Hello Friend! Thank you for joining our newsletter and a special thank you if you downloaded our Something to Discover Seed Starting Workbook. We are

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Hello Friend!

Thank you for joining our newsletter and a special thank you if you downloaded our Something to Discover Seed Starting Workbook. We are very excited to be working on the next part of the series which will be soils and containers, and then series three will be plant nutrition, water, heat, and light. But the next series won't go out until after I've got my own seeds started and well on their way... likely not until March. If you haven't downloaded our workbook you can get it here.

If you have any comments or suggestions about the workbook, or anything else about the blog, I would love to hear from you.. just email me at SomethingtoDiscover@outlook.com

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Northwest Flower and Garden Show was inspirational!

I go to the Northwest Flower and Garden show every year and its my ""happy place" for about the 2 months prior. I like garden shows because they do more than educate me, more than "help" me buy things I "need" for the garden... fundamentally it gives me the inspiration I need to move form the planning stage of winter to the doing stage of spring. The NWFGS had beautiful display gardens with the theme of our National Parks and historical landmarks. One in particular (pictured left) did a great job of bringing Yosemite down into micro scale while making you feel like you were really there and just viewing from a distance (instead of looking at a 50x30 foot space). Garden shows are great for finding garden art and getting ideas for what you can re-create on your own at home. Many of the lectures are DIY oriented and i went to canning (with Teresa Loe from Living Homegrown), lacto-fermenting (with Erica Strauss from NW Edible Life), as well as seminars of containers and perennials for all seasons. I recommend everyone attend a garden show in the spring... even if your town has a small show it will get your gardening juices flowing!

growing-series-carrots infographic 1

Don't you love eating carrots???

Is your families eating habits like mine... a little picky??? For my family carrots and lettuce are the two vegetables we all eat and like so we have plenty of salads! And as a result I have been growing carrots for quite a while and gathered lots of articles as well as personal experience. I decided to wrote and infographic(see side picture) summarizing the key planting steps for growing carrots but also put together a comprehensive guide to carrots with my notes and tips/tricks to grow carrots with ease and success!

One new thing I did this last year was grow a crop of fall carrots and let them stay in the ground all winter. We did have a mild winter here in the Pacific Northwest... but we had one 6-day period of consistent below freezing temps and a few other nights with below freezing weather. And they came through it perfect. I can now confirm with my own experience that carrots DO taste better after they have experienced a freeze. They are both sweeter and crisper & crunchier

There is science to back it up... during a freeze the cells of most plants push water out to prevent ice crystals from forming and injuring the cell walls. But at the same time sugars are being made from reserve starches and the glucose and fructose replace the water and act as an "anti-freeze" and making the carrot super sweet.

podcasts for gardeners

Podcast watch

I normally let you know of a new podcast or episode from a podcast I think you all should listen to. But this month I actually did an article on a bunch (43 actually!) of podcasts I think are worthwhile for gardeners and homesteader to listen to.

So if you are new to podcasts check out my article, 43 useful podcasts to energize gardeners now! There i a link to learning how to start listening to podcasts and then 43 suggestions of gardening, cooking, organics, and crafts/DIY podcasts you might find educational and entertaining.

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Tasks in the garden in February!

My tulips are about 6 inches out of the ground... spring is almost really here

Plant outside now: Pea seeds, radish, lettuce/arugula/spinach, spring garlic (if you forgot fall garlic), onion sets
Remove hellebore leaves to allow the blooms to show and take center stage.
Look for perennials that should be divided this year... and do so if the ground isn't too hard or wet to work in.
Plant bare roots trees now if you can work the soil. Bare root trees (berries and roses too) are less expensive and starting them now gives them a great start on the year. For fruit trees the Northwest go-to nursery isRaintree Nursery.
Do a final dormant spray on your fruits trees to prevent fungus and insect problems. You can do this when the fruit tree's buds haven't opened but do begin to swell and break. Use organic dormant sprays (using lime-sulfur and dormant spray oil).
Prune roses and spray with horticultural oil if you desire. I pruned last weekend as my roses had already started to grow quite a bit with our warm winter this year.
Harvest any plants still in the veggie patch... they will soon bolt and try to set seed
Fertilize acid loving trees and shrubs.
If using cloches, low tunnels, or other season extending products get them ready now. Warm up soil by placing dark plastic over the raised bed or area to be planted soon (not clear plastic which still allows light for weeds to germinate).
Weed (I know, I hate doing it too. But the soil is wet now and they will come out easily).
Get the lawn mower/lawn tractor tuned up now
Pickup seed packets for vegetables and flowers if you haven't already.
Clean up debris and any dead or dying plants. Now is a good time to pull those blackberries that "volunteer" in the garden.

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Posts you might not have seen recently

Making and peeling hard boiled eggs from super fresh straight from the chicken eggs.

Onions 101 - simple techniques to easy nutritious flavorful onions

20 Garden photography tips Check out some of my own photography and learn tips for better garden photographs

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