Gardening News and Ideas by RickCorey

Drying Seeds with Silica GelDrying Seeds with Silica Gel
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.

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Easy Annual Flowers Bloom All SummerEasy Annual Flowers Bloom All Summer
January 20, 2014

Common "easy" annual flowers produce lots of blooms and are very forgiving of soil, climate, and lack of experience.

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Bottom-Watering Seedling Trays with Cotton Flannel Prevents Water-LoggingBottom-Watering Seedling Trays with Cotton Flannel Prevents Water-Logging
January 14, 2014

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.

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Peas Are Cold Weather CropsPeas Are Cold Weather Crops
January 10, 2014

My Favorite Snow Pea Pod and Snap Pea Pod Varieties

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Spring and Fall CropsSpring and Fall Crops
January 6, 2014

With cold-weather crops, your first garden harvest could occur weeks earlier next year!

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"OP" vs "OP""OP" vs "OP"
December 7, 2013

"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.

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Dry Saved Seeds in Paper EnvelopesDry Saved Seeds in Paper Envelopes
November 22, 2013

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.

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Organized SowingOrganized Sowing
September 23, 2013

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.

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Bag Seed Heads To Catch All the SeedsBag Seed Heads To Catch All the Seeds
September 9, 2013

Prevent seed pods from dropping their seeds to the ground by using organza bags.

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More Spigots Equal Easier WateringMore Spigots Equal Easier Watering
April 8, 2013

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.

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Seed Cleaning SievesSeed Cleaning Sieves
November 21, 2012

Seeds can be separated from chaff using kitchen strainers, window screening, hardware cloth (wire mesh) and spice jars.

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Silica Gel for Dry Seed StorageSilica Gel for Dry Seed Storage
November 4, 2012

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.

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Adding Screened Bark to Potting MixAdding Screened Bark to Potting Mix
August 17, 2012

Improve the drainage and aeration of seedling and potting mixes with pine bark shreds.

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Hydrogen Peroxide for Seed StartingHydrogen Peroxide for Seed Starting
May 7, 2012

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.

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