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Let’s Grow Hardy Kiwi!

Hardy Kiwi Anna - Female PlantWhen I first heard we were going to be carrying Hardy Kiwi plants this spring, I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant. But after doing some research, these vigorous vines are actually quite simple to grow (even in our zone 5) and the small, sweet fruits are extremely sweet and satisfying!

About the Hardy Kiwi

Hardy Kiwis are also called Kiwi Berries, Hardy Kiwifruit, Grape Kiwi, and Baby Kiwi. The Hardy Kiwi Vine is native to Korea, Japan, Northern China and Russian Siberia. The fruits are very similar to the Kiwifruit but smaller and have smooth, edible skin. They can be eaten whole, without being peeled, and are much sweeter than the Kiwifruit.Hardy Kiwi Meader - Male Plant

Growing Hardy Kiwi

Growing this fruit-producing vine is really quite simple if you’re in hardiness zones 3-9 (find your zone here). First, start with both a male and a female plant. This is a must to produce fruit. We recommend planting at least one male plant for every five female plants that you have. Hardy Kiwi plants prefer full sun and average to well-draining soil.

These vigorous vines produce small, white flowers in the early summer, followed by greenish-yellow fruits in the late summer and into the fall. Be sure to provide support for the large vines and prune regularly, cutting back the non-flowering parts. Hardy Kiwi Meader - MaleTo harvest the Hardy Kiwifruits, wait as late as possible into the fall once the fruit has ripened. If you’re threatened with frost before the fruit ripens, harvest and ripen the fruits in the refrigerator.

Have any of you had experience growing Hardy Kiwis? Please post in the comments below or on our facebook page. Happy Gardening!

December 12, 2013 · Amanda Shepard · 10 Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Gardening in Spring and Summer, How-Tos, Perennials

New Sedum for Spring 2014

Sedum Purple FormLooking for an easy-care, drought-tolerant perennial to ignite your garden into the autumn months? Sedum, also known as Stonecrop, grows in any sunny spot and each one looks so phenomenally different, you’ll want them all in your garden! We are carrying over 10 new varieties for spring 2014 and have highlighted a few of them below.

Sedum hispanicum minus Purple Form

Purple Form is extremely easy-to-grow, thriving in any sunny spot. Blue/grey foliage changes to purple in the winter months and elegant pink flowers emerge in late summer.Sedum Pork and Beans 

Sedum rubrotinctum Pork Beans

Round, bean-shaped foliage changes from bright green to red in the summer months. This Sedum prefers full sun and is drought-tolerant. 

Sedum Cherry Tart

From the Sedum Sunsparkler Series, this variety boasts deep, cherry-red foliage in the late summer through fall. Cherry Tart is drought-tolerant and prefers full sun.Sedum Cherry Tart

Sedum ternatum

This variety of Sedum withstands partial shade and is often the first to bloom in spring, adding elegance to the garden floor with pure-white, star-shaped blooms.

Sedum spurium Fuldaglut

This easy-to-grow groundcover boasts vibrant green foliage with maroon highlights, offsetting rosy-red flowers in the late summer.

Sedum John CreechSedum spurium John Creech

This easy-to-grow groundcover creates a lush carpet of foliage with small, light green leaves and soft pink flowers. Perfect for rock walls, this Sedum will grow almost anywhere.

Sedum reflexum Blue Spruce

This Sedum gets its name from small, blue leaves that resemble the needles of a blue Spruce. Cheerful yellow flowers emerge in the early summer.

View all of our Sedum here. Happy Gardening!

December 8, 2013 · Amanda Shepard · 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Gardening in Spring and Summer, Perennials

Seed Storage Do’s and Don’ts

PoppiesA common question we often get is, "Can I store excess seed for next season’s use and if so, how?" Seed storage is not only a great way to save money (it’s cheaper to buy in bulk), but is extremely easy to do!

We recommend storing seed in an airtight container. You could use kitchen tupperware, a large storage bin or whatever you have lying around. Make sure it is as airtight as possible and is completely dry before you put your seed in it.

Keep your airtight container in a cool (not freezing), dry place that is not subject to extreme temperature variations. Don’t keep it in your freezing garage, your refrigerator or on top of your dryer! Seed StorageA cool, stable temperature (such as a closet) is the perfect place to store the seed. Viability, also known as the life of the seed, varies from species to species. However, most Wildflower species will maintain good germination quality for at least a year or two, sometimes up to 5 years.

