Seeds « Archive

Posted on 06 May 2009 by

Ridiculously Productive: Growing the Zucchini


zucchini1By Vanessa Richins

One of the most common vegetables planted in the home garden is the zucchini.

It’s easy to grow and productive…almost TOO productive.

There are many stories I hear of eager gardeners who find themselves overwhelmed at harvest time when their plants are overflowing with zucchini.

Faced with an unexpected bounty, they foist them upon their neighbors, friends, family, strangers…anyone they come across. I have even heard of zucchini being secretly left on doorstops.

Never fear though – now that you know the secret, you’ll be aware that you don’t need to grow many zucchini plants unless you plan to feed an army.

You’ll want to start by Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 04 April 2009 by

Useful Seed, Plant and Organic Garden Products Finders

dwarf-papyrusBy Vanessa Richins

I love reading about rare, unusual, and tropical plants.

It is fascinating to discover ones that most people have never heard of.

Naturally, I want to grow them myself.

However, since they aren’t as common, it follows that it is harder to buy them.

Mother Earth News has put together a great new tool for those looking for seeds and plants, both common and unusual. Simply visit their Seed and Plant Finder to “quickly search the online catalogs of more than 500 mail order seed companies” using their search box. They suggest putting any variety names with two or more words in quotation marks.

In the past, a friend and I have enjoyed growing dwarf papyrus in buckets. We have been wanting to try the giant species, but only found seeds. Since giant papyrus is more difficult to grow from seed, I thought this would be a good opportunity to see if there was a place that offered giant papyrus plants.

With this tool, I was able to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 05 March 2009 by

Learn a Little Latin – Botanical Names

latinBy Vanessa Richins

Once you start venturing into the wonderful world of urban gardening, you may notice that plants can be called by many different names.

Every plant has at least two names – a common name and a botanical Latin name.

Why would you want to learn the Latin (botanical) name of a plant?

The Latin name of each plant is determined using a system called binomial nomenclature, invented by a botanist named Carl Linnaus. This system gives each plant (and animal, too) a specific two word name – the genus and the species. The genus refers to a group of plants with similar characteristics. The species refers to one specific plant.

One advantage to knowing the Latin name is that you can Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 25 February 2009 by

Nature Hills Nursery Creates Green America Awards

garedningBy Vanessa Richins

Many gardening companies are jumping on the bandwagon of urban gardening.

They offer support and products to help individuals and groups improve their neighborhoods.

Nature Hills Nursery is no exception.

Their website proclaims “Our goal is to help communities reclaim land, turning eyesores into oases. We want to help dedicated individuals, groups and organizations make their local communities better Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 17 February 2009 by

Recession Gardening: Demand for Urban Gardens Grows

recession-gardeningBy Vanessa Richins

They may be worried about the economy, the safety of their produce, or simply desiring the splendid taste that comes with homegrown vegetables.

Whatever the reason, one thing is clear : 2009 will have even more vegetable growers than usual.

“We’ve seen almost double demand,” says Tracy Lee, director of horticulture at the seed company W. Atlee Burpee Co. in Warminster, Pa. ( “It’s amazing.”

Many people are looking to find ways to ease their budget woes in a plummeting economy. Seeds and transplants can provide vegetables in your diet for a fraction of the cost.

An increase in seed sales is “typical when we see an economic downturn,” according to Stephanie Turner, director of seed product at Park Seed Co., another venerable catalog house in Greenwood, S.C. ( “People are trying to stay home and beautify what they have and grow their own food.”

It’s not just about money, though. Think back to Read the rest of this entry »


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