Improving Success Starting Seed

February brings thoughts of spring as the time to sow seed for the 2018 gardening season approaches.

This month, I’ve spoken at the Wisconsin Garden Expo and at two regional Master Gardener groups on improving success with seed starting. The latest version of the handouts of this talk are available here.

This information is geared toward home gardeners and includes tips to improve germination and seedling quality regardless of experience level.


Handouts on Improving Success With Seed Starting

New Online Resources & a few tweaks

The Database section is now Online Resources with the addition of some good gardening resources, and relocating the career info there.

The inspiration for the change are these great resources for gardeners wanting to increase their knowledge of plants and gardening:

  • The American Horticulture Society (AHS) listing of Master Gardener programs by state. These programs are designed to provide intensive horticultural training and volunteer experience to gardeners. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about plants and get community volunteering experience.
  • The AHS listing of garden societies, clubs, and organizations includes both regional and national garden groups. Local gardeners are a wealth of gardening information, as well as shared plants.
  • National Gardening Association – a non-profit organization dedicated to education, health & wellness, environmental stewardship, community development, and home gardening. Well worth checking out.

I also added a link to Economic Botany magazine, the Society for Economic Botany’s quarterly publication. This archive dates back to 1947, with articles available in .pdf format. This can be very geeky stuff, but it’s absolutely fascinating information.

I also added a link to this site’s RSS feed and tweaked a few things here and there. I do also tweet and you can find me on LinkedIn.

Plant Databases

I can really geek out doing plant research, and love libraries and databases. North Carolina State University has a sparkly and new database worthy of note:  Floriculture InfoSearch. It searches an interesting and wide range of sources: scientific literature, trade group and association magazines and websites, NC State University, and the American Floral Endowment Floriculture Archive (which includes literature back to the 1800s). I’ve found it such an excellent resource that I created a new page here, Databases. There you can find links to this and other plant-related databases worth investigating. Enjoy!


2014 New Variety Time!

2014?  But 2012 isn’t even over…

While home gardeners ponder their seed orders for 2013 (I’ve been reviewing the new Johnny’s and SSE catalogs, and was happy to pick up the High Mowing catalog at the EXPO trade show), the wholesale horticulture world is getting presentations on new varieties being introduced for the 2014 season.  The industry gets advance notice to evaluate and trial varieties before they reach the market and to get programs finalized and catalogs printed in time for the 2014 sales season. Continue reading

Great Lakes EXPO

My talk on Seed Plug Production was well attended, though as usual, there was plenty of space in the first couple rows.  Thanks to everyone who attended, I hope you found the talk worthwhile.  I’ll be walking the trade show again tomorrow, and hitting some educational sessions, before heading home.

After the talk, one of the attendees asked about Dr. Norm C. Deno’s Seed Germination: Theory and Practice, which I recommended.  It’s out of print, and I personally bought it and both supplements from Dr. Deno while it was available.  These excellent references are now available for download at the USDA National Agricultural library.  The original book is available here (12 meg .pdf), supplement 1 is available here (5 meg .pdf), and supplement 2 here (5 meg .pdf).  Dr. Deno published these works after retiring as a Chemistry professor, and his hobbyist research added significantly toward understanding seed dormancy.

New info and articles

Handouts for my upcoming talk at the Great Lakes EXPO are now up in the Juicy Info seed propagation page.  This is the first time I’ve had handouts uploaded before a talk.  I expect eager attendees to come prepared with extra questions.

Handouts from my talks at the 2012 Perennial Conference are available in the Juicy info vegetative propagation page and the perennial varieties page.

Greenhouse Management has my last article online.  They have always done a good job at formatting my tables, which is not an easy task.  I was on the magazine’s panel of advisers from 2004 until this year.