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Hi, I'm Charlotte. Our climate is changing. We need new ways to garden. How is your garden growing?

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Wednesday
Aug272014

Autumn Joy Sedum in Summer

One of my all-time, low maintenance and low water-requiring perennials is Autumn Joy Sedum. This succulent plant starts out as low to the ground, green roses. By summer, Autumn Joy Sedum grows to almost two feet tall with tiny pink flowers at the end of stalks resembling broccoli.

Summer of 2012, when Missouri set new high summer temperature records, this plant survived most of the time without requiring extra watering. The pink flowers provide pollen for native bumble bees and carpenter bees, and much-needed nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds.

Saturday
Aug232014

Start Seeds In Egg Cartons

Another common household item you can use to start seeds is an egg carton, both cardboard and styrofoam.

Cardboard Egg Cartons
Cardboard egg cartons make excellent seed-starting pots. Add potting soil to the individual egg holders, add seeds and water. Once seeds start outgrowing the egg-size container, it's time to get them into the ground or into their final pot destination. You can use the flat size of the cardboard egg carton for toilet-paper roll pots, where you could transplant seedlings out of egg cups. The flat side can also be used as a seed-planting tray for one seed type; plant the whole tray when it's time to transplant. Use styrofoam egg cartons under cardboard ones.

Styrofoam Egg Cartons
Once watered, cardboard egg cartons can easily loose their shape before it's time to cut them up and plant. By placing styrofoam under cardboard, the styrofoam will also help keep the seedlings in cardboard warm. I also use styrofoam egg cartons to save broken egg shells, my favorite "pot" for growing seedlings. Once seedlings are ready to transplant, plop the seedling in egg shell right into the planting hole. No transplanting trauma, which usually kills off a percentage of young seedlings, and the egg shell will provide young plants with much-needed calcium.

Tuesday
Aug192014

Toilet Paper Roll Seed Pots

It's very tempting to buy those expensive seed-starting kits with bright colors and promises that anything planted in them will grow. I get tempted too, only you don't really need them unless you are running a huge nursery operation. For those of us growing home vegetable and flower gardens, we have items around the house we can easily use to grow seeds. Start with saving empty cardboard toilet-paper and paper towel rolls. No need to remove paper remnants, both paper products will easily be absorbed once they are planted in soil.

How to Make Potting Pots
To turn them into planters, cut them either in half or in thirds. Snip the bottoms at 4 equal corners for half to one inch deep cuts; then fold the flaps in to make bottoms. I use the one-third pot size filled with potting soil to start seeds, then transplant individual seedlings into half-size toilet paper tube pots, or the equivalent in paper towel rolls.

How to Use Toilet Paper Pots

Once it's time to move seedlings, all you need to do is pop the whole pot into soil. I keep my stash in a bag in the garage next to my recycling bin so I can quickly fish out paper tubes before the bin heads to the curb.

Have you used toilet paper rolls for seed pots?

Wednesday
Aug062014

A Rose is a Rose is a…

"There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence."
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday
Jul312014

The new Bluebird Gardens

We have a new look. And we love to share it with you.
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