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Blog Calendar - Nature / Outdoor / Green

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Gardening Blogs

04 April 2020

Gardening Blogs
  • How to Grow Broccoli
    04 April 2020

    Broccoli is a nutritious veg, and growing it in the garden is easy to do.

    There are broccoli varieties that produce a green head with lots of florets, and there is sprouting broccoli that produces individual florets. The green, large headed broccoli is actually calabrese, although ‘broccoli’ is the name often used for both calabrese and sprouting broccoli.

    Sprouting broccoli is very hardy and can be grown over the winter months, ready for harvesting in spring, and the green large headed broccoli plants are ready for harvesting in summer or autumn.

    With a bit of planning, you can have a good supply of broccoli throughout the year.

    Sowing Broccoli Seeds

    Broccoli seeds can be sown indoors in modules, or sown thinly outside in the garden soil, any time from March to June.

    Planting Broccoli

    Broccoli prefers a sunny position and a free-draining but moist, fertile soil. Before planting, add some nutrient-rich matter such as garden compost or well-rotted manure to the soil.

    If sown indoors, broccoli seedlings have grown to approximately six inches can be planted outside. They should be spaced at 18 inches apart to allow room for them to mature.

    Tread the soil well before planting. Broccoli, like all brassicas, grow better in a firm soil.

    Caring for Broccoli Plants

    Keep broccoli plants well watered in dry weather.

    Shelter from wind where possible. If the broccoli plants move too much in the wind, it can damage the stems and roots.

    Birds like to eat broccoli leaves and stems. If you have a problem with birds eating crops in your garden, cover plants with framework of mesh netting or use horticultural fleece to protect crops.

    Cabbage White butterflies are a problem for all brassicas. A fine mesh net will help prevent them from laying lots of eggs on the broccoli plants. Remove all caterpillars you see.

    Cabbage Root Fly is also a problem for broccoli plants. The larvae eat into the roots, causing the plant to wilt and have poor growth. Protect seedlings with a horticultural fleece until they are established.

    Harvesting Broccoli

    Harvest broccoli when the heads are firm. The central head is the first one ready to be picked. On some varieties, the heads on the surrounding stems will continue to grow and you should continue to get a crop for two or three weeks.

    For sprouting broccoli varieties, avoid harvesting all of the spears. Leaving some on the plant will encourage new spears to grow, giving you a more productive plant.

    Back to A-Z Guides for growing fruit and veggies

    The post How to Grow Broccoli appeared first on Let's Grow Wild.

  • How To Care For Nigella Flower
    04 April 2020

    Nigella damascena [ny-JELL-luh] [dam-ASK-ee-nuh] is an annual flower in the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family.  It’s native to Europe, southwest Asia, and northern Africa.  The plant often... [Read more]

    The post How To Care For Nigella Flower appeared first on Plant Care Today.

  • Caring For Corpuscularia Lehmannii
    04 April 2020

    Corpuscularia lehmannii [kor-pus-koo-LAY-ree-uh] [lay-MAH-nee-eye] is a compact succulent with thick blue-green leaves.  The species is currently threatened in its native region due to invasive species... [Read more]

    The post Caring For Corpuscularia Lehmannii appeared first on Plant Care Today.

  • Catchy Plant Names: 7 Plants That Stir Emotion
    04 April 2020

    Did you ever see a plant with a name that conjured up something familiar to you, causing an emotional response to the plant? Of course, then you just had to buy it!

    I think hybridizers try to come up with clever, catchy plant names for their new introductions, then other times they are named for a famous person/place/thing or someone in their own family. Some names are real duds like the iris ‘Clarence.’ What a lackluster name for such a lovely blue-violet and white flower. Hybridizer Lloyd Zurbrigg has cool names for his other irises, among them the white rebloomer ‘Immortality.’

