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Our Favourite Self-Seeders



Happy February!


Wow, how weird is that to say. It's been a while since we've been here on the blog, and I apologize for that! Last summer something had to give, and unfortunately it was the blog. This year I intend on writing a few before summer hits with the hope that the blog will continue to be a resource all year.


Anyways, let's get into flowers! A few months ago, we sat down and placed our seed order, and one thing that we always consider is which flowers self-seed themselves into our garden. Because why purchase seeds when you can get them for free right? We'll get into seed saving in a future blog, but self-seeders allow their seeds to shed in fall, and then come back in spring. The great thing about self-seeders is that they are often one of the first plants to start coming up, and it allows you to get a harvest before anything you would have seeded yourself. It allows for a type of succession seeding without the work of actually doing it!



We have a few favourites for this, but let me first warn you that allowing your garden to self-seed also brings about challenges. The first of which is you will have to be able to recognize the plant when it comes up. If you don't, you'll end up leaving plants that are actually weeds and before long you'll have a weed patch not a garden. The second is that unlike the seeds you plant these ones don't come up in rows. They come up wherever they'd like, and sometimes it's nowhere near where you want them. This can also make weeding a challenge... you've been warned.


In order to make self-seeders valuable to us we only allow certain ones, and only in designated sections. Usually this means a section of the garden where we have seen enough of them self-seed, and we can till around the section to contain it and keep it neat. Our favourites are Cosmos, Queen Annes Lace, Bepleurum, Bells of Ireland (Bells get a free pass in our garden. Anywhere we find them they get to grow), Yarrow, Dara, Calendula, Amaranth, Frosted Explosion, and Rudbeckia Trilobia.



Allowing these flowers to self-seed doesn't mean we don't purchase and plant them as well. We still seed each of these varieties. However, the ones we seed are always a few weeks later, and that gives us a longer harvest season.



Please keep in mind that these are some of the flowers that work for us but you might have different ones that work for you. This also works best if you cut off your garden in fall and remove the dead plant material, but don't till it.


If you're like me and a little bit of a control freak and the idea of allowing things to come up wherever they want stresses you out, try transplanting them into a new row! We did that with cosmos that we had coming up all over 2 summers ago, and they grew beautifully. For tips on transplanting, look for a future blog post on just that.


We hope this gives you an idea of how to extend your bloom season without spending extra!

M



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