February 17th started out as a cold day with snow and ice on the ground. Halfway through the meeting the snow began again. We know that some of our members decided not to brave weather and we encourage you to check the links below for video of the presentation and the full slide show. A big thanks goes to our speaker, Mike Knox, for making it out in spite of the weather!
The February meeting was also our annual seed swap. For those who missed it, there were many seeds left over. If you missed the February meeting or still have seeds you’d like to exchange please bring them for the March meeting.
The meeting started with our Herb Highlight. Mardell Bontrager taught us about garlic. She reminded us of garlic’s antiviral and antibiotic properties. She also explained how to make a garlic pesticide. Thank you Mardel!
Mike Knox from White Harvest Seed Company in Hartville Missouri was our main speaker of the evening. He began by encouraged us, saying, “The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies.” He continued on giving us an overwhelming amount of advice on starting seeds and preparing for the growing season. For seed starting, remember:
For herbs, we were encouraged to think about these things:
Habitat- What makes this plant thrive?
Eco-environment- What other factors encourage or discourage this plant, companion plants, pests, beneficial insects, etc?
Ready to go- Make sure you have all your supplies.
Be a Book Worm- Keep reading, and keep learning.
Starting Techniques- Different seeds call for different processes: soaking, stratification, scarification, or direct sowing.
After all that, there are still a few things we often forget (or just get lazy about). Our plants need to make the transition from indoors to the garden. This is called “hardening off”. Put your plants outside for an hour starting 7 to 10 days before transplant. Put them out for two hours the next day and so on. Check the soil temp before transplanting. Remember to bury biodegradable pots completely below the surface so they won’t wick water away from the roots.
Thank you Mike for the wealth of information!