Gardening Ideas contributions by RickCoreyDrying Seeds with Silica Gel
By RickCorey, November 21, 2015
It can be slow to dry seeds thoroughly in humid weather and prevent mold. Seal partly dried seeds in a tightly sealed jar with a desiccant like silica gel to get them down to 15% eRH, which will give them the longest possible viable lifetime in storage.
Common "easy" annual flowers produce lots of blooms and are very forgiving of soil, climate, and lack of experience.
Bottom-Watering Seedling Trays with Cotton Flannel Prevents Water-Logging
You can bottom-water seedlings right in their tray if you put a fuzzy capillary mat between the pots and the water-holding tray under them. Add only a little water at a time, and the mat will carry that water in equal amounts to every pot or cell.
My Favorite Snow Pea Pod and Snap Pea Pod Varieties
With cold-weather crops, your first garden harvest could occur weeks earlier next year!
"OP" means "Open Pollinated", but that term is used in two different ways. It can mean an inbred OP variety that can produce seeds that come true to its parents. Or it can mean that a specific batch or packet of seeds labeled "OP" was "openly pollinated by wind, insects or birds," without saying whether other varieties might have cross-pollinated it.
Save paper envelopes from bills and junk mail and dry your saved seeds and seed heads in envelopes instead of on paper plates. They take up less room and are less likely to spill.
Recording when you direct sowed or transplanted out, is the only way to learn what the ideal dates are for each variety in your micro-climate.
Prevent seed pods from dropping their seeds to the ground by using organza bags.
Tired of dragging hoses around? Add a spigot every 50 feet! Once you've run 1/2" tubing around your house, you can add as many spigots as you want for less than $5 each.
Seeds can be separated from chaff using kitchen strainers, window screening, hardware cloth (wire mesh) and spice jars.
Use a little silica gel as a desiccant to keep seeds really dry. It's cheap and you can find it in the flower drying aisles in craft stores.
Improve the drainage and aeration of seedling and potting mixes with pine bark shreds.
When soaking seeds prior to germination, or when watering seedlings, use 0.1% Hydrogen Peroxide. This cleans the seed surface and discourages mold, fungus, and damping off. Drug stores sell 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, so dilute that 32:1. It is also great for plants already in the ground or in containers.