March Gardening Chores

March and April are typically the busiest months in the yard for me – you know, getting things ready so everything looks stunning all summer long.  In my dreams.  Below, I’ve put together a little list of things you should get done right now, so you’re not trying to jam it all in at the last second.  So get to work, bums.

lawn fertilizer

Spring Lawn Care

Now’s the time to add lime and fertilizer to your poor deprived lawn, that has been waiting sadly and lonely all winter, just itching to start growing and basking in the sun’s warmth again.  So give it some love, and it will reward you with its lush, green, inviting appearance.  Lime counteracts the naturally acidic soil conditions here in the valley; lawns grow poorly in acid soil conditions and fertilizers don’t work as well, so lime it up!

 

sweet peas

Plant Cool Weather Flowers

If you’d like to add some color to your yard now, you can go ahead and plant some cool weather flowers such as Violas, Pansies, and Primroses.  These little gems are fuss-free, and bask in cooler temps, so don’t worry about the little dears getting too cold.

 

tomato seedlings

Seed Starting

If you’re planning on growing your veggies from seed this year, now’s the time to start Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants, and Onions.  You gotta get them going now so they have time to grow a little bit before you stick them outside for good.  For a great seed starting tutorial, check out Tomato Headquarters site.  Probably the best guide I’ve ever read, so I figure you can read it there instead of me re-typing everything here.

 

cimmaron lettuce

Plant Cool Weather Veggies

You can also start planting some seeds directly outdoors this month, too.  Here’s the list:  Peas, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Spinach, Arugula, and Lettuces.  At the end of the month, you can plant Radish and Beets as well.  Oh, and potatoes.  And while you’re at it, sow some sweet pea seeds, too.  They’re magical.

When prepping your garden soil, add some lime, dammit.  And fluff up that soil.  Your seeds will have a hard time stretching out their roots if the soil is hard as a rock.

 

Fertilize Evergreen Shrubs and Trees

Wake up the work horses of your yard – the evergreens.  They hold onto their leaves for dear life through the most hideous weather, and look pretty dang good doing it.  Now’s the time to treat them for their efforts.

 

tulameen raspberry

Fertilize Caneberries

It’s also time to fertilize any caneberries you might have.  Raspberries, Blackberries, Marionberries, etc.

 

agastache

Divide Perennials

If you have any perennials that are becoming overgrown, or crowding everyone else out, now’s the time to dig those things up and divide them.

 

If you get to these chores this month, you will be well on your way to that point in every gardener’s life when you can sigh happily, smile, and give yourself a pat on the back.  Note that I said you’ll have to give yourself a pat on the back, because non-gardener’s don’t really appreciate what goes into making a yard look so good!

 

 

 

 

Seed Kit Favors

I forgot to add these along with the others on the my last post, but these seed kit favors are another new option for those of you looking for some unique party or wedding favors.  I think these might be my current favorite.  Each kit comes with what you see pictured below – 1 fiber pot, 1 soil pellet, 1 tin filled with seeds of your choice, 1 wooden plant marker, and planting instructions.

 

seed kit wedding favors

Each bag is hand-stamped, measuring approx. 5×7″, and comes with a personalized hang tag – wedding date, initials, ‘thank you’, or whatever your little heart desires.

 

seed kit wedding favors

Here’s what is looks like fully assembled and ready to go.

 

seed kit wedding favors

I used Italian Basil as an example here, but you can choose any kind of seed you’d like (check out my site www.deckerrdseeds.com to see what I have available).  I just did an order of these for a wedding shower, and used nasturtium seeds.

 

seed kit wedding favors

You can purchase these from my etsy shop here, and see my other seed favors there as well!

 

More Wedding Favors

I know it has been a while since my last post, but it happens to me every fall – I get so busy with gardening projects, cross-country, and house/kid stuff I never even think about sitting down in front of the computer.  I don’t know how others do it.  But I do have some new additions to my shop that might interest you.  Please scroll down at your leisure, and be dazzled by what you see.

 

seed wedding favors

 

seed wedding favors

 

Some simple wildflower seed favors, for weddings, parties, showers.  Each bag is filled with approx. 1/2 oz. of wildflower seed, and is stamped with initials, date, or whatever you’d like.  The wildflower seed is a mix of annuals and perennials, so they will provide color all season long.  For more info, check out my etsy shop here.

 

seed wedding favors

 

wildflower wedding favors

 

Another newbie this season.  Stamped kraft bags filled with approx. 1/2 oz. wildflower seeds.  More pics can be found here.

 

wildflower wedding favors

 

seed wedding favors

 

And one more option:  stamped linen bags, filled with 1/2 oz. wildflower seeds, and tied with twine.  Planting instructions included in each bag, too.  Check them out here!

