BLOOMING CRACKERS

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Blooming Crackers bring sustainability, style and seeds to your Christmas table…The crackers are made from 100% recycled card printed with 2 botanical designs (3 of each) and are tied up with paper raffia ribbon – meaning the whole cracker is recyclable. 

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Each box includes 6 filled crackers; containing a snap, paper hat, terrible joke (!) and a packet of seeds (6 x various) to be planted and enjoyed. (colour of hats may differ from those pictured)

There are a mixture of flower and vegetable seed gifts in every box, these are packaged in biodegradable glassine bags and each feature a QR code leading to full planting instructions.

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Each seed packet asks you to scan a QR code for planing instructions – please see guidance for each variety of seed below.

Also please do share images of your blooms/crops on Instagram with #bloomingcrackers or tag @laura.likes

PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS:

BEETROOT PABLO F1: An excellent variety producing a reliable crop of smooth-skinned, round roots with a dark red skin with an excellent flavour. Can be picked early or tinned as succulent baby beets as well as mature roots.

  • Sow seeds in situ in Spring after the last frost when the ground has warmed up
  • and then plant successive sowings to early summer.
  • Thinly sow 1cm deep in rows 30cm apart.
  • Thin seedlings to 8cm apart.
  • Early sowings can be made indoors / heated greenhouse in modules /
  • trays and planted out at 5cm tall after all risk of frost has passed.
  • Pre soaking seed in warm water 0.5 – 1 hour before sowing will speed up germination.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH ‘HUNTER F1’: Bred specifically for the UK / Northern European climate this variety delivers outstanding crops over a variety of UK summer conditions with very high yields per plant.

  • A sunny spot protected from strong winds is essential.
  • The soil must be well drained and rich in humus, the more the better.  I fill each hole at least 12” square with garden compost and paper at the bottom into which goes a single plant. For bush varieties 24in between each plant is fine – 48in for vines.
  • Many winter Squash / Pumpkins like to sprawl out and need plenty of space. Vining Squash / Pumpkins require a larger area to run, whilst semi-vining and bush varieties of winter squash / courgette can be well contained.  If space is tight just keep turning the branches back to the centre to prevent spreading and over-running other plants.

CORNFLOWER ‘BLUE BOY’ : Easily grown cottage garden annual that is drought resistant and grows to a height of 80mm-100mm.

Days To Germination: 5-10 days

Optimum Soil Temp. for Germination: 60F-70F

Planting Depth: 1/8 to ¼ inch

Spacing, Seed: 3-6 inch

Spacing, Plant: 10 to 12 inches

Plant Height: 24-36 inches

Light:  Full Sun/Partial Shade

  • Seeds can be started indoors 4 to 6 weeks before last spring frost.
  • Or direct-sow seeds outside after all danger of frost has passed to a depth of 1/8 to ¼ inch, well pressed as darkness aids in germination.
  • Tolerates a variety of soil types.
  • When seedlings are 2 to 3 inches high, thin to 10 to 12 inches apart.
  • Replant thinned plants.

COSMOS BIPINNATUS ‘GLORIA’ : Heavy blooming, rose-pink flowers with crimson centre, tall variety that can grow up to 4 ft.

Days To Germination: 5-10

Planting Depth:  1/4 inch

Spacing, Plant: 12 inches

Plant Height: 36-48 inches

Light:  Full Sun

  • Sow early indoors / under cover with warmth 4-6 weeks prior to the last frost in individual pots or trays.
  • Cover seed with 1/4 inch fine soil. Keep soil moderately moist and warm during germination.
  • Can be sown directly outdoors after danger of frost has passed through early summer.
  • Thin or transplant to 12 inches apart when plants are 2 to 3 inches tall.
  • Gradually acclimatise outside after all danger of frost has passed.
  • Cosmos grows best in full sun in ordinary garden soil and may re-sow itself.
  • Fairly drought resistant, water only when soil is dry for an extended period.

HOLLYHOCK ‘ANTWERP’ MIX: A true hardy perennial, reaches 6-7 feet, producing large 3-5in single saucer shaped flowers across a wide colour range of yellow, copper, pink, red, and white.

  • Days To Germination: 14-21 days.
  • Sow in pots/ trays from early spring to late summer germinating at a minimum of 65F.
  • Alternatively sow directly in soil after all danger of frost has passed to a depth of 1/16 of an inch and cover with fine soil.
  • Keep soil moderately moist during germination.
  • When 2-3 inches, thin to 18 to 24 inches apart, transplant thinning’s.
  • Feed during the Spring.
  • Cut established plants back after blooming

GARDEN PEA ‘RONDO’ : An outstanding Main crop variety , straight long pods with an average of 10 peas per pod. Height: 75cm (30″). Spread: 25cm (10″).

