Folk Fibers Blog / tips & techniques

  • FROM THE GREENHOUSE TO THE GARDEN

    Spring Has Sprung In Austin & So Have I ! Six weeks ago I started 500 indigo seeds inside the JBG greenhouse. The JBG greenhouse still feels a little like my house, and Brent is so kind to continue to allow me access to the greenhouse. It is actually really easy to grow from seed if you have a well working greenhouse, sometimes it feels a little too easy, especially when you have a friend like Kim to water for you. If you don't watch yourself you can easily grow a ton of plants and your problem will be finding room for...

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  • GERMINATING DORMANT SEEDS

    Many plants have dormant seeds as a biological mechanism to ensure that seeds will germinate at the right time and under conditions that are favorable for the growth and survival of the next generation.  There are two types of seed dormancy: Exogenous (seed coat dormancy) and Endogenous (embryo dormancy). Some seeds have hard seedcoats preventing water absorption and the exchanges of gases. Without water absorption and gas exchange, germination would be impossible. There are several treatments to break dormancy for the purpose of inducing germination.  Scarification and Soaking are two pretreatment techniques that I have chosen to highlight.  They are simple and effective and I use...

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  • THE SECRET TO ORGANIC SOIL MIX

    Organic Soil Mix 1 wheelbarrow-load Vermiculite 1 wheelbarrow-load Peat Moss 1 wheelbarrow-load Aged Manure 2 4-inch pots Blood Meal 2 4-inch pots Rock Phosphate 2 4-inch pots Green Sand  After a couple years of working on organic farms, and managing a greenhouse, I have a clear understanding of what makes a successful soil mix. In the diagram above I extracted the basic ingredients to illustrate the raw materials.  The option to use comercial pre-packaged potting soils are widely available at nursery and garden supply stores, but you can also make your own potting mix! Making your own mix allows you to control the types and...

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  • STORING SEEDS

    A Garden's success depends in part on the quality of seeds planted. It is a shame to let seeds deteriorate inside a drawer or closet when simply putting them in an air tight container, inside the refrigerator, or freezer is the better option.  I am writing this because I realized many of my friends and family were making this common mistake, so perhaps it can be helpful to share what I know on seed storage. Conditions essential to good seed storage are just the opposite of those required for good germination. Good germination occurs when water and oxygen are present...

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