 

And I will be more diligent about posting, I promise.  I have a lot of new additions this year, so think of me when you’re planning your next party/wedding/and garden this year!

kid models

 

decker rd. seeds

 

When I’m not spending my time on a gardening project, one of my other hobbies includes photography.  But I don’t really get a lot of free time to practice, so when my kids will sit still for a few seconds, they become my models.

decker rd. seeds

I promise I don’t beat my kids – they do smile, and are generally happy.  Well, Cassidy is.  Warren, on the other hand, usually wears this look around fairly often.

decker rd. seeds

I will say, Warren knows how to work the camera.  He gives you this moody, distant look, and holds perfectly still.

decker rd. seeds

I stole Tasha’s kids for some more practice, and slightly more smiley faces.  I have the feeling her kids get photographed more than mine.

decker rd. seeds

 

 

 

decker rd. seeds

 

Dreyton should be in the movies – he’s got this stuff down.

Thanks kids, for the photo session!

 

Seed Kits

 

decker rd. seeds

Hey guys, i finally got around to taking some pictures of my new seed kits that I’ve been working on.  It’s actually been kind of a fun project – picking out the perfect combination of seeds for each kit, and then putting together all the other pieces bit by bit.  The one pictured above is the ‘Salad Mix’ seed kit, and comes with 6 tins full of Arugula, Spinach, Lettuce, Tomato, Carrot, and Cucumber seeds.  In addition to the seed tins, each kit comes with 6 coco fiber pots, 6 soil pellets, and 6 wood plant markers for labeling your seedlings.  All kits are available on my etsy site www.etsy.com/shop/deckerrdseeds

decker rd. seeds

The kits come all bundled up in hand-stamped muslin bags, measuring 6×8″, and also include planting instructions.

decker rd. seeds

Here’s the ‘Salsa Garden’ seed kit, which includes 2 varieties of Peppers, Tomato, Cilantro, Onion, and Tomatillo seeds.  Everything you need to serve up some tasty homemade salsa.

decker rd. seeds

And here’s the ‘Children’s Garden’ seed kit, which is made up of larger sized, easy to grow seeds for the little kids.  Seed varieties include Beans, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Nasturtium, Marigold, and Sunflower.

decker rd. seeds

The children’s kit also comes with 6 colorful stickers that can be used to label the seedlings, or label the furniture.

decker rd. seeds

And of course, the always popular ‘Herb Garden’ seed kit, which comes with Basil, Cilantro, Chives, Lemon Mint, Dill, and Parsley seeds.

decker rd. seeds

Mmm…’Thai’ Basil.

decker rd. seeds

A few options for flower gardens – one being the ‘Cottage Garden’ seed kit, with flower varieties commonly found in the ever-popular cottage-themed garden.  Hollyhock, Foxglove, Sweet Peas, Painted Daisy, Delphinium, and Columbine.

decker rd. seeds

‘Cottage Garden’ seed kit.

decker rd. seeds

I always get people asking about plants that will attract bees and butterflies, so this one’s for you – the ‘Butterfly Garden’ seed kit.  Flower varieties include Cosmos, Lupine, Corn Poppy, Coneflower, Nasturtium, and Zinnia.

decker rd. seeds

Hopefully these kits spark your inner desire to begin your own garden – or at least make the process a little easier.  Thanks for looking!

 

pegboard project

 

decker rd. seeds

It’s been a little rainy the last few days, so I finally got around to putting together Cassidy’s pegboard organizer.  I’m pretty proud of myself for this one – so it gets its own post with pictures.  I’m not what you would call ‘crafty’, but occasionally the do-it-yourself wheels will start turning in my mind, and I can’t rest until the idea comes true before my eyes.  And that is how Cassidy’s pegboard was born…


decker rd. seeds

Here’s the board in the early stages.  I got the piece of pegboard from Home Dept ($4.99), made Cody cut it to size, and then used some scrap wood to make the frame.  You can get the little metal pegs from Home Depot as well, but lucky me I already had these thanks to my bro-in-law.


pegboard6I wrapped wire around the mason jars, and secured them to the pegboard.  I put all of her drawing stuff like pencils, crayons, markers in the jars.  And her stamps and paper in the little baskets.

decker rd. seeds

You can move the metal pegs wherever your heart desires, and move them again when you’re bored.

decker rd. seeds

I’m trying to teach Cassidy how to keep things organized, and I’m hoping this helps.  I’m starting to get a little nervous that she takes after my knick-knack loving mom.  Please no.

