With a new hanging basket season approaching, it’s time to plan bigger and better baskets than ever before! With unlimited combinations of flowers, vegetables, and herbs, we thought introducing a few new and exciting ideas to your hanging baskets this year would be great. Fruit baskets! Not the kind you gift, the kind you grow! You could say they’re as easy as low-hanging fruit. Below we’ve created a unique list of fruits that love hanging baskets for you to try this season!
Sliced in salads or fresh off the vine, cucumbers are fresh for summer picking and love to grow in hanging baskets. They’re filled with vitamin K, B, C, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium and much more! With gravities help, cucumbers can grow long and straight from the basket, creating the most ideal cucumber shape. When grown in the garden, cucumbers are susceptible to Amphids, Cucumber Beetles, Flea Beetles and more. Growing your cucumbers in a hanging basket provides them with better protection from these common garden pests! Oh, and don’t forget how much easier it will be to harvest pickles from the porch!
Cucumber Mini White are deliciously sweet and mild, Cucumber Mini White is the best choice for hanging baskets as the small 3-5″ fruits cascade beautifully, creating an easy to pick & esthetically pleasing harvest. In just 58-75 days, you’ll be jarring porch-pickles in no time!
The queen of summer fruit is as versatile as the desserts she creates! With endless strawberry jams, pies, tarts, bars, smoothies, and cakes, strawberries generate a blast of flavour for many summer dishes! Don’t have a yard to plant strawberries? That is no problem at all. When grown in hanging baskets, strawberries perform amazingly! It is a great way to keep your strawberries out of reach from birds, but it’s also a quick and convenient way to reach for one of two as needed!
Natural White Strawberry tastes like pineapple! These unique white strawberries are the perfect patio conversation starter. Plant your Natural White Strawberries in full sun from April to May and you can expect pineapple tasting strawberries in just 4-6 weeks.
Is it a cucumber, or is it a melon? Also known as Mexican Sour Cucumber, Mouse Melon or Melothria Scabra, the Cucamelon is a miniature relative to cucumbers! With a taste similar to a cucumber, the Cucamelon is sweeter with a hint of citrus lime. Often enjoyed fresh or pickled, Cucamelon is also great for your skin, with loads of vitamin K, C, E and fibre. When grown in a hanging basket, the Cucamelon enjoys climbing up walls and gazebos! An excellent plant for creating privacy and fuller green space on patios. Though they perform at their best when placed in full sun, Cucamelon can also tolerate partial sun.
Cucamelon grow in as little as 67 days, and will be ready to harvest once they are just over an inch long and firm to the touch. Place your hanging Cucamelon in full sun in a 5-7 gallon size basket, providing one inch of water weekly.
The tomatillo is a small green or purple fruit with a paper-like peel. If eaten raw, the tomatillo offers a tart and citrusy flavour, which softens to a sweeter taste when cooked. They’re high in vitamin C, A, K, fibre, potassium, niacin and much more. As a popular ingredient in salsa verde, Tomatillos are also enjoyed on their own, either raw, sauteed, roasted or boiled. They make a powerfully healthy fruit to have quick access to when grown in a basket as long as they can get at least 6 hours of sun a day.
Tomatillo Purple are sweeter than green Tomatillos! Place your Tomatillo Purple in full sun with regular watering and good draining. Harvest your Tomatillo Purple in 75-100 days once the fruit turns purple and is firm to the touch.
5. Cape Gooseberries
Tangy, tart, sweet and tropical tasting, the Cape Gooseberry is also known as a Peruvian Groundcherry originating from South America. Full of fibre and low in calories, the Gooseberry is high in vitamin C, making them great for your skin. After harvesting them in June and July, they’re perfect for making plenty of unique jams, purees, crumbles, tarts, drinks, salads and sauces! As an easy grower, the Gooseberry makes a beautiful display when grown in a hanging basket.
Organic Gooseberry Gold Berry perform at their best when placed in full sun with good draining. Maintain moist soil for a heavy yield in June until July. To test when your Gooseberries are ready, give them a gentle sqeeze! Once they are soft, they’ll be ready for the picking!
Need more inspiration for unique fruit? Check out this episode of Get Up and Grow “Planting an Albino Strawberry Hanging Basket” below for tips and tricks from our president Gord Nickel.
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Have you ever seen a flower so bizarre that you wish you knew what you were looking at? Or maybe you’re interested in adding some interesting conversation starters to your own garden. Sometimes in the garden industry, we come across a few crazy-looking plants that we’re sure to take note of. Check out our top 5 most unique flower seeds below, for some inspiring-uniqueness!
