Good Gardening Week 8: Seed Saving

Welcome back to Good Gardening! In our Week 7 discussion, we wanted to know the best garden hacks our Good Gardeners know. As always we took the conversation to social media and shared pictures and anecdotes. We had all kinds of different topical tricks.

M. Hanson wrote in with a surprising fail-safe to use for direct seeding. M recommends using a dusting of ground egg shells to cover the soil area one wishes to seed, in order to serve the dual purpose of making misplaced tiny seeds (think carrot, fennel, or radish seed,) pop next to the white eggshells, and adding calcium to the soil.

Drew Holloway wrote in with a hack to use beneficial nematodes to eat the larva of that most famous of pestilential invasive species—the Japanese beetle. Furthermore, Drew uses PlantNet for identifying plants he found in the wild and weeds growing in the garden.

Monica Richards water garden made from an old bookshelf.

These belong to Monica Richards who wrote in to show off her own DIY skills with this perimeter wall made from stone and chicken wire (which survived a California wildfire) and a water garden from an an old bookshelf.

You can build a garden very quickly using things you no longer need around your house! An old bookshelf – lay it on its back in a place where you need a raised garden, remove the shelves (or don’t – you can keep them in as separators), fill it with cardboard, soil, compost, old bills, straw, layers of anything that will break down. Fill the top 2” with some soil and add some seedlings! 

The Sharing Gardens’ milk carton plants

The Sharing Gardens sent in this excellent photo of milk-carton plants, along with some links to their blog resources on DIY hacks.

Whether it’s creative use of milk cartons, tofu containers or baling twine…Or processing spent coffee grounds or wood ashes to increase soil fertility, at the Sharing Gardens we’re always trying to find ways to ‘re-purpose’ things that might otherwise go to the landfill.

Lastly we got a comment from Elisha who has a hack made of peppermint oil especially for staving off deer.

I use diluted pure Peppermint essential oil (not synthetic) to keep the deer and rabbits from snacking on my pretty flowers. I even use it when the “deer resistant” plants and flowers are young and haven’t developed the chemicals yet that the deer won’t eat. I put about 3-4 drops pure Peppermint essential oil in around a gallon of water which I spray from standard spray bottle. All the critters will leave Peppermint alone. I’ve even used it to get rid of a wasp nest in the eves of my carport. I love it!

“There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.,” — Janet Kilburn Phillips.

Question 1: Do you save seeds?

Question 2: Have you ever created a personal variety?

Question 3: Recount some experiences with seed saving: for example have you ever saved a crop or heavy rain tolerant variety that you’ve used in later years?

Tell Us Here in The Comments… or, send your questions, tips, and photos to [email protected] Join our Facebook Good Gardens thread every Friday on the GNN Facebook Page

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