How to Keep Your Seed Stash Organized

Today I am sharing with you how to keep your seed stash organized. It took me many years to finally find this system that actually works! I forget who shared this idea, but I know I first saw it on Instagram. By the way, if you are a homesteader, and you are not on Instagram, you really should be! There is a huge homesteading community there, and I have learned so much from all those fine folks. If you are on there, please look me up, I’d love to have you follow me here . I post much more often on Instagram, and on Facebook here , just because it’s so much easier to do when I am on the go and don’t have time to write up a blog post, edit photos and then upload them and put it all together. ANYWAY. Back to getting the seed stash organized! See my other Homesteading and Gardening Holiday Gift Ideas! Photo Storage Boxes to Organize your Seed Stash How simple is this?!?!? And why did we all not think of this ourselves? Some genius out there realized how perfectly photo storage boxes work for seeds. It’s like they were made to store seeds! They fit just right, snap closed, you can see through them so you know what is in each. It’s perfect really. And simple! Genius. My bags and boxes and bins of seeds are finally all neat and tidy.   Different Ways to Sort Your Seed Collection Yes, I have 3 cases of photo boxes for these 3 different categories. With just a few spare boxes in each case. Depending on your seed stash, you may need more or less. If you are like me though, go big! You will always…

Tamara


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My 2018 Winter Sowing Results are In!!

Today I am going to share my 2018 Winter Sowing Results! I was pretty hot here in the high 70’s yesterday, so I decided it was the day to open all my milk jug greenhouses that I had winter sown back in February and March. It felt like Christmas opening up all the mini greenhouses! Yay!! Did you Winter Sow this year? If so, please share with us what you grew and how it worked out for you! I have had success every year with this process. Please read my Seed Starting 101: Winter Sowing article if you would like to join in the fun next winter! Winter Sowing Flowers :Snap Dragons and Zinnias Snapdragons on the left, and Zinnias on the right. I grew three varieties of Snap Dragon: Black Prince, Tall Deluxe Mix and Apple Blossoms. I grew five varieties of Zinnia: State Fair, Benary’s Giant Purple, Red Scarlet, Lilliput Mix and California Giant. This year I want to add more flowers to my vegetable garden to give it more of a potager’s garden feel. Can’t wait to see these all in bloom! Winter Sowing Flowers: Marigolds I always grow some marigolds for the vegetable garden, and now collect my own seed from them every year to plant next years flowers from. I grow three varieties every year and they are Star Fire Signet, Court Jester and Giant Mix. These are wonderful for the vegetable garden because they keep pests away. They also happily reseed there on their own, so I will probably find some volunteer’s as well. Winter Sowing Flowers: Phlox   Phlox is one of my very favorite flowers. I love all the varieties it comes in and the scent is awesome. This year I used…

Tamara


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Seed Starting 101: Planting Tomato Seed

Choosing Varieties to Plant Are you planting tomato seed this year? I will teach you how I grow many varieties of tomatoes from seed in this article. Have you decided which tomato varieties you will be growing this year? There are so many varieties, I think that is the hardest part of planting tomato seed! Just trying to decide! When you are deciding, think about how you will use them. I like to make a lot of tomato sauce to can up and keep in the pantry and I also like to freeze a bunch. I also love to eat them fresh. And I love to try new varieties as well as stick with the old that have worked well for me or taste the best. Below I have listed out which cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and roma or paste tomatoes I will be growing this year.  Breaking them down into these three categories makes it a wee bit less intimidating! Cherry Tomatoes Past favorites that I have grown before and will grow again this year: Sungold: This is my favorite, and I think that goes for many people. A small orange cherry that is super sweet. Like candy! Yellow Pear: This is another favorite that I grow every year, not only for the color (I like lots of different colors, I would never plant all red tomatoes!), but it is also super sweet and it is fun to have a different shape as well. Blush: I grew this for the first time last year, and it was a quick favorite. The fruits are oblong in shape, almost like a mini paste tomato and they are a bit larger than most cherries. They are yellow, and as they ripen they get red and orange streaks down them. They have a…

Tamara


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Seed Starting 101: Planting Peas

