Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spring Time Flowers

It's a balmy 30 degrees here in the Great Plains state at this moment.  It's a perfect time to be thinking of planting flowers!

The thing about flowers is that, once spring hits, it's so very easy to loose sight of the budget and go overboard buying the gorgeous, colorful, tangible signs of the vernal equinox.  In addition, the costs of the flowers isn't likely to take a drop this year which means that you will be spending even more money on them.  This is the perfect time of year to prevent that from happening!

Head over to your local WalMart or Home Depot, or log on to your favorite seed site.  I, personally, love the Gurney's seed site because they post the reviews from their gardeners on this site.  If you're just growing for your front and back flower beds, WalMart would probably be your best bet.  Their seeds are usually $1 or $2 a packet.  While you are at WalMart picking out your seeds, get a big bag of potting soil.  It doesn't have to be fancy, just dirty.  

Before you go nuts buying your seeds, you need to take a look at where you are placing these flowers.  Does your front flower bed get the sun most of the day but your back yard rarely sees anything but shade?  You'll most likely need two different types of flowers.  Flip over your seed packet and look at the sun/shade recommendations.  Go by them!  If you put a partial shade flower in full sun, they'll burn up by June.  

The other thing to check for is the days to bloom.  You'll be starting these indoors but you don't want to buy something that you don't have time to grow.  If you usually plant your plants in the yard in April and want to plant blooms, not just greens, you need to pick something that will bloom in time. 

Once you're at home, raid your cabinets, recycle boxes and trash cans for any and all containers that would hold dirt.  Containers that once held sour cream, single serving yogurts, cottage cheese, milk, juice, frosting, sauces, etc are all great!  Cut the tops off any milk or juice containers that you want to use.  Don't have enough?  Check your garage for those black, plastic containers you bought flowers in last year.  You can also buy them really inexpensively from a nursery, or, just buy some disposable plastic cups at your local grocery store.  They're cheap and hold dirt!  

You need to cut drainage holes in the bottoms of all your containers.  I just use an old, serrated knife, poke a hole and twist.  Three are enough for a 16 ounce container.  You'll fill the container with your dirt and pat down lightly.  Take a look at your seed packs and plant them in the container as deep as it says to go.  

Plant more than one seed per container.  For the drink cups, one per should be enough.  On the 16 ounce containers, I put three to five seeds per, just spacing them out.  When you transplant them into your garden, you'll just pull the roots apart.  Yes, you'll tear the roots but they transplant just nicely, trust me!  They're not fragile!

Make sure to put your plants in a sunny spot in your house.  Keep them there!  The sunniest spot in my house is my bathroom so I keep the plants in my tub and move them when I need to use it.  This is an excellent project to have the kids help you with. . . . it's a little dirty but the amount of fun the kids have doing this is totally worth the clean up!  

Don't forget to water your plants every few days or whenever they look dry.  Don't drench them but definitely get them good and wet.  In a few weeks, it will be time to do this with the tomatoes and cucumbers for the backyard garden!

Happy Saturday!

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