21 August 2007

John Deere Regional Gardening newsletter, Calliandra Seeds, Driftwood Gardens

Photo: Variegated dogwood

Sometimes the Blogger software is cranky and today is one of those days so this will be a short entry with only one photograph.

I rescued some seeds of a Powder Puff shrub at a public garden and was looking for propagation advice on the Internet. One of the sites that came up was a John Deere Regional Gardening newsletter from 2001.

A really good piece of advice on the newsletter is one I had forgotten about. Here is the short version: Sterilize the soil when the last crop has come out of a bed.

"Cover the vegetable garden with clear plastic anchored down with stones to heat up and sterilize the soil once spring crops are finished producing. The soil temperatures can reach 135-F under the plastic, high enough to kill insects, weed seeds, and many diseases. June to October is the best time to do this technique in Florida. "

The link to Muskogee's Upper South Regional garden newsletters is http://content.garden.org/johndeere/regional/report?action=zipsearch&zip=74401&submit=Go%21 and it's another free resource for you.

Back to calliandra - the seeds and information are available at this link to Driftwood Gardens.
Sowing instructions: Scarify the seed and soak in warm water for 24 hours
Sow seed 3/4” deep at a soil temperature of 61-64° F. and keep moist. Seed can be sown outdoors in the fall for spring germination. Sow in standard good draining potting mix
Plant Care: Grow in a standard potting mix; Likes a deep, rich well fertilized soil
Keep moist and feed once a month; Transplant when large enough to handle into pots; Keep humid if in dry conditions by occasional misting.
Fun Facts: Ancient Hawaiians used the wood to make spears; There are 132 species of Calliandra; Makes an excellent plant for collectors of plants for the home or greenhouse environment; The perfect plant for the southern warm regions.

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