Meadow Making with Wildflowers

Meadow Making with Wildflowers

Meadow Making with Wildflowers is easy and fun! 

Meadows, better known as grasslands, fields or prairies, are typically wide-open naturalized spaces usually comprised of Grasses, Asteraceae and Legumes, including other plants scattered throughout that have self-seeded, been wind dispersed, or serendipitously added by passing birds, animals and humans. Meadows are joyful and easy to create at home!

K Rawlins
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10 Essential Microgreens To Sow, Grow & Self Nourish!

10 Essential Microgreens To Sow, Grow & Self Nourish!

Microgreens are extremely popular for anyone looking for the ultimate in nutrition with very little required effort and are a perfect option for those looking to grow year round inside, and weather permitting, outside in containers.

Microgreens are considered a ‘superfood’ - they are super high in nutrition despite their teeny size, and can be eaten with or on almost anything, and make an excellent addition to salads, soups, and sandwiches.  Microgreens are used as a garnish dishes or added to smoothies, juices, and other blends to add flavour and pack a nutrient rich punch!

Microgreens can be easily grown in a home environment, which is another reason why they are so popular. There are hundreds of types of nutritious microgreens to grow and eat.                             

Microgreens can be grown from any type of herb or vegetable seed and are all nutritious, and some more than others, as some microgreens have higher levels of vitamins or minerals. Cilantro, green daikon radish, and red cabbage, for example, have the highest amounts of vitamins C, K, and E compared to 21 other varieties of microgreens according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Are Microgreens Sprouts?

Microgreens differ than sprouts as they have a longer germination period and do not require full immersion in water to grow. Microgreens are simply smaller vegetable greens (compared to fully matured greens); they maintain a small size but are packed with many essential nutrients. 

All microgreens are grown using either soil or use of a hydroponic system. Hydroponics is a water based method for growing plants in a nutrient rich solution that does not use soil; the roots are supported by inert medium such as rock wool, clay pellets, perlite or vermiculite. This is said to allow the roots to be in direct contact with the nutrient solution and has access to oxygen which is essential for proper growth.

If you choose to use soil, it’s important to calculate the seeding rate for best results.

  • Seeding rate = the number of germinating seeds plus their weight.

Microgreens can be grown in any type of container; the best option is one that will provide air and moisture without too much or too little of either. There is a universal growing guideline for growing microgreens, each one may require a specific method over another. The germination and harvest rate also differs from one microgreen to another. 

Bumbleseeds Choice for The 10 Best Essential Microgreens:


Sunflower microgreens are one of the best foods to add to your diet to benefits your overall health and wellbeing, and they are highly nutritious:

  • Lowers blood cholesterol
  • Regulates hormones
  • Provide essential amino acids
  • High content of Vitamins A, B, D and E
  • Contain Beta-Caretone, Lutein, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Phosphorus
  • Sunflower microgreens are low in calories.

Soaking: YES; 12 hours (8-24 hrs recommended)

Germination: typically within 1-2 days

Harvest: 7 to 10 days

Tips: The average seeding rate for sunflower microgreens are about 125 grams, this is based on a 10” by 20” tray. This number may vary is you are using a bigger or smaller growing medium or tray.


Radish microgreens are relatively easy to grow. Also known as daikon and oriental. Radish microgreens have a mild spicy and/or peppery flavour. 

Radish microgreens are:

  • Contain potassium,
  • High in dietary fibre
  • Relieve occasional constipation. 
  • High in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K as well as carotene.
  • Other nutrient contents are folic acid, niacin, iron, phosphorus, pantothenic acid, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. 

Soaking: NO

Germination: typically within 4 days

Harvest: 8 to 12 days


Arugula microgreens are an excellent addition for salads or leafy dishes – in both taste and appearance. Also known as rocket or rucula, arugula microgreens, and share the same bitter peppery taste as mature rocket.

Arugula microgreens also provide several nutritional and health benefits:

  • provide antioxidants
  • packed full of vitamin C
  • good source of copper and vitamins A, and K
  • helps to lower blood pressure 
  • promotes healthy bone development 
  • detoxifies food
  • contains glucosinolates (GSLs) ascorbic acid ( Vitamin C) and phenols believed to help fend off toxins and environmental stress.

Soaking: NO

Germination: typically within 5 days

Harvest: 10-14 days

Tips: Do not overwater; grows better in low moisture environs.


