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George Pessin's Gardening Tips


























Making paper pots to plant seeds:

  1. Use recycled newspaper and a round wooden block.


  2. Starting seeds of cucumber, melon, or tomato.


  3. Being spring/summer, we plant warm weather crops, as opposed to cool weather crops like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, etc., which we plant here in Southern California in the fall/winter.


  4. It is not just the warmer weather that the plants like, but actually the longer days (40% more sunshine) that gives the plant the energy (through photosynthesis) to make the fruits.


Planting seeds in an egg carton:

  1. Use a recyclable material to start seeds in.


  2. As with the paper pots, we use potting soil not garden soil. It's looser, which makes it easier for the roots to grow.


  3. We're planting basil seeds which will go great with our tomatoes.


  4. When it's time to transplant, we cut one of the squares and bury it up to the soil line. The cardboard will disintegrate.


Making seed tape:

  1. Using strips of newspaper or paper towel and homemade glue, we attach seeds to paper and when dry, we can then plant directly in the ground or save for next season.


  2. This is particularly useful for small seeds like carrots and lettuce that need to be spaced a certain distance apart.


  3. If we were to sow the seeds directly in the ground, they would grow too close together and we would need to "thin" them out.


  4. If you've seen seedlings that look "leggy," which means long thin stems, it usually happens from being planted too close together. The plants are trying to outdo one another reaching for sunshine.


Making an herb garden in a container:

  1. These perennial herbs (thyme, chives, oregano, rosemary) like full sun or light shade and would be great for a patio or even an indoor location with southern exposure.


  2. Being perennial means they will keep growing for many years as opposed to an annual like basil, which grows flowers and seeds in one season.


  3. One of my earliest gardening experiences was running a kitchen garden for a restaurant and one of the first plots we planted was the herb garden.


  4. If you're a true foodie, you've got to have an herb garden.


Make a bird feeder:

  1. Again, we're recycling. Start with toilet paper rolls or cut a paper towel roll in half.


  2. We slather on peanut butter and then cover it with bird seeds.


  3. Once finished, we simply attach it over a branch.


  4. Attracting birds to a garden is useful to minimize damage from insects and worms.



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