    Plants with Meaningful Names

    If you’re on the prowl for some new additions for the garden, then plants that stir emotion in some way will surely fit the bill, provided they are hardy in your region. Here is a list of plants that struck an emotional chord with me when I saw the name, then clinched an impulse shop.

    • ‘Abbey Road’ Tall Bearded Iris – Everyone who loves the Beatles should have this stunning iris plant in their repertoire. It’s a creamy yellow and white iris with prolific, billowy blooms.
    • ‘Route 66’ Coreopsis – “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” is the famous song for the historic Mother Road that touches parts of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Businesses along the pop culture icon are now tourist attractions. This coreopsis cultivar sports bright yellow flowers with red splashes of color, befitting the moniker ‘Route 66.’
    • ‘Casa Blanca’ Oriental Lily – Who can forget the tear-jerker love story of Ilsa and Rick in “Casa Blanca?” One of the most beloved films of all time, “Casa Blanca” is immortalized in a large, pure white, trumpet-shaped lily. One of my all-time favorite movies, I had to possess the fragrant lily.
    • ‘Golden Delicious’ Salvia – The aptly named cultivar ‘Golden Delicious’ features leaves with the same chartreuse color as the juicy, crisp Golden Delicious apple, which brought a flood of childhood memories back to me when I saw the name. 
    • ‘Grandpa’s Girl’ Miniature Tall Bearded Iris – The flower is cute as a button, but even more appealing is the name because it made me think of two of my nieces, Amy and Kristi, who indeed were “grandpa’s girls.”
    • ‘Jurassic Park’ Tall Bearded Iris – The bicolor iris reminds me, not only of the blockbuster film by the same name, but the friend who shared the rhizome with me. Its striking canary-yellow and lavender-purple frilly blooms are a standout in any garden. 
    • ‘Grim Reaper’ Daylily – I did a double-take when I saw the creepy name of this daylily at a nursery in Yukon, Oklahoma. Turns out the nursery owner, Bob Scott, is also the hybridizer. I wish I had asked him about this curious name for a red and yellow daylily. Perhaps it’s the toothed edges.

    The post Catchy Plant Names: 7 Plants That Stir Emotion appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

  • 20+ Beautiful Low-Maintenance Flowers for Your Garden
    04 April 2020

    We all love to grow plants successfully and create the magic garden in our dreams. But even for experts, It might get tedious sometimes, and for some people, It is not easy, to begin with. But don’t let the workload discourage you because we have a way to decrease It exponentially. With these low-maintenance flowers,…

    The post 20+ Beautiful Low-Maintenance Flowers for Your Garden appeared first on FarmFoodFamily.

  • How to Protect Your Tomatoes (and Other Warm-Season Veggies)
    04 April 2020

    It’s April and our tomato plants are in stock! I know you are ready to get out there and plant them since its sunny (wait… now it’s cold and raining…. wait! It’s sunny again… wait… ) but your plants won’t be happy and grow into incredibly prolific tomato producers if you don’t protect them until night temperatures warm up consistently to 50 degrees.

    This doesn’t mean you can’t plant them right away - you can! But you should avail yourself of several excellent tools that allow you to get them in the ground and keep them warm and happy. Most of us at Swansons swear by these tools so we can plant our warm-season vegetables earlier and encourage larger, stronger plants and better harvests (if you don’t plan on planting your tomatoes immediately, we recommend you bring them inside each night until you plant them, then protect them outside).

    Here are two great protection options. At the end of this post, you can also find a quick comparison and links to more information about growing tomatoes!

    Option 1: Season Starter™

    Season Starter™ is a loop of vertical plastic tubes that can be filled with water to form a sort of warming enclosure around an individual tomato plant (or another warm-season veggie like a pepper). Imagine water wings for your plants. Vertical tubes are filled with water that the sun naturally warms during the day. At night, the water inside the tubes stays warmer than the surrounding air keeping your plant toasty like it’s surrounded by a cozy blanket.

