By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –
Many gardeners know the benefits of planting crops, such as garlic, in the early fall and winter months, but did you know that many common herb, flower and vegetable seeds can be treated this way, too? Winter sowing is the age-old practice of planting seeds directly in the garden sometime between late fall and mid-winter. Because they are living organisms, seeds have the ability to sense the environment around them, which allows them to determine when weather conditions are just right for germination. As a result, winter sown seeds often germinate earlier, have higher rates of germination and have less problems with seedling diseases such as damping off. They also tend to grow faster and stronger than their indoor-sown counterparts, which allows gardeners to get a jump on the growing season. Read more!
I had a super fun time being interviewed recently by Juice Guru, Steve Prussack. We talked about common seed saving mistakes, the differences between GMO, hybrid and heirloom seeds, why saving seed is an important aspect of healthy living and a critical component of any disaster preparedness plan; what botanical maturity has to do with saving seed; sprouting seeds for food and more! Saving seed is so easy, anyone can learn how in less than 50 pages using my book, The Garden Seed Saving Guide!
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Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~
Gardeners are always facing new and interesting challenges when it comes to pest management. The first line of defense includes correctly identifying the culprit so that the right measures can be taken to control it. I was recently talking to a fellow gardener about organic control of blister beetles on tomatoes when I happened to mention being cautious about using any kind of pesticide for fear of killing the pink ladybugs that have spent the last several weeks feasting on the pollen of nearby pepper plants. Her immediate response was that those pink ones were just another type of spotted cucumber beetle. I understand her confusion. I used to think that, too.
Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz
Now that you have an idea of the types of plants that can be grown in a moon garden, let’s get down to the bones! Start by selecting a location for your garden. It can be in a little used corner of the yard for privacy or meditation, or it can sit smack dab in the middle of the yard. For trip-free nighttime strolls be sure and allow plenty of room for pathways that are both wide and clear. And if you are not the type of person who really wants to wander in the yard at night, consider placing the garden near a porch or deck where it can be enjoyed in relative comfort and safety.
Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~ In last week’s post (see it here), I talked a little about the history and lore of moon gardens and how they have been used by lovers, philosophers and for religious and ceremonial purposes throughout the ages. In this week’s post I will share with you a whole host of plants that will look fabulous in your very own moon garden – some of which might just surprise you! So, let’s get started!
Jill Henderson Show Me Oz: Often associated with the mystical, moon gardens have been lighting up the night for thousands of years. Adored by lovers and philosophers, these midnight gardens were places of secrecy and silence, contemplation and meditation, ritual and ceremony. The moon has always given mankind a reason to look towards the heavens in search of answers and inspiration. The cool solid stillness of night is the perfect venue to relax and reflect. The moon garden provides just such a place. It is no wonder moon gardens have become not only a popular gardening theme, but a true place of peace. Continue reading
Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~
When I first began gardening 25 years ago, the variety of garden seeds was extremely limited. Heirloom vegetables were just beginning to make a come back and culinary herbs were seriously limited to a handful of the most popular types. Today, the number of seed varieties available to the average gardener is mind-boggling, which is wonderful if you love to garden. But for all the choices available to us, there is one small herb called fenugreek that is not only hard to come by, but one that has been almost entirely forgotten by gardeners, cooks, and herbalists in America.