Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Moonflower Seeds

Whats a girl to do when you can't work out in the yard yet? Clean your office. Laying under a pile of "stuff" I found some moonflower seeds that someone had mailed me. The postmark on the envelope was 2007 and I have decided to see if they will germinate. I love to plant seeds that I know have been in someone elses garden and not just grown from seed. After researching a little about moonflowers I have learned a few things:

  • Moonflower seeds need to be "nicked" and soaked in water prior to planting. I use a fingernail clipper. If you have older seeds like I do, place them in a moistened paper towel to see if they will germinate.

  • While they prefer to be planted directly in the soil, you can start them indoors but should use peat pots that can be planted directly in the soil, making the hole two or three times larger than your peat pot. Plant your seeds or transplants after all danger of frost in your area.

  • Moon flowers are considered an annual or tender perennial vine. They reach a height of 8-10 feet, so you will need to trellis them or have them grow up a tree or post.
    Plant your moonflower seeds in full sun.

  • The bloom on the plant is white, so these would be a good choice for your "moongarden" or all white garden.

  • Moonflowers are fragrant. Planting them near a open window, or near a porch or patio would bring fragrance to the area.

  • Water moonflowers regularly, but do not overwater.

  • They will bloom from late spring to early winter depending on your area.

  • Moonflowers self sow, so if you are not interested in volunteer plants, deadhead the blooms and throw away.

  • To save the seed, collect when the bloom fades and allow to dry, or you may allow the pods to dry on the plant and break them open to collect.

  • One word of caution: If you have children or animals that may try to eat the seeds, they are poisonous.

I will keep you posted to let you know if my 3 year old seeds germinate.


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Friday, January 1, 2010

If you are a gardener your New Years Resolutions always include plans for the garden. Start this New Year right and start planning now. What are your goals?

  • Start your new garden journal now write down each goal on a separate page.

  • What do you need to complete that goal? Order seed books? Get your seed starting supplies?

  • If you want to build structures visualize them on paper with a vision board. Get out all of your old magazines (I know you keep them, don't let anyone tell you you are a hoarder! Garden magazines don't count) Cut out pictures you like and create a "vision" board of your idea gardenand the things you want in it, and where you want them placed. Cruise the web during these cold winter days for free plans or plans you need to order.

  • Need to replace any tools? Go out to the garage or garden shed and take stock of what you need and write it down in your journal. As you attend spring yard sales or estate sells you may be able to pick up some for less money.

  • Take a walk in your gardens and decide what can be divided or moved.

  • Order seed and flower magazines for inspiration.
  • Think back to last years garden. Too many tomatoes? Not enough green beans? Plan now for what you will need this spring.
  • Visit your local library and get fresh inspiration from gardening books. Have you been wanting to learn to compost? Wondered about companion planting?

Hoping you the best garden ever in 2010


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