Gardeners Exchange Group Meeting 15 June 2019
Location: Home of Kathy Dillon
Topic: Seed Starting; Vegetable Planting and Cultivation
The June Gardeners Exchange Group meeting took place at the home of Kathy Dillon. After enjoying the breakfast buffet, the group gathered outdoors to share gardening information with one another. Becki Jones, GEG member and Master Gardener, introduced our speakers: Master Gardeners Cathy Sigalas and Wilma Myers.
Cathy spoke on the topic of “Seed Starting” by emphasizing the importance of choosing seeds for the temperature zone in which we live. She uses a 10 oz. cup with holes she drilled in the bottom to start each seed indoors. Cathy shared information and photos of her home planting station including 4-ft x 8-ft shelving, appropriate trays, potting soil, heat mat, blue/red lighting or LED lighting, and clear plastic covers. Cathy spoke of the benefit of keeping notes, labeling all containers, and keeping a map of where each species is planted, especially because birds or animals may make off with plant markers!
Wilma opened her talk on “Vegetable Planting and Cultivation” by stressing the economic value of growing one’s own vegetables. Having a farm family background, Wilma emphasized the reward of growing corn for its directly picked flavor. Beans, including bush beans and pole beans, are best planted with succession timing to ensure months of freshness. Other highlighted vegetables were cucumbers, Black Seeded lettuce, Black Beauty zucchini (a “trap plant” for beetles) and Swiss chard. Swiss chard can be planted in mid-September for a winter harvest.
The group engaged in a discussion about mulching options including straw, grass clippings, and pine needles for strawberries. Peter Yates suggested adding a little sulfur to pine bark mulch for acid-loving plants such as blueberries. Coffee grounds may also be used as mulch/compost but only on established plants.
Economic Value of Crops Seed Handout 2019 Wilma and Cathy provided a huge array of seeds hand-packaged in tiny “baggies” by several of the Master Gardeners specifically for GEG members. These gifts were highly welcomed by those in attendance. Reference handouts are available for download:
- Economic Value of Crops
- Seed and Planting Information 2019
- Recommended seed catalog, has a lot of information for gardeners: Southern Exposure Seed Exhange
Afterward, members toured Kathy’s delightful flower and vegetable gardens and exchanged an extensive variety of plants with one another.
Jane Blash, GEG Coordinator