Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Seeds Back at the Library!

Hello Gardeners!    

I hope your plants survived the heat and drought. My plants were looking very sad before the rain on Sunday, but they have perked up since. Though I would like to think our drought is over for the summer, but I think the remaining season will be dry. It seems weather extremes are the norm now.

A Moral Dilemma?

There’s a plant that grows only on 21 acres in Nevada that has more than drought to worry about. It’s called Eriogonum tiehmii, or Tiehm’s wild buckwheat. It grows on soil that lacks important nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, and is extremely alkaline. This plant has adapted to very specific soils that are very high in boron and lithium. Those minerals make the soils very hostile to most plants, and so Tiehm’s buckwheat has developed special adaptations to be able to survive in these highly mineralized soils.

Also, where this rare yellow puffball plant grows is store of lithium. Mining the lithium could produce about 20,000 tons of battery-grade material per year, which is enough to power about 400,000 electric cars. More electric cars mean less pollution and less global warming. If this store of lithium is mined the plant dies as attempts to relocate it have failed.

What is the value of the mine versus the value of the plant? Read the story.

 

Good News!

The seed drawers and catalogs are back at the White Bear Lake library. You can access the seed packets during regular library hours. The Seed Library table is to the right as you come through the double doors. (White Bear Lake library, 2150 2nd St, White Bear Lake; M: 10-8, T, W: 1-8, Th, F, Sa: 10-5)

I must apologize as not all the seeds are in packets and the catalogs are not fully updated. Since March 2020 I have mostly packaged seeds as they were requested. You can find the current list of available seeds on the Seed Library website at Seed Library site. Or a less than current paper list on the Seed Library table in the library.

If you can’t find the seeds you’re looking for please let me know via email: wblseedlibrary@gmail.com and I’ll get you the seeds if they are available.

The membership forms are back at the library’s main desk too. Again, I apologize as I did not update your membership form if you requested/donated seeds this last year. (It really was too much to do.) If you are new to the White Bear Lake Seed Library, the membership form is a means to find out the general location of people using the seed library and for you to let me know your email address. You can let me know if you want to be on the seed library’s email list to be informed of events and other cool stuff related to gardening. I never give out your email address to anyone.

 

Volunteer Opportunity

Help package seeds for the seed library. If interested, send me an email and I’ll get you seeds, supplies and instructions. You package the seeds and return them to the seed library table.

Summer is usually a slow time for the seed library, so it is easier for me to hand out envelopes of seeds for others to package as I don’t have to worry about someone requesting a seed variety I handed to someone else to package.

 

Grow a Row

All the packets of seeds for the Grow a Row project have been taken. If you missed out, I plan to do this again next year! I hope those who took a packet of seeds have a great harvest! Thank you!

 

Seed Talk – Problems, Pests and Poor Performance 

Tuesday July 13th, 2021, 6:30 pm

Is your garden giving you problems? Do some of your plants look unhappy? Or maybe you've noticed some insect or other animal pests attacking your plants. Come to this Seed Talk to learn some ways to tackle some common garden problems. I don't have all the answers, but there may be someone at the talk that has had some success with a similar problem as yours. So tune in to ask questions and share your experiences.

Seed Talk via Zoom. You must register at least 3 hours prior to the event via Seed Talk.


 

How to Donate Seeds to the Seed Library

The seed library welcomes seed donations of hon-hybrid, non-cross-pollinated seeds. Place dry seeds in a paper envelope with the name of seed, year and location on the envelope. Drop off in the bin on the seed library table in the library during open hours.

 

 

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

 

Great River Greening Wonderhour

Join Great River Greening for nature-based skills and knowledge. Free.

Register here.

Climate Resilient Gardens (Wednesday, July 14, 6 p.m.)

The climate is changing, and that will affect Minnesota gardens. Learn about what to expect and how to adapt to grow a more resilient landscape.

 

Nature Heals (Wednesday, August 11, 6 p.m.)

Learn the science of how time spent in nature helps to improve our physical and mental well-being.

 

Ramsey County Master Gardener Classes

Many online classes throughout the spring. See classes.

 

Future Seed Talks via Zoom, all at 6:30pm

July 13, 2021 Tues – Problems, Pests and Poor Performance

Aug 10, 2021 Tues – Without Good Soil All You Have is Dirt

This Seed Talk is all about improving the soil your plants depend on. The number one thing you can do to improve your garden is provide well-structured soil with ample nutrients for your plants to grow in. It's easy and guaranteed to provide better results. Fall is a great time to start improving your garden soil so it's more than just dirt.

