Liv Fruitful with Livi Lou! She is currently breeding strawberries, developing a garden product, trialing plants and researching the history of heirloom fruit varieties. She writes about unique perennials and fruit plants, so that you can grow an ornamental fruit garden.

Recent Blog Posts

Oct 04
The Ultimate Crop-Cage  

Aug 09
Summer Photos  

Jun 26
New Berry Varieties  

May 28
Honey Bees: The Queen Signal  

May 01
Spring Annuals & Perennials  

Mar 31
What’s the shuck?  

Mar 19
The Emotional Benefit of Trees   (2 comments)

Feb 19
Bushel & Berry: Baby Cakes  




Strawberry Seedlings: The Best Indicator for Transplanting
by Livi Lou - posted 01/29/16

In three months, strawberry plants grown from seed will be ready for transplanting to the garden. There is plenty of information about seed starting—the key of which is often a humidity dome.  In this post, you will view photos of how strawberry seeds develop into seedlings and you will learn how to determine if these seedlings are ready for transplanting.


Healthy strawberry seeds will normally show signs of germination within 7-10 days of sowing.  Upon close inspection of these tiny seeds, you will first see the pointed tip become more pronounced. A few days later a root will emerge from this pointed tip.


Below are photos of emerging strawberry seedlings. Look closely and you will see the white roots.  The rest already have cotyledons (baby leaves).



The root will anchor into the soil and the green growth will continue to grow.  The first true sets of leaves will develop, and then the second set, third and so forth. Below is a photo with true leaves.  You can see the difference between true leaves and cotyledons.



Interestingly, as the strawberry seedling continues to grow, the leaves will start to become lobed and it will start to develop a crown.  This is the most fascinating stage!  From the crown, new roots will develop.



Once these new roots anchor the crown to the soil and you can gently flick the seedling with your finger and it does not flop over, it is then ready for transplanting.  This strong root system will increase the odds of being successfully transplanted.  Remember to adjust the seedlings to outdoor conditions by placing them in a sheltered area for a week before transplanting to the ground.


Of course, not many strawberry varieties are grown from seed.  Most are clonal cuttings from the mother plants.  Swallowtail’s online nursery is good source of several strawberry varieties that come from seed.*


Growing strawberry seeds is a fun experience, especially during the coldest months of winter when you are most eager for spring.  February is a great time to start so that the seedlings will be ready by May. 




   ~ Thanks for reading!


*Swallowtail lists their strawberry seeds under the Vegetable Seed category.

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Announcement: Posting Schedule
by Livi Lou - posted 01/25/16

On Fridays, new columns will be posted on the blog.  During ‘theme’ months there will be a posting on every Friday.  Otherwise, it will be the first and third Fridays of the month.

Any announcements such as posting schedule updates or the theme for the month will be listed on a Monday.  For example, February will be a theme month and the theme will be announced on Monday, February 1st.  The following Fridays of February will have the posts.



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Best driveway plant: sedum ground-cover
by Livi Lou - posted 01/12/16

Sedum sarmentosum, also called Gold Moss, is the best plant for the harsh environment near your driveway. It is a lime-green ground-cover sedum that produces small yellow flowers in June.


Sedums are succulent plants (like a cactus). This means they can tolerate the dry conditions near pavement. This particular sedum is also cold hardy to Zone 4. Since I am in a warmer growing zone (Zone 6a), I enjoy the confidence that it can withstand snow being shoveled on top of it in the winter.  It is virtually evergreen and it does not die back to the ground in the winter like common tall sedums such as the variety Autumn Joy. 

In 2014, I first encountered this beautiful plant as I walked through the neighborhood.  The vibrant color captured my attention. Every time I walked by, it continued to amaze me with its growth and beauty.  The color is so vibrant that even when the season progressed and the color faded, it was still beautiful.

I was so impressed with this plant that I researched and identified it.  I found Sedum sarmentosum online at Mountain Crest Gardens.*  In September 2014, I purchased and planted Sedum sarmentosum plants from this online nursery.  Fortunately, I had the necessary six weeks for the plants to establish before first frost.  Below is a photo upon first planting.



I would like to share with you the growth of two different plantings for this beautiful sedum.  Below is the photo timeline of the initial planting that caught my eye.


                                                                     Summer  2015


The second photo timeline documents the growth of my Sedum sarmentosum planting.


                                                            Early Fall 2014: September


                                                         Early Spring 2015 :  March


                                                          Spring 2015 :  April


                                                             Spring 2015 : May


                                                                   Summer 2015


                                                            Early Fall 2015 :  September


Sedum sarmentosum's low height, vibrant color, reliable flexibility to temperature differences and impressive growth rate make it the best ground-cover for curbside appeal. I encourage you to give it a try! 


~ Thanks for reading!



*Note on Mountain Crest Gardens:  I am pleased with  the quality of the Sedum sarmentosum that I ordered from this nursery.  Since my first sighting of Sedum sarmentosum, I have seen other plantings which look stringy.  I find that my planting has sturdy stems.  Below are photos that show the difference between sturdy and stringy growth.

   sturdy  vs.   stringy 


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