17 January 2018

J. L. Hudson Seedsman Ethnobotanical Catalog

The seed bank, J. L. Hudson, Seedsman, is a unique catalog that continues to be a successful, non-commercial venture in La Honda CA.

Keep your computer or smart phone handy because you have to have the botanical name of what you are seeking in order to find it. Common names often appear in the description but not in the listing titles.

I've bought seeds from them several times over the 15-years I've been growing from seed. They have all manner of unusual and common seeds, some of which they categorize as Open Access and Reserved Access.

Every page of the seed list has a search engine that allows shoppers to find out if they have what you are seeking. Serious seed growers, shoppers and browsers can find many special items to try.

The catalog is typeset and very informative, albeit in black and white. No hideous Photoshopped flower and plant pictures but you can always find those on an image search.

Go browse around to find something new to try this year! http://jlhudsonseeds.net/
 New Arrivals - Updated 25 December 2017
"Preservation Through Dissemination"
Seedlist A - AkSeedlist Es - EzSeedlist Pe - PhVegetables A - D
Seedlist Al -AnSeedlist F - GSeedlist Pi - PzVegetables E - R
Seedlist Ap - AzSeedlist HSeedlist Q - RVegetables S - Z
Seedlist BSeedlist I - KSeedlist Sa - ShBulk Vegetable Seeds
Seedlist CaSeedlist La - LeSeedlist Si - SzOrganic Seed Listing
Seedlist Ce - ClSeedlist LiSeedlist Ta - ToReserved Access List
Seedlist Cn - CzSeedlist Lo - LzSeedlist Tr - TzNew Arrivals
Seedlist Da - DeSeedlist MSeedlist U - VBooks
Seedlist Di - DzSeedlist NSeedlist W - ZGibberellic Acid
Seedlist Ea - ErSeedlist O - PaBulk SeedsTobacco Seed

09 January 2018

Richters Herb and Mountain Rose Herb

The two best known and trusted herb seed and plant companies are Richters Herb and Mountain Rose Herb.

My herbie concoction making friends use Mountain Rose pretty much exclusively. I've used them both successfully.

Richters sends me a print catalog every year so, of course, I tend to select items from them - I can see and read about potential selections. Being able to sit with a cup of tea and a pencil makes it much more likely that I'll find things and then go to the website to get others.

In addition to seed packets, Mountain Rose has bulk herbs, teas, aromatherapy supplies, butters, oils, salts, extracts and syrups, facial care, body care and bath, containers for your concoctions, books, kitchen stuff and pet supplies.

For those of us who grow sprouts in the winter, they also have a few sprouting seeds.

One item that caught my eye is "Tasty Tea Collection". It's seven seed packets: thyme, tulsi, valerian, vitex, white sage, wood betony, wormwood, yarrow and yerba mansa.

Richters sells seeds, plant plug packs and trays, plants and supplies. They specialize in herb seeds, oils, kitchen gadgets, garden helpers, dried herbs, teas.

For example, here's the entry for Anise-Hyssop (I can smell it now and see the pollinators all over it).
Everything you need to know to decide, right there on the website page.

Agastache foeniculum
Uses: Culinary/BeverageDuration: Perennial (hardy in zones 4-9)
When to Sow: Spring/Late Summer/Early FallEase of Germination: Easy
Anise-hyssop produces an abundance purple flower spikes, rich with nectar that attracts honey bees, and for beekeepers it yields a lightly fragrant honey. When you squeeze the leaves, a sweet anise-like fragrance is released. When brewed the leaves make an uplifting tea; crushed, they are a culinary seasoning; chewed, freshens breath. Essential oil is medicinal and aromatic, as are its leaves. Roots are known to benefit chest ailments. Sow into well-draining, moist loam, somewhere in full sun. Height up to 40in (100cm); spread 18in (45cm) 
P1145Plants$3.75/ea, $9.00/3 plants, $28.80/12 plants
P1145Plug pack 12$15.00/ea
P1145Plug tray 90$65.00/ea
S1145-001SowNatural(tm) Seeds$3.25/pkt
S1145-001SowNatural(tm) Bulk Seeds$5.00/g, $12.00/10g, $84.00/100g
S1145Bulk Seeds$16.00/10g, $128.00/100g
Currency: United States Dollar

01 January 2018

Black Cherry is Prunus Serotina

Native Black Cherry trees are a really good idea if you can add some wildlife beneficials to your yard.

Cold hardy in zones 3 to 9, Black Cherry is an ideal addition to your habitat shrub row.
Happy in sun or part-sun, these trees bloom in April and May providing nectar for pollinators and sweet scent for humans.

They have a long tap root so they have to be planted young and will resist being transplanted. Eventually, they grow 50 to 80 feet tall so keep them away from overhead wires.

The berries are said to be good for jam but the birds and other wildlife eat them all before we even notice that they've ripened.

NativNurseries offers them for under $5 apiece. This nursery has been recommended to me by habitat gardeners.

Dudley Phelps at NativNurseries said, "We will be growing plenty more this spring, and should have them back up on our website for sale beginning around the month of August. You can order then and request a ship date for when it is a good time of year for you to plant."
For our Zone 7 area, fall planting would be best so request fall shipping. AND Phelps will give you a 10% discount if you use the coupon code ALLTHEDIRT with your order.

Here's the scoop from Missouri Botanical Garden
Prunus serotina, commonly called black cherry, wild cherry or wild rum cherry, is native to eastern North America, Mexico and Central America. In Missouri, it typically occurs in both lowland and upland woods and along streams throughout the state (Steyermark).
It is one of the largest of the cherries, typically growing to 50-80’ (less frequently to 100’) tall with a narrow-columnar to rounded crown. It is perhaps most noted for its profuse spring bloom, attractive summer foliage and fall color. Fragrant white flowers in slender pendulous clusters (racemes to 6” long) appear with the foliage in spring (late April-May).
Flowers are followed by drooping clusters of small red cherries (to 3/8” diameter) that ripen in late summer to dark purple-black. Fruits are bitter and inedible fresh off the tree, but can be used to make jams and jellies. Fruits have also been used to flavor certain liquors such as brandy and whiskey. Fruits are attractive to wildlife. Narrow oblong-ovate to lanceolate, glossy green leaves (to 5” long) have acuminate tips and serrate margins. Foliage turns attractive shades of yellow and rose in fall. Mature trees develop dark scaly bark. Bark, roots and leaves contain concentrations of toxic cyanogenic compounds, hence the noticeable bitter almond aroma of the inner bark. Native Americans prepared decoctions of the inner bark for cough medicines and tea-like cold remedies. Hard, reddish-brown wood takes a fine polish and is commercially valued for use in a large number of products such as furniture, veneers, cabinets, interior paneling, gun stocks, instrument/tool handles and musical instruments.

Genus name from Latin means plum or cherry tree. Specific epithet comes from the Latin word for “late” in reference to the late flowering and fruiting of this cherry in comparison to other cherries.

Problems: As a native tree, black cherry is adapted to the climate and has good resistance to most pests. As with most cherries, however, it is susceptible to a large number of insect and disease pests. Potential diseases include leaf spot, die back, leaf curl, powdery mildew, root rot and fireblight. Potential insects include aphids, scale, borers, leafhoppers, caterpillars, tent caterpillars and Japanese beetles. Spider mites may also be troublesome.

Keep these away from walking paths because the cherries on the ground will smear on your house floors.