Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have an ever changing list of favorite plants but I have had a long term crush on Zinnias. One of my neighbors has a gorgeous Zinnia and Cosmo combo garden every summer and I sigh and gaze and daydream that I will have one someday too.

Envy Zinnia- Although mine leave something to be desired.

Lilliput Mix / Mini-Zinnia

I bought no less than 9 packets of Zinnia seeds a few months ago and gave them the old college try. My first attempt to direct seed did not yield as many as a I wanted (which was an infinite amount). I had more success growing them on our potting station in a pot and then transplanting them. Now I am waiting on this bed to pop...

Zillions of Zinnias for life. Love.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to Start Your First Garden

in the dead of summer.

I am slowly forcing my coworkers into gardening. You must make your workplace into the change you wish to see in the world? I think the quote goes something like that...

Regardless. Here are my hot tips if you want to plant some food right now.

My number 1 tip for new gardeners is to think about what you like to eat and then start growing that. You like basil - start with a small herb garden. At first, there is not much to be gained in forcing yourself to tend a garden of chard when you dislike chard. If you are looking forward to that first watermelon, it will motivate you to stick with your garden when the excitement starts to wane.

Do not even bother putting in a seed or transplant if you don't plan to mulch. It is crazy hot already and you don't need that heart break. If you want to plant by seed- it is now or never for this season. What can you grow now? Watermelon, cantaloupe, squash.

The Steps:
1. Mark off an area in the sun, not full shade.
2. Dig up your grass. Your soil will most likely benefit from some good, organic compost.
3. Research what will grow in your area.
4 a. Plant some seeds. There's a hot tip I have been keeping close to the chest. When we plant seeds, we poke a little hole and add 2-4 seeds into that hole, in case some seeds are duds. Basically, it is a guarantee that you will get a plant to grow in that spot. If all the seeds come up, you will have to pull up the weaker looking ones.
4 b. Plant some transplants.
5. MULCH. Mulching is not sexy but neither is lots of dried up, yellow plants.
6. Water. At first, the plants and esp. seeds will need water every day. After the seeds sprout or plants get established, it is much better for your plants and water bill to do long, deeper watering every few days then to go out every day and water a little. The plants will grow stronger, longer roots.
7. Enjoy!