Wall Flower Studio Garden

  (Algonquin Highlands, Ontario)
Organically Grown ~ From The Garden
[ Member listing ]

Creating Eco-friendly, Recycled Newspaper Seed Starting Pots @ Wall Flower Studio

Well, I finally broke down and purchased a pot maker.

 I'm really glad that I did!

It's "sow" easy to use, and, the pots are the perfect seed starting size every time!

 The fact that I'm using recycling newspaper, which will quickly break down, and won't harm the environment played the biggest part in my decision to try this.

. Sure, peat pots are easy to use, but I'd found that peat seems to suck up moisture really quick, which means the soil they contain, and the seedlings in them, dry out much quicker than the newspaper cups do, which means more watering.

 Not to mention the cost of them! I start hundreds of seed pots each year. This can really add up. . Plus, since I'm trying my best to be ecologically aware and I try to do what I can for the environment, I'd like to share some information about why using peat pots to start seeds isn't such a great idea. .

The effects on the dwindling wetlands and peat bogs has me concerned. I don't want to take from nature what is not renewable, if given the choice. .

After much reading, I've discovered that Peat bogs are actually a finite, non-renewable resource. Since the 1960's, there has been a threat to these valuable bogs.

The bogs that produce the peat suitable for horticulture used to be cut out slowly by hand, but now the horticultrual industry extracts it so efficiently & thoroughly with huge machines.

The process of extraction is sausage extrusion and surface milling..

Just knowing this has openend my eyes and now my choice clear.. Newspaper!

 Happy Gardening!

 
 

Seed Balls From Wall Flower Studio - Throw and Grow!! It's That Easy.

Creating Seed Balls ~ Rural Sustainable Guerrilla Gardening : )

The first time I ever heard of the concept of making and using "Seed balls", I was enamoured with the whole idea, and was determined to make some. It took me a while to get my act together, but finally, I've gotten around to it and thought I'd share my experience on my blog.
Above is the mix. 2 parts soil and 2 parts dry powdered clay, plus a whole lot of seeds. I threw in a good mix of drought tolerant native species for my first go round, but will be making them with herbs and other seed varieties as well.

Next, I've added water, and just enough to make it feel like I'm making meatballs! You don't want it to be too dry or too wet. As Goldilocks would say, "Just right'! And just a hint, make sure to take of your jewellry first ; )
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Really, this is a ton of fun! I next took some in my hands, enough, like I said, to make meatball sized seed balls and rolled them into shape. Then they were placed on the trays, as you can see. Am fortunate enough to have a grow light stand, so I put them under there over night and they were almost completely dry the next day.
Now of course comes the packaging. Am not a big fan of overkill when it comes to packaging, especially due to my concerns for the environment and landfills,
so, trying to keep it simple, as you can tell!
* Now offering them in sets of 6, (click) ---> here on Local Harvest!
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So, why seedballs, you ask?? Where did it start, and what's the point?
It's more than just Guerrilla Gardening. It's all about sustainability, urban renewel, and a whole lot more...
Seed balls solve many of the problems that loose seeds face.
~wind blows them away
~ birds and rodents eat them
~the sun bakes their vitality out
~excessive rain carries them off
Seed balls protect them from all of that.
When the seed balls start to break down, the seeds emerge and are nurtured in that pile of clay and enriched with the nourishing soil.
In essence, the seed germination is very high!
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I hope that if you like the concept of seed balls, you'll try it too!
Great fun for kids!
Happy (Guerrilla) Gardening!
 
 

Morning Glory

Morning Glory - Ipomoea


Nothing beats the Morning Glory for fast greenery and really pretty flowers throughout the growing season.
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I'm growing my mixed Flower colour varieties of blue, purple, pink and white.
Sow Morning Glory seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/4" of soil. Water thoroughly.

Thin or space plants to a final distance of 6" apart. (As you can see, I'm ready to do that!)
They will tolerate a little crowding if there is ample supports for their vines to spread up and out.
To purchase, please view my Wall Flower Studio LH shop!
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Plant: Sow seeds in a sunny location 1-2 weeks before the last frost, or indoor 6-8 weeks earlier in peat pots.
Make sure you soak seeds in water overnight, the cover with soil and moisten.
Care: Plants tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, and are drought-resistant, thank goodness for plants like that!!
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*Avoid over watering.
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Happy Gardening!
Wall Flower Studio
 
 
 

Cutting Celery - Apium graveolens - Easy to Grow indoors or out!