Broccoli provide the same nutritional value, if not more, than the mature vegetable. Broccoli microgreens have a slightly bitter, milder taste compared to mature broccoli, and are even better due to the rich presence of a compound called sulforaphane - the reason behind its slightly bitter taste. Sulforaphane is a chemical compound normally found in broccoli and other vegetables such as cabbage and brussel sprouts. 

Research surrounding sulforaphane shows that the compound can target the multiplying of cancer cells and many believe it is somewhat effective in preventing cancer, however, any evidence given has been insufficient to date.  Broccoli microgreens should not be heated or cooked as the sulforaphane is a heat-sensitive compound. 

In addition to sulforaphane, broccoli microgreens are:

  • High in vitamins A, C, and K, protein
  • Are preventative towards a number of health conditions including Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and cancer prevention. 

Soaking: NO

Germination: typically within 4 days

Harvest: 9 to 14 days


There are three different types of beet microgreens:

  • Bull’s Blood
  • Early Wonder Tall Top
  • Yellow

Bull’s Blood is a very popular types of beet to grow as a microgreen; this variety produces microgreens with a vibrant red color (like the deep red color mature beets are known for).

Beet microgreens provide multitudes of nutritional benefits and may serve as a better alternative for those that do not enjoy the earthy taste of mature beets. Beet microgreens are less earthy tasting and are sweet. 

Beet microgreens are:

  • High in vitamins K, C, and E
  • Helps rid the body of harmful toxins while providing powerful antioxidants
  • Can reduce stress
  • Temporarily relieves headaches and bodily ailments 
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
  • Low in fat
  • Rich in fiber, iron, nitrate, folic acid, minerals, and vitamins.
  • Beets are also loaded with powerful antioxidants and nitrates. 

Soaking: YES; 4-8 hrs.

Germination: typically within 5 days

Harvest: 11 to 20 days

Tips: recommended medium for growing beet microgreens is in soil or coconut coir. 

  1. KALE

Kale microgreens are a great alternative to mature kale; microgreens have a slightly bitter and mild taste similar to spinach or broccoli.  Kale is considered to be one of the best nutrient dense foods and is one of the most popular microgreens.

Health benefits of kale microgreens are:

  • High in vitamins A, C, K1 and B6, and are great for the skin
  • High in antioxidants
  • Extremely low in 

Soaking: NO

Germination: typically within 4 days

Harvest: 9 to 10 days

Tips: recommended medium for growing kale is hydroponics  


Cilantro, and also known as Coriander, is a fantastic microgreen that is very similar to its mature counterpart as it also has a strong citrusy taste.

Cilantro microgreens are:

  • High in vitamins A, B, C, and K.
  • Contain sufficient amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc.
  • Cilantro microgreens will help support bone development, and vision health
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Packed with antioxidants that assist in immune boosting, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects.

Cilantro microgreens have a much longer growth rate compared to some of the other faster-growing microgreens. Seeds are available as either complete seeds or split.

Soaking: NO - if seeds are split; if not, soak for 4-8 hrs.

Germination: typically within 4 to 6 days

Harvest: 17 to 20 days

Tips: For best results, place seeds in a cooler environment (below 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius); best medium for growing cilantro microgreens is to use soil or coconut coir.

  1. BASIL

Basil microgreens have a unique taste and texture, and are available in many different varieties. Tastes range from sweet, cinnamon-like, to spicy, and zesty. Several types of basil include lemon, cinnamon, Genovese and Thai.

Basil microgreens are:

  • High in polyphenols and vitamins K.
  • Provide anti-inflammatory properties
  • Aid in regulating digestive and other natural bodily functions. 
  • Widely utilized in traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and other holistic medical systems and has many benefits that support overall health.
  • Rich in polyphenols that assist with gut health and overall health by reducing oxidation and inflammation 

Soaking: NO

Germination: typically within 5 days

Harvest: 12 to 16 days

Tips: Plant seeds directly into a soil medium and lightly moisten. 


Amaranth microgreens are nutrient dense and earthy tasting, and comes in many different colours. Amaranth microgreens are excellent for overall health, and grow and sprout quickly

Some nutritional and health benefits of amaranth include:

  • High in vitamins A, C, and E
  • Contains dietary fiber, calcium, and potassium amongst many other minerals 
  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Speeds up the metabolism
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Packed with manganese, and exceeds daily nutrient needs in just one serving. Manganese is especially important for brain function and believed to protect against certain neurological conditions.
  • Rich in magnesium - an essential nutrient involved in nearly 300 reactions in the body including DNA synthesis and muscle contraction

Soaking: NO

Germination: typically within 5 days

Harvest: 14 to 18 days

Tips: Amaranth microgreens tend to take longer to grow and should be kept in low-light environments. For this reason, this microgreen is a little harder to grow for beginners


Mustard microgreens are one of the best nutritious foods and is available in many different varieties each with their own unique texture and taste ranging from sweet, mild or spicy. 

