I love my zinnias!

I love my zinnias in my vegetable garden. They are so beautiful and I love the new streaked varieties. They are a double zinnia and are so interesting to look at and the pollinators like them. I know if I was a bee, I would visit them!

They are also an edible flower-check out this article on eating them and recipes at: arcadiafarms.net

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Peredovik Black Oil Sunflower Seed – food for the birds!

peredovik-sunflower heads

Close up of Peredovik sunflower heads-after the flower petals fall exposing the seeds

peredovik-sunflower

Peredovik Black Oil Sunflower in bloom

Today I planted my Peredovik Black Oil Sunflower Seed from Russia. They are the black oil sunflower seeds that the birds love to eat and this is the variety that is in your bird seed mix that you buy in the store. They are particularly good because they are high in natural fat giving the birds energy. This makes them the best choice of sunflower for feeding birds although the birds love all varieties of sunflower seeds.

I got mine for 2016 from Southern Seed Exchange and can’t wait for them to come up. Just plant like any other sunflower seed mixed in your garden with other flowers. They have multiple heads on each stalk. They won’t be as tall as some of the giant sunflowers usually reaching 4-5 feet tall but it’s nice to know I’m helping the birds. After they flower, I leave the heads on and it’s fun to watch the birds eat them right off the plant in the fall. I leave them well into winter where the wild birds will continue to get the seeds out of the heads.

Homegrown New Mexico-Vegetable Gardens, Potagers and Coop Tour

Today I volunteered at the first Homegrown New Mexico tour of 6 homes featuring vegetable gardens, potagers and chicken coops. I can’t say how impressed I am with this organization. First, they picked some fantastic examples in our city. The tour was incredibly organized AND they are only 5 months old. Phew! A big chunk to bite off and they did it extraordinarily well. At every site I got several ideas that I will want to incorporate into my own gardens. Here are some of the things I particularly enjoyed. Great job to all!

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International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day this Sunday-May 1, 2011!

GIANT TITAN SUNFLOWER

This Sunday, May 1 is International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day where people all around the world will go out and plant some sunflower seeds in a public or private place that needs beautifying this summer. Look for places that have bare ground and maybe a drip system where you can plant the seeds next to a drip emitter so the seeds have a chance. Also try not to plant them where they may be cut down by a someone who might think they are weeds. Guerrilla gardening is done to beautify otherwise neglected areas. You may be brazen or secretive about your planting. Let’s make this an annual event!

For anyone interested, I will supply FREE sunflower seeds on this Sunday, May 1 for you plant. Come gather at  Liquid Light Glass located at 926 Baca Street #3 here in Santa Fe, NM. Show up at 12:30 to get your seeds and everyone leaves at 1pm to go plant. Oh, and don’t forget your trowel!

Afterward if you want, add your experience and where you planted on the ‘Comments’ section of this post for all to read. Later this summer when they flower, take a picture and send it to me and I will print it in a post with others! Hope to see you Sunday! May the force be with you!

Here are some ideas of where to plant (feel free to add your own):

RED SUNFLOWER

1. On medians that the city takes care of

2. In the parks

3. In empty dirt lots

4. On the Plaza (you’ll have to be sneaky)

5. On dirt streets or street corners

6. In church lots

7. At state building grounds

8. By the courthouses

9. At the museums

10. on school grounds

11. At restaurant grounds

12. At big box stores parking lots

13. You think of somewhere-be creative and let me know!

Final 2011 Seed Lists

FINAL 2011 SEED LISTS (updated)

I’ve researched and updated the seed list I posted earlier about a month ago and thought some of you might like to know where I buy either the seeds or in some cases, the plants ready to transplant here in Santa Fe. So first I created a legend with abbreviations for each seed/nursery and then put them at the end of each seed listed.  Hope this makes it easier for you so you don’t have to figure it out. I also show which tomatoes Amy Goldman’s ‘The Heirloom Tomato’ book recommends which I use as my ‘tomato bible’! I’ve put this in my page section called ‘Seed Lists’  at the top of the blog for later reference.

Here is the legend:
AFN-Agua Fria Nursery (plants)-1409 Agua Fria Street/Santa Fe, NM/505-983-4831
SFGHSanta Fe Greenhouse (plants)-2904 Rufina Street/Santa Fe, NM/505-473-2700
BHBaker Heirloom (seeds)
SSESeed Saver Exchange (seeds)
TSTerritorial Seeds
JSKGJohn Scheepers Kitchen Garden
KSKitazawa Seed (seeds)
WCSWest Coast Seeds (seeds)
CGCooks Garden (seeds)
TFTomato Fest (seeds)
TGTomato Growers (seeds)
TTTotally Tomatoes (seeds)

2011 TOMATOES

HEIRLOOMS

PLUM STYLE
*AG/San Marzano-red plum/80 days/AFN (plants) or BH, SSE, (seeds)

BI-COLOR
Striped German-bicolor-SFGH (plants)
*AG/Gold Medal-bicolor-75-80 days-BH (seeds)
*AG/Ananas Noir-recommended by friend-BH, SSE (seeds)

BLACK OR PURPLE
Paul Robeson-black/75-85 days-AFN (plants)
Cherokee Purple/80 days-AFN (plants)

RED
*AG/Pantano Romanesco-red/70-80 days-BH,TF(seeds)
*AG/Costoluto Genovese-red/78 days-TG(seeds)
*AG/Goldsman Italian American-red-BH (seeds)
*AG/Brandywine/AFN (plants)

CHERRY TOMATOES
*AG/Black Cherry-black/75 days-AFN (plants)
*AG/Green Grape-green/AFN (plants) or SSE (seeds)