My uncle Allan grew Cutting Celery in his garden at his farm.
 That's where I'd first learned of it's existance!
He was diabetic and used this particular celery to add flavour to his soups and sauces. I think it would be nice added to dips as well.
I find the taste to be a little on the pungent side, and more flavourful than the regular celery stalks one finds at the grocery store, but enjoy it nonetheless.
Thinking this (I'm going to call it an herb), kind of celery is really underrated here in North America, but have heard that it is highly valued and a mainstay in many dishes overseas.
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Cutting celery is an actual celery, just without the enlarged stalk, and I've never grown the regular kind, but imagine this variety is easier to grow.
The attractive 18" tall plants produce an abundance of dark green foliage that does indeed resembles regular celery, but looks more like an herb to me and I treat it as such.
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Culture:
Harvest leaves often by cutting 3/4 way down the stems , so that new tender leaves can emerge.
I've used the leaves both fresh and dried, as they do retain their delicious flavor.
Soups, salads, sandwiches, stews, and more, can benefit from cutting celery.
Available for purchasing here on Local Harvest at Wall Flower Studio.
Thanks for viewing and Happy Spring : ) 
 
 

Basil - So versatile!

Basil  - Ocimum basilicum (a.k.a. Sweet Basil, Common Basil, Italian Basil) Probably the most popular herb in North America today. It's GREAT FOR COOKING!

A bit about growing Basil:
Height in inches: 24" - Spread: 12-15"
Germination: 7-10 days - Sowing depth: 1/8"
Planting Season: Sow outside in Spring 1-2 weeks after the last frost
Requirements: Likes full sun for best success. Plant in well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. 
Out of the more than 150 varieties of Basil available, my personal favorites, Lemon Basil, Ocimum basilicum citrodorium, and the ever popular Italian Large Leaf Basil, aka: Genovese basil, are perfect for pesto and pasta sauces. I use it fresh and it tastes great with almost all dishes.
The Italian Large Leaf Basil has large dark green, shiny leaves that grow up to 3 inches long on a tall, upright plant. Thankfully, Basil has very few pests, and you can also use Basil as a companion plant to repel mites, and tomato worms. Tomatoes loves Basil!    

Basil loves to be pinched out the tips, which will encourage fuller plants, delaying flowers, and it going to seed. I suggest letting one plant go to seed so that you can grow them again in the garden next year, but of course Basil can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill, so the seeds can be planted anytime!

Happy Gardening!

 
 

Coreopsis lanceolata - Another Useful Native!

Coreopsis lanceolata - Tickseed (Organic & Native)

Available here my Local Harvest Store. - 25 seeds/pkg. 

An exceptionally easy to grow flower that tolerates a wide range of soil conditions! Tickseed is drought tolerant, but can also withstand prolonged periods of moisture.

You can save the seeds from Coreopsis or let the birds have them. It's a real treat for them!
Coreopsis grows well in either a partially shaded or sunny location. The bright yellow flowers bloom on 2 to 3 feet tall stems.

This wonderful native flower blooms from June right through to September, once the plants are established, during the second year. The foliage of this flower makes an attractive ground cover the remainder of the year. It's a perennial.

None of the seeds I sell are genetically engineered. (I am against gmo's and have taken the safe seed pledge.)

Thanks for viewing, and Happy Gardening!

 
 

Dill - Anethum graveolens - 2010 Herb of the Year!

Celebrate this year’s Herb of the Year ~ Dill!
Dill is a member of the parsley family. It's similar to Fennel, and is an annual plant that grows to a height of approx. 4 feet tall. It's a strong smelling plant with yellow flowers that develop those lovely fruiting umbels.
Dill grows well in a sunny spot with well drained organic soil. Any soil suitable for growing vegetables will be just perfect.
Dill's common use is for flavoring pickles and for it's preserving properties with fruit and vegetables. The leaves make a great garnish, chopped onto meats and veg dishes.

The variety of dill that I offer is called `Bouquet''.
The seeds are planted ¼ - ½ inch deep and thinned to about one plant every 12 inches. The seedlings can be transplanted if one is careful, so they can be started indoors in Spring before the last frost. Bouquet matures in about 60 days.

When harvesting seeds from Dill, hang the cut stems upside down in bundles with paper bags tied over the flower heads. Make sure to leave some dill flowers on to get a constant supply of the seeds!
Recommended Temperature Zone: USDA: 5-10. Frost Tolerance: Hardy to -20°F (-29°C)

Happy Gardening : )
 
 

Winter Is For The Birds! :: Home Made Suet Balls

[Suet+balls+blog+1.jpg]

Feeding Feathered Friends in Winter - Fun - Easy - Economical!

Ingredients:
-1 pound lard or fat
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup sugar
- approximately half a loaf of bread crumbs
- 1-1/2 cups of mixed seeds, nuts and chopped dried fruits

Directions:
-Melt the lard and peanut butter over low heat. Mix flour, cornmeal, and sugar and stir in.
-Add enough bread crumbs to absorb all liquid.
-Add fruit, seeds, and nuts as desired.
-Pour into a 9 x 5? bread pan (lined with plastic wrap), or pour into suet cake molds.
(molds can be saved from store-bought suet.)
-Allow to cool completely.
-Keep refrigerated or in a cool place like a basement.

One batch makes about four cakes.
Have fun!

 
 
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