This month we will concentrate a bit on herbs and strawberries. Strawberries are in season now at your local farmers markets and stands. Herbs are always in good supply. We are also highlighting cucumber since it is light and refreshing and we are in a drought. Pairing cucumber with a ghost pepper tequila may surprise you, but it is refreshing, bright, bubbly with a hint of heat on your lips. It will cool you off!
I also want to take the time to have you taste my simple syrup made with Stevia leaves instead of sugar. It is completely natural and sugar free. If you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet and especially your “extra” calories that come from cocktails- be sure to have that conversation with me.
Itoh Peony is also known as an Intersectional Hybrid. This plant is a cross between a traditional garden peony and a woody tree peony, taking the best attributes of both plants. It has up to 50 enormous sized flowers once established. This hybrid is a relatively creation with the first successful cross made in 1948 by the Japanese breeder Mr.Tiochi Itoh.
Planting & Care Instructions
Itoh Peony is easy to grow in moist, well-drained soil. Work the soil around the planting area to allow for a deep and extensive root system to develop. Place the plant in the ground, keeping the plant even with the soil line. Once in the ground keep the soil moist but take care not to over water. Provide an extra helping of fertilizer that is low in Nitrogen like Espoma Plantone while the plant is in bloom. Also remove spent flowers to encourage a fresh burst of color. In the fall, cut the Itoh back to 4-6 inches up from the soil level.
Flowers open in succession for up to a month!
Sturdy stems do not require staking, even when the plant is loaded with flowers or even after a rainfall.
Fragrant and great cut flower.
Disease resistant, deer resistant, and winter hardy.
Plant is sterile and therefore does not attract ants like a standard garden peony does.
Plant takes full sun, but some light shade will help flowers last longer.
So here we are again… Gardening season, spring, our bodies are starting to wake up and lean towards the warmth of the sun- FINALLY! With that we start up our Thirsty Thursdays again. May brings the beginning of many flavors. This week we highlight Basil, Strawberries, Rhubarb, Blueberries and Lemon Verbena.
Make a pie, tart, jams, parfait, fruit salad, juice, muffins, pancakes, popsicles, etc…No matter which berry you choose (or choose them all), you are sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Growing your own couldn’t get any better than berries.
June bearing strawberries give their biggest harvest in June (obviously), while everbearing bear the same amount of fruit but it is spread throughout the summer. With so many varieties, there’s sure to be a
strawberry that thrives in your space. Plant in early spring. Strawberries typically are grown in beds/rows directly into the ground. Now with all the different varieties you can also grow them in a containers like strawberry jars, window boxes and hanging baskets. Continue reading “Berrilicious”
It’s almost time to plant onions and we’ve got sets in stock. Garlic too!
Onion sets or onion seedlings?
Onions have been grown as a food source since the Egyptians planted them alongside the Nile. As one of the easiest vegetables to grow, confusion hovers more so around the type of onion best for home growing. Most garden centers order onions in different forms: seed, onions sets, or seedlings. The Netherland Bulb Company provides onion varieties in onions sets to help eliminate guesswork, and present one of the easiest methods to produce onions. Onion sets facilitate the growing process as they are small, dormant bulbs grown from seed the previous season. Onion sets are perfect for the home gardener as they guarantee onions for immediate consumption and storage with a few weeks from planting. As a member of the allium family, they also provide a natural pest repellant to animals inclined to forage in the home garden. Continue reading “Planting Onions”