Seed Collecting and Trading

image Ever consider growing a garden from seed? It’s can be cheaper and easier than you think. Most of the many plants around my garden were grown from seed. I started collecting my own seed and found I was saving a bundle and having fun with it! If you’re interested, now is the time of year to try. While seeds can be collected all through the summer (especially from perennials), there seems to be more available in the fall (such as from annuals). To get started, check out The Seed Site. This is an amazing resource for both the beginner and the seasoned gardener. It covers how to save seeds, what to look for, how to grow them and even includes several pictoral indexes of hundreds of seeds, seed pods and seedlings.

Once you start saving your own seeds you can enter the somewhat addictive world of seed trading. Here’s how it works:
You save and label seeds that you collect
Then post the seeds you have available and the seeds you want on a seed trading forum
Through the forum you arrange a trade with another gardener and send them in the mail to eachother. The only cost is postage, which often isn’t much!

I use GardenWeb Seed Exchange for seed trading. I’ve tried other ones but didn’t like them as much.

Happy seed collecting, trading and sowing!

Drug-Free Lawn

image I’ve been wanting to follow an organic program with our yard for awhile now but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. So I checked out our local library and found “The Organice Lawn Care Manual” by Paul Tukey. This book is exactly what I needed. It covers everything you could want to know about caring for your lawn the GREEN way. If you currently use a strict regimen of chemicals on your lawn it shows you how to get your lawn off drugs and ease it into a sustainable ecosystem.

Here are some of the areas it covers:
Soil components
Types of grasses
How to start a lawn from scratch
How to renovate an existing lawn
Maintenance list month by month
Lawn ammendments
Composting
Economical ways to add nutrients
Watering
Mowing
Weeds & insect pests

With readable charts and informative pictures this book keeps your interest and is easy enough for any homeowner to understand. I now have a plan in place for renovating our own yard and tending to it’s specific needs. It’s a joy to know we can have a lush green lawn without compromising the health of our families or the environment.

Gardening Together

In the herb garden Not only do I love to garden but I love to garden with Emma! Everything seems new through her observant and curious eyes. Gardening together is a great way for us to both get out in the fresh air and sunshine. One of her favorite garden activities is harvesting the chamomile flowers to be dried for tea. In this picture taken last summer she’s holding bunches of chamomile and parsley.

image It’s nice that she can also help out with drying herbs. Here she’s placing clippings of oregano into the dehydrator to dry. Some herbs I dry the old-fashioned way upside down. But for herbs like Chamomile the dehydrator seems to work best.

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