Northern & Central Midwest

January, 2009
Regional Report

Books

Vegetable and Herb Gardening
Even if you have a shelf full of garden books, The Kitchen Garden Grower's Guide: A practical vegetable and herb garden encyclopedia, by Stephen Albert (BookSurge Publishing, 2008) is a must-have for the vegetable gardener because its so easy to find answers you need. The materials are presented methodically and rationally according to each vegetable. He also gives culinary suggestions, always a nice addition to an encyclopedia.

Clever Gardening Technique

Plant Cool-Season Annuals
Many gardeners have been doing this for years, but at this time of year I like to remind myself of its success. Even though the snow is deep, this is a time to pull out the seed boxes and retrieve all those cool-season annual flower seeds that can be started this time of year. I don't mean indoors under lights, but outdoors on the snow. Scatter seeds of cosmos, larkspur, poppy, cleome, and even spinach and lettuce on the snow right now. As the snow melts, the seeds are hydrated and ready to sprout as early as absolutely possible. Just remember where you seeded them so you don't pull them as weeds in spring.

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