Friday, February 19th, 2021

BEST INDOOR FERNS FOR EVERY ROOM

Ferns are our latest plant obsession!

The lush green foliage and unique varieties within this plant family can’t be beat! Ferns have become one of the most popular indoor plants in the past few years, but did you know they were also quite favoured during the Victorian era? Perhaps one reason for their popularity over the centuries is their fantastical ability to turn our homes into a lush, tranquil place. Let’s take a look at what ferns need to be their beautiful best.

Lighting 

Like most indoor plants, ferns do not like direct sunlight. In nature, ferns grow on the forest floor under the canopy of dense trees, so they have a natural tendency to prefer shade. Indoors, they’ll be happy in any room that gives them dim, indirect light.

Moisture

Ferns are not difficult to grow indoors provided you know and understand their need for humidity.  That’s easy to achieve in summer, but humidity in our winter homes is scarce. Ferns LOVE moisture and as such are a great choice for humid rooms, such as the bathroom. In addition to regular watering, your fern will appreciate frequent misting and even a nearby tabletop fountain or humidity tray. 

Drainage 

The other critical issue for all ferns is soil moisture.  While most tropical plants prefer to dry out between waterings, ferns want their soil to be consistently moist.  If their soil becomes too dry, you’ll likely notice that their leaves will slightly yellow. Ferns grown indoors will do well in basically any container that provides good drainage.

Ferns, ferns, ferns  –  so many varieties!

 

Boston Fern

Easily the most popular type of fern, these lush, graceful green foliage reaches the same width as height, so make sure you give it plenty of space. Growing Boston ferns in hanging baskets allow the fronds to cascade, accenting their true beauty. Boston fern is a favourite hanging plant for summertime enjoyment. They’re also one of the most effective houseplants for removing air pollutants. Boston ferns need a cool place with high humidity and indirect light. If you notice yellowing leaves, it needs more moisture. In winter, bring the plant indoors and do your best to add as much humidity to your indoor environment as you can!

Boston Ferns

Rabbits Foot Fern

Rabbits Foot Fern is another fun variety with a quirky look.  Its foliage is finely textured and delicate looking, but the best part is its fuzzy stems! They emerge from the plant’s base and cascade over the edge of the container – irresistible not to touch!

Rabbits Foot Fern

Kimberly Queen Fern 

We love this beauty! The Kimberly Queen Fern is a robust variety that can grow to 3 feet tall. Since these plants grow vertically and can become quite tall, consider a larger container for them. Kimberly Queen Ferns are one of our favourite choices for outdoor summer planters – in the shade of course!

Kimberly Queen fern

Staghorn Fern 

One of our favourite fern varieties is Staghorn Fern.  Its uniquely weird foliage extends out from the plant base and stretches forward in the shape of antlers.  In the wild, Staghorn Fern grows on the bark of trees and catches its needed moisture from rain, dew and tree bark. These plants don’t require soil! Staghorn Ferns can be attached to barnboard or pieces of bark or driftwood, using sphagnum moss and wire to attach them. To water, you can either mist them or better yet, completely submerge the entire plant arrangement into a bucket of water, drain well, and rehang. You can also grow Staghorn ferns in a pot – just make sure it dries slightly between waterings. 

Staghorn fern

Maidenhair Fern 

This variety is quite delicate and needs slightly more maintenance. Maidenhair ferns require high humidity and constantly damp soil. Its fine foliage and colour contrasts in the stem make it an interesting little plant on its own. It tends to remain quite small, making it a popular choice for terrariums. 

maidenhair ferns indoor pots

Bird’s Nest Fern

This plant has long fronds that are not divided like others. As the name suggests, the Bird’s Nest Fern looks similar to a bird’s nest as its long fronds grow and unfurl. We really love this fern because its thick leaves make it a fern that’s tougher than most. It’s considered non-toxic, making it safe to keep around your pets, and offers a vibrant pop of green to any space.  

Bird's Nest Fern indoor pot

Foxtail Fern

Also known as Asparagus fern, these plants look fragile, but are quite hardy. Foxtail ferns are not true ferns, though they are commonly clumped into this plant family. These ferns can be enjoyed and grown indoors, as well as outdoors in the summer months as an excellent container plant.

Foxtail Fern

 

Visit our greenhouse and pick out a new fern for your plant family – today!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

SEED STARTING FOR A NEW WORLD

There’s no better time to start seeds than now!

While we’re responsibly isolating at home, our new mission here at Shelmerdine is to offer ways for you and your loved ones to pass this time joyfully while connecting with nature! There are few acts that are filled with as much hope and promise as starting your own seeds at home. Within days, you’ll see tiny green baby sprouts emerging from the soil –  joy! A few more weeks and you’ll be thinning and repotting them – fun! Soon, with the sun on your face and your fingers in the soil, you’ll be planting these seedlings into your garden. And finally, in a moment where it feels like the whole world holds its breath for you, you’ll pluck the most gorgeous, juicy tomato off the vine, and bite into the crunchiest, sweetest carrot that you’ve ever tasted – life giving!

