Starting Nectar Plants

Heather sows the seeds of nectar plants while the fur-babies look on. No, there is no food here for you!

So many things in life require good project management skills, certainly growing plants requires advanced planning and attention. Yesterday, I started yarrow and salvia plants. They require 6 to 10 weeks of lead time for growth before the last frost. Despite what the books say about when the last frost is here in Hornitos, I use my experience. There always seems to be a last cold storm in April. I never plant seedlings outdoors before the second week of April.

Nursery plants are expensive. To make this project more economical, I am trying to grow as many nectar plants as I can in advance. I will likely need to purchase some older ones for the first planting, but I may have many larger plants to put into the ground in the Fall.

Cow Pots packaging for those interested.

To grow the seedlings, I am using small pots made from manure. I found these neat small pots at a nursery store and LOVE the idea of using cow waste as pots. The manure provides nutrients and the pot degrades within the first year. I checked out their website. They are a dairy farm on the East Coast that is really focused on sustainability. They have a certification for humane treatment of animals. The dairy is not organic certified, but I am thinking it is better than plastic pots and peat moss for a variety of reasons. I sent them some questions that I did not see answered on the website – so I may have more to report on using these in future posts.

Potted seeds in the “greenhouse” – otherwise known as my master bedroom.

Once the seeds are potted, they need to be kept indoors for the 6-10 weeks. The best place for that is my master bedroom. It is located on the southeast of the house and has a floor to almost ceiling sliding door. The seeds will receive water daily, direct sun exposure for part of the day and heat throughout the day. When my husband saw me bringing the table in, then grabbing our cookie sheets and broiler pan base, then bringing in the manure pots with seeds – he said “What are you doing?!” I told him not to worry, the pots don’t smell and I will scrub the sheets with boiling water after 10 weeks. Ten weeks? Oh, if I had a photo of his face to share…! He just shook his head and left the room. He must love me.

If you want to check out the pots, go to

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