Kitchen Garden Seeds

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Foxglove

Digitalis. A cottage garden favorite from yesteryear, the stately yet whimsical Foxglove adds a charming old-world beauty to summer gardens. A tall, self-seeding biennial perfect for the back of gardens or tall structural clusters, Digitalis benefits from periodic dead-heading, for which you will be rewarded with productive side shoots and a second bloom. Preferring a bit of protection from full day, direct sunlight, Digitalis may be started indoors ten weeks prior to transplanting out into the garden two weeks before the last spring frost date. It prefers rich, well-draining soil with consistent watering and a light covering of mulch. An excellent cut flower, Digitalis may surprise you with new clusters in subsequent years as the wind or birds carry its prolific seed through the garden. Bee friendly. Deer resistant. Biennial. Hardiness zones: 4-10. Spring to summer flowering.

Average seed life: 2 years.

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Gardening Tips

Foxglove Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/8”
Seed Spacing:2”-3”
Plant Spacing:18”-24”
Days to Germination:14-21 days
Germination Temperature:70°F

Digitalis purpurea. These classic cottage flowers thrive in partial shade. It is best to start them indoors 10 to 12 weeks before setting out. Sow seed thinly and shallowly, as light aids germination. Keep moist and provide warmth and strong light. Transplant to larger, deeper pots so their root systems can develop fully once the seedlings are about 2" tall. When the plants reach 5" to 6" tall, “harden them off” by gradually exposing the plants to the outdoors for 7 to 10 days. Transplant them outside up to 2 weeks before last frost date. Plant in rich, well-draining soil. Keep watered and mulched; do not let them dry out. If you want to cut them for bouquets, wait until the bottom third of the flowers on the spike have opened. Cutting them back and deadheading them will encourage side shoots and second blooms to develop. Height: 4' to 5'.

Shade Tolerance

Our Pollinators are in Peril

Managing Biennials
Deciding how to treat annuals and perennials is simple. Annuals dazzle you in summer, then take their leave. Perennials persist as long as they are welcome. But biennials are a two year proposition in which they are sown one year and bloom the next. If you have never tried biennials you might ask, “Are they worth it? I wait a year for this thing to flower, then it’s gone.” Well, not exactly. Biennials tend to be self-sowers which, once established, create their own little program. You have to get with their rhythm and learn to like their individualistic ways. One way is to give them a designated spot. Plant Hollyhocks in the rear of a bed, since they’re tall, and next year they’ll make colorful, towering spires, dropping their seeds and creating a Hollyhock neighborhood back there. A Foxglove neighborhood might be a spot with dappled shade, in and around a shrub border. Forget-Me-Nots will congregate in a damp spot. Lupines, once introduced, might reappear anywhere; if it’s the wrong place just yank the ones that don’t fit and enjoy the rest.