Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
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Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
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Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
Unusual transplants can be harder to find at gardening centers. So, seeds can really open the door to exciting plant discoveries – all for a couple dollars. But before you buy those seeds, ask yourself a few questions.
Who is supplying these seeds and how were they collected?
Always consider the sources of your seeds, particularly for edible plants. Is the seed company well established and following good gardening principles when collecting and storing seeds? Has the company demonstrated a strong belief in sustainability, plant diversity and protecting endangered plants? Does it have a good reputation for seed quality and customer service? What is its position on genetically engineered seeds? There are many good seed companies out there, but make sure you’re buying from a reputable company with excellent products.
Are the seeds organic or not?
If you’re growing food, you may want the seeds to be organic. Many seed companies provide conventional and organic seeds side by side, with both types labeled clearly. If the seeds are certified organic that means they were harvested from plants grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or fungicides.
Are the seeds open-pollinated or hybrid?
Pay attention to whether the seeds are open-pollinated or a hybrid. If you buy hybrids – which are a cross between two or more parent plants with desirable characteristics – they will be marked (F1). For gardeners who save seeds to plant the following year, this is important information. When you plant seeds from hybrids they won’t reproduce identical to the parent plant. However, if you plant open-pollinated seeds, you’ll be able to save seeds for future generations because the new plants stay true to form. This is how heirloom plants, which have open-pollinated seeds, have continued to grow in gardens for centuries.
Where will you grow the seeds?
Just as with transplants, consider whether your garden provides the right growing conditions for the seeds you’re ordering. Are you trying to grow full-sun annuals in a shady spot? Will those drought-tolerant plants survive in that garden bed, or does the soil stay too moist? Many companies list the growing needs of their seeds in their catalogs and on websites. You can learn a lot about plants, and save yourself money and time, if you take the time to learn first whether those seeds will thrive in your garden.
Should you sow them outdoors? Or start them indoors?
Some seeds grow best when sown directly in the garden soil, such as peas, lettuces, sunflowers, carrots and poppies.
Other plants should be started indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date; then planted outside later in the season. This includes frost-sensitive tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Knowing how particular seeds germinate best will help you know when to get started, and whether you’ll need to find sufficient indoor lighting to start seeds in your home.
How long will those seeds stay viable?
It’s easy to buy more seeds than you can actually plant in a year. In fact, I do this all the time. Keep in mind those old seeds will only last so long. Some seeds are naturally more short-lived than others, such as spinach or onion seeds. Others last longer such as kale or collard greens. Seeds are best stored in a cool, dry area like a basement or refrigerator. To see if your seeds are still viable, place a few seeds on a wet paper towel in a warm room. In a few days, they should start to germinate.