    Sunlight can pass through the light-colored plastic and light, water, and air can enter through the open top. Once the flowers begin to form, the open top also allows for pollination.

    It’s extremely helpful to fill your Season Starter™ and place it where you will plant your tomato 3-4 days ahead of time so it can warm the soil a bit.

    We recommend that you use a tomato cage to support your tomato plant. It's best to put the cage over the tomato plant when it is young. Otherwise, you risk damaging the leaves and branches.

    After planting, place the Season Starter™ around the baby tomato plant., leaving the top as wide open as possible and the sides vertical. Then, lower the cage gently into the teepee and press firmly into the soil. The tomato will naturally grow up into the cage and you can arrange the branches easily to rest on the cage supports as the plant grows.

    Once night temperatures increase in the late spring or early summer, or if the plant begins to really outgrow the Season Starter™, you can simply it roll down to the base of the plant (releasing the water as you roll) and leave it there for the rest of the season. I sometimes roll mine down a little at a time as the plant grows so the base and soil remain warmed.

    When the season is over, rinse out and empty the tubes. Allow it to dry upside down and then store it inside until next spring. I’ve been able to reuse mine around 3 times before needing to replace it.

     Option Two: Harvest Guard® 

    Harvest Guard® (also called row cover) is a lightweight fabric that can be wrapped around a tomato cage to help warm the air and soil. When wrapping the cage, it can be helpful to clip the fabric as you go, using clothespins or other clips. In order to keep as much heat inside as possible, I recommend that you cover the top of the cage. Harvest Guard® comes in multiple lengths and widths. Simply cut what you need as you use it.

    Since Harvest Guard® is lightweight and light in color, it will allow air, water, and sunlight to pass through. Once the plant starts forming flowers, you will want to open the top (or, if it warm enough, unwrap the cage entirely during the day) to allow pollinators access to the flowers.

    Tomato cages wrapped in row cover fabric.
    Photo: giantveggiegardener.com

    When the weather has warmed, you can remove the fabric, shake it out, and store it in a protected place for use in another season. If you are careful with it, the fabric can last a couple of seasons, although it may begin to look dirty. Toss it if it rips or holes form.

    One disadvantage to Harvest Guard® is that it will not keep your tomato plant as warm as a Season Starter™, but it can still offer protection from frost and cold damage.

     Which Product is Best for You?

    Both products are extremely helpful in extending the growing season and protecting your tomato plants. Here’s a quick rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of each:

    Season Starter™ Teepee

    Advantages

    Keeps plants the warmest

    Durable and Reusable

    Disadvantages

    Takes some set-up

    Plants can outgrow it*

     Harvest Guard® Fabric

    Advantages

    Is easy to set up

    Covers full height of the cage

    Disadvantages

    Doesn’t warm as well

    Needs to be opened for pollination

    Can be more fragile

    *Generally, by the time they have outgrown the teepee, the weather has warmed enough to remove it.

    I’ve used both methods and they have both worked well! If I plant my tomatoes in early-to-mid April, I like that the Season Starter™ keeps them nice and warm. If I plant my tomatoes later in April, or if the spring isn’t too cold, I like the ease of Harvest Guard®. In fact, I’ve sometimes used both in an especially cold spring/early summer. First the teepee; then, as the tomato plant outgrows it, I’ve wrapped the cage with fabric!

    Here’s more detailed information on Growing Warm-Season Vegetables in the PNW and How To Plant a Tomato.

    Happy growing!

    Remember, if you have questions, you can always ask us: in-person, over the phone, by email, or on social media with #heyswansons.

  • How to Protect Your Tomatoes (and Other Warm-Season Veggies)
    04 April 2020

    It’s April and our tomato plants are in stock! I know you are ready to get out there and plant them since its sunny (wait… now it’s cold and raining…. wait! It’s sunny again… wait… ) but your plants won’t be happy and grow into incredibly prolific tomato producers if you don’t protect them until night temperatures warm up consistently to 50 degrees.

