Thursday, October 20, 2016

Growing Cosmos sulphureus..Yep that's the name!

I got these flowers in a mix of wild flower seeds and after much research I finally found the name "Cosmos sulphureus"! I had to write about these flowers cause they are beautiful and really easy to grow. This is my second batch above.^ I pulled the first ones when I planted corn, but the seeds stayed behind and now I have tons of these flowers and more showing up each day. I don't really mind as the garden is starting to end so they add a last color burst before then.  

There is many different types of cosmos plants and many colors. (mine grow in shades of yellow, orange, and red) They need full sun to grow and sadly are unscented. They produce many flowers and can grow over 3 feet tall. Also known as golden cosmos this plant attracts butterflies and birds. The leaves remind me of ferns when they start growing. Cosmos flowers can be cut and used fresh or dried and used for crafts. This plant is a annual but the seeds are easy to collect for the next year. Once the peddles fall off of the flower and once the flower turns brown the seeds come out and look like a spiky ball. Just gently place one hand under the seeds and use the other to take the seeds out. Place in a air tight bin for next year. Some other kinds of cosmos plants have a pod with the seeds inside but this type the seeds show up right after the flower dies. (I will add a picture of that once mine start to die off but they can grow into Nov. so it might be awhile)

The seeds got around my lawn too! but sadly they will not make it here :/

Friday, October 14, 2016

Growing lettuce & find the toad???Plus a small harvest

I think I grow to much lettuce every year..I seem to not plant that many seeds and end up with way more then needed. Lettuce grows quick and can live threw a light frost so you can plant few seeds threw out the growing season and always have a fresh harvest when needed.

Things to remember when growing lettuce~
~Make sure soil is loose and well drained
~If you want a early harvest you can start seeds indoors and transplant them later(water thoroughly when you do)
~Plant seeds about 1/2 inch down
~Plant seeds about every 2 weeks for a continuous harvest
~Roots of a lettuce plant are shallow so be careful when weeding
~Other good plants to have around lettuce is corn and tomatoes or even flowers
~Best to harvest in the morning
~Pick before the plant becomes mature
~Can be grown in pots
~Grows best in full sun but can grow in a little bit of shade too(remember to water regularly in hot weather.)
~Two different ways to harvest are either picking the whole plant or just picking the outside leaves, leaving the middle to grow more.
~If your plant bolts(witch happens in warm weather) harvest it, at this point the lettuce is bitter
~Mulch is a beneficial add on to this plant (helps keep it cool and weed free)
~I found lettuce does not store well and is best once picked, so we only pick what we need at that time

Other notes~
Lettuce can be grown indoors
Lettuce is apart of the sunflower family
Lettuce is known as a care free crop and rarely gets any pest. So unless you have a rabbit problem just keep a eye out for cutworms or slugs. 
Plant a few different kinds for a great salad 

So this is our latest harvest. I did not expect to get any corn this year but ended up with one so far!! It gives me hope lol Beside corn we got few different kinds of pepper, few snap peas, few sweet potatoes, lavender, and of course lettuce. 

Now for the question...can you find the toad? I didn't till he jumped onto a flower and then it took what felt like forever to find him again for a picture. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Growing my little orchid

This is one flower I am not good at growing...I have killed many, but determined to keep this one alive and after finding out some simple tips and tricks it has been successful! Mine is a Moth orchid and is one of the easier ones to keep alive they say. It is in bloom right now for the second time and it is just as pretty as the first time. I kept it in a my kitchen window and love seeing it every morning. So anyway here is some things I learned that helped me keep this alive and blooming!

~Cattleya orchids are very easy to grow.
~Do not use potting soil! There is orchid soil sold in stores or you can try to make your own using bark chips, coconut husk, moss, styrofoam pellets, and charcoal. The mix needs to be breathable and that is why regular soil does not work. 
~Choose a snug pot for your plant.
~Make sure the pot has plenty of holes, over watering is easy and will kill the plant.
~Some other kinds of pots they can be planted in are net pots, clear plastic pots(these let the sunlight get to the roots easier), and rot resistant wood pots(just line with sheet moss before hand, coconut fiber will not be breathable enough). 
~They can take awhile to grow from seeds, and need to be placed almost right on top of the soil. In other words do not put the seeds to deep, they will not grow.
~This is something I didn't listen too and should have...If you re pot the plant cut off any dead or rotted roots first, then only add a little bit of soil. Normally you need to re pot when the plant becomes top heavy. (do more research on when to change the pot your plant is in, some are yearly and others are every 3 years)
~They need plenty of indirect light but I found having it outside harm the plant..way to hot... In a window worked best for me..They can burn in direct sunlight.
Rule of thumb
If leaves are dark green they need more sunlight, if they are yellow, reddish, or brown they are getting too much. A healthy orchid plant should have even light green leaves.
~Water once every week.(Cattleya should be watered a little more often)
~Do not fertilize often. 

Other inserting facts about orchids~
With many different types Orchids are the largest family of plants in the world.
Good air flow should keep the plant pest free.
Orchids can bloom in winter, giving much needed color to t his time of the year.

Remember every kind of Orchid is different and many need different care from another kind. Always do as much research as you can before or after buying a plant. There is about 30,000 different kinds so giving a general care sheet is not really doable.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wish list for next spring....things I want to grow and get

Feels like this spring and summer passed by so quickly and even though gardening and growing is not over just's time to start planning for next year!

 Next year I would like to grow~
Ghost peppers (never seen the seeds for sell in stores but online)
A assortment of tomatoes(I love a colorful garden)
Watermelon (this year the one we had growing was attacked and did not make it :/ )
Onions (every year I try and fail at this, for sure need more info. in this area)
Garlic (It will be a first but some will be planted soon)
still on my maybe list~
batwing pumpkins
blue moon pumpkins
goose bump pumpkins

I would like to get~

More of these city pickers kits. We all ready have two and they are amazing to work with and have space to grow many things. I normally get mine at local stores but I see online there are many more styles and colors to try.

A watering attachment like below. Never used either but the one I have now doesn't do too well.

Compost bins, something I would for sure like to try 

Thursday, October 6, 2016


We now have two new little members to our house. Meet Mario and Mia 
Now  I could say I grew this catnip for them but to be honest I been growing it way before they came along lol. I thought it would be something fun to grow so I did. Now it finally is coming to use. We have made catnip pouches and gave them it fresh. Happy to say they love it. 
We grew our catnip in a small basket lined with coconut fiber and filled with miracle grow soil. 
Some things to keep in mind to have a successful plant~
~Plant in full sun
~Water frequently at first
~It is known to repel some bugs and spiders
~Not all cats are attached to catnip (our older two before we got these two did not but these two are)
~Catnip can take over a garden, even if you start with only one plant
~If your cat is a indoor cat, try planting a few plants in pots and bring one in at a time and rotate them.
~Pinch off flower buds as they grow to keep the plant looking full
~Catnip also spreed by underground runners.
~Use bamboo sticks to keep cats from laying on the plant and flatting it.
 ~Harvest leaves by cutting stems, scent stays better when air dried
~Catnip can grow to 3 feet
~Catnip does well in any soil really as long as it is well drained 
~Catnip is a perennial

Remember the plant needs to grow to a healthy size so try to keep pets away till it has. Catnip is apart of the mint family and the seeds can be easily carried to other places. So if you have one plant expect another to pop up. I have also herd of people using catnip for tea but that's a whole another story. 

These are the catnip bags we made from fleece. We glued together almost all of the sides, leaving a small opening to put some dried catnip and replace it as needed.