1.) Lion’s Ear
Used for its traditional medical properties, Lion’s Ear (also known as Lions Tale and Wild Dagga) is native to South Africa. Shooting spikes of unique orange blossom up to 6 feet high, their blooms resemble that of a lion’s ear or tail. Traditionally cultivated for teas, Lion’s Ear was used to treat parasites, asthma, skin diseases, epilepsy, etc.
To grow your own Lion’s Ear, sow your seeds indoors in early spring. In zones 9-11, transplant your seedlings to the garden in full sun once the soil warms after the last frost. Easy to care for, Lion’s Ear is drought tolerant but does not like overwatering. They’re container friendly & can be grown as a perennial when taken indoors during the colder months.
They are described as unusual for their unique downward-facing blooms and intense purple and blue Hughes. Cerinthe is also known as the Blue Shrimp plant and Pride of Gibraltar. With cooler evening temperatures, Cerinthe changes from vibrant purple to deeper-dark blue. An excellent source of nectar for bees and great for cut flowers.
Originally from the Mediterranean, you can find Cerinthegrowing in zones 7 to 10, in mixed borders, beds and pots. Growing up to 24″ tall, place your Cerinthe in a dry, sunny location for it to thrive. These easy annuals are easy to grow, deer resistant, drought resistant and perform well on patios!
3.) Kale Crane Feather King
This hybrid kale has been carefully crafted to add flair as a cut flower! They are known for their silvery grey doily-shaped leaves and a contrasting pinkish-purple center. Kale Crane Feathering King adds tons of interest to bouquets with their flower-like stems.
Pushing itself from the inside out, the Native Shooting Star reaches its pistol outward in the form of a shooting star. These perennials are native to North America in twelve different varieties.
Also known as Dodecatheon, the leafless flowers reach 18 inches tall and produce 8-20 flowers per stem. In zones 7-8, 14-24, the Native Shooting Star grows to its best ability in partial shade and can tolerate rocky soil and even woodlands.
Also known as Love In a Mist Plant or Devil-In-A-Bush, Nigella symbolizes harmony and love. Nigella is a unique flower that comes in various blues, whites, pinks and purples, with petals reaching above and below its showy brackets.
Initially found in South Europe and North Africa. Nigella is 15-24 inches tall and can be grown in zones 2-11. These annual treasures prefer total sun exposure and well-drained soil. If planting in a container, use a pot no less than 7 inches deep and wide.
Being in the gardening industry we can safely tell you that seeds are the most popular item this time of year. While we wait for warmer weather there is no time like the present to get ahead on growing. Whether you forgot to leave room for vegetables in the garden, or you don’t have a yard, container gardening is increasingly popular every year. Since it’s the best time to germinate, we thought we would share with you the five best vegetables to grow in your containers this year!
Tomato? Tom-ato? Either way, this delicious fruit has snuck its way into the vegetable category for years and it’s no wonder why! Tomatoes are not only juicy, but they’re also rich in vitamin C, potassium, and folate. Used in salads, eaten raw, cooked, or canned, the tomato is a household staple. These easy growers are at the top of the container-friendly vegetables for their high yielding ability and low maintenance care. Popular container varieties are Tomato Sunchocola, Tomato Stupice & Organic Tomato Sweetie. Here is everything you need to grow your patio tomatoes.
Harvest your tomatoes when they are fully ripe and red with colour. Be careful not to keep your ripe tomatoes on the vine for temperatures above 23 C as they can soften.
Tip: The bigger the container, the better the harvest! Be sure to use a vine cage to support healthy growth.
Pea seeds can be grown all season long and they’re simple to grow! Enjoy sweet peas, snow peas, and snap peas with little effort and high yields in containers. Peas are great for storing, stirfry, salads, and even right off the vine. They are a healthy source of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and other antioxidants.
Avoid watering leaves, maintain consistent moisture. Water 1-1.5 inches per week.
24 inches or more.
When harvesting squash, press your fingernail into the skin. If the skin was easily pierced, it is not yet ready for harvesting. The skin should be non-glossy, firm and rich in colour when it is ready for harvesting.
Tip: Squash plants are drought tolerant. If your plant becomes dry, it will happily receive a good amount of water but not on its leaves as this could cause bacterial wilt.
Lettuce seeds are fast-growing, space-efficient, and easy to grow vegetables in containers. With lettuce’s fast growth, planting small amounts frequently will allow you to have consistent harvests throughout the growing season. Packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. Lettuce is great for topping sandwiches, having in salads and as a bread substitute!
When your lettuce leaves are 3-6 inches long, they’re ready to harvest! For regrowth, cut back the entire plant at once down to 1-2 inches in the morning with sharp sheers, giving the plant time to recover before sun exposure.