Mustard microgreens are:

  • High in vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K
  • Promotes healthy vision, heart, and shown to contain anti-cancer compounds. 
  • Rich in important plant compounds and micronutrients, specifically vitamins A, C, and K necessary for eye and heart health, as well as anticancer and immune-boosting properties.

Soaking: NO

Germination: typically within 3 days

Harvest: 8 to 12 days

Tips: mustard seeds grow best in soil or a hydroponic medium. 

Microgreens are an excellent addition for anyone looking to improve their overall health, digestion and also to boost your immunity. Microgreens are packed with nutrition, and despite their small size, they often contain a higher level of nutrients than their mature vegetable versions! There are more than a hundred or so different types of microgreens, and we know microgreens are a smart addition to any diet. We hope you love our choice for the 10 MOST essential microgreens to sow, grow and eat your way to a healthier you!

K Rawlins
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bumbleseeds nongmo flower vegetable and herb seeds

Want a Pesticide Free Organic Gardens? Use Bugs!

Did you know? There are 1.5 million known insect species on our planet…more than 97% of these little ‘buggers’ are absolutely beneficial to our gardens!

“Bug” is the blanket term for any type of arthropod; whether its insects, non-insect hexapods, arachnids, isopods, myriapods and worms (and even gastropods like slugs and snails), your garden is an all-you-can-eat tasty buffet for most of the ‘problematic’ and predominately herbivore bugs out there. These plant eaters sit pretty low on the food chain – not only do they attract important ‘beneficial’ insects (or if you want to be more inclusive: arthropods) to the garden as pollinators but are also an organic pest control method for you and your garden without using a single drop of pesticide.

The most obvious benefit to using organic pest control? It’s a cost effective non-toxic approach that is safe for our family, pollinators and wildlife that visit our gardens. Chemical pesticides are killing beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies at an alarming rate and continues to drastically reduce their numbers. We can all work together to help stop this!

Pesticides are known to cause health problems including causing cancer and reproductive health issues. Pesticide residues on food are shown to be the most direct route of childhood exposure, and can potentially lead to children being more likely to develop neurological disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) according to the American Society of Pediatrics.                                            

Pesticide use destroys a balanced ecosystem. Chemicals kill off the natural predators and allows pest populations to flourish, breed and eventually take over and damage your garden plants. Instead of spending lots of money on harmful chemicals, why not discover and introduce the beneficial bugs that are key to establishing a natural flourishing ecosystem in your garden that provides long-term health and ease of maintenance without the use of pesticides.

Gardeners Please Take Note: early spring brings the overwhelming feeling of garden tidying…things are looking shabby - long grass, twigs and unkempt areas are bothering you. If you can hold off on moving logs, clearing up and weeding, at least until the warmer weather hits, it would really help pollinators get by until the warmer weather takes hold.

Bugs seek shelter over the winter in long grass, piles of leaves and logs, and for many pollinators such as bees, those dandelions are the first and best meal they can discover - please let your dandelions hang around at least until other flowers start coming out.

Gardeners will attract beneficial bugs by planting specific types of plants and herbs in your garden. For instance, if you had multitudes of aphids last year and don’t want a repeat of that, ladybugs will be your best defence! Ladybugs love to devour aphids (as do hoverfly larvae) and planting what ladybugs are attracted to such as: dill, yarrow, fern leaf yellow and basked of gold will attract.

A list of predator-attracting herbs and plants include but are not limited to: lemon balm, parsley, caraway, fennel, spearmint, dill, clover, coriander, carrots, buckwheat, sunflowers, dandelion, marigolds, alfalfa, cosmos, evening primrose, citronella, yarrow and amaranthus.

Using predators in our gardens not only saves money but it saves our pests which in turn saves our pollinators. Not using chemical pest control allows you to grow, experiment, harvest and consume a constant variety of fresh herbs and edible flowers. Best of all, you know what you grow.

