9:00 to 5:30
As one BHN's newest members I would like to formally introduce myself. My name is Ivy Nickels. I am a recent college graduate from Southern Illinois University. Over the last 6 years I have spent time studying Plant Biology, Nursery Management, and Landscape Design. Four months ago I decided to pick up and move to California in order to explore the ecological diversity of the west coast. It is my great privilege to take over this "corner", and I look forward to becoming acquainted with the many dedicated patrons of Berkeley Horticultural Nursery.
Outdoor Summer Seeding Tips
In the most rudimentary sense "seeds" are embryos surrounded by a small energy pack enveloped by a protective coat. Throughout time seeds have been sown into the earth through both natural and human forces. Successful seeding can be ensured by following a few practical steps:
- Read sowing information provided on the seed package. Watch for special planting instructions such as presoaking the seeds. Other useful information is typically provided such as spacing and proper sowing depth.
- Choose appropriate plants for the designated planting site. Be sure light levels are appropriate for that particular species. Also, to avoid competition, be sure to give each plant plenty of growing space.
- Check soil water levels daily to maintain consistent moisture. Letting the soil dry out will result in seed death. Seedlings are small, and only have limited resources to work with. Conversely, keeping the soil too moist can quickly result in root rot leading to seedling death.
Warm Season Crop Suggestions
A number of different plant types can be successfully grown at this time of the year. These are traditionally known as warm season crops and they grow best in warm soils.
- Annual - Sunflower varieties such as 'Russian Mammoth' are sure to make a statement due to their immense flower size and overall plant height.
- Biennial - Starting 'two season' plants such as hollyhock 'The Watchman' will allow for the less showy, vegetative phase of the plant to be completed during the summer months of the first year. This ensures an immense floral display next spring.
- Perennial - Starting perennials from seed is a cost-effective way of filling your beds with lots of long-lived plants. Perennials, such as the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), grow vigorously in warm weather. Though they may not flower during their first season, these plants will give you blooms over many years to come!
- Vegetable - Summer squashes such as 'Emerald Delight' zucchini love warm soil. These vigorous growers will begin to produce copious amounts of fruit in only 55 days!