Tip: To protect your lettuce from burning, make sure to water the plant directly at the root in the morning.
Peppers are one of the most flavourful vegetables you can grow in a container! From sweet to red-hot-spicy there is a pepper for everyone. Peppers are low in calories, high in vitamin A and C, fibre and folic acid. From the colours of the rainbow to every dish you can imagine, peppers are a huge favourite.
January is coming to an end and you know what that means? Spring is just around the corner! Well, almost. We still have a little ways to go, but until then let’s do what we can to pass the time. In this article, you’ll find a few ways to keep you busy and your garden at its very best, no matter what zone you live in.
Depending on where you live, you might have a whole lot or a whole lot less to do in the winter months. That’s perfectly okay! Even if you are over your head in snowdrifts, nothing is stopping you from planning out your perfect garden from the comfort of your own home. Plus, with the power of online ordering, there’s no time like down time to scoop up all of your favourite seeds and bulbs to make the garden of your dreams a reality this year.
Live Christmas trees should be planted as soon as possible.
For winter colour, plant viburnum “Pink Dawn”, Chinese Witch Hazel, Christmas Rose, Winter Heather, Jasmine, and Sarcacoca.
If the ground isn’t frozen there is still time to plant narcissus, tulips and hyacinth for spring colour.
Mulch your sensitive plants with bark or peat moss and use burlap to prevent softer trees from windburn. Water plants under the eaves to prevent drying out.
Come in and get your seeds and start to plan for spring.
As February approaches we’re growing closer and closer to spring. Snowdrops peek their way up through the ground with crocuses to follow and soon after, daffodils! It’s almost our time to shine in the garden and we can’t wait to get started!!! Before we jump into spring, February is the last chance we get to tie up all our loose ends so that we don’t waste any time in the spring. Here are a few items to check off your to-do list this February.
Look for Aubrieta, Arabis, Hardy Primulas to start arriving.
Look for potted spring bulbs to brighten your home.
Time to start pruning – make sure all equipment is clean, sharp and disinfected.
If your winter weather has a cold hold on what you can accomplish, try starting some of your seeds with a heat mat. A heat mat is a great way to activate germination by encouraging root grow by providing your seeds with the warmth they need to growth healthy and strong!
If you are cutting it close to Christmas without having finished your shopping list, you’re not alone. It’s the busiest time of year for a reason! If you’re on the move for some gift ideas for the gardener in your life, you’re almost there. Not only do we know gardeners need, but we also know what gardeners love!
TOP 5 GARDENER FAVOURITES
There is nothing like the moment you receive a gift that you have no use for. It’s awkward, it’s polite and it’s about to collect dust in your closet. This year make sure you’re spending your money on gifting someone something they’ll use. Below are our 2021 top products used by gardeners nationwide that are great for that special gardener in your life.
The perfect source of plant food for all gardeners. Bonemeal has been used since the dawn of agriculture. A long-term solution for reducing transplant shock and providing essential and organic nutrients throughout the growing season. Important for growing the healthiest of plants.
A great addition to most small ponds, birdbaths or fountains. The brighter the sun, the better this fountain works. It`s easy to use. Simply place the fountain in the water and allow it to float. A few seconds after the sunlight hits the panels, the fountain will run. A joyful addition to any bird watcher’s yard.
A reliable favourite with fine flavoured dark green courgettes. Courgettes are hugely versatile and easy to grow. They need regular watering and picking for good crops. Some courgettes can be grown successfully in pots on the patio.
This hardy, drought-tolerant annual is easy to grow and self-seeds in the garden. The bright blue blooms on knee-high stems make a tasty and vibrant addition to summer salads and herbal tea mixtures – just pluck the petals and enjoy! Beautiful, delicious and easy to grow!
Dry, oily or wet condition gloves for every garden task. Breathable and Nitrile coated to protect you from punctures and abrasions. Take care of the gardener in your life by protecting them while they work!
Check out the latest episode of Get Up and Grow below, for more unique gift ideas for the gardener in your life. Too many to choose from? Give the gift of giving your gardener exactly what they want and need throughout the year with one of our new E-Gift Cards! Happy holidays to you and yours this season. Stay tuned for more from Blogs from Wildwood Outdoor Living in 2022!
If you ask someone who grows garlic, they’ll tell you that garlic is one of the greatest gifts you can pull from your garden. Not only are they incredibly easy to grow but they multiply and store extremely well, giving you unlimited garlic year after year. Why would someone want unlimited tasty, health benefiting, organic, garlic? We thought you might ask. Here are the top 5 reasons you might want to consider growing garlic this season, before it’s too late.