10 of the most effective beneficial bugs we can all encourage to visit our gardens:


  • Food Source: Aphids, whitefly, mites, fleas, and potato beetles
  • Plants to attract: Dandelion, tansy, dill, fennel, butterfly weed, fern-leaf yarrow (achillea), bugleweed, cosmos, sunflowers, caraway, angelica, statice (sea lavender), feverfew, coreopsis, chives, coneflowers, Allyssum (Basket of Gold), and common Yarrow (achillea millefolium) and mint.
  • Ladybugs are voracious eaters and eat fruit flies and mites; they will consume more than 5,000 plant eating insects like aphids during their lifetime (2-3 years if conditions are suitable).


  • Food Source: A wide range of insects including pests like aphids, flies, butterflies, caterpillars, moths, bees, beetles, crickets and other predators like spiders. Also known to eat small amphibians, shrews, mice, snakes, and soft-shelled turtles.
  • Plants to attract: Tall grasses and shrubs, cosmos, marigolds, dill, raspberry canes, fennel and angelica. Grow shady, protective plants that are low to the ground. Note: beneficial insects need places to hide from such predators!
  • Praying Mantises have great vision and can rotate their heads 180 degrees making them excellent natural predators.



  • Food Source: Excellent predators of aphids, cabbage maggots, slugs, caterpillars, ants, potato beetles and cutworms. Larvae feed on insects in the soil.
  • Plants to attract: Incorporate a few perennial vegetable plants like asparagus and rhubarb; add flowers such as evening primrose, amaranthus and clover. Composting sites also make fine habitat for these important beneficial bugs.
  • Ground beetles are typically nocturnal.


  • Food Source: Larvae are bright orange and consume soft-bodied insect pests. Aphid midges consume about sixty different species of aphids, including those that attack vegetable crops, ornamentals, and fruit trees. Active at night; hide under the leaves during the day.
  • Plants to attract: Pollen producing plants that provide shade and a moist environment such as dill, that provide plenty of pollen and nectar, and a source of water and sheltered from strong winds.
  • Aphid midges are voracious feeders and are reported to be more effective at managing an aphid infestation than ladybugs and lacewings.


  • Food Source: Flower nectar and pollenare key energy sources for braconid wasps. Flowers with small florets, including most herbs and carrot family cousins, are ideal for these small, fast-moving wasps. Also will eat tomato hornworm, caterpillars, and aphids.
  • Plants to attract: Grow an abundance of flowers and herbs that produce nectar from numerous small florets such as fern-leaf yarrow and common yarrow, dill, lemon balm, parsley, sweet alyssum, chamomile, feverfew, catnip and buckwheat. Note: allow some of your dill, fennel and other members of the carrot family plants to flower, and these too will attract braconid wasps.
  • Braconid wasps kills caterpillars and hornworms by laying eggs inside the caterpillar.


  • Food Source: Eats an impressive variety of herbivores like leafhoppers, plant hoppers, and aphids, mites and also sawfly larvae, caterpillars (including cabbage worms, corn earworms, army worms, corn borers, and the green clover worm), insect eggs, and the eggs and larvae of the potato beetles.
  • Plants to attract: herbs such as dill, fennel, lavender, coriander (cilantro), or chamomile should be planted to attract damsel bugs for shelter and food. Also include flowering tobacco (nicotiana), caraway, fennel, alfalfa, and spearmint.
  • Damsel bug populations can thrive if you provide them various places to hide.


  • Food Source: Adult lacewings are not predatory – they eat honeydew, nectar and pollen. It is the tiny pale green eggs on hair-like stalks that attach to the underside of leaves or on bark of trees that produces the Lacewing larvae. The larvae feed on soft-bodied insects like aphids, whitefly, mealybugs and will also feed on caterpillars, leafhoppers and some beetles. The biggest benefit of lacewing larvae is how aggressive they are. They will eat anything they can catch, and they are always hungry.  
  • Plants to attract: plants in the parsley family such as angelica, anise, caraway, coriander, dill, Queen Anne's, and lovage. Also incorporate angelica, golden marguerite, dandelion, erigonium, calamint, mountain mint, oregano, sweet alyssum, cosmos, verbena and wall flower- all very good food sources for green lacewings.
  • The larvae are voracious feeders and do an excellent job of getting rid of soft-bodied pests.