  • Plant where peas have not been grown for 2 seasons, digging in well rotted organic matter.
  • Sow Mar – Jun 2” deep in 6” wide rows 2 inches apart.
  • The distance between the rows should equal the expected height of the variety.
  • Avoid sowing during any cold or very wet periods
  • Protect immediately from birds.
  • Keep weed free.
  • Provide support by 3 inches tall.
  • Pick regularly to maintain yields.

LETTUCE / MIXED LEAF MESCULIN : Includes green and red cutting lettuce, Rocket, Tatsoi, Mizuna, Red Giant Mustard and Red Russian Kale

Days To Germination: 7-14 days

Ideal Soil Temp. for Germination: 40F to 75F

Days To Harvest: 30-75 days

Planting Depth: 1/8 inch

 Seed: ¼ inch

 Row: 12-18 inches

 Plant: 10-12 inches

Light: Sunny Location

  • Lettuce is hardy and you can plant as soon as the soil can be worked.
  • You can direct seed to a depth of 1/8 inch, and firm soil gently.
  • Or can be started indoors 2 to 3 weeks before last frost.
  • Also can be sown in the autumn for a late harvest.
  • When seedlings are 1 to 2 inches high, thin/transplant to 10 to 12 inches apart.
  • Replant thinned plants.
  • Harvest with scissors 1 inch above soil line when plants are 4 to 6 inches high.
  • Most varieties will grow back.
  • Sow every 2-3 weeks for a continuous supply of fresh lettuce.
  • In dry weather,
  • keep soil moist and during germination.
  • Grows best in cooler weather.

NASTURTIUM ‘TROPAEOLUM JEWEL MIX’: A hardy annual growing to 12-14” with large Semi-double 2-2½” flowers held high above the foliage in mix of bright colours including crimson-red, scarlet-orange, gold and sulphur yellow. Likes full sun.

Planting Depth: 1/8-¼  inch. Spacing, Plant:  12-24 inches.

  • Sow indoors / heated propagator from 3-4 weeks before the last spring frost or sow directly outdoors , in full sun ,after all danger of frost has passed.
  • Germination requires 65F.
  • Keep soil moist  during germination
  • Cover with 1/8 to ¼ inch of fine soil.  When seedlings are 2-3 inches high, thin/transplant to 12-24 inches apart.
  • Replant thinned plants.
  • Plant in sandy, well-drained soil.
  • Do not fertilize. Enriched soil tends to promote more foliage than flowers.

POPPY NUDICAULE ICELAND MIX : Bi-annual poppy in mixed shades of red, pink, orange and yellow. Best when massed in large groups. Days to germination: 5-14. Planting Depth: 1/16 – 1/8 inch.

  • Plant in a sunny location with well drained soil.  Plant seed directly outdoors in early-mid spring.
  • Cultivate soil, mix seeds with a cup of sand and broadcast lightly over planting area. Lightly rake into soil or cover with light soil to a depth of 1/16 to 1/8 inch.
  • Can be sown in autumn in mild winter areas.
  • “Papaver” do need a period of chill / exposure to cold once sown to germinate which breaks the seeds dormancy.
  •  This can also be achieved by placing placing in a fridge for 10-14 days prior to sowing.
  •  If not chilled the seeds will remain dormant until the following spring.
  • When plants are 2 inches high, thin to 6 to 8 inches apart. Does not transplant well.
  • Keep soil moderately moist during germination.  Once plants are well established, water only as needed.
  • For cut flowers, cut stem just before buds open and sear stem end in flame immediately.
  • This plant will re-sow itself if left to seed.

SPRING ONION / TOKYO LONG WHITE SPRING : Excellent for salads and garnishes. Suitable for summer and autumn harvests.

Days to Germination: 10-14.

Days To Harvest: 60-120.

Planting Depth: 1/2″.

Spacing, Row: 12-18 inches.

Spacing, Plant: 2-3 inches.

Light: Full Sun or Partial Shade.

  • For the finest onions,
  • sow seed directly outdoors, depth 1/4 to 1/2 inch,
  • in full sun to partial shade and well drained soil
  • as soon as the ground can be worked in Spring.
  • Planting Space rows 12 inches apart.
  • Scatter seed in the row at the rate of 3 seeds per inch.
  • Seed can be started indoors 8-10 weeks before transplanting outdoors.
  • When transplanting, clip plants to three inches and plant 2 inches deep.
  • When seedlings are 3 inches high, thin to stand 2 to 3 inches apart.
  • Harvest young plants in 60 days or up to 120 days for mature plants.
  • Fertile, moist soil enriched with compost is best for onion production.

SPINACH PERPETUAL: A perfect alternative spinach crop to avoid the most common problem of bolting during summer for many varieties.  Spinach Perpetual is succulent, prolific and very hardy, suitable for autumn and winter crops too.

