Growing Buckeye from Seed (Aesculus pavia)

A couple years ago I bought a fantastic native plant at a local native plant nursery. It was a red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) and is great for attracting everyone's favorite tiny garden visitor, the hummingbird. The flower clusters are red (you probably expected that from the name: red buckeye) and tubular. The red buckeye grows best in partial shade as an understory tree. I planted ours near the shed in an area that receives shade most of the day. It had some blooms this year and I discovered today it had produced four ripe seeds to plant this fall. Which of course meant I now had to try growing buckeye from seed! Growing buckeye from seed: I've been watching the seeds form over the summer. Today the seed pods were splitting to reveal light brown seeds almost the size of a golf ball. The outer coating was smooth and shiny.…

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Think Ahead About the Spring Garden – Create a Garden Schedule

We're still in the middle of winter and the weather outside is bitter cold as I'm writing this post but that doesn't mean gardening should be out of your mind. Now is the perfect time to get your garden plan together for 2016 so that you can maximize your yields and minimize your workload! Today I'll walk you through my typical time frame each year for planning my garden. As a part of your garden plan you should create a garden schedule to guide you through the season. My garden is in Spring Hill, TN which is a zone 6b-7 so you may have to adjust your garden plan schedule to match your local area. Create a Garden Schedule Dates and Timing The first step to create a garden schedule is to look for the key dates. The first date to take note of is your area's last frost date.…

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Germinating Japanese Maple Seeds in a Plastic Bag

I love a nice Japanese maple! Who doesn't? There are Japanese maples  with variegated leaves, ones with deep burgundy colors, others with interesting shaped leaves that are highly dissected and many other kinds. The fall color on a Japanese is almost always guaranteed to be something special.  Their highly ornamental nature makes them very popular trees in the landscape. Last summer I gathered up quite a few seeds from a 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) located in my mom's garden with the idea that I would grow more Japanese maples from seed. Collecting Japanese Maple Seeds I collected the seeds from the tree when they had turned reddish in color which was on July 10, 2012. I placed them in a plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel (important: not soaking wet, just slightly damp).  Then I put the bag of Japanese maple seed in the refrigerator to stratify.  Stratification is the cold…

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