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There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.
The next Hunterdon Land Trust Winter Farmer's Market is Sunday April 27 from 11 to 1. We will have a variety of native plants, native plant seeds, teas from native plants, black walnuts, and file powder all produced here at Toadshade.
Randi's upcoming PresentationsHunterdon Land Trust, Amphibian Walk at Idell Preserve, Barbertown-Idell Road, Kingwood, April 3
The Garden Club of New Jersey, Landscape Design School, April 16
Allegeny chapter of the American Rock Garden Society, April 27, Pittsburgh, PA
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Our website lists plants and seeds that are currently available for 2014 and it will be updated when additional species become available. Our printed catalog will be available soon.
In the Garden
What is Cold Stratification and how do I do it? In case you missed our notes on this in December, many native plants seeds are dormant and require some period of cold stratification to grow. In the simplest terms, the seeds need to experience ‘winter’. Sometimes this can be accomplished by putting the dry seed in the refrigerator, but more often they require a period of cold moist conditions. For most of the country, there is still plenty of time to cold stratify most seed outdoors but you can also use a refrigerator! Simply plant your seed in a pot of moist (not wet) soil, cover with a plastic bag, and put the whole thing in the back of your refrigerator for the prescribed number of weeks. Make sure to 1) mark on your calendar when to take them out and move them to a warm sunny spot and 2) label them well so you remember what’s in the pot and so that no one in your family mistakes them for scary leftovers!
So your seeds are growing – now what? Seeds need plenty of light and a little fertilizer. If your seeds are getting very tall and skinny – you need better light. Windowsills are often not sufficient. Fluorescent lights work very well – lower the lights to within inches of the seedlings so they get intense light. Fertilize your little seedlings with half strength plant fertilizer (full strength will often burn them at this stage).
Don’t move them from the seed pot too soon! A common mistake that folks make is they try to divide/transplant their little seedlings when they are too small. Very young seedlings are extremely vulnerable to mechanical damage, disease, and desiccation (drying out). Make sure that your plants have at least one pair of true leaves (not just the often rounded cotyledons or ‘seed leaves’ that first come out) before trying to divide or transplant them. For most plants it is best to let them get some size before you move them out to the garden.
Make sure to harden off your plants. What does that mean? Direct sunlight and even wind can be too much for young seedlings that have been grown under artificial light or even on a sunny windowsill. If you have grown your seedlings outdoors all along, or in a cold frame, they will be fine. However, if you have been growing them indoors you need to introduce them to the great outdoors gradually. Put them out for a couple hours of indirect sunlight or early morning/late afternoon sunlight for a week or so before planting them out to the great outdoors. Make sure they have enough moisture (but not too much!) during this period so they don’t dry out.
Protect them from freezing temperatures. Yes, the plants we sell are virtually all perennials, but that doesn’t mean the seedlings you started indoors can handle freezing temperatures when they are tiny! Dave’s Garden has got a lookup for your frost free dates here http://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/ Don’t plant your seedlings outside until after that date. On the other hand, if you have started your seeds outdoors, you will find many seeds will come up well before the frost free date – that’s OK, they know what they’re doing. I would only protect them with a cover if you get a particularly nasty cold snap late in the spring.
This web site is maintained to offer you the latest list of plants that are available.
If you have any particular native plants that you're looking for contact us. We always have new species coming along, so we may have what you are looking for (in small numbers.) If we don't have it, we'll try to add it to a future catalogue!
About Toadshade Wildflower Farm
We started Toadshade Wildflower Farm to make native wildflowers, particularly perennials, more easily available. Our intention is to 1) provide native, perennial, propagated wildflower plants, 2) identify available plants clearly by both common and scientific name, and 3) clearly summarize the native range and growth requirements of the wildflowers for sale.
Accordingly, all of the plants that we offer are native (not alien, introduced, or naturalized) as well as we can determine. We propagate them all ourselves - no plants are dug from the wild! We have tried to list the most often used common names, the scientific names, the preferred growth habit, and the native range based on information from a number of sources (see references below). I would encourage you to try plants that are native to your area. Planted within their native ranges, in sites appropriate to them, native perennial wildflowers will thrive and provide lasting color and interest for years to come.
When buying wildflowers, make sure they are propagated, not removed from the wild! If you have any doubt, ask! Some plant species have been driven to extinction in the wild due to the collection of wild plants!
Pot Size: Our plants come in 1 pint pots. These measure 3.5" square at the top, are 3.5" tall, and taper slightly to the bottom which measures 2.5" square. The total pot volume is exactly 1 pint (473 ml).
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