Sep 14, 2021 Tues – How to Save Seeds

Learn how to save vegetable, herb and native plant seeds to use for future seasons.

 

Contact info for the Seed Library:

Email: wblseedlibrary@gmail.com

Blog site: WBL Seed Library

 

Pam

 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Beans, Beans and More Beans!

Hello Gardeners!    

Beans, Beans, Beans!

The beginning of June is a great time to plant beans. Beans like warmer soil temperature of around 60ºF and they germinate the best when the soil temperature is between 70–90°F. If the soil is too cold the seeds may rot or have poor germination. Obviously our soil is not going to warm up over the next few days, but it will soon!

Beans are easy to grow. They have few pests and diseases and need little fertilizer. The seed library 12 different varieties of beans to choose from, both bush and pole types.

Pole beans bear pods throughout the season and need a support to grow on. It’s best to provide the support at planting time. The support should be 6 to 8 feet tall. Be sure the trellis, teepee, fence, or other support is in place before you seed so you don’t disturb the roots. Plant 3 to 4 bean seeds per pole, spaced at least 2 to 3 inches apart. Space poles, trellises, or teepees 3 to 4 feet apart.

Bush varieties produce most of their pods during a short window and grow only about 2 feet tall so they do not need support.  Some people plant bush beans in succession about every 2 weeks until August so they have beans throughout  the summer and fall. Bush beans can be planted in rows 2 1/2 to 3 feet apart, with seeds placed 1 to 2 inches apart. After the plants germinate, thin the seedlings to 3 to 4 inches apart.

Find the list of bean seeds on the blogsite or below:

Beans: (approx. 20-24 seeds per packet)

Blue Lake 7 – pole, 60 days

Bountiful – bush bean, 45-50 days

Cranberry – bush, 75-90 days

Empress – bush, 55 days

Kentucky Wonder – pole, 9” pods, 65 days

Maxibel Haricot Vert – bush, French filet, 50 days

Mayflower – pole bean, 95 days

Climbing French Bean – pole bean, edible 4-7” pods, 65-75 days

Painted Pony – bush, 60 days pod, 90 days bean

Pretzel - ???

Tiger Eye – half-pole, 80-90 days

Unknown green bean

 

 

Grow a Row

All the packets of seeds for the Grow a Row project have been taken. If you missed out, I plan to do this again next year! I hope those who took a packet of seeds have a great harvest! Thank you!

 

Seed Talk – Growing Fruit – Tuesday June 8th, 2021, 6:30 pm

We will talk about the MN-hardy fruiting plants, including selection, care, and harvest tips. Bring your questions and experiences to share. Ramsey County Master Gardeners will participate in the discussion and share research-based best practices from the University of Minnesota. Talk via Zoom.

You must register ahead of time via Seed Talk

 

How to Get Seeds

Here are the directions on how to get seeds:

           

1. Go to the White Bear Lake Seed Library’s blogsite at: https://wblseedlibrary.blogspot.com/

 

2. Select your seeds from the seeds lists posted on the right hand side of the blogsite.

 

3. Email your selection to Pam at: wblseedlibrary@gmail.com. Pam will reply to your email when your seeds are bagged and ready for pickup.

 

4. I will make a weekly drop off of seed bags to the White Bear Lake library, 2150 2nd St, White Bear Lake, MN on Thursdays by noon.

Orders placed by Wednesday at 8pm will be available for pick up on Thursday. Your brown paper seed bag will be labelled with your name. The bags will be placed on the seed library table. The seed library table is to the right just after you go through the two sets of doors. If your seed bag is not picked up in 2 weeks it will be returned to the seed library.

.

 

How to Donate Seeds to the Seed Library

Place dry seeds in a paper envelope with the name of seed, year and location on the envelope. Drop off in the bin on the seed library table in the library during open hours.

 

 

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

 

Natural Landscaping for Your Yard and Garden,

June 9th from Noon to 1:30pm 

Learn about including everyone in cultivating wildlife habitat. Want to have a beautiful pollinator and water quality friendly yard? Don’t know where to start? Don’t have a big budget?  Tune in with your questions, ideas and experiences.

Worldwide we are in the midst of a bird and insect collapse catastrophe (See “Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'”).Every square foot of land can make a difference. Your yard, or the property you manage, can make a difference. You can provide real ecological benefit on your city or suburban lot!