Storing seed is especially helpful for those of us planting Annuals and Vegetables. Order a pound of our All Annual Mixture and keep it around for years, sprinkling each season for a burst of blooms all summer long. Happy Gardening!

December 4, 2013 · Amanda Shepard · 3 Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: How-Tos, Vegetable Seeds, Wildflowers

The Year of the Echinacea

EchinaceaEach year, the National Garden Bureau chooses a perennial to feature as their "Perennial of the Year." They recently announced that 2014 is the "Year of the Echinacea" We are thrilled because Echinacea is one of our favorite perennials and we carry over 20 varieties as seeds and plants.

From their website:

"Echinacea was chosen as the perennial for the National Garden Bureau’s 2014 Year of program because of the vast assortment of flower colors and shapes available to today’s gardener but also because they are such an American staple. EchinaceaThe classic flower shape continues to be a favorite in home and public gardens so it’s time we highlight the history of the “tried and true” classics as well as some of the newer varieties sure to please any home gardener."

Below you can find some of our favorite varieties.

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea is famous across the country for illumining entire meadows with stunning pink flowers. This butterfly-magnet is easy to grow and makes for spectacular bouquets.

Echinacea Cheyenne SpiritEchinacea Cheyenne Spirit, Echinacea purpurea

In fiery tones of red, orange, and yellow, this drought-tolerant perennial ignites the garden from summer to fall. Cheyenne Spirit is deer-resistant and makes gorgeous summer bouquets.

Echinacea Hot Coral, Echinacea purpurea

Hot Coral makes a fun, bright statement with coral blooms offset by deep centers. Stunning both in the garden and cut for summer bouquets. 

Echinacea Magnus, Echinacea purpurea

This cheerful-pink variety is a hybrid, bred to have upright petals, unlike the drooping petals of the native variety.

Echinacea MixEchinacea Mix, Echinacea purpurea

A mix of three varieties of this popular perennial, this is an affordable way to fill your sunny garden with colorful flowers. 

Echinacea White Swan, Echinacea purpurea

Coneflower White Swan is the white version of Purple Coneflower. Together, the two make a great show. 

View all of our varieties here. Happy Gardening!

 

 

December 1, 2013 · Amanda Shepard · One Comment
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Gardening in Spring and Summer, Perennials, Wildflowers

New Daylilies for 2014

Daylily Raspberry RufflesDaylilies are one of the true cornerstones of any perennial garden. With some care, they grow in any soil type and multiply each year, making them one of the best garden investments. Many varieties are re-bloomers, putting on a colorful show twice in one season. These deer-resistant beauties are a must-have for any perennial garden and we are excited to be carrying seven new varieties for spring 2014.

Daylily Raspberry Ruffles

With slightly ruffled petals and dramatic pink/burgundy blooms, Raspberry Ruffles is a must-have for any Daylily lover. Plant in spring for a knock-out summer show year after year. 

Reblooming Daylily Tuscawilla Tigress

Daylily Tuscawilla TigressIgnite your summer garden with this fire-orange Daylily. Tuscawilla Tigress boasts big, bright-orange blooms with a deep center and white markings on the petals. This deer-resistant favorite is a re-bloomer, illuminating the summer garden twice in one season. 

Daylily Siloam Double Classic

This unique variety has won numerous Daylily awards and we’re not surprised! Large, double pink blooms appear almost fluffy and Siloam Double Classic is also intensely fragrant. Like other Daylilies, this fabulous variety is extremely easy to grow and will thrive in almost any sunny spot. 

Daylily Mary Reed

Daylily Mary ReedThis raspberry-colored beauty boats a striking green throat and stays open in the evening hours, unlike many Daylily varieties. Mary Reed is extremely easy to grow and spreads each year, making it a great addition to any perennial garden! 

Daylily Prairie Blue Eyes

Unlike its name, Prairie Blue Eyes is a charming lavender/purple, accented by a bright yellow throat. Deer Resistant and easy to grow, plant this Daylily in any soil type and it is sure to dazzle with an abundance of blooms in the summer months. 

Re-Blooming Daylily Pygmy Plum

Pygmy Plum’s deep-colored blooms delight twice in one season and this plant is extremely easy to grow, withstanding almost any growing conditions. Plant this beauty in the border of your garden or in containers. 