 

 

Seed Kit Wedding Favors

 

decker rd. seeds

I’ve been working on a new wedding favor option, and I think I’m finally satisfied with it.  It’s a neat little seed kit, with everything you need to start some plants.  Each bag comes with a small coco fiber pot, 1 soil pellet, 1 wooden plant marker, planting instructions, and 1 tin full of seeds (your choice of seed).  So you could give wedding guests herbs (basil, dill, mint, etc.), flowers, or vegetable seeds.  Guests can then plant their seeds later on at home.  You can purchase these from my etsy shop here, www.etsy.com/shop/deckerrdseeds

decker rd. seeds

The bags also come stamped with couple’s initials and wedding date.  And if you don’t like the green color of the sprout stamp, you can always request a different color.

decker rd. seeds

 

decker rd. seeds

 

Everything in the kit comes pre-bagged in these muslin bags, which measure approx. 5×7″.

 

Flowering Lawn

decker rd. seeds   I have been out of action for a while thanks to all of my electronic devices bumming out on me at once.  I swear, I have some magnetic chip in me that makes all technology-related items shut down when I touch them.  I’m not even really exaggerating.  But things are back up and running, for now at least, so I thought I’d do a quick post on one of my favorite seed mixes at Decker Rd. – the Flowering Lawn.  Here’s a close-up shot of all the loveliness that is included in the blend.  Dwarf, drought tolerant grasses, english daisies, baby blue eyes, yarrow, and strawberry clover.   decker rd. seeds   I have loved this mix since I lived in Portland, when I planted it in my driveway as a sort of experiment.  I wasn’t sure if I would think it was too weedy-looking once it was done flowering heavily.  But here’s a picture of it in my old Portland yard, and it still looks great and tidy.  I mowed it about once a month, and never watered or fertilized it.  And it flowers throughout the year, but most heavily in the spring and early summer.   decker rd. seeds   Another little close-up.  I like to add crocus bulbs in the lawn as well, so you get some really early spots of color, and then the Flowering Lawn covers up the fading crocus foliage later on.   decker rd. seeds   This photo was taken along the waterfront in Portland, where they planted it in a small courtyard area in front of some new condos. It looks its best if it gets at least 4 hours of sun a day – if not, the flowers tend to look small and spindly as they reach for the light, and grow more sparse over time.  It really is an attractive alternative to regular grass lawns.  If you’d like to give it a try, pick some up here   decker rd. seeds.

packaging

seed packaging

 

I’ve been packaging up so much seed lately, I thought I’d post some pics of just what that packaging looks like.  It seems like nowadays, people buy products almost as much for the presentation as for what the product actually is.  If that makes sense.  So my seeds have got to look nice, is what I’m saying.

I try to keep most of my stuff looking pretty simple, hence the use of brown kraft bags, and black ink.  Add a little red here and there, and that about does it.

wedding favor packagingThese are some of my wildflower seed favors, personalized with stamps.  You can see more like this here.

 

 

flower seed packagingThese boxes are filled with a variety of my vegetable, flower, and herb seeds – heading to the good employees at Garmin.  They will be handing these out to each employee as part of their earth day celebration next week.

vegetable seed packaging

 

 

country kidsAnd while I’m busily packaging things up, this is what my kids do.  What a couple of weirdos.

 

decker rd. seeds packagingI’ve been selling my seeds at the Corvallis Farmer’s Market for the past few months, and these wildflower seeds were some of the goodies available there.

 

decker rd. seeds displayLast weekend was the last day for the market, and I have to say I will not miss hauling these two seed racks around.  Cody made these for me out of scrap wood we had laying around, and they were not exactly light.

 

cassidyAnd some more of Cassidy playing while I slave away.

 

Fertilizing

 

tomato fertilizer

 

Back in my naive gardening days, I used to think fertilizer was a gimmick – you know, one more thing we’re supposed to buy.  But as I have become wise in my old age, I’ve realized that plants really do need something to eat if they’re going to flourish and provide me with a bounteous harvest.  So here is my way to prove it to you guys, too.

I planted these tomato seeds on the exact same date, in the same soil, and they sat lovingly next to each other with the same amount of light.  I wanted to do an experiment, so I didn’t fertilize the one on the left.  The one on the right got a nice dose of Ferti-lome (it’s an organic seaweed mix that I got at Shonnard’s).  Pretty significant difference, huh?  So this is why I now believe in fertilizer.  The End.

fertilizing tomato starts

 

This particular variety of tomato is called ‘Green Zebra’, which I will have available at the next Corvallis Winter’s Market.  Not this runt in the picture, but many other nice, big, leafy ones.  I will also have some other tomato starts including ‘Roma’, ‘Oregon Spring’,  and ‘Yellow Plum’.  $2/each.