Autumn has come, and with it the hard freezes that end the joys of the late summer garden. Gorgeous blossoms have turned to slimy black heaps that won't come back no matter what. What's a gardener to do?
The Fall Gardener Prepares For Spring
Smart gardeners start planning for the next year as soon as frost kills hope for the current season's crops. Some gardeners prefer to buy flats full of flowers and veggies in the springtime, but that costs an awful lot of money. For a more reasonable bill and more control, planting from seed is key.
The Seed Starters Handbook is the best guide to planting from seed that I know of, helping gardeners of all sorts take the leap into gardening the old-fashioned way. In this book, you'll find information ranging from reasons to raise from seed to selecting a good soil to constructing special areas for raising seedlings to collecting and storing seeds for the next year.
Best of all, there's a wonderful section which provides information on a broad range of particular plants from seed. Separate chapters contain tips on seeding vegetables and fruits, herbs, garden flowers, wildflowers, and shrubs and trees.
Sometimes, we take seed peculiarities for granted. For example, I was planning on planting pansy seeds for my winter garden today, only I was going to plant them in the sun. According to the chapter on growing garden flowers from seed, pansy seeds actually will only germinate in the dark. It takes years for a gardener to learn and remember such information, but a book such as The Seed Starters Handbook can help to make the learning curve less steep.
By the Way...
The Seed Starters Handbook is printed on recycled paper - definitive proof that author Nancy Bubel is the genuine article. You'll want to use this book for many seasons, so I suggest getting a hard-cover version. The paper is acid-free, so it'll last as long as you need it to.
For those who are interested, there's a thriving seed exchange community growing online. Just go to a good search engine and search for "seed exchange", "seed bank" or "seed saver" and you'll find a huge number of sites with more information about how to get started. Or, if you prefer a more centralized entry into the world of seed saving, check out our review of the Seed Savers Exchange.