1.) Garlic is Medicine
Throughout history garlic has been famously used to fight and prevent illnesses. When crushed, chopped or chewed it’s able to release many healing properties including Sulfur, Allicin and A-allyl cysteine (1). Low in calorie, garlic is also a strong source of vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium and Manganese (2).
Where Garlic Can Heal
Used as a topical rub it can be used to treat fungus, bug bites and warts. When eaten raw it prevents and reduces colds by boosting immunity. As an oil extract, garlic can reduce inflamed joints and muscles by massaging the treated area. As a supplement in any form, garlic has been known to cure lung infections, blood pressure and more. More importantly, homegrown garlic has been proven to have higher levels of Allicin which produces all the health benefiting properties in garlic.
2.) Homegrown Garlic Is Better Than Store Bought
It’s not often, if ever at all that you walk into a grocery store with isles of garlic to choose from. In most grocery stores, you get to choose from jarred garlic or a single selection of garlic bulbs. When you stop to think about how many different types of recipes require garlic, you might want to shop for the best one for your dish. Each variety of garlic offers it’s own flavor profile to keep your recipes from all tasting the same.
Not to mention garlic scapes! As pictured above, the garlic scape is a delicious stem that looks similar to a long bean. With an asparagus texture and scallion flavor, garlic scapes are produced from hardneck garlic. You can cook garlic scapes in recipes, on it’s own or eat raw. Garlic growers world wide choose hardneck garlic for their delicious garlic scapes, which you just don’t get in the store.
Rich complex flavor, long-lasting taste. Excellent for cold climates.
3.) Garlic Is Easy To Grow
After a beautiful summer of gardening, you can clean up your garden beds and leave them empty until spring or you can keep planting! Garlic is one of the best ways to use space in your garden that isn’t going to be used over the winter. They’re a great fall bulb that you can plant four weeks before the ground freezes. They don’t take up much space and they’re ready to harvest late spring/early summer!
How To Plant Garlic:
1.) Break bulbs into individual cloves. Make sure cloves are hard and solid. Plant larger cloves as they will produce larger bulbs – you can use the smaller cloves for dinner!
2.) Plant root plate end down, 3 inches deep, in well-drained soil.
3.) Add organic matter/ manure or mulch on top. Raised beds are recommended, as soil should be well draining. Spacing of at least 5 inches on 1-foot rows will provide adequate sunshine, any extra spacing will allow bulbs to grow larger.
4.) Keep soil moist.
4.) Garlic Is Best Fermented
Fermented garlic (also known as black garlic) is the process of storing your garlic with herbs, salt and water in a cold place for an extended amount of time. Because garlic is a perennial that multiplies, you can expect to have a lot of it. Fermenting garlic is not only a great way to use all your garlic without any waste, but it’s also delicious and healthy! Studies show that fermenting garlic creates enhanced bioactivity, which allows us to function better. Black garlic benefits many different functions in our bodies such as; Antioxidation, Antiallergic, Antidiabetic, Anti-inflammation, Anticarcinogenic (3).
How to Make Black Garlic:
1.) Peel as many garlic cloves as you wish to store.
2.) Fill your mason jar with the peeled cloves. Leaving 1 inch space at the top.
3.) Create your brine by adding water, 2 tablespoons salt and any additional herbs of your choice (fresh oregano, basil, pepper or pickling spice).
4.) Store your garlic in a cool, dark place for 3-6 weeks. TIP: Opening the jars once a day is a method called “burping” used to get rid of carbon dioxide.
5.) Once completed, store in the fridge! The longer the fermentation the better the taste!
Once ready, you can use your Black garlic to add to soups, dips, marinades, dressings, to treat ailments and more!
5.) It’s Hard To Get Organic Garlic
How well do you know your average grocery store garlic? Do you know where it comes from? Or, how it got there? For most, it’s just cheap and easy to get. The organic conscious consumer might be surprised to learn that over 90% of garlic is produced in China (4). Meaning that getting garlic into our grocery stores isn’t only environmentally harmful, but it’s also costly. This has lead to the price of garlic increasing substantially.
Careful of Bleach
Back to our organic conscious consumer, garlic isn’t as bright white and perfect as you might think. Unlike what you’ll find in a grocery store, garlic is naturally very spotty and marked. Yet, it’s picture perfect appearance is achieved by using a toxic bleaching technique used to extend shelf life. Unfortunately, even when indicated that it is “organic” chances are that it is not which only takes a quick trip to Dr. Google to learn more about (5).
What Do You Think?
Ask anyone who grows garlic and they’ll tell you it’s healthier, it’s easy, it tastes better and it’s addictive! At Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre, we have over 40 years of garlic experience. Need help choosing the right variety or have questions? Reach out to us any time, we’re happy to help you grow!