The program:  

  • "Community Centered Resilient Landscapes" with Laura Scholl, Associate Director of Metro Blooms
  • "Right Plant, Right Place" with Julie Weisenhorn, U of MN Extension Horticulturist
  • "Planting for Pollinators" with James Wolfin, Sustainable Landcare/Turf Alternatives with Metro Blooms

Register Here

 

 

MN Seed Native Plant Community Science Project

The MN SEED Native Plant Community Science Project is an exciting opportunity that helps gardeners identify, track, and learn to save seed from their native plantings and then propagate new plants in the coming season. Minnesota State Horticultural Society in collaboration with the Saint Paul Seed Circle, Como Community Seed Library and with generous funding from a Capitol Region Watershed District Partner Grant is offering this special initiative during the 2021 growing season.

Native plants are especially adapted to their region and support a wide range of wildlife while also improving soil, air and water. Native plants also typically produce an abundance of seed that can be saved and shared gardener to gardener.

Through the MN Seed Native Plant Community Science Project gardeners will have access to

  • Online webinars on native plant identification and plant family characteristics, how to use the citizen science app iNaturalist, and later in the season how to propagate new plants for collected native seed hosted by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society
  • The MN Seed iNaturalist project, a free citizen science app based project that will help gardeners identify, track, and evaluate their plantings.
  • Seed Collecting and Processing events
  • Seed Swaps to share the collected seed at the end of the growing season.

Residents and gardeners who live in the Capitol Region Watershed District boundaries and who sign up for the project will be provided with bonus tools and discounted access to the webinars.

 

Minnesota Plants Webinar Series

(13) Sessions: Live every Tuesday, June 1 - August 24, 7-8 p.m.

Calling all gardeners and nature enthusiasts: Join local horticultural experts for the Minnesota Plants Summer Webinar Series! Virtually explore collections, backyards and gardens as you learn to appreciate plants in their peak season, tackle pests and problems with expertise, identify new plants on your hikes, and more.
 

Webinar Topics: Summer Series

  • Foraging in Minnesota
  • Minnesota-Grown Vegetables
  • Edible Landscaping
  • Intro to Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Invasive Species: What You Can Do
  • Landscaping for Shade
  • Diagnosing Your Plant Problems
  • Native Shrubs
  • Little Bluestem Native Grass
  • Best Shade Trees to Replace Green Ash
  • Plant Selection for a Changing Climate
  • Extend the Growing Season with Fall Vegetables
  • Asters and Goldenrod for the Late Summer

How it works Receive a weekly email with the live webinar Zoom link and instructions, plus a link to the Minnesota Plants website with the schedule, links and resources.

Busy schedule, can't watch live? No problem, you never have to miss a session! Recordings and handouts from each session will be available to watch on demand for up to one year.

 

Register Online

Or contact the Arboretum Education Office:
612-301-1210 or
ArbEdu@umn.edu

 

$30 members of Arboretum, MSHS or MNLA; or Master Gardeners/$40 non-member, includes series access to all 13 webinars live & recorded, so you can watch at a time that is convenient to you!

 

Great River Greening Wonderhour

Join Great River Greening for nature-based skills and knowledge. Free.

Register here.

Stopping Problem Plants (Tuesday, June 15, 6 p.m.)

Learn to identify and manage common invasive plants found in Minnesota yards and natural areas, and find out about new invaders on the horizon.

 

Climate Resilient Gardens (Wednesday, July 14, 6 p.m.)

The climate is changing, and that will affect Minnesota gardens. Learn about what to expect and how to adapt to grow a more resilient landscape.

 

Nature Heals (Wednesday, August 11, 6 p.m.)

Learn the science of how time spent in nature helps to improve our physical and mental well-being.

 

 

Ramsey County Master Gardener Classes

Many online classes throughout the spring. See classes.

 

Plant Sales

 

Landscape Revival – Native Plant Expo and Market, June 5

Purchase Minnesota native plants from local growers. No cultivars or systemic insecticides used. Some growers are offering presales. See landscape revival

 

 

Future Seed Talks via Zoom, all at 6:30pm

June  8, 2021 Tues – How to Grow Fruit

July 13, 2021 Tues – Problems, Pests and Poor Performance

 

Contact info for the Seed Library:

Email: wblseedlibrary@gmail.com

Blog site: WBL Seed Library

 

Pam