water your seedling gently.
Indoor seed starting can be tricky, and there are several common problems that can arise.
Here are some tips for solving them:
Damping off: This is a fungal disease that can cause seedlings to wilt and die. To prevent damping off, make sure your containers have good drainage and avoid overwatering.
Leggy seedlings: If your seedlings are growing tall and spindly, they’re not getting enough light. Move them to a location that receives more sunlight or use grow lights.
Mold or mildew: If you see mold or mildew growing on your soil or seedlings, it’s a sign of too much moisture. Reduce watering and improve air circulation.
Starting seeds indoors can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to get a head start on the growing season. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to growing healthy, productive seedlings.
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My mission is the make this planet a healthier one, one person at a time!” ~Karen Sammer
I’m super excited to introduce you to this remarkable warrior woman! She has quite a story to share with all of you including her battle with cancer & how she conquered it. She is here today to let you all know you can take a stumbling block & turn it into a stepping stone… and boy did she ever.
Listen in as todays guest shares her journey into business ownership. From traveling to Ireland to a remote private art school to working at a senior center, and finally following her dream… this may be just the inspiration you’ve been looking for!
Have you been over to my Podcast? Well if not, click this LINK and follow me there for weekly gardening, cooking, organizational tips & tricks, discussions on healthy lifestyles, and of course having incredible conversations with entrepreneurs!
I will share my vast knowledge, as well as host guests who will bring a plethora of information on these exciting topics!
Here are my February 2023 Guests!
For a complete list of Podcast Events, go on over to my Facebook Events page and be sure to register for each one so you’ll receive notification reminders so you don’t miss a beat!
February 1, 2023
Podcast with Jean Roman, Author of For Dragonflies And Me
Join me today as I discuss the importance of using Heirloom seeds. I will touch on the differences between hybrid vs. Heirloom along with my favorite varieties. Click to listen.
February 8th, 2003
Podcast with Jamie Garrison, Owner of Inner Sage: The Studio, The Shop, The Lifestyle
Amy is a YouTube extraordinaire showing off her cooking skills, often using my Cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats. She is a blogger & home school mom of 10 kids who has created her own curriculum and shares it for FREE on her blog! Click to listen.
February 22nd, 2023
Podcast with My Sahara Tea, Tama Smith~ Co-Founder & Vice President
Today’s guest, Tama Smith Co-Founder & Vice President of My Sahara Corp. is going to thrill you with her business and how at such a young age she has not only developed a desirable product, but also the steps she took to get there! Click to listen.
Raised Bed Gardening, Plant Container Ideas, Yummy Savory Garden Cornmeal Pancakes and more…
“We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.” William Hazlitt This year I put in a new raised bed garden over by our barn hill that will be specifically for Neil’s sausages! I am so excited about growing and drying all the herbs. Raised beds are such an easy way to go for anyone, especially if you don’t have a large area. If you want to have a no fuss, no muss garden try raised beds, they require very little maintenance and can grow almost everything!
Raised Bed tips on how to make & grow! *The lumber you use should be at least 10″ high or higher if you want it. Although for proper root growth this is the minimum.
*Do NOT use old rail road ties, no matter how many you get for free- they contain a poison called Creosote that will leach out into your soil, be taken up by the roots of your plants, nourish the plant and you get all the by-product in the fruit that it bears when YOU eat it! Yuck! Stay away from treated lumber for the same reasons. (this pertains only to those who want to grow organically!)
*Your raised beds can be as long as you want them to be, but the best width is 4′ wide. With this width you can easily ‘reach’ in from both sides. You never want to ‘step in’ your RB, this compacts the soil, which makes proper root growth more difficult. My farms RB’s are either 4’x4′ or 4’x8′, these work best for me.
*Find a sunny location in your yard and decide how many you would like, or should I say how many would fit! I would not have a stitch of grass if I didn’t have boys that need ‘play space’!
*Fill your box with from the bottom up with a mixture of well rotted manure, compost, old grass clippings, hay or straw and top with a rich, loamy soil.
*After you have your box filled with all the plants you want to grow, put a layer of newspaper (NOT colored print sections) about 3-4 sections thick between your plants, top with a layer of grass clippings or straw to act as a mulch. You will have virtually NO weeding!
*Water thoroughly and enjoy your hard work!
For a very concise book on Raised Bed gardening I always recommend ‘Lasagna Gardening’ by Patricia Lanza. I also recommend companion planting with all your growing ventures. I use Louise Riotte’s, ‘Carrots Love Tomatoes’. Both these books will give you a great start to your gardening ventures. Other nifty ideas for plant containers: 1. Old galvanized chicken feeder or waterers, tin buckets, watering cans, old metal double burner caners (see picture) enamel ware anything… be sure to put drainage holes on the bottom- unless there it is well rusted and has time worn ones, even better!
2. Wheel barrow’s or old wagons can be found at any flea market or garage sale. You can either put the plant pots directly in the containers or fill em’ with dirt and direct plant. Either way, totally adorable!
3. Barrels or metal wash tubs are great as well. I have a old half barrel at my back door with a bleeding heart in it. When it is in full bloom it is simply stunning.
4. Old drawers, crates or even an old wooden trough (yes I have had one). These work great in your garden’s to add depth and interest. You can plant anything in them.
The idea’s are endless, if it has a hole to put dirt in you can plant it, just depends on your taste! The key to successful container gardening is proper drainage.
*One more tip- to save on dirt when filling very large containers, recycle packing peanuts, old broken Terra cotta pots, small plastic pots, etc. Put these in the bottom of your container until about half filled, then pour on the dirt! They will also be much lighter if you need to move them!
Here’s a yummy recipe using Taylor’s Cornmeal Pancake Mix! Taylor’s Savory Garden Cornmeal Pancakes 1 Pkg. Taylor’s Bake Shoppe Cornmeal Pancake Mix – follow instructions and add to batter:
1 cup niblet corn, drained 1/4 cup diced bell pepper (any color 1/2 cup diced red onion 1 small peeled & shredded carrot, from Willow Ridge Farm
1/2 tsp Taco Seasoning 1/4 oil
1. Stir together all ingredients except oil.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls into hot oil. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Garnish with fresh chopped Cilantro, sour cream Salsa !