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. It is always fun to experiment, and to see them many possibilities, for growing things using this method! Related articles you may be interested in: Seed Starting 101: Winter Sowing How to Grow Lavender from Seed using the Winter Sowing Method Seed Starting 101: Essential Seed Starting Equipment How to Make Money Growing Plants at HomeCheck out all of our Homesteading and Gardening favorites in our Amazon Shop!   Winter Sowing Flowers: Snap Dragons and Zinnias   You can grow sooooo many types of flower using Winter Sowing! Snapdragons on the left, and Zinnias on the right. I grew three varieties of Snap Dragon this year: 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…

Seed Starting 101: Planting Tomato Seed

Today we will be talking all about how to plant tomato seeds including which varieties to grow! Tomatoes are my favorite! I soooo miss them in the winter months! I grow way more than I should, and have the most difficult time trying to narrow down which varieties to grow! I want at least one of every color and shape and size! Don’t worry, I make use of everything I grow! I hope you will have better luck narrowing down the choices. 🙂 Related articles you may be interested in: Seed Starting 101: Essential Seed Starting Equipment How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings Benefits of Freezing Your Tomato HarvestOur favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! Choosing New & Unique Tomato Varieties to Plant I am adding this video to this post, in September 2019. This is a video that Jessica from Roots & Refuge did with Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms at the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, CA the same month. For those who don’t know who Brad is, he is THE Tomato Man. He has created a lot of the new tomatoes that everyone wants got grow such as Blue Beauty, Black Beauty, Dark Galaxy, Barry’s Crazy Cherry, Atomic Grape, and many many more. In this video, he talks about how he creates new tomato varieties and how he grows them. I hope after watching this, you too, will grow some new to you varieties! (Go give some love to Wild Boar Farms on Facebook or Instagram, and go Subscribe to Roots & Refuge YouTube Channel!)   Choosing Tomatoes For Different Purposes When you are deciding which tomatoes to grow, think about how you will use them. I like to make a lot of tomato sauce to can up…

Seed Starting 101: Planting Peas

Spring Gardening Begins with Peas Happy Spring! Soon it will be 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. Be sure to see our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! 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…

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. But if you like hot peppers, they can be planted as early as December. 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! You may be interested in these related posts: Seed Starting 101: Planting Tomato Seed Seed Starting 101: Essential Seed Starting Equipment Seed Starting 101: Winter SowingOur favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! My Favorite Pepper Varieties: Hot Peppers Usually I only do a few hot peppers, 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, and they are a new favorite! 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…

Seed Starting 101: Winter Sowing (a simple step by step guide!)

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. Winter sowing is an easy, simple, inexpensive way to sow seeds.  I have been doing this now for the last 6 years or so, and it has worked so well for me, that I wanted to share this Winter Sowing tutorial 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. Related posts you may be interested in: 2018 Winter Sowing Results How to Grow Lavender from Seed using the Winter Sowing Method Seed Starting 101: Essential Seed Starting Equipment post How to Make Money Growing Plants at Home Our Homesteading and Gardening favorites in our Amazon Shop! Winter Gardening Another reason I love winter sowing, is it allows me to get back into my gardening groove before the weather truly lets me. I don’t know about you, but after the holidays are over, I start getting the gardening itch. Winter sowing allows me to actually begin gardening in the winter, but without really dealing with the nastiness of winter. I plant the seeds indoors, and then just pop them outside and let nature to the rest. Frugal Seed Starting in Winter Winter Sowing is also a much more frugal way to start seeds. No need to buy all that seed starting equipment such as heat mats, grow lights, plant trays, etc. Just save your used milk jugs, and then the only thing you need to acquire is the potting soil to grow in, and the seeds! And duct tape.       Winter Sowing Containers or Mini…

Seed Starting 101- How to Plant Onion Seed Indoors in Winter

Today I am excited to share with you how I start my onion seed indoors in January! I hope you will pick up some helpful tips and tricks, and learn how we grow enough onions to use for most of the year! If you want to grow enough onions to keep your family supplied for the year, consider growing good storage varieties of onions. Sweet onions sure taste good, but they don’t keep for very long. You may also be interested in: How to Store Onions from the Garden How to Plant Onion Seedlings. How to Harden Off Your Seedlings Our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! Winter Gardening: Starting Onion Seed Indoors in January January is the month my fingers get itching to plant onion seed. Luckily there are a few things you can plant by seed as early as January here in the PNW, even earlier in milder parts. They are usually the first thing I plant in the dead of winter. Other things that may be started this month by seed are celery, artichoke, asparagus and hot peppers. Different Methods for Sowing Seeds I sow most of my seeds using two methods, Winter Sowing and also indoors using your standard seed starting Equipment. Please see these two article for more information on both methods: Seed Starting 101: Winter Sowing in which I share how I use milk jugs outdoors as mini greenhouses to start seed and my post about Seed Starting Equipment lists more detail about equipment needed to start your seeds indoors. It also covers what type of soil I use for starting seeds. Choosing Which Onion Varieties to Plant I chose several varieties of onion seed to plant, with my primary focus being on onions that are excellent keeping onions…