It's Time to Plant Some Seeds

On a sunny day with temperatures looking higher than they're actually reading, I sort my seed packets like playing cards, thinking about what to play next. I know it's too early for most of the seeds. Unless you have loads of growing space that is warm and sunny, and don't worry about insects, it doesn't pay to start seeds of say, tomatoes, until at least the second week in March.

But wait! I have some new Lavender seed of a type I've never heard of, let alone grown. It's called fernleaf lavender (Lavandula multifida) from Renee's Garden. Renee has never failed me. I've been growing seed from her through a media program where she allows writers to obtain at no cost several packets to trial each year. Before that, I've purchased several packets from Renee's. 

In addition to a few other flower varieties, I'll also soon be starting a tomato from Renee called 'Tasmanian Chocolate'. It's one of Renee's new vegetable introductions for this year, can be grown in a container, and yields medium-sized fruit. 

Another vegetable I'll be trying in containers is a green bean called 'French Mascotte'. I've tried growing beans several times with little luck--I could never harvest enough for one serving at a time. I'll be planting these beans in my VegTrug so that I can grow enough plants to at least have a two-person side dish. I'll plant these directly into the Veg Trug some time in May.

Last year's China aster Callistephus from my garden looks
great with Eucomis, or pineapple lily. This variety is a mix from Ball.
A new source for seed for me this year is Floret, a company that specializes in cut flowers. I'll be starting China aster Tower Chamois Apricot, an annual aster that makes the best cut flower you can imagine.
Although it's out of Floret's stock, Johnny's Select Seeds has it.

Annual asters are actually Callistephus chinensis (Cal-ISS-teh-fus chi-NEN-sis), a bit of a tongue-twister, but knowing this may help avoid confusion if you want to differentiate it from perennial asters, AKA Symphyotrichum.

Last year, I was able to find starter plants at my local garden center in July. They were Ball Florist mix, so out of the eight plants, I had a variety of pink, purple and white double, and semi-double flowers.

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