  • Food Source: Adult hoverflies feed on flower nectar and help pollinate some crops. It is the larvae that are important predators in the garden. These tiny, almost invisible slug-like larvae scour the undersides of plant leaves looking for aphids which are their primary food source. Also known to prey on scale insects and caterpillars.
  • Plants to attract: primarily attracted to sweet smells - primary food sources are pollen and nectar and like all flies can be attracted to rotting fruit and garbage. They're sometimes called corn flies because there's often an infestation in corn fields where the larvae feast on aphids! Plant lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), lemon balm, fern leaf yarrow, common yarrow, dill, Alyssum Basket of Gold and Statice to attract hoverflies and bees.
  • Larvae feed on pests; adult flies feed on pollen. Hover flies are a product of evolutionary mimicry. Adults mimic the appearance of a wasp or a bee to ward off potential predators. Unlike wasps and bees, hover flies have no stinger.


  • Food Source: Adult mealybug destroyers are a species of lady bug. They have a dark brown to orange head, blackish to dark gray dome shaped top, is flat on the bottom and appears oblong when viewed from above. The hard body is 1/8 to 1/6 inch (3–4 mm) long with short, clubbed antennae.
  • Mealybug destroyer larvae grow up to 1/2 inch (12 mm) long and closely resemble a mealybug however, the mealybug destroyer larvae are faster moving and at maturity, are more than twice size of an adult female mealybug. Eggs are oblong and yellow. Eggs occur singly or in groups in the waxy egg sacs of host insects. Each beetle larvae can consume more than 250 mealybug nymphs (immature) or over 1,000 mealybug eggs as it develops through 4 increasingly larger instars (periods between molting). Larvae feed for about 3 to 4 weeks before pupating.
  • Plants to attract:  Plant fennel, dill, angelica, sunflower, goldenrod
  • Mealybug destroyers feed on mealybugs, especially citrus mealybugs that dine on many greenhouse crops such as coleus, begonia, amaryllis, cyclamen and dahlia. Mealybugs are also frequent pests to basil, grapes, stone pine, pomegranate, chamomile, apple, plum, pear, peach, ferns, orchids, and, well, quite honestly, pretty much everything growing inside or outside of your home. Mealybugs produce honeydew, which provides the perfect growth medium for sooty mold.


  • Food Source: predatory mites feed on spider mites and other pest mites such as thrips and some other small insects. In the absence of prey, predatory mites eat pollen and nectar and can revert to sucking plant juices.
  • Plants to attract: found in humid environments like greenhouses and poly tunnels where spider mites flourish; use oil of wintergreen to attract predatory mites – use a small plastic container with a couple of cotton balls dabbed with oil of wintergreen inside – attach to areas or plants with spider mite infestation.
  • Predatory mites feed on pollen and not the plant itself, when other prey is unavailable.

10 Beneficial Bugs Can Help!

There you have it...10 beneficial bugs that provides an organic solution to pest control. It may be a great idea to approach your community - in particular your neighbors - about your plans to go green and not use pesticides. Sharing alternative ideas about the ‘how to’s of establishing a natural ecosystem may result in a higher success rate of adoption overall. This organic approach benefits all wildlife, pollinators, domestic animals and of course humans both in your garden and in our communities. It starts with one garden.

If you are thinking of purchasing beneficial insects first, it is important to ensure that the climate and vegetation you provide is a suitable environment for them from the get go – they need a low to medium population of pests as a source of food so they stick around, settle in and continue to do their job - or they will move on. Either way, if you choose to purchase your army or plant food to attract them, make sure to provide the most suitable environment for your beneficial bug arsenal to coexist with your garden, your wildlife and your neighbors.

Happy Gardening!



K Rawlins
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Planting for Fall

Bees. Glorious Bees!

Want a fantastic garden with continuous blooms?

You Need Bees!

We all know the importance of bees in the production of honey, and without bees and pollinators, we would have less food to eat but did you know that a bee produces a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime? It takes many bees to make a pound a honey.

And yes, there is a small downside to welcoming bees – you may get stung. Did you know that bee stingers are actually a modified part of the egg laying tube? Only female bees (queens and workers) will sting if provoked! Male bees are harmless (called drones); drones have larger eyes which help them find the queen bee.

The largest bee in the hive is the queen - all worker bees are female. The queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day; fertilized eggs become females and unfertilized eggs become males (with the help of pheromones).

How to Attract More Bees:

Bees only eat nectar and pollen.

You can create a productive garden by:

1. Planting native plants and heirloom varieties with single blooms such as:

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 2. Creating bee friendly areas (pile up logs and leaves)
3. Introducing a water source with a beach entry
4. Allowing dandelions to bloom in the spring; this is typically the only food source available at this time.
    Plant for life! Let's all do our part and plant bee-loving flower seeds this fall.


    K Rawlins
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