Organize seeds

It is this time of the year, when the seeds are everywhere (at least in my house) . Stay organized with this method.

You will need:

– a 3-ring binder

– clear photo sleeve refills (3.5x5in) for 3-ring binder

– seeds!!!

– cat helper (optional)

The cat helper

The 3.5×5 has 4 pockets, and most of the seed packets fit very well in that pocket. Because the sleeve is clear, you can see the back of the seed packets and read the instructions without taking the seeds out.

You can organize your folder by the type of plants, by planning time, any system that makes sense to you.

You can add pages in between the sleeves with notes, plans, drawings, whatever you want. The sky is the limit!

If you try this system, let me know by tagging me on instagram (strawhatrequred). I would love to see where you take this system.

Since I started using this system, it takes much faster to find the seeds I want, easier to keep track what I have and just plain fun to look at all those cool seeds (I may or may not have spent hours going through my folders during winter, don’t judge, you will do it too).

Happy seed organization! And great success is seed planting!

Happy March

Snow drops in March

There is something about March. The birds sound different. The days are longer and the air smells of wet dirt, as a promise of things that will grow here soon. The sky is a particular hue of blue, sky is this kind of blue only in March. The seed packets in my hands around the same, a rattle of small speks, like a whisper of hope. The same sound, but a more urgent call. The seeds are ready to give way, to start a new journey, to awake from rest, to be something else, to die, to give, to be. It is March, my friend, we made it through another winter. Will you take this journey with me? To be more, to grow, to awake, to be. Come along!

How to grow herbs

 

Herbs add so much flavor to our everyday life. They are full of beneficial plant compounds and most of them are very beautiful plants as well. Purchasing fresh herbs can be very expansive. Also frustrating (at least it is frustrating for me, because they don’t last long…don’t get me started on cilantro and how you get a huge bunch and only need a little and the rest makes it into the compost pile).

However when you grow your own you get this:

  • No cost herbs (yes you need to invest initially, but you will be harvesting pennies on the dollar)
  • Freshest herbs to harvest when you need (no waste and better taste)
  • Beautiful plants in your garden or your windowsill (most herbs are such pretty plants that they belong in your flower bed)

At this point I hope you want to get growing! Put your straw hat on and let’s do it. I made a little fun diagram to show the visual of what is important to remember. It will work if you want to grow your herbs indoors in container or outside in the garden (if you are growing in the garden – that is your container!).  Yes! It is that simple!

Plant Sun Soil Diagram 2016

  •  Plant: grow herds that you and your loved once enjoy using
  • Sun: choose the sunniest location (be it a window or a spot in the garden)
  • Soil: always use the best soil available (I love using Happy Frog or ProMix), the soil needs to be light and not compact easily
  • Containers are very important (ignore this part if you are growing in the garden). Size and drainage are two things you need to remember. Don’t put a large plant in a small containers and remember that roots need to breath, so never plant plants in containers without drainage holes (large once!) or they will drown and rot and die!
  • Water: Do not, I repeat do not over water your plants, learn how the soil looks different when it is wet and when it is dry. It is better to underwater than to over waterHerb Harvest 2016
  • Harvest: it is very important to harvest your herbs often and properly (always cut with sharp scissors and harvest just below the fresh growth), if you don’t do this your plant will still be alive but you can damage it by pulling and if you harvest below the growth you plant will be nice and bushy

I personally never fertilize my plants, but sometimes I give them left over herbal tea that I did not finish (it needs to be room temperature before you give it to the plants) same can go for coffee (but most coffee addicts I know never leave any behind). Do not overdo it, especially in containers, remember what you put in that container will stay there – very easy to overdo it, you can be a little more liberal if you grow in the garden.

Have fun, start small and enjoy!

 

 

Three Sister Garden (corn, beans and squash)

The way corn was grown centuries in America. The idea is to combine corn, pole beans (different from bush beans) and any squash (pumpkin, zucchini, summer squash, and patty pan squash).
Corn grows tall and requires nitrogen, pole beans will climb up the corn and they will provide nitrogen in the soil. Squash has large leaves which will protect the soil from water loss and weeds, as well as animals who would like to eat the sweet corn. You thought you are the only one who likes it?
Grow corn first, plant seeds after soil is warm and no frost is expected anymore. When corn grows to be couple inches, plant beans close to it (couple beans per each corn) and plant squash as a border (any squash or pumpkin will work). Plant couple flowers around: zinnia, marigold, petunias.
Three Sister Garden 2013
Above is a simple diagram of how your three sister garden may look. You can make it larger or smaller depending on your space and family needs.