Daylily BakabanaReblooming Daylily Bakabana

This cheerful yellow Daylily is a re-bloomer, igniting the garden with an abundance of blooms twice in one season. If you’re looking for a multitude of flowers, Bakabana is the perfect choice! A vigorous spreader, plant this beauty once for years and years of fabulous color.

What’s your favorite Daylily? Please share in the comments below or post on our Facebook Wall. Happy Gardening!

November 15, 2013 · Amanda Shepard · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Gardening in Spring and Summer, Perennials

Fall Cleanup!

Fall Garden CleanupNow that we’re into November, it’s extremely important (if you haven’t already) to prepare your garden for the winter months. This doesn’t need to be a weekend-long affair, simply follow a few easy steps and your garden will be ready to hibernate (along with you) for the winter and come back next spring stronger than ever!

Cleaning up and Cutting Back

It’s important to cut back perennial plants, then rake debris and leaves out of your garden beds. This helps to prevent any bacteria or mold to grow and disrupt the healthy growth of your precious plants. If you planted Wildflowers, mow them down in the fall and leave the broken stems on the ground. This helps for the annual varieties to re-seed for next year and provides food/shelter for birds!


Mulching

DaffodilsFall is a great time to mulch, especially if you’re trying to protect Bulbs or smaller plants from harsh winter temperatures. It’s best to apply mulch just after your first hard frost. This helps to stabilize the temperature of the soil. We recommend using an all-natural pine or wood bark mulch that help to enrich the soil. If you’re protecting your plants from the cold, we recommend a layer of mulch about 3-6" thick. Once the ground thaws, you may want to clear some of the mulch away from your small plants.

Adding Bulbs for Spring Color

Once you’re doing your fall cleanups, it’s always a great time to take note of bare spots in your garden. Purchase a bag of Tulips or Daffodils and tuck the Bulbs where there are empty spots in the garden. You will thank yourself in the spring when you’re greeted with cheerful blooms!

What is your fall cleanup process? Please share in the comments below or post on our Facebook page. Happy Gardening!

Tulips

November 11, 2013 · Amanda Shepard · 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Flower Bulbs, Gardening in Fall, How-Tos, Perennials, Wildflowers

How to Force Bulbs Indoors for Early Blooms

Blue HyacinthsIf you love the colorful blooms of Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths but can’t wait until spring, try forcing bulbs indoors for earlier flowers. The process is fairly simple and fun — A great activity to do with children.

1. Choose your variety. Choose any variety of Tulip, Daffodil or Hyacinth to force indoors for early blooms. Try something you wouldn’t normally plant in your garden and get creative with color combinations!

2. Chill the bulbs in the refrigerator (away from any fruits) until you are ready to plant.

3. Plant the bulbs in containers after at least 6 weeks of chilling. Use any shallow container for most bulbs. If you’re planting taller varieties of Tulips or Daffodils, use a deeper container. Bury the bulbs just below the soil surface with the pointy sides sticking up. Get creative and plant several different varieties together in different containers!

Chilled Bulbs4. Chill the container in any area that is about 45 degrees fahrenheit. A refrigerator or cool (above freezing) garage will work.

5. Once the bulbs start to pop up and sprouts are about 1 inch above the surface, bring the container out of storage and place in a sunny window.Make sure to keep it in a cooler area, as too much sun and warmth will hinder growth.

6. Once in bloom, enjoy your spring preview way before bulbs in the garden have started!

Happy Gardening!

 

November 6, 2013 · Amanda Shepard · One Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Flower Bulbs, Gardening in Fall, Gardening in the Winter, How-Tos

New Fall-Planted Bulbs Now Available

We’re always looking to carry as many unique varieties as possible and are excited to Tulip Cynthia have just added a dozen new Fall Bulbs available to plant now! Whether you’re looking for deer-resistant Daffodils, easy-to-grow Camassia, or Wild Tulips, we have it all! All of our new Fall-Planted Bulbs are up to 50% off and shipping to plant now for gorgeous spring blooms. We have limited quantities available of these new varieties, so order now.

We have several new, unique Tulip varieties. The Wild Tulip Tarda is a perennial early-bloomer, virgously spreading each year. The gorgeous yellow center is offset by white tips. Tulip Alba Coerulea Oculata is a true garden standout, with blue centers and white petals. Tulip Cynthia is a stunning Wildflower Tulip with red and white bi-color blooms. Daffodil White Tete a TeteThis variety is extremely easy to grow and will thrive in warmer winter climates.