  • Planting Depth:  1/2 inch
  • Spacing, Row:  12-18 inches
  • Spacing, plants: Sow 12-18 seeds per foot
  • Light:  Sunny Location
  • Spinach germinates best in cool soil.
  • Sow Mar – Apr & Sep – Oct
  • Sow about 6-12 seeds per foot, 1/2 inch deep, in rows 12-18 inches apart and thin when large enough.
  • Gradually thin to 6-9 in apart as they grow.
  • Harvest young spinach leaves during growth and full-size.
  • Protect during harsh cold spells and from winter birds for a harvest over winter
  • Spinach grows on a wide range of soils if moist and fertile, but is sensitive to acidity.

SUNFLOWER AUTUMN BEAUTY: multi-headed 4 to 8 inch blossoms on 6-8’ strong stemmed plants. Autumn Beauty colours are a mixture of reds, browns, mahogany, orange & gold. Likes full sun.

Days To Germination:  14-21 days. Optimum Soil Temp. for Germination: 68F-86F. Planting Depth: 1/4  inch. Spacing, Seed: 4-6 inch. Spacing, Plant: 24-36 inches.

  • Seeds can be started indoors 3 to 4 weeks before last spring frost.
  • Or direct-sow seeds outside after all danger of frost has passed to a depth of 1/4 inch. Can be sown as late as 100 days before last frost.
  • When seedlings are 2 to 3 inches high, thin to individual pots. Replant thinned plants.
  • Protect from Snails / Slugs whilst young.
  • Steadily harden off before planting out after all danger of frost has passed.
  • May require staking / support in exposed postions.

SUNFLOWER ‘MONGOLIAN GIANT’: A true giant reaching up to 420cm (14ft) tall with one of the largest flowering sunflower seed heads available which can achieve up to 45cm (18in) across. Not suitable for exposed sites and will need support.

Planting Depth: 1/4 inch. Spacing, Seed: 4-6 inch Spacing, Plant: 24-36 inches

  • Seeds can be started indoors 3 to 4 weeks before last spring frost.
  • Or direct-sow seeds outside after all danger of frost has passed to a depth of 1/4 inch.
  • Can be sown as late as 100 days before last frost.
  • When seedlings are 2 to 3 inches high, thin to individual pots. Replant thinned plants.
  • Steadily harden off before planting out after all danger of frost has passed.
  • These will require staking / support in all but the most sheltered locations.

SWEET PEA ‘ROYAL FAMILY’ MIX: A popular and reliable variety producing an abundance of beautiful and long lasting highly-fragrant flowers across a wide range of bright colour shades.

  • Seed is best started undercover from 4-6 weeks before last frost in pots,
  • thinning to individual plants when large enough (transplant the thinning’s).
  • Cover seeds with 1 inch of soil.
  • Soaking seeds overnight can aid germination, although not essential.
  • Keep soil moderately moist during germination.
  • Pinch the top of the growing shoot out when 2 inches high to encourage stronger side shoots.
  • Transplant when young seedlings are about 2 inches high and after all danger of frost has passed.
  • Space 6-12 inches apart.
  • Provide netting or trellis for support when plant is 3-6 inches tall.
  • Please note, especially around children – these seeds are poisonous if ingested.

TOMATO ALICANTE: A cordon variey that bears medium sized fruits with a superb sweet flavour.  Performs well both under glass or outdoors in a sheltered sunny location. Height: 200cm.

  • Sow in spring 1/16 inch deep.  Germination takes around 6-14 days at 65-75F.
  • Transplant the seedlings when large enough to handle into 3 inch pots.  Grow on under cooler conditions and when about 8 inches tall, either plant in their growing position in the greenhouse or gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions and plant out 18 inches apart in a warm and sunny spot in moist, fertile well drained soil and keep watered.

WALLFLOWER ‘ENGLISH FAIR LADY’ MIX: Very popular spring bedding flower. A neat, uniform free flowering mix of bright colours including pastel and rusty tones. Flowers spring. Height 30-40cm.

  • Sow from last frost until August at ¼ inch depth. Germination temperature 20°C (68°F).
  • Germination should take place within 3 weeks.
  • If sowing in trays, prick out into small pots / trays until time to transplant or sow thinly direct into a nursery bed and thin out when large enough to handle to encourage strong plants..
  • Keep weed free and moist during hot periods. (Note Wallflowers are susceptible to Club root in acid soils)
  • In autumn plants should be moved to their final flowering position for the following spring. Space plants approx. 12 inches apart and pinch out growing tips to encourage bushy growth.
  • Plants should be removed at the end of spring once flowering has finished and replaced by annuals for succession of colour. The plant may survive to the following year if pruned back heavily, but will look unsightly at first.