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I’ve been beatin’ y’all over the head re: it’s time to plant your seeds. Do you even know what a seed is? You probably remember being in first grade when the teacher gave each student a bean seed, a cup and a paper towel. You put the towel in the inside of the cup, and then put the bean seed between the cup and the towel, and wet the towel. Then you watched the seed sprout. Cool! Do you remember the parts of the seed? How seeds are made? How to store seeds? How to plant and take care of seeds? If not, here is a little primer for you.
Seeds are Baby Plants
That might seem like a bit of oversimplification, but, in essence, that is what they are. To learn about seeds, first we start with the parts of a seed.
An easy way to compost if you have limited space is to use a garbage can or drum.
Punch holes in the bottom and sides for drainage and aeration, set on bricks or concrete blocks, and layer the materials with soil inside. You can roll it around on its side periodically to help aerate the material inside.
Commercial compost containers are also available. Most are designed so the finished product can be removed through an opening near the bottom.
How about using a plastic garbage bag ?
Toss garden wastes, table scraps, lawn clippings, leaves and anything else that can be composted into a black plastic bag lining a trash can. When the can is filled, add a quart or two of water, just enough to moisten the contents, do not use excessive water.
Tie the bag, then take it out of the can and place it …
You have just been out in your garden and you have noticed that your once lovely bushes are looking dull and some are even yellowing and wilting.
Not what you want to see!
If you know that you have been taking proper care of them, then there is another cause, FUNGUS!
Most fungi love wet conditions, and overwatering can produce these conditons. If the soil your bush is planted in doesn’t drain well and water stands too long at the base and around its roots, then your bush is at risk for developing water mold root rot( sounds ominous!).
This condition is caused by a variety of fungi.
The fungi starts at the root, and unfortunately works it’s way up the plant. This can be a quick or slow process, depending on the conditions. You may possibly see discoloration at the root of the plant and it’s stems. This is where the infected plant …
Try these organic methods for repelling deer.
For minor deer-damage problems ,buy soap bars in bulk and hang them from strings in the trees. Or nail each bar to a 4″ stake and drive the stakes at 15′ intervals along the perimeter of the area.
Some gardeners report that human hair is an effective repellent. Ask your hairdresser to save hair for you to collect each week. Put a handful of hair in a net or mesh bag and hang bags 3′ above ground and 3′ apart.
Some farmers repel deer by spraying trees or crops with an egg mixture.
Mix 5 eggs with 5 quarts of water for enough solution to treat 1/4 of an acre. Spray plants thoroughly.
You may need to re-spray after rain.
Commercial repellents are available at garden centers, but be sure to ask if a product contains only organic ingredients.
You can experiment at home by mixing blood meal, bonemeal, animal …
Is manure necessary in making compost?
Even if animal manures are not available, compost can be made successfully. Cut or shred the plant materials as finely as possible in order to expose a maximum amount of surface to the organisms of decay.
The leaves of all trees are a valuable source of organic matter and minerals.
Leaves of such trees as eucalyptus, camphor and walnut should be exposed to the weather for a time before composting so that components they contain which might interfere with organisms of composition will be leached out.
Shredding helps prepare any leaves for composting.
As soon as the heat has subsided, the heap of finely ground plant materials may be inoculated with earthworms especially bred for the compost heap and soils rich in organic matter.
These worms will supply the manure and the various animal excretions needed. It is also worth adding animal residues as bone …
I have been asked many times on how to save seeds from plants that have grown in the garden.
Seed that is to be saved must be ripe, when rained on the seed should dry out again before being gathered.
Hang seed stalks in a dry, airy place until they are brittle-dry.
Handle all seeds carefully as nicked or injured seeds won’t keep well. Store large seeds in glass jars with loose fitting covers ( not airtight).
I keep my small seeds in paper envelopes.
Make sure you label seeds and mark the date.
Most seeds if kept in a dry airy place, are viable for at
least two years.
To obtain the highest percentage of germination
possible, here are a few tips;
Do not sow seeds outdoors in the garden until the soil
has warmed enough for the type being sown.
Try to have the top inch of soil especially rich
When sowing, do not cover them any deeper
than necessary, some …
When the winter winds blow and I am feeling completely dejected, I make myself feel better, by reading my seed catalogues.
Of all the pictures of flowers that I see, nothing makes me smile more than the pictures of Pansies!. They have such expressive faces, I feel that they are almost human and are smiling out of the pages at me.
I started trays of pansies in my basement some years ago, and to my delight they came on leaps and bounds, I had read that they had to be kept dark to germinate, and this did work. I was so proud of myself, as I had always thought that they would be hard to grow.
This euphoria did not last long!
My basement is not used as living quarters, as I live in a 120 yr old house, and the basement actually gives me the creeps!, but …
Both birds and bees rank high among the important creatures who assist gardeners in their quest for perfection.
Wise gardeners do what they can to attract birds, for they know that they help to control destructive insects in the garden. Explore the ways that many organic gardeners have devised to attract birds and keep them around for as much of the year as possible. Certain plants are particularly attractive to birds, and these species should be kept in mind when planning your garden.
Bees are a must for any orchadist. They will take great care to encourage their presence by avoiding the use of chemical insectides, all of which are toxic to bees.
One of the cheapest ways to control insects in the garden is to get a variety of birds to do much of the work. The best way to attract birds is …
Do you water your garden frequently ? Leave a section of hose laid out down the center of your garden. Drive double stakes of wood at intervals to keep the hose from decimating your plants as you pull it back and forth. I sometimes drive a stake at the corner of each bed to protect plants while dragging my hose around.
We sometimes make the mistake in thinking that if we wave the hose around our plants, we are doing a great watering job, when in fact, we are doing more harm than good.
Plants do best with a deep watering, maybe once a week unless there is a drought.
A chrysanthemum in the vegetable garden is like a canary in a coal mine,the mum wilts before
other plants need watering, so this willgive you a heads up that you need to start irrigating!
Save your water from cooking …
Sprouting seeds before you plant them can boost germination rates and give you more control when working with expensive or rare seeds. The following method is one I use in my Organic Garden.
Spread a double layer of damp paper towels on a flat surface.
Evenly space seeds 1″ or so apart on the moist towels.
Roll up the towels, being careful to keep the seeds from bunching up.
Label the seed roll and enclose it in a plastic bag. Close the bag loosely – germinating seeds need air. (If you wish you can put several rolls in one bag.)
Put the seeds in a warm place, near a water heater or, most common, on top of the refrigerator. Make a note on your calendar to check them in 2-3 days. After your first inspection, check them every day for sprouting.
Plant sprouted seeds in individual containers using a fine …
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- Compost (18)
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- Fruits, Veggies and Herbs (31)
- Garden Design (20)
- Garden Maintenance (37)
- Garden Pests and Diseases (19)
- Hydroponics (1)
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- Organic Book Reviews (12)
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- Seasonal Garden Maintenance (10)
- Seed Starting (12)
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- Soil and Fertilizer (13)
- Trees and Shrubs (6)
- Water Gardening (6)
- Weed Control (5)