Wednesday, September 9

Garden Pic Wednesday: Fall Zinnia's!

I spotted another new Amy Canary melon today! The vines seem to be so much more productive now, then earlier this spring! Also, as this time of year, insect problems can be less.
My remaining Miracle-Gro had turned to blue water, so I used it up  giving all my flowers, containers & garden a "fall feed." That helps all the bulb flowers, day lilies, regular lilies iris, hydrangeas and so on perform better in spring. (Fortunately, the Miracle-gro is in a plastic liner inside it's box.)
I also planted my remaining Atlas carrot seeds in a patio container today.
Park Seed had a free-shipping special over Labor Day Weekend, so I ordered some seed. The majority is for next spring, but I got some beets and Romaine lettuce for right now.
It's already shipped. I should be able to plant it next week!

Today's Garden Pics: Fall Zinnia's
Both these Zinnia's pictured were volunteers, coming up in various locations on their own. I prefer Zinnia's with a pretty stack of petal layers--like this one pictured!  This vermilion colored one is my favorite, though it's got mildew on it's leaves that is slowly devouring it. (You can see the brown spots.)
I have saved several nice heads for seed, though.This particular Zinnia is located near the bird feeder by the veggie garden.

Next: My Pink Zinnia!
This one came up in the strawberry bed, far away from the orange one above. You can see by it's nice green leaves it has fared better and isn't sick. It's heads are also very nicely stacked and I've saved several for seed.
It's so tall, this particular Zinnia is a single stalk that has fallen over on the grown. It's about 4 feet tall. With Zinnia's, any stem touching the ground simply roots and it just keeps on blooming!

You might wonder how to save Zinnia's for seed?
It's fairly simple, but you have to keep in mind saved seed from garden flowers may or may not perform well, because they may or may not have been pollinated adequately by bees.
It's a good idea to wait until the heads you want to collect start looking old to be sure they've been well visited by bees.
To save Zinnia seed:
Choose an older head, cut the stem making sure it's 4 or 5 inches long, then put your chosen stems in an empty glass so the heads hang along the edge of the glass and let them air dry.
Then, when thoroughly dry, snip the dried heads off into a suitable sized envelope you've written the month/year on, seal and put away somewhere you'll remember to plant them next spring.
That's it.
That is one thing I did order for next spring: Zinnia's! They really attract the bees & butterflies and because I didn't have hardly any this year, my bee & butterfly visitor count was way down!
Do stop back Friday for Friday Finds! My topic will be cool ways to prep your family photos for template use in things like photo cards!

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