The February “Blog Blizzard. continues!” Even though it is has been a mild winter her in the valley, I know many other parts of the country have had plenty of snow this month. So in solidarity with fellow flower lovers snowed in, we’ve “faux snowed” ourselves inside too in order to flood the blog with ton of tips and information to help you have a great growing season. This weekend our core team is gathering in person for a major brainstorming session, where we will be dreaming and scheming plans for the future of our little flower company. Expect more fun ideas and resources in the future. Stay tuned!
Yesterday on the blog, I shared an overview of seed starting resources we’ve developed, plus a few DO’s and DON’Ts of seed starting which highlighted a few lessons I’ve learned over the years. Today I thought I’d share a few recommended varieties you can start indoors early so you can get a jump start on your growing season.
Among the many other benefits of transplanting plants that you started from seed indoors (versus direct seeding in your garden or field) is that it enables you to transplant strong, healthy plants exactly where you want them. Plus, established plants generally experience less pressure from plant delivery vancouver.
If you have access to a greenhouse or an indoor space where you can rig-up some simple grow lights, there are a number of flowers that you can start indoors. For many varieties, you won’t want to start seeds until 6-8 weeks prior to your frost-free date. (If you are not sure of your area’s frost-free dates, you can enter your zip on Dave’s Garden site which will provide you with an estimate).
There are a number of flowers, however, that you can start indoors even earlier than that, which is great for gardeners itching to get their hands back in the dirt this time of year. Most of the flowers I’m listing below are cold hardy varieties, which means young plants will usually tolerate a light frost and they can be transplanted as soon as the ground can be worked (yes, even before your last frost).
Whether you are ready to start seeding today, or simply looking for inspiration to round out your seed order, be sure to add a few of these favorites into your fields and cutting gardens. After the dark, gray days of winter, your harvest of pretty flowers you started from seed will be that much sweeter!
Iceland Poppies: The brilliant silk-like petals and citrusy scent of these beauties are intoxicating and they add a romantic element to any bouquet. There are lots of poppies to choose from, but some of my favorites include Temptress mix, the San Remo mix, Champagne Bubbles and our NEW Sherbet mix.
Bells of Ireland: Each and every Bells of Ireland plant churns out masses of beautiful, fragrant stems that make bouquets look lush and vibrant. To grow, we pre-chill the seed in the freezer or put freshly sowed trays outside for a few weeks before returning them to the heat. I know some growers that have great success starting their Bells of Ireland by first placing their seeds on moistened paper towel in a ziplock bag and then they stick the seeds in the refrigerator for a few weeks before sowing them in trays. Whichever method you choose, germination can sometimes be slow and erratic, so be patient.
Snapdragons: Every year we grow thousands of snapdragons and sell every useable stem in the patch! Chantilly snapdragons and Madame Butterfly mix are some of my latest obsessions. This gorgeous group of ruffled butterfly-type blooms is one of our most requested and best loved crops of the summer! Our buyers actually jump up and down clapping when the first bunches are delivered.
I have grown all of the available colors and our best sellers are pink (it’s actually coral), light pink, bronze and light salmon which are the basis for our Chantilly custom blend. Snapdragon seeds are pretty easy to germinate and grow, but be forewarned: the seeds are teeny tiny and can make you feel like you are going crosseyed. Sowing them takes a steady hand and a bit of patience, but it is totally worth it when you see the pretty blooms later in the season. Be sure to barely cover them and them bottom water until they are big enough to withstand an overhead drink.
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