Carrot Germination by Boiling-Water Method

Question from Matt: I was fortunate enough to attend your presentation at the last SD Master Gardener Seminar. At that time, you suggested speeding up the germination period for carrots by pouring boiling water over the freshly-sown seeds. Although you said that boiled-water germination would likely occur within 3 days, I have not seen any […]

Seed starting in trays-lid on or off during the day

Question: For simplicity, water conservation and my own energy conservation (I have a very spread out container garden) I am starting my seeds (no beets or carrots or root fellas) in seed trays. I have these nice little Jiffy Triple Greenhouse trays with a plastic top, that forms like a hot greenhouse for them. During […]

Seeds for Lobelia richardsonii

Q. I’m interested in obtaining seeds for L. richardsonii.  Any idea where they can be found?  A local garden center used to sell it in containers and it would trial 30″ or more… Have never seen it since. A. Lobelia richardsonii is a plant of uncertain origin. It might be a mutation or hybrid of […]

Gardening from Seed

Question from Cynthia: I took out a big area of lawn to enlarge my flower beds. I started Virginia stock, sweet pea, and poppy from seed, then planted the bed densely. It’s beautiful!!! But….now I’m wondering how to transition as smoothly as possible from my spring garden to a summer garden. I would like new […]

Pea Seeds Sprouting

Question from Jack: Pat, how long does it take the pea seeds to sprout using your plastic bag trick? Answer from Pat: It usually takes about three days for pea seeds with the shriveled gene to sprout when wrapped in a damp paper towel and placed in a ziplock bag and the whole thing put […]

Seed Catalogs

Question from Bobbie: Can you recommend a good vegetable seed catalog for Europe (Germany) preferably organic. I’ll be setting up a garden there next month. Answer from Pat: From your query I’m not sure if you are wanting to take seeds over there or want to purchase them when you arrive? The Fischer Company in […]

Storing and keeping seeds

Question from Monty: If I have seeds I don’t use during a current planting season, what is the best way to keep or store seeds in hopes they’ll be good for when I’m ready to put ’em in the ground? Answer from Pat: Some seeds such as onion seeds don’t store well. Others such as […]

Starting Seeds

Question from Monty: In general, what method do you recommend for starting seedlings from seeds? Using a starter tray on top of the water heater; small starter pots in a dark corner of the closet, placing the seeds in wet paper towel then in a plastic bag? Any of the above, all of the above, […]

Torrey Pine Seed

Question from Alan: I would like to plant a torrey pine seed and hopefully get a tree from it, how should I go about doing this, what type of potting soil, pot, how much water, how deep do I plant the seed, how long until germination or sprout and anything else you can tell me […]

When To Plant Annual, Perennial, and Biennial Flowers From Seeds

Question from Brandon: Please help! My wife and I, as inspired by your book, are setting in motion our plan to start our fall planting by starting seed in August. We’re planning our beds for cool season flowers, but we are having a giant disagreement about warm season blooms. Here’s the question: When should we […]