Garden Facts

Annuals are flowers that are sown, grow, flower, set seed and die in one season. Depending upon climate some annuals may become perennials and are then considered as such. Growing from seed or buying transplants depends upon the germination time of the seed. Annuals range in height and size from the ground-hugging alyssum to sunflowers that may get over six feet high.  Annuals also include mosses and colorful leafed plants such as coleus.

coleus


Perennials are non-woody stemmed plants, which grow and produce flowers for three years or more. There are several groups of these plant types. Some die down to the ground and reappear at the start of the next growing season. Others become low foliage during non-flowering season and others are the evergreens.

salvia

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Garden Hints

Quality Soil is a Gardener's Gold: Test your soil, then take the suggested steps of adding humus, compost or sand, depending on the deficiencies, to increase the water-holding capacity of the soil and to add necessary nutrients. Your goal is loamy soil. Loam is soil composed of sand, silt and clay in relatively even concentration (about 40-40-20% concentration respectively). Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus than sandy soils, have better infiltration and drainage than silty soils, and are easier to till than clay soils. Loams are gritty, moist, and retain water easily.

soil


Best Peppers: Plant peppers deeper than they were in the pot. Like tomatoes, they develop more roots off the stem if you plant them deeper. Also, pinch off the first pepper blossoms. This won’t harm the plants. In fact, it helps them direct their energy into growing, so you get lots of large fruits later in the season (and a higher overall yield) instead of just a few small fruits early on.

pepper

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Seed Collecting & Storage

Supplies needed for seed collecting:

Scissors

Paper bags or envelopes

Sharpie or other fine tipped marker to label your seed containers.

A box or bag to carry all the other equipment.

seeds


Seed collecting: Always harvest your seeds when it's dry; around mid-day or early afternoon on a sunny day is ideal. Try not to collect them when they're damp. If you can't avoid it, lay them out separately on newspaper to dry out before putting them together in paper bags.

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Composting

Compost is one of nature's best mulches and soil amendments, and you can use it instead of commercial fertilizers. Best of all, compost is cheap. You can make it without spending a cent. Using compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration and increases the soil's water-holding capacity. Compost loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils retain water. Adding compost improves soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants. The organic matter provided in compost provides food for microorganisms, which keeps the soil in a healthy, balanced condition. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus will be produced naturally by the feeding of microorganisms, so few if any soil amendments will need to be added.

composting

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USDA Hardiness Map