video tutorials, tried-and-true tips + our latest learnings to surround you with abundance all season long
The red-winged blackbirds have returned and we just got eighteen inches of snow!
Before I sat down with a cup of chaga tea to write you this morning, here is what we did at dawn:
Friends, I've been asked a lot recently:
"Is it worth planting these seeds I didn't sow last season?"
The answer is yes. Mostly.
Here's the thing: most seeds will last three to five years kept dry and stable, relatively low temperatures. A kitchen cupboard or desk drawer are perfect places for seeds. So planting seed from the year or two prior is perfect.
The only exception: anything in the allium family (onion, leek, scallion, chive, shallot) and parsnip. Their seed coat is thin and fragile, so they readily oxidize and lose their germination. These are the only seeds to purchase each year. If you do have extra from years past, sow them more densely than you would if their germination was optimal.
Many seeds are delicious as seedlings...
With snow still on the ground and freezing nights long from over, it's finally time to sow the first seeds!
Sowing alliums is certainly a sign that spring has nearly sprung.
The ideal window to sow onions, leeks & seeded shallots here in Zone 5 is mid-February to mid-March. No need to rush, you've got time to gather everything you need to make it easy. Growing great seedlings is one of the best ways to ensure you'll truly reap what you sow.
And don't worry, it's not time to start everything. In fact, most seeds sown this early would be sown weeks (& months!) too soon, here in Zone 5.
The only seeds to sow in February are allium seeds. The Allium family (thanks for the great name, Linneus) include onions, leeks, shallots, chives and garlic. Garlic and vegetative shallots are planted in fall and chives can wait 'til April, but the first three are best sown mid-February to...
Many gardeners want to start seeds more successfully, so my friend Sal and I created this gorgeous infographic for you:
...the LED grow light that we use? Here.
...easy to use soil blockers to make gorgeous soil blocks? Here.
...organic potting soil? Here.
...a heat mat that will change my life? Here.
And for our Ultimate Seed Starting Collection, head here.
Dreaming of the season ahead, my dear friend Kc inspired me to make a list of the 7 essential things she needed to know to start seeds well...
...then I'm scheming to make supper with my dear friend Sal, whose illustrations are as vivid and whimsical as her gardens and stories. Eureka! Sal and I had SO much fun laughing and learning as we brought to life the 7 Essentials of Seed Starting through visual story.
Welcome to Sal's Garden!
Petra: Whose advice do you always listen to?
Whether you hope to harvest 10 or 10,000 tomatoes, diseases like Late Blight, Early Blight and Septoria Leaf Spot are affecting your abundance every season here in the Northeast.
Here are the 5 keys to preventing tomato disease:
Sowing seeds with natural genetic resistance to these diseases is the single greatest thing you can do to increase your success whether you are an organic or conventional grower.
Often flavorful heirlooms have little disease resistance and modern varieties with tons of disease resistance have little remarkable flavor. There are exceptions though, and here are some:
A delicious heirloom tomato that shares the classic tomato genus but belongs to a separate species, so it has natural resistance to late blight, early blight and septoria leaf spot. Chiapas is always the first and often the final tomato we harvest each...
Here are nine key questions to source the best seeds possible for you, making your garden beautiful and abundant from the start.
At the end is my (inimitable) response to one of our most asked questions:
"Are these seeds GMO-free?"
Stay curious, ask questions & have fun!
May the seeds you sow amplify abundance for all for months and generations to come :)
For years we’ve been asked to demystify seed starting and here it is: Rise & Shine shares everything you need to start seeds successfully at home in 40 beautiful pages with easy-to-follow instructions and insightful tips for the novice and experienced grower alike.