Just take a moment to imagine how good this make you will feel.

We’d be remiss not to observe how the Covid-19 pandemic has been a wakeup call in terms of how reliant we are on our food supply chain. Most of our fresh produce comes up from the US and Mexico, so as Canadians, our food supply chain is vulnerable. This moment in time is an opportunity to take control of how and where we get our food from. Wouldn’t you like to become more self-reliant, to save money, and to reap the healthy benefits of growing your own fruits and vegetables? Wouldn’t you love to legacy your children, and their children, with the skills and knowledge they need to grow their own food, today and forever?

Let’s start today!

1. Make a list of what you want to grow. This part is easy. What do you like to eat? Once you’ve decided this, it’s time to select the seed varieties you want to grow from our Bulbs & Seeds catalogue in our webshop. This is where the fun begins – there are so many varieties, from organic to heirloom and common everyday favorites. If you need ideas advice or ideas, ask your parents or grandparents – they have this knowledge and they would love to hear your voice right now!

2. Prepare the basics . . . 

SEED STARTING MIX is a special blend that’s ideal for sprouting seeds. You simply cannot expect successful germination of seeds without Seed Starting Mix. This lightweight blend holds enough water for seeds to germinate in, but allows essential oxygen to flow and delicate roots to easily penetrate the soil. Do not use regular potting soil, it’s just not fine enough for seeds to germinate and root in.

CONTAINERS can be anything from empty yogurt containers to small, inexpensive peat pots. Whatever you use, be sure to poke holes in the bottom for drainage, so that your seeds are not over-watered. Alternatively, you can plant directly into peat pellets – these little guys are amazing! They’re biodegradable and can be planted directly into the garden when the time comes. It’s also handy to set all of your seedling containers onto plastic trays so you can easily move them around and protect surfaces from water.

HEAT, not light, is needed for seeds to germinate.  Consider setting your containers on top of radiators, fridges, or ideally, a Heat Mat.   If your seeds don’t have enough warmth, they won’t germinate. Once planted, cover containers with a clear plastic dome, or with a layer of plastic film. Poke a few holes in the plastic with a toothpick for ventilation. This will create a biodome of heat for the seeds to germinate in.

MOISTURE is essential to seed starting. The best way to water seeds and seedlings is with a gentle spray bottle, like a reused windex bottle. They dispense water gently without causing too much soil disruption. You’ll have to check on your seedlings twice a day to make sure they don’t dry out. Set a timer so you don’t forget! The clear plastic dome or plastic film will also help to keep moisture in.

3. Timing is everything. Different seeds germinate at different rates, so you’ll want to start your seeds according to their ‘days to maturity’. This is the time it takes between germination and harvest time. Days to maturity is always indicated on the seed packet, but we highly suggest that you consult our favorite Seed Starting Chart before planting your seeds.

4. It’s time to plant! Fill your clean containers with moistened Seed Starting Mix. Next, plant your seeds at the depth listed on the seed packet, and cover them gently with a light layer of mix. We know you’re excited, but do not plant the whole packet at once! In most cases there are more seeds in the packet than the average household can manage at harvest time. Share excess seeds with your friends, or store them – most seeds can keep up to 3 years. Check on the seedlings daily, making sure to keep the seed starting mix moist but not saturated. Think of the mix as a damp sponge that contains both water and air.

5. Label your containers. This is very important. There’s nothing more frustrating than forgetting what you planted! Seedlings can look the same, and in order to plant out your garden you’ll need to know who is who!

6. Get ready for growth. Once the seedlings emerge from the soil, it’s time to move them into a bright, sunny spot for 6-8 hours of direct sun per day. Cool room temperatures are best for young seedlings. You’ll get sturdier, stockier seedlings if you grow them at temperatures in the high 60s. At higher room temperatures, seedlings may get leggy and weak. Using our favorite local and organic Seedling Fertilizer, start to fertilize once per week, once the sprouts have one or two sets of leaves.

7. Once seedlings have two sets of leaves, it’s time to thin. Unlike the hair on our heads, thinning seedlings is welcomed! You want one seedling per pot, so choose the healthiest, strongest-looking seedling to keep. Snip the other seedlings off at the soil line and discard them.

8. You got this! Our team is ready to take your orders for seeds and seed starting supplies! Ordering is easy when you use our Bulbs & Seeds catalogue in our webshop. Contactless curbside pickup is available Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 4pm, and citywide delivery is also available.

We also want to encourage you to visit our friends at Westcoast Seeds in BC. They’re the most amazing humans, and their website is an absolute treasure chest of seed starting, veggie growing, and garden planning information.

Stay home, be safe! Sending you love, inspiration, and positivity!

Hours of Inspiration

Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 9am-5pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm

Shelmerdine Garden Centre Ltd.

7800 Roblin Boulevard
Headingley, MB R4H 1B6

Phone: 204.895.7203
Toll Free: 1.888.895.0032
Fax: 204.895.4372
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