Welcome to Mistik Acres.

We hope you are able to form a connection with us, and the products we grow and produce on the land we live and work with.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blue Wild Indigo

Today's plant profile is the Perennial Plant of the Year for 2010, Baptista australis - Blue False Indigo or Blue Wild Indigo. It is a member of the pea family, requiring very little care and very hardy. It generally reaches a height of 3.5' with a 2' spread, but can attain a height of 5 ' with a width of 3.2 '. It develops a tap root, thus being drought tolerant, but then becomes difficult to move due to the tap root. This is one of those perennials that will not transplant well once established. It produces spikes of deep blue flowers in late Spring and early Summer which turn into black seed pods, very popular for flower arrangements.

This perennial will be available at our booth at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market in May.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bell's of Ireland, Frosted Explosion and Buplerum.

The plant profiles I am writing about today are all superb cut flowers and grow extremely well in our climate with very little care. They are all a lime green colour and used as accent flowers in arrangements. All very easy to grow in all types of soil and weather conditions.

The first one is the Bell's of Ireland or Molucella Laevis.
These are interesting plants with spikes of green bell shaped bracts, which produce a small white flower in each bract. The bract is the focal point in this plant, the flower is very inconspicuous.
It can be started from seed in the greenhouse as a bedding plant or seeded directly into the soil. Plant in full sun for best results. I have had very good luck with seeding it in the fall. Once planted allow it to self seed and you will not have to plant it again. You can move the seedlings around as long as you dig up the seedling with lots of soil around it's roots. It grows to about 2' tall and a spread of about 2' as well. The cut flowers will last about 2 weeks and will continue growing after cutting. The plant can also be dried for fall arrangements.

Buplerum or B. rotundifolium

Trendy lime-green leaves with contrasting yellow flower bracts. Plant seeds directly in fall or early Spring. Will self seed itself once established. Can grow to about 2.5', and does best in full sun. Add extra nitrogen to increase height. Flowers will last for about 1-2 weeks after being cut.

Frosted Explosion, Panuicum or P. elegans Panic Grass
Green seed heads open all around to form an airy inverted cone with red tips, like fireworks. They later mature to bronze-red. Seeds must be started in February or March and planted out in Spring once the chance of frost is over. They reach heights of 24-28" with a spread of 18". The require full sun and perform better if cut on a regular basis. Once cut they last about 1 week and add a nice touch to flower arrangements. This plant was very popular at the fresh flower sales at the Farmer's Market. We will have bedding plants available in May at the Saskatoon Farmers Market.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Today's plant profile is the Chrysanthemum, specifically the Morden Series. These mums were developed through the breeding program at the Morden Research Station at Morden, Manitoba. Hardy to Zone 3 they are one of the hardiest and earliest varieties available. They begin to bloom toward the end of August through to a killing frost. They enjoy full sun and good garden soil. Don't cut down the spent stalks until Spring to allow for some snow to be trapped, which will help the plants deal with very cold winters. They also prefer to be divided every two years, as the centres die out, and they start to look a bit ragged.

We will have the varieties below available early Spring at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market.

Chrysanthemum 'Morden Delight' - deep bronzy orange red colour, fully double, about 20" tall

Chrysanthemum 'Morden Fiesta' - bright purple, fully double, compact, about 16" tall

Chrysanthemum 'Morden Gaiety' - bright orange, double blossoms, compact, about 16" tall

Chrysanthemum 'Morden Garnet' - deep red double blossom, compact, about 16" tall

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Profile of a leek.

In January we are going to post plant profiles, and this week we are taking a look at Leek's.
The leek is really a large, upright, non-bulbing type of onion., which is milder, hardier and easier to grow. It withstands cold temperatures, and is generally untroubled by pests.

We start seeding leeks in flats in the house the first week of March and into the end of March. Follow the instructions on the seed packet as to how deep to plant the seeds. Since the seedlings are hardy to cold temperatures you are able to plant them out in your garden earlier. Last year we transplanted the seedlings around May 11 and they withstood the light frosts with no problem. Prior to transplanting we had the trays of plants growing in cold frames, whereby the night temperatures dropped below freezing in April.

We have tried a couple of different planting methods, the first one being, dig a trench about 3-6 inches deep and add a bit of compost to the trench. Place the seedlings in the trench and mound the soil up around them. As the season progresses, keep filling in the trench and mounding the soil around the leeks. This allows extra long blanched stalks and a greater edible portion. Leeks enjoy even moisture, so if the rains are not prevalent provide them with supplemental watering's.

The second method we tried was, make a hole into the soil with a dowel or pencil, deep enough so the top inch or two of the plant is out of the ground. As the leek grows hoe soil up around the plants. We found this method to be the easier one and had as equal success with it as the other method.

Leeks must be dug at harvest as their strong root system makes them difficult to pull. To allow successful storage of leeks for an extended time , dig the roots and all and store upright in a cardboard box filled with soil as if the leeks were growing and store in a cool garage or sold room.

Leeks can be eaten raw or cooked. When cooked the vegetable lends a creamy texture to soups and broths.