    This doesn’t mean you can’t plant them right away - you can! But you should avail yourself of several excellent tools that allow you to get them in the ground and keep them warm and happy. Most of us at Swansons swear by these tools so we can plant our warm-season vegetables earlier and encourage larger, stronger plants and better harvests (if you don’t plan on planting your tomatoes immediately, we recommend you bring them inside each night until you plant them, then protect them outside).

    Here are two great protection options. At the end of this post, you can also find a quick comparison and links to more information about growing tomatoes!

    Option 1: Season Starter™

    Season Starter™ is a loop of vertical plastic tubes that can be filled with water to form a sort of warming enclosure around an individual tomato plant (or another warm-season veggie like a pepper). Imagine water wings for your plants. Vertical tubes are filled with water that the sun naturally warms during the day. At night, the water inside the tubes stays warmer than the surrounding air keeping your plant toasty like it’s surrounded by a cozy blanket.

    Sunlight can pass through the light-colored plastic and light, water, and air can enter through the open top. Once the flowers begin to form, the open top also allows for pollination.

    It’s extremely helpful to fill your Season Starter™ and place it where you will plant your tomato 3-4 days ahead of time so it can warm the soil a bit.

    We recommend that you use a tomato cage to support your tomato plant. It's best to put the cage over the tomato plant when it is young. Otherwise, you risk damaging the leaves and branches.

    After planting, place the Season Starter™ around the baby tomato plant., leaving the top as wide open as possible and the sides vertical. Then, lower the cage gently into the teepee and press firmly into the soil. The tomato will naturally grow up into the cage and you can arrange the branches easily to rest on the cage supports as the plant grows.

    Once night temperatures increase in the late spring or early summer, or if the plant begins to really outgrow the Season Starter™, you can simply it roll down to the base of the plant (releasing the water as you roll) and leave it there for the rest of the season. I sometimes roll mine down a little at a time as the plant grows so the base and soil remain warmed.

    When the season is over, rinse out and empty the tubes. Allow it to dry upside down and then store it inside until next spring. I’ve been able to reuse mine around 3 times before needing to replace it.

     Option Two: Harvest Guard® 

    Harvest Guard® (also called row cover) is a lightweight fabric that can be wrapped around a tomato cage to help warm the air and soil. When wrapping the cage, it can be helpful to clip the fabric as you go, using clothespins or other clips. In order to keep as much heat inside as possible, I recommend that you cover the top of the cage. Harvest Guard® comes in multiple lengths and widths. Simply cut what you need as you use it.

    Since Harvest Guard® is lightweight and light in color, it will allow air, water, and sunlight to pass through. Once the plant starts forming flowers, you will want to open the top (or, if it warm enough, unwrap the cage entirely during the day) to allow pollinators access to the flowers.

    Tomato cages wrapped in row cover fabric.
    Photo: giantveggiegardener.com

    When the weather has warmed, you can remove the fabric, shake it out, and store it in a protected place for use in another season. If you are careful with it, the fabric can last a couple of seasons, although it may begin to look dirty. Toss it if it rips or holes form.

    One disadvantage to Harvest Guard® is that it will not keep your tomato plant as warm as a Season Starter™, but it can still offer protection from frost and cold damage.

     Which Product is Best for You?

    Both products are extremely helpful in extending the growing season and protecting your tomato plants. Here’s a quick rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of each:

    Season Starter™ Teepee

    Advantages

    Keeps plants the warmest

    Durable and Reusable

    Disadvantages

    Takes some set-up

    Plants can outgrow it*

     Harvest Guard® Fabric

    Advantages

    Is easy to set up

    Covers full height of the cage

    Disadvantages

    Doesn’t warm as well

    Needs to be opened for pollination

    Can be more fragile

    *Generally, by the time they have outgrown the teepee, the weather has warmed enough to remove it.