Love the smaller, charming blooms of the Tete-a-Tete Daffodil? We’re now carrying the white variety, which would be gorgeous paired with its yellow counterpart! We’re carrying several other new Daffodil varieties, including Professor Einstein, which boasts deep orange centers surrounded by white petals. A true knockout in the spring garden year after year!

Spring Starflower Charlette Bishop boasts charming, star-shaped blooms that are sure to be a conversation-starter in the garden. Allium Silver Spring Spring Starfloweris a fragrant variety that has off-white flowers and dark rose centers. Camassia leichtlinii Blue Danube is a late bloomer with deep blue, spiky blooms offset by grassy foliage. It is easy to grow and native to the Pacific Northwest.

To view all of our new varieties for the fall, click here. Happy Gardening!

 

November 2, 2013 · Amanda Shepard · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Flower Bulbs, Gardening in Fall

Fun Facts about our Wildflowers!

All of our bulk Wildflower Seed Mixtures are 100% pure wildflower seeds, no fillers! (The average mixture found at a big box store or garden center is only 15% pure seed and 85% filler – Yuck!)
Wildflower Seed ComparisonOur proven Regional Mixtures contain an average of 25 different annual and perennial species. We include annuals for the first growing season and perennials for the second and successive seasons!

Regional Mixture

The Seed Man’s favorite week every year is National Wildflower Week each May.

We sold over 25 tons of Wildflower Seed last year.

The Seed Man: Then and NowMike “The Seed Man” Lizotte has been slingin’ seed since the age of 13.  That’s 26 years of wildflower knowledge only found here at American Meadows.

We ship our Wildflower seed all over the world!  Nous expédions notre wildflower seed partout dans le monde! Spediamo wildflower seme tutto il mondo! Enviamos nuestros wildflower las semillas en todo el mundo!

We’re the unofficial Wildflower Seed supplier to the stars! We’ve sold our wildflowers to Kristy Alley,  Ashley Judd and Sheryl Crow just to name a few.

SunflowerWildflowers are great for attracting pollinators which are critical to our ecosystem.

Stop mowing your lawn and plant Wildflowers.  Mowing your lawn for 1 hour emits the same amount of pollutants as driving your car for 200 miles…Not good! 

Grow, don't mow!

 

October 31, 2013 · Mike Lizotte · 4 Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Wildflowers

Common Question Answered: When to Plant Wildflowers in the Fall

WildflowersOne of the most common questions we receive each fall is, "When should I plant Wildflowers?"

The short answer: Plant in the fall once the ground is frozen and temperatures in your area are cold enough that the seed will stay dormant until the early spring. However, we have several blogs, articles and videos that explain the process of fall Wildflower planting in much more detail, from the preparation of your soil all the way to sowing the seed. We’ve included these resouces for you below.

Don’t forget — We have garden experts available 6 days a week to answer your planting questions either via email, phone or live chat! You can also "like" the Seed Man on facebook to get the latest Wildflower news, planting tips and more.

How to Plant Wildflowers in the Fall

Blog 1 – When to plant

CosmosIn part one of his series, The Seed Man gives direction on when the best time to plant in the fall is. He outlines the times for colder and warmer regions across the country.

Blog 2 – Preparation

The Seed Man gives tricks on one of the most important aspects of wildflower seed planting – preparing the soil.

Blog 3 – Choosing the seed

WildflowersIn this blog, The Seed Man highlights the best seed to plant for different regions of the country. From our regional mixtures, to individual species, he outlines which seed will do best for fall planting.

Blog 4 – To mow or not to mow?

In the last installment, The Seed Man gives tips on maintaining your wildflower meadow in the fall. He answers the ever-popular question, “To mow or not to mow?”

Other Wildflower Guides

Tips on Commercial Seeding of Wildflowers

In this blog, learn the best practices for planting a large area with Wildflowers.

How to Create your Own Wildflower Meadow

A very detailed article on (literally) everything you need to know about planting Wildflowers. One of our most popular pages on our site and extremely helpful!

Wildflower Planting Videos

How to Plant a Wildflower Meadow Part I:

How to Plant a Wildflower Meadow Part II:

We hope this helps to answer your questions about fall Wildflower planting. Happy Gardening!

October 25, 2013 · Amanda Shepard · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Gardening in Fall, How-Tos, Wildflowers