Thursday, June 3, 2010

No more buying annuals.

Recently we made a trip to a local garden center to purchase annuals for our rock garden. We spent forty dollars on plants, which were mostly dahlias, zinnias and gerbera daisies. The average cost per plant was around five dollars.

For the last few years I have been buying seeds at the end of the season when they are sold at a reduced price. From time to time I will select some to grow on a trial basis. At the beginning of March I planted three seeds from a package labeled Unwin's Dwarf Dahlia, mixed colors. In only seventy days I have three magnificent plants, each of a different color, as illustrated above.
Never having grown dahlias, I was very pleased with the results, and they certainly add some beauty to the greenhouse.

This of course got me thinking: "why are we purchasing plants at five dollars each, when I own a greenhouse?" The answer to that question is that I was so concentrated on vegetables, that I never even gave flowers a thought. Checking my seeds I find I have seeds for a few dozen different annuals, some of which I have never opened, or grown.
Going forward, I will start annuals for the rock garden early in the season when I start the vegetable seeds.

And, while looking through my seeds I came across several packs of seeds I received as a gift from a seed vendor. Included was a pack of seeds for Wala Wala onions, so I am going to try to grow a few of them hydroponically in a self watering container. The high water content in these onions is what makes them so sweet, and they need lots of water. If anything, hydroponics should provide them a perfect environment. Time will tell.....

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