Getting all set up to sow prennials for this summer’s garden.  Recycling gallon milk jugs…economically prudent and landfill absent!  Cut around the jug both ways leaving the handle intact.  This allows you to open up the jug and reclose it after the seeds have been sowen.

Using a sharp garden knife, punch dime sized holes in the bottom for adequate drainage.  This is very important as the seeds will rot if left standing in overly wet soil…(just like us, we don’t like to get our feet wet).

Now we are ready for the soil…good potting soil works well, you don’t need anything special or to add fertilizer. Adding about one inch of the soil and press it down.  Add warm water (easier on your hands) from the tap and press the soil into the bottom and the sides of the jug.  Add more soil and more water until you have a wet, pancake batter consistency.

Contine to add soil and water until the fill is about 1.5 inches from the top of the center cut…lift the jug to be sure the holes are open for adequate drainage.

Sow the seeds…I used the full package as not all seeds will germinate.  The seeds packets are from Burpee Seeds…just about anywhere you look now seed packages are available. After sowing the seeds, add about 1/4 inch of soil to cover the seeds (and gently wet it down)… label a popcycle stick and add it inside the jug…label the container with a garden marker.  The containers are now ready for the final step…sealing with clear duct tape . Snow boots and jugs in hand I headed to the garden for a sunny spot to plant them in the snow.  Depending upon the weather, I’ll be keeping an eye on the progress of the seeds and new seedlings.  If they begin to look dry add more water…and so the process goes.

I will be doing the same with annuals and vegetables later in March and April.  That is, if I can get our adult children to drink enough milk, smile.

These are the seeds I started:



Columbine Blue Star (AGUILEN Estrella Azul). They feature 4 inch blue flowers with white centers and long spurs about 24 inches tall.  They prefer filtered shade, bloom in the spring and attract hummingbirds.

Aubrieta Whitewell Gem (AUBRIETA Gema de Whitewell). Rock Cress is extremely popular rock garden plant and blooms in the spring.  It does well in partial shade and blooms for several weeks.



Gaillardia Goblin (GALLARDIA Duende). These are short, compact plants, considered dwarf at 12 inches.  They bloom early summer to fall and like mostly sun.  They are great cut flowers and attract butterflys.

Baby’s Breath, G. Elegans, Early Snowball-Double Flowered (VELO DE NOVIA, G. ELEGANS  Bola de Nieve Temprana-Flores Dobles). A very familiar “filler” plant for arrangements…they work great around the spent spring bulbs before the other prennails cover them.   Snowball is double flowered, needs full sun and will bloom the 2nd year after sowing.


Wild Flax Saphyr (LINO SILVESTRE Saphyr).This is a dainty light blue flower that bloom on 8″ wide, low growing plants for most of the summer…I hope to use them around my field rocks and for edgings, rather than any black plastic edging.



Lupine Russell Hybrids Mix (LUPINO Mezcla Hibrida Russell) Lupine creates a different structure to the garden; instead of all round flowers at the edge of stems, Lupine creates flower spikes that bloom during May and June.  I choose a mixture to provide a splash of color including some bicolors.  These are magnificent plants…however, they generally will not bloom until the next year after sowing…this particular group likes sun to partly shady areas and will grow to about 36″ tall…be sure to leave enough space between the plants for the air to circulate.

Butterfly Weed with Monarch Larva

BUTTERFULY WEED with Monarch Larva

Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa (HIERBA DE MARIPOSA Asclepias tuberosa ) Butterfly weed is a part of the milkweed family…it is the food a Momarch butterfly larva…we belong to the mindset that if we want buterflies in our gentle gardens…and we do…we need to feed the butterfly larva.  Butterfly weed is bitter and so the larva are protected because birds don’t like their taste.  The  bright orange flower heads attract the adult butterflies too.

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 26th, 2011 at 11:14 pm and is filed under Gardening Tips, Perennials, Projects, Wild Life. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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