Organic Gardening Tips and Plants – How to

Edible Flower Kit

They’re gorgeous and they’re yummy too!

Grow these lovely flowersin either your ornamental or veggie garden. The petals
and the leaves make wonderful additions to soups and salads. Each kit contains one package each of:

  • Bachelor’s buttons
    – pink, white & blue flowers
  • Borage – blue
    flowers taste like cucumber
  • Chives– pink
    onion-flavoured flowers
  • Calendula
    yellow/orange flowers for salads and salves
  • Nasturtiums
    – orange, yellow & red flowers with a peppery
    flavour

Grow A Wheatgrass Centerpiece

by ArzeenaHamir

Whether the snow is still blowing outside or your spring
bulbs are already making their appearance, garden fever
is in the air. One way to quench your need to get your
hands dirty is to bring spring indoors by growing your
own living decorations. Many gardeners are familiar with
forcing cherry, forsythia blossoms & and spring bulbs
but you can add to this by sprouting wheat kernels in
containers for a beautiful centerpiece.


In France, sprouted wheat is a symbol of the abundance
of the upcoming season. March 21st, the first day of
spring, also coincides with Norooz, Iranian New Year.
Part of the celebration requires that green sprouts,
normally wheat, decorate the table setting. The wheat
sprouts symbolize the re-birth of the nature as spring
emerges in the northern hemisphere.

Growing your own wheat
sprouts is not only decorative, but also highly nutritional.
Wheatgrass is full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
The juice is reported to have many health benefits due
to the high concentration of chlorophyll, Vitamins B-12,
B-6, K & C, and beta-carotene. One study from the
University of Texas Medical Center found the extract
of wheatgrass inhibited the cancer-causing effects of
two mutagens.

Choose a container

Sprouting your own wheatgrass
is extremely easy. Any type of container is suitable
for sprouting wheatgrass. Pots that have drainage holes
are the easiest to use for beginner sprouters but once
you get a handle on how much water wheat sprouts require,
you can sprout them in any container that is at least
3-4″ deep. I’ve found dollar stores to be a fantastic
source of decorative containers that won’t break my
pocketbook.

Select a growing medium

Once you’ve decided on
a container, fill it to about 1″ below the top of the
rim with pre-moistened soil, compost or potting mix.
Make that sure whatever growing medium you use, it doesn’t
contain any artificial fertilizers or chemicals. I like
to make my own organic mix using peat and about 20%
worm casts. The worm casts provide extra nutrition,
allowing you to harvest the wheatgrass more than once.

Plant the seed

Wheat seed is the last
ingredient. Purchase your wheat from a reputable source
that sells food-grade organic seed that is meant for
sprouting. Never use agricultural seed, especially any
seed that is coated with fungicide. Wheat seeds are
sometimes sold as wheat “kernels” or as “Hard Red Wheat”.

Sprinkle the top of your
container with wheat seed. I like to leave a little
bit of space between the seeds, so that they’re not
touching and competing for food. Press the seed into
the soil and then cover lightly with more potting mix
or soil and water lightly. The soil in the container
needs to be kept moist so I like to cover my containers
with a clear plastic bag or clear plastic film.

In about 3-4 days, you
will begin to see sprouts emerge. It’s now time to move
the container to a sunny location. Sunshine not only
allows the young sprouts to manufacture more chlorophyll,
but it helps to keep them stocky and short. Wheatgrass
grown in the dark or in poorly lit areas tends to be
quite pale and lanky and in no time at all, the sprouts
begin to fall over.

By about day 7-10, the
sprouts are the perfect height to use as a centerpiece
or to begin harvesting for juice. Wheatgrass grown using
this method can be cut more than once for an extended
harvest so if you are using it for juice, start a few
containers on different days so that you have a continuous
supply of the nutritious leaves.

For more information on
sprouting wheatgrass, try these resources:

City Farmer
http://www.cityfarmer.org/sprout86.html

Terra Viva Organics –
Organic wheat and other sprouting seed
http://www.tvorganics.com/main.cfm?formkey=020301133702&ProductCode=SS008&ProdID=35&Dispgroup=2&CatID=8&Action=show1product

Wheatgrass Nature’s Finest
Medicine
by Steve Meyerowitz

The Wheatgrass Book
by Ann Wigmore

Arzeena
is an agronomist and freelance gardenwriter. When
she’s not working on her garden, she runs Terra Viva
Organics.



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