Monday, March 10, 2008

Seed starting tip - soak thick seeds

Some thick skinned seeds need to be soaked before sowing. The 24 hours in the water glass will soften the shell of the seed and promote faster germination. Recently, we soaked Sweet Pea and Castor Bean. Both favorites for our garden. The Sweet Pea is a vigorous climber that produces an abundance of bright, graceful and fragrant flowers from early summer on. It will climb up a string, a trellis, a light post or in our case up metal fire escape stairs. It is a lovely cut flower also.

The Castor bean grows into a huge plant and was frequently grown in the Victorian era because it is so large and showy in the garden. It has huge lush tropical leaves up to 3 feet across! It is an annual (one year) plant that is easy to grow and makes excellent temporary hedges or background plantings. Castor bean seeds are poisonous so it is best to keep away from curious toddlers. We have always taught our kids not to eat any herb until they ask first. An important lesson since our back yard is one big gardening adventure filled with plants that taste good, have interesting structure, really pretty flowers and fragrance.

No comments: