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To soak or not to soak…that is the question (?)

The ecological relationship between seed and soil is like a symphony; there are natural cues that promote germination.

One of the major cues is moisture level! When the conditions are right, the seed will follow its own instinct and begin to swell. Once the seed coat is soft and moist the new seedling erupts into life.

The germination time for seeds varies greatly depending on the species. Some seeds can take years for germination (peonies) and others germinate in less than three days (cabbage family). We can use a mechanical force to speed the germination time (soaking).

Large seeds with hard coats (sunflowers, honeywort, peas, beans, corn and sweet peas) will appreciate a longer soaking- up to 24 hours.

Larger seeds with softer coats such as pumpkins, squash, chard, beets, nasturtium and cucumber are perfect to soak overnight.

Small seeds like lettuce, radish, carrots and tomatoes can become mushy and sticky if soaked too long (15-30 min) is appropriate.

Find a shallow bowl, place your seeds and top with water. Set away from pets, kids and spouses out of direct sunlight and in a warm location. Warm water is best but any water will do (what would nature do).

Once seeds have soaked and swelled…it is time to plant! Follow your seed packet guidelines for planting depth or reference our write up: https://seedsandsoilorganics.com/…/seed-starting-simply/

When in doubt…ask the question: What would nature do?

Alaska Sown-Alaska Grown

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Spotlight on seed: Giant Red Mustard

Giant Red Mustard is a staple green in our kitchen. This is my husbands favorite leafy green by far!

Perfect for companion planting with slow growing vegetables or flowers, mustard is a true “cut and come again”. Harvest individual leaves for sandwiches, salads or a stir fry. The large leaves can be used as wraps for a low carb and gluten free bread replacement.

Mustard is excellent combined with sweeter greens in “wilted” salads and perfect for some flavor in smoothies.

This variety is very cold hardy and withstands frosts with ease. Mustard is perfect for shade gardens and those that are a bit cooler.

Fall in love with flavor with an old fashioned green.

Shop now: https://seedsandsoilorganics.com/product/mustard-giant-red-brassica-juncea-var-integrifolia/

Alaska sown-Alaska grown

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What seeds are we starting this week

Chives!

One of my favorite “stacking” plants…chives have so many functions within the garden ecology and they are one of the easiest plants to grow with a little attention.

A hardy herbaceous perennial (zone 3 to 11) that serves as an edible perennial, pollinator attractor, biocontrol, cut flower, edible flower, self seeding plant that can be divided in the fall every 2-3 years. I don’t think it get much better than that.

We intensively plant chives around our Apple trees to outcompete the grass but to also attract pollinators and beneficial insects.

Start in flats or cell packs. Sow 1/4″ deep with germination occurring within 10-14 days. Once chives reach about 5″ in height, give them a nice trim to 2″.

Don’t forget to feed them every 3 weeks while growing indoors.

Yes! We do have seeds available: https://seedsandsoilorganics.com/product-category/shop-seeds/

Happy Growing!

Alaska sown-Alaska grown

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Safe Seed Pledge

Here is our pledge:

SAFE SEED PLEDGE

“Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend.  We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations.  For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners, and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.  The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats…”

All of the links to sign the pledge, research the pledge or contact the Council for Responsible Genetics are no longer viable.

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What seeds are we starting this week?

Artichokes!

These beauties really take the stage as part of an edible landscaping or in the Alaska home garden.

Artichokes grow slowly…and require a cold period (vernalization) to influence this perennial into growing a heart as an annual. There are many options on how and when the cold processing can be completed. Here is our process:

We start our Artichokes in 4″ pots and keep the temperature 60F-70F. It can take up to three weeks for germination.

We pot up as these giants slowly grow over the next three months. Around the end of April or beginning of May we set the starts outside when the temperatures are above 34F and below 50F for about 2-3 weeks.

Once all danger of a killing frost has passed, we transplant outside. Design and bed preparation is key as these show stoppers need a minimum of 4′ sq. ft.

Alaska sown- Alaska grown