DIY

Starting a garden is as easy as A, B, Seed!

It’s February and, depending on where you live, winter may be loosening it’s grip or (like here in Michigan) it may be still going strong.

If you’re like me, you might just be getting a little bit antsy to get your fingers back in the dirt and get things growing.

Good news…

It’s Not Too Early To Start!

The biggest mistake most gardeners make is thinking everything goes into the ground at one time, about the time the weather gets nice. But that technique will leave you disappointed.

Both vegetables and flowers have cool season growers and warm season growers. A plant that thrives in the cool temps of spring will wither or bolt during a hot summer. Reverse that for a warm season plant: put it in the cold ground of spring and you will be watching nothing grow.

So now is the perfect time to start thinking about your cool spring garden and while the ground outside may not be workable there are flowers and veggies that will thrive if you plant them now, indoors as seeds.

5 Flowers To Start Indoors From Seed Now:

  • Snapdragons

  • Delphinium

  • Sweet Peas

  • Pansy

  • Black-eyed Susan

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6 Vegetables To Start Indoors From Seed Now:

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Tomatoes

  • Peppers

  • Peas

  • Eggplant

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Supplies Needed:

  • Seeds

  • Small pots: I like to use plastic cells and plastic starter pots. I reuse them as much as possible. Make sure they are dirt free and sterilized with a water/bleach solution before using. (One gallon water to 1 or 2 Tbsp. bleach.)

  • Trays: Hold water to allow the plants to suck it up from the bottom.

  • Lids (optional): Help hold heat and humidity in.

  • Seed starting mix: From your local garden center.

  • Large plastic container: to hold wet seed starting soil mix.

  • Small gardening shovel

  • Garden gloves (optional)

  • Plant markers: Craft popsicle sticks work well as do old plastic blinds.

  • Sharpie: To label your plant markers

  • Spray bottle: Make sure it can spray with a fine mist..

  • Water: Non-chlorinated, non-salted. When in doubt purchase distilled water from the grocery store.

  • Grow lights (really helpful)

  • Heat mats (optional)

Techniques:

I’m clearly no Joanna Gaines or Ree Drummond on camera but watch the video demonstration below for a short tutorial. We shot this in one take so I’d like to clarify that when I said most plants have to start when we have snow still on the ground, I meant cool season plants and plants with long growing times. Don’t start pumpkins now! LOL!

To help you know more about start dates I have put together a handy guide for both indoor seed starting and outdoor seed starting. Just scroll to the footer on this page and fill out the sign up form to recieve your free guide.

To see our seed starting setup with grow lights, and other information watch this video.

Other Tips and Tricks:

Plants that have been started in the comfort of your cozy house will need to be “hardened off” before you move them to their outside home. This means exposing them to the great outdoors, a little bit at a time, gradually lengthing their exposure so they can build up hardiness to the outdoors.

To know when your plants should go in the ground, make sure you sign up at the bottom of the page to get your free growing calendar and seed starting guide.

Reference & Sources:

  • Seeds: Territorial Seed Company, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

  • Supplies: Family Farm and Home, Lowes, Ace Hardware

  • Books: Cool Flowers by Lisa Mason Ziegler, Better Homes and Gardens Vegetable, Fruit and Herb Gardening, Floret Flowers- Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein

Happy Growing:

Are you convinced to give seed starting a try this year? I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

You can drop me a comment here on the blog, on facebook, on instagram or shoot me an email at cyndi@foxandglovefarmstead.com

And don’t forget to get your free guide and calendar to seed starting. Sign up below, in the footer section.

Bloom and grow!

Cyndi

Whip Up These Bath Bombs For Great Last Minute Gifts

Bath Bombs- a compacted mix of fizz and fragrance that dissolves in your bath water- aren’t new. (I made my first ones around 20 years ago.)

They are, however, extremely popular right now.

They’re in all the stores and people are going crazy for them this holiday season.

But did you know Bath Bombs are easy to make at home?

You probably already have some of the ingredients sitting in your kitchen right now and by making them at home you can:

  • Avoid any nasty ingredients that sneak their way into the mass produced “bombs”.

  • Save some money.

  • Enjoy learning a new skill.

It’s so easy your kids can do it. (And they will want to when they see you doing it!)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda

  • 1/2 cup corn starch

  • 1/2 cup citric acid

  • 1/4 cup epsom salts

  • Water or witch hazel

  • Essential oil(s) of choice

  • Food coloring if desired

Tools:

  • Large Bowl

  • Small Bowl

  • Molds

  • Mini spray bottle

  • Measuring cups

  • Spoons

Directions:

  • Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl.

  • Spoon a 1/2 cup of dry mixture into a smaller bowl.

  • A few drops at a time, mix in color and fragrance as desired. Do not let the mix sit and fizz but rather work in the liquids quickly and thoroughly into the dry mix.

  • Fill spray bottle with water and/or witch hazel and lightly spritz dry mixture a few times and then stir. Repeat until the mixture clumps when squeezed in your hand.

  • There is a learning curve when spritzing your salts: To much liquid and the mix will fizz, “bloom” and not keep it’s shape. To little liquid and the “bomb” will not hold together or crack apart after curing.

  • Fill desired mold with damp mixture and pack firmly.

  • Carefully turn out molded mix onto a firm surface and let cure overnight. (If it breaks apart when unmolding you can crumble it up, return it to the bowl, respritz it and try again.

To use Your Bath Bomb simply fill a tub with water, drop in the “bomb” and enjoy!

Tip: Almost anything will do as a mold. Avoid anything too large or detailed.

My favorite thing to use is a piece of 2” wide, plastic, pvc pipe along with a “tapper” of wood to pack the “bomb” firmly. This makes a flat tablet that I call a “seltzer”!

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Tip: You can incorporate a skin loving oil like: coconut, olive or any other liquid oil, with your water/witch hazel mix but the oil can clog the sprayer.

A better choice might be to add it by drops with your essential oils and colors. I do find, though, that the oil stays behind in the bath tub and leaves it greasy.

Tip: If you want to incorporate herbs into your creations, I recommend powdered versions that won’t be scratchy or be left behind for you to clean up out of the tub.

Another way to use herbs would be to infuse them into your oil of choice and then into the mix as the oil.

I love creating all sorts of herbal bath and body care products so if you have any questions or need an ingredient source please don’t hesitate to ask.

You can contact me by leaving a comment below or via my email cyndi@foxandglovefarmstead.com or find me on social media: facebook and instagram @foxandglovefarmstead.

Also don’t forget to get your copy of Kick The Ick: Your Guide To Teas & Tonics To Stay Healthy All Winter. Sign up at the bottom of this web page. It’s FREE!

I hope you have a Merry Christmas. Until next time:

Bloom & Grow

Cyndi

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