Happy Spring! Today is the first day of spring…..have you got your peas planted yet? Planting peas is usually my first act of getting the garden going for the year. It is the first thing that gets planted outside in the garden in the new year, along with fava beans. Also known as broad beans. Fava beans are simple, just stick them in the ground, down about an 1″ or 2″, and you are good to go. Peas are a little more tricky, so in this article I will share my tips for planting peas successfully. Not a Fan of Peas? If you or your family are not a fan of peas, have you ever tried them fresh from the garden? Eating raw peas fresh from the garden is like eating candy. They are so sweet and crisp and yummy! Nothing like store bought canned peas which in my opinion are just gross. Freezing peas from the garden are almost as good as fresh. See my article on freezing beans, I use the exact same method for freezing peas. After shelling them of course! Than blanch and follow the same exact procedure. Although you can preserve peas by canning them, I find them unappealing preserved that way. So give them another try and grow them yourself and you will see. Types of Peas There are three different types of peas, shelling peas, snap peas and snow peas. Shelling peas are the ones you shell, and harvest the round green peas from inside the shell. I prefer the Green Arrow variety, because it produces a lot of peas per shell and they are super sweet and crisp. It takes a lot of time to shell each pea by hand, so I would rather get a lot of…

Tamara


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Seed Starting 101: Planting Pepper Seed

Are you planting pepper seed this year? I am behind, but better late than never! It’s not too late, if you haven’t planted yours yet! I don’t really like hot peppers, so I don’t do a lot of them. If you like hot peppers, they really should have been planted by now for a larger yield. Usually February is when I get my sweet peppers planted, and I was busy last weekend planting pepper seed, so I got it done just in time! Hot Peppers Usually I only do a few, and the milder one’s at that, like Anaheim Chili’s and Jalapenos. These are what I will be growing this year: Jalapenos: Spicy little peppers perfect for a little heat in your salsa or any dishes you like a little heat. We also like to make Cowboy Candy with them, which is a pickled jalapeno in a sweet sauce. So good! Anaheim Chili’s: These are mildly hot, I don’t even think they are hot if picked when green, but let them turn red on the vine, and they are much hotter! I like these in all types of Mexican dishes. Black Hungarian: I grew some of these for a customer who bought starts from me last year, but I didn’t keep any for myself. I plan to keep a couple this year! These are also mildly hot and are black in color. Mini Sweet Peppers Bangles Mix: These are great little peppers perfect for the lunch box or for snacking and come in red, orange or chocolate color. Red Mini Bells: More sweet little snacking peppers, cause you can never have too many! Medium Sweet Peppers Oda Peppers:  These are the most…

Tamara


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Seed Starting 101: Winter Sowing

What is Winter Sowing? Winter Sowing is using plastic milk jugs or other plastic containers, and using them as mini-greenhouses outside in the middle of winter, to sow your seeds. I first read about Winter Sowing, here on Kevin Jacob’s blog.  I have been doing this now for the last 5 years or so, and it has worked so well for me, that I wanted to share the idea in hopes that it works for you too. Because it is SOOOOO EASY!!!!! Sow those seeds, and then forget about them for a few month! Seriously. That is all. To see how I also start seeds the traditional way, using all sorts of equipment indoors, please see my Essential Seed Starting Equipment post. Winter Sowing Containers or Mini Greenhouses for Winter Sowing: I like to use milk jugs for my winter sowing containers. To prepare them, first, poke a bunch of holes in the bottom for drainage,  and a few holes around the top for extra air circulation.  I use a Phillips head screwdriver that I heat up over a gas burner, than just poke it thru the plastic a bunch of times. Then you cut the milk jug almost all the way around about 4″ up from the bottom, but leaving an inch or so intact opposite from the handle, as a hinge. So that you can lift the upper part of the jug open. I use an X-acto knife to do this. How to Plant your Winter Sowing Jugs: Fill the bottom part of the jug with 3″ of damp potting soil. I use the same kind of potting soil I talk about in my Seed Starting Equipment post.  Have some duct tape or similar tape on hand, that you will need to…

Tamara


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