HO-HO-HO: It’s seed season, among other festive reasons to celebrate in December. Today I invited a similarly seed-obsessed friend, Jennifer Jewell, to help me curate some seed-catalog recommendations you might not otherwise browse, and to talk seeds in general.
Jennifer’s latest book is “What We Sow: On the Personal, Ecological, and Cultural Significance of Seeds” (affiliate link) and she is the creator of the popular “Cultivating Place” podcast. We talked about how to choose a seed catalog, why regionality matters, and more. (That’s a peek in Jennifer’s seed drawer at home, above.)
Plus: Enter to win a copy of “What We Sow” by commenting in the box near the bottom of the page.
Read along as you listen to the Dec. 18, 2023 edition of my public-radio show and podcast using the player below. You can subscribe to all future editions on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Spotify (and browse my archive of podcasts here).
seed shopping with Jennifer jewell
Margaret Roach: You’re there in Northern California, and I’m here in upper New York State-ish, mid-New York State-ish. So we’re opposite ends of the country.
Jennifer Jewell: But in the same season, right? The seed season.
Margaret: Exactly. “What We Sow,” your book—I don’t remember what month it even came out, but it’s not long ago, really; not that long ago.
Jennifer: Yeah. No, September.
Margaret: I mentioned in the introduction that I’d invited a similarly seed-obsessed friend to the show today[laughter]. That would be you. And I wonder how, if you remember, how you got keenly interested in seed. Beyond the obvious fact that you and I are both gardeners, but what happened? Do you remember what pushed the button for you to go really into seed?
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Stacie Crooks is a Seattle-based garden designer who has created beautiful, ecologically friendly, low-maintenance gardens throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is also a contributing editor for Fine Gardening magazine and has shared her insights with our readers through 10 feature articles and several departments over the past 17 years. In this episode, Carol interviews Stacie about the lessons that she has gained from her years of garden design experience.
Soil blocking is a seed-starting technique that uses cubes of compressed soil to grow healthy, vigorous plants. It’s my go-to method for starting vegetable, flower, and herb seeds and produces a lot of seedlings without the need for plastic pots or cell packs. The cubes of soil are made using metal soil blockers which come in a variety of sizes. Soil blocking isn’t difficult but there are a few points to keep in mind to boost success. Below you’ll learn all about soil blocking and the best way to make sturdy cubes of soil for seed starting.
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