Seed guide

Garden Edibles: Success Secrets

April 15, 2014
Submitted by admin

Early spring is a great time to get a jump-start on the edibles in your garden. Whether you live on a sprawling estate or in a high-rise condo, there is opportunity to grow veggies and herbs you can use in a fresh garden salad or your favorite cocktail. In early spring many cool-climate gardeners find themselves at an in-between stage, but there are some garden tasks you can complete that will ensure you are ready for planting with the time arrives.

Going to Seed

March 22, 2011
Submitted by admin

Are you interested in growing lettuce in your garden, after reading our great article about Spring Greens, flipping through the gorgeous Greens Glossary, and learning how to grow your own ingredients in Step-by-Step: Growing Salad Greens? Here are five of our favorite catalogs for lettuce seeds:

What Seeds, Bulbs, and Plants Will You Purchase this Year?

January 07, 2011
Submitted by admin

Here at the GARDEN DESIGN office, the seed catalogs have started coming in the mail. This is a spread of gorgeous purple tomatoes from the 2011 Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog ( Though our town will be covered in four inches of snow tonight, it's fun to plan out our plantings for the spring and summer. Have you thought about what you're going to plant this year? What seed and plant catalogs are your go-tos?

The Best Sources for Buying Seeds

January 03, 2011
Submitted by admin

Can you recommend some good sources for buying seeds and offer some tips for starting plants from seed? 

—Julia Tomer, Pittsburgh 

Gardening Advice: Starting Seeds Under Fluorescent Lights

December 09, 2009
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Q: Last spring I had lots of luck starting seed of coleus, impatiens, zinnias, marigolds, and vinca with just one fluorescent light. I want to add more this year, and I'd like to know which lights are best. Kristin Fahey, Akron, Ohio

Botanic Superlatives: The Oldest Seed Bank

December 08, 2009
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In the early 20th century, Russian botanist and geneticist Nikolai Vavilov cultivated a preserve that would become one of the world's largest repositories of rare seeds and crops. The collection represented a vast botanic diversity—Vavilov spent two decades traveling five continents gathering seeds.

Botanic Notables: A Flower That Plants Its Own Seeds

December 06, 2009
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Most plants try to disperse their seeds far and wide. That way, if a flood or fire kills the parent plant, at least the progeny will be spared. Moreover, any plant can be a competitor for nutrients, so the further flung the children, the better. Geocarpic plants are exceptions to this rule. These rare angiosperms prefer to keep their young close to home—actually, they don't even leave the nest before settling into the ground. By depositing their seeds in the ground, geocarpic plants are their own so-called seed sowers. 

Botanic Superlatives: The Most Beautiful Corn

November 30, 2009
Submitted by admin

Tassels, silk, and glass gems—objet de luxe or, well, grain? If you're thinking of a certain husk-swaddled treasure, you are correct: Corn in general, and a rare heirloom variety in particular. Tassels and silk, with their pollen and ovules, are the so-called trimmings that produce an ear of corn. And glass gem is the name of a beautiful variety with a palette of improbable colors: lilac, merlot, robin's egg blue, pearl, baby pink.

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