delete

Rare Seed Hunter Joseph Simcox and More ...

A few years ago, at the San Francisco Landscape Show, I visited a booth staged by an ethnobotanist named Joseph Simcox. www.explorewithjoseph.com  After talking with him for just a few minutes, I was struck with how unique this man is.  Joseph is a modern-day explorer who travels all over the world hunting for rare food producing plants and their seeds!  I pondered over all the varieties of beans he had on display, finally selecting the ones I wanted.  Joseph sold me a dozen beans of two varieties and he did not know their specific botanical names. He also had his book,...
delete

Planting Historic Seeds

Planting History About five years ago while perusing one of my favorite seed catalogs, “The Whole Seed Catalog – from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds”, a black bean named, “Cherokee Trail of Tears”, caught my eye.  I’d been wanting to grow dry beans for a few years and since I grow more heirlooms than hybrids this was a meaningful choice for several reasons.  First, I like to cook black beans because of how nutritious and delicious they are and secondly, I was intrigued with their history. Trail of Tears “Nu na hi du na tlo hi lu i” is the Cherokee name for the Trail of Tears...
delete

Welcome To The World, Seedlings!

After some of the seeds have sprouted when the propagators are in the sunny window, I move them to the grow lamps and take the domes off. This is because the lamps generate warmth and the domes can accumulate too much moisture. The excess moisture can create an environment for mildew and fungus. I lower the light fixture to about 4 inches above the propagator, turning it on about 8:00 AM and turning it off about 10:00 PM.   (This photo was taken when the seedlings were about two weeks old.) Here they are. Welcome to the world, little ones. These seedlings are 7 days old...
delete

Steps To Propagating Indoors

Step One: Start with a clean multi-celled propagator.  I have two sizes and usually end up using the smaller one for successive plantings and flowers. Step Two: I cover my dining table with a sheet and use a big bowl to fill with the sterile seed starter. Step Three: Fill the cells half-full with the starter.  I have numbered each cell as you can see here.  This propagator is over ten years old.  When the numbers fade I just write over them.  On the larger one, I tape on a piece of masking tape and write numbers on it with a waterproof black marker. I use a plastic funnel...
delete

Checklist For Propagating

Through the years I developed a simple way to start vegetable and flower seeds for my garden.  I live in a small house and use my dining table to set-up the propagating process.  After that’s done I set the mini-greenhouse in the kitchen window until some of the seeds sprout.  Then, I place the planted flat under the grow light lamp stand on a library table in my office.  In the early years I set the lamp up on the dryer in the garage.  After gnat attacks and subsequent virus infections I realized the tender seedlings needed more protection.  So, first thing in the...
delete

Sowing Seeds Indoors

When I first started gardening I bought all the plants I needed from local nurseries.  As the years passed I wanted more to grow varieties and explore the vast world of heirlooms.   It’s one thing to read about propagating and another to actually do it successfully!   I had my failures.  And I don’t have a greenhouse so I managed with the small space I have.  Because you and I may live in very different climates, find out when it is the best time to start your indoor seeds for the Spring and Summer garden. Your local nursery can assist you.  Don’t plant too early.  A good...