HYBRIDS-I grow a few hybrids
Lemon BoyAFN (plants)
Park’s Beefy Boy-red-70 days-AFN (plants)
Sun Sugar-yellow cherry-62 days-TT (seeds)

* AG-recommended by Amy Goldsman’s book, ‘The Heirloom Tomato’

2011 VEGGIE LIST

BEANSRattlesnake bean snap OG (remarkably flavored pole bean)-SSE (seeds)

PEPPERShishito (Japanese non hot pepper)-AFN (plants) or KS(seeds)

SUMMER SQUASH-ZUCCHINICostata Romanesco (best tasting zuke around)-BH (seeds)

WINTER SQUASH- Galeux d’ Eyesines and Red Warty Thing (that’s what it’s called!)-BH (seeds)

EGGPLANT-Fairy Tale (best sweet, no bitter taste and soft skin eggplant I’ve tasted)-AFN (plants) or TS (seeds)

CUCUMBERSParisian Pickling, De Bourbonne, Boothsby Blonde, Poona Kheera, Armenian and Parade– I grow cukes for either taste or which variety is best for different types of pickles-all BH (seeds) except Parade-SSE (seeds)

CORN-not this year (I’ll get it from our Farmers Market)

LETTUCES–Provencal Mix, Mesclun Mix, Buttercrunch, Yugoslavian Red, Santoro Lettuce, and Little Gem-CG (seeds)

SPINACH–Bloomsdale-CG (seeds)

CARROTS-Purple Haze CG (seeds) and Scarlet Nantes-SSE (seeds)

ARUGULA-Apollo-SSE (seeds)

BOK CHOY-Extra Dwarf Pak Choy-BH (seeds)

CHARD-5 Color Silverbeet-SSE (seeds) and Argentata Swiss Chard-JSKG (seeds)

PEAS-Dwarf Sugar Gray-SSE, Oregon Spring II-BH (seeds)

2011 GIANT PUMPKINS & GIANT VEGGIE LIST

2010 GIANT PUMPKINSall came from private growers
895 Grande 08 (1016 Daletas x 1385 Jutras)
421 Cabossel (895 Grande x self )
1046 Grande 10 (901 Hunt x 1385 Jutras)

GIANT GREEN SQUASHall came from private grower
903 Noel 07 (848 McKenzie x self)

GIANT MARROW (like giant Zucchini)-all came from private growers
206.5 Wursten 09 or 75.4 Wursten 09
43 Cabossel 10

GIANT TOMATOES
7.18 N. Harp 09 (5.58 Timm x open)-private grower
5.416 N, Harp 09 (5.58 Harp x open)-private grower
Big Zac/TT (seeds)

GIANT PEAR GOURDprivate grower
89 Scherber 10

LONG GOURDprivate grower
96″ Scherber 10

GIANT SUNFLOWERS
Titan-SSE, BH (seeds)

2011 EDIBLE FLOWER LIST
Following is the list of edible flowers that will be planted or are already on the property:

Borage

Calendula-Orange King-BH (seeds)

Chives-AFN (plants)

Cilantro-AFN (plants)

Dill-AFN (plants)

Lavender (in existing different area)

Marigold-Lemon Gem-TS (seeds) this is the only edible marigold

Nasturtiums-Tip Top -CG (seeds)-prettiest nasturiums

Pansies-get them anywhere

Violas-get them anywhere

Roses (in different existing area)

Black Oil Seed sunflower (for the birds!)-WCS (seeds)

2011 HERBS-Following is a list of herbs that will be planted or exist on the property
Basil-new SHGH (plants)
Lime Basil-new-SFGH (plants)
Thai Basil-new-SFGH (plants)
Oregano-exists
Thyme-exists
Lemon Thyme-exists
Chives-exists
Dill-usually self seeds
Marjoram-new-SFGH (plants)
Mint-exists
Sage-exists
Lavender-exists

Edible Flowers List for 2011

2011 EDIBLE FLOWER LIST

titan sunflowers

There are many flowers that are edible and beautiful either in regular garden or vegetable garden. I like to put all kinds of flowers in the veggie garden—some pollinators, attractors, and edible. I like the entrance to the veggie garden beautiful.  Following is the list of edible flowers that will be planted or are already on the property:

Borage

Calendula-Tangerine

Chives

Lavender (in existing different area)

Marigold-Lemon Gem

Nasturtiums-Alaska Tip Top

Pansies

Violas

Roses (in different existing area)

Black Oil Seed sunflower (for the birds!)

Titan Sunflowers

Grow Black Oil Sunflower Seeds For Your Wild Birds

I just came back from the bird store where I got some black oil sunflower seeds for my wild birds when I thought why not grow my own for next year? My favorite sunflower up to now has been the Titan sunflower which is a striped seed and is not a black oil seed.  Black oil seeds compared to striped sunflower seeds have a higher oil content and are meatier for birds. They are also easier for small birds to crack open. I already cut off the sunflower heads from sunflowers for birds so why not give them what is really good for them. One variety of black oil sunflower seed that I found is Peredovik Black Oil Sunflower Seed from Russia. In 2016 you can get it at  Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. You can also just plant the black oil seed you get in your birdseed. I read that the sunflowers grow from 3-6 feet tall. So this year I’m going to add them in with my other sunflowers that I grow for a treat for the wild birds.

Hmm, now I wonder if I can grow that real expensive finch seed, Nyger? I’ll have to look into that! It is super expensive but I don’t know if it will grow here. I’ll get back to you on that one..

2014 update: Try to grow some from your birdseed mix but if yours don’t grow from your birdseed, go to the site above to buy some that will germinate. This is the most current seed company to buy from.