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GARDENING : PLANT SOME SEEDS OF WONDER.



Byline: Joshua Siskin

Spring is traditionally heralded as the best season for planting seeds, but autumn is an equally propitious moment for this activity.In fact, you can create a new garden - by starting plants from seeds and cuttings - at virtually any time of the year in Southern California.

Just two weeks ago, my sons and I planted a variety of flower and vegetable seeds, most of which have already germinated. In raised beds made from sandy topsoil and Kellogg's Gromulch, we planted seed packets of love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena), oriental poppy (Papaver orientale), Shirley poppy (Papaver rhoeas), purple coneflower coneflower, name for several American wildflowers of the family Asteraceae (aster family). The purple coneflowers (genus Echinacea), found E of the Rockies, have purple to pinkish petallike rays; some cultivated forms have white flowers.  (Echinacea purpurea), paludosum daisy (Chrysanthemum chrysanthemum (krĭsăn`thəməm), name for a large number of annual or perennial herbs of the genus Chrysanthemum of the family Asteraceae (aster family), some cultivated in Asia for at least 2,000 years.  paludosum), baby blue eyes The Baby blue eyes, Nemophila menziesii, is a common wild flower of California, whose range extends into Oregon and Baja California. It is a spring-flowering annual that gets its name from the bright blue flowers of two of the three varieties that are recognised.  (Nemophila insignis), ``Sparkler spar·kler  
n.
1. One, such as a highly polished metallic surface or a virtuoso performer, that sparkles.

2. Informal A diamond.

3. A firework that burns slowly and gives off a shower of sparks.
 radish,'' ``Early Wonder'' beet and ``Danvers Half Long'' carrot.

All seeds were sprinkled on the surface of the raised beds and then covered with a thin layer of sphagnum peat moss. When seeds do not germinate, it is usually because they are planted too deeply. To avoid this problem, keep seeds on the soil surface or press them gently into the earth. Peat moss, lightly dusted over seeds, will hold in moisture and prevent newly emerged seedlings from drying out. Do not allow your seeds or young plants to be watered indiscriminately with automatic sprinklers. Ideally, they should be irrigated with the soft streams coming from the multiholed nozzle of a watering can.

When you think of all the money spent to entertain children, seeds are truly a bargain. A packet of flower seeds is available for 99 cents, and a packet of vegetable seeds costs 79 to 89 cents. If you don't know what to do with the kids on a Sunday afternoon, take them to the nursery, have them pick out a few seed packets and plant them near the front steps, in planter beds or flowerpots. This way, they will see the developing seedling each time they enter and leave the house, hover over their flower and vegetable progeny and gain an early appreciation for the connection between nurturing and growth.

Children seem to take special delight in growing and harvesting root crops - carrot, radish, beet, turnip, parsnip Parsnip, river, Canada
Parsnip, river, c.150 mi (240 km) long, rising in central British Columbia, Canada, and flowing northwest to join the Finlay River at Williston Lake and form the Peace River.
 - because of the surprising, hidden life of these buried treasures.

If you have a friend or neighbor with an herb garden, this is a good time of year to pay him or her a visit. Request permission to cut 4- to 6-inch shoot tip cuttings from sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram marjoram or sweet marjoram (mär`jərəm), Old World perennial aromatic herb (Marjorana hortensis) of the family Labiatae (mint family), cultivated in gardens for flavoring. , lavender and mint, which can now be stuck in your garden, where they will put down roots and be ready to grow by spring. You could also be the beneficiary of clumps of chives chives

alliumschoenoprasm.
 or lemon grass lem·on·grass also lemon grass  
n.
A tropical grass (Cymbopogon citratus) native to southern India and Sri Lanka, yielding an aromatic oil used as flavoring and in perfumery and medicine.

Noun 1.
, which, transplanted to your garden, will immediately make themselves feel at home.

``Free Landscape Plants!'' by Michael McGroarty, is a small, self-published book which, only 120 pages long, contains everything you need to know about propagation of plants propagation of plants is effected in nature chiefly sexually by the seed and the spore, less often by rhizomes and other methods (see reproduction). Vegetative means include cutting, layering, grafting, tissue culture, and division of the roots (see perennial) and of  from seeds and cuttings, as well as propagation by division, layering and grafting. The book may be ordered, for $11.95, from Leprechaun Press, 4390 Middle Ridge Road, Perry, Ohio 44081.
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Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 31, 1998
Words:508
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