    I’ve used both methods and they have both worked well! If I plant my tomatoes in early-to-mid April, I like that the Season Starter™ keeps them nice and warm. If I plant my tomatoes later in April, or if the spring isn’t too cold, I like the ease of Harvest Guard®. In fact, I’ve sometimes used both in an especially cold spring/early summer. First the teepee; then, as the tomato plant outgrows it, I’ve wrapped the cage with fabric!

    Here’s more detailed information on Growing Warm-Season Vegetables in the PNW and How To Plant a Tomato.

    Happy growing!

    Remember, if you have questions, you can always ask us: in-person, over the phone, by email, or on social media with #heyswansons.

  • Mexico City: Folk art skeletons, devils, and more at Museo de Arte Popular
    04 April 2020
    April 03, 2020

    Skeletons may be macabre to American eyes, but they’re a popular motif in Mexican folk art, as we saw at the Museo de Arte Popular (Museum of Folk Art) in Mexico City. Housed in an Art Deco building in the historic center, the museum is perfectly sized to see everything in a couple of hours, and it also operates a very nice gift shop of regional handicrafts.

    Día de Muertos art

    Here in Austin, we’ve adopted Mexico’s joyful Day of the Dead celebration. So folk-art skeletons enjoying everyday activities aren’t unfamiliar to me. This well-attended skeleton bullfight (above) was a surprise though.

    Check out the feast table for this convivial group of skeletons.

    And how can you not love this guy’s exuberance? Does he remind you of Coco?

    These skeleton miners are hard at work…

    …mining for skulls.

    These clay skeleton women are beautiful if a little creepy. Check out the “hand”lesticks!

    There’s a lot going on here, but it looks like a party.

    Animal masks

    When your inner leopard comes out.

    Devils

    They say the devil is in the details.

    One whole room of horned devils offers an up-close look at the details.

    Alebrijes

    Beautiful alebrijes — fantastical folk-art creatures — are nicely displayed too. Notice the paper cacti and agaves making a subtle, regionally appropriate backdrop.

    Huichol beadwork

    In the lobby we marveled over an elaborately beaded VW Beetle.

    Every inch of the car’s exterior is mosaicked in tiny beads, even the hubcaps!

    Kites

    In the museum’s soaring atrium, colorful kites glow like stained glass and seem to float up into the sky.

    Next up: A creative botanical garden at Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City’s enormous central park. For a look back at the ancient Teotihuacán pyramids, click here.

    I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.

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    The post Mexico City: Folk art skeletons, devils, and more at Museo de Arte Popular appeared first on Digging.

  • Wetting Agents: Using Surfactants In The Yard & Garden [HOW TO]
    03 April 2020

    If you’re new to gardening, you may not know of wetting agents (a.k.a.: spreader stickers or surfactants). If so, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised... [Read more]

    The post Wetting Agents: Using Surfactants In The Yard & Garden [HOW TO] appeared first on Plant Care Today.

  • How to Grow and Care for Angelica
    03 April 2020
    Angelica archangelica

    If you are looking to add some flair to your herb garden this year, look no further than angelica.

    Referred to as the “herb of the sun” by the famous 17th century British herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, this plant will welcome visitors to the garden with its pleasant, aromatic scent and impressive stature.

    Growing angelica is pretty easy once you get started, and it will reward you with a unique source of food, flavoring, and herbal remedies.

    What Is Angelica?

    Angelica, a member of the Apiaceae family, has long been cultivated for its edible stems and roots. It has a commanding presence in the garden, sometimes reaching a towering eight feet in height.

    It has long, stout, hollow stems of green or purple, with bold, bright green leaflets that are finely toothed or serrated.

    The foliage is divided into three principal groups, which are again divided into three smaller clusters.

    Large, round flower heads contain multiple yellow or green umbels, which bloom in midsummer and are succeeded by pale, yellow, oblong fruits.

    Its large, spindle-shaped roots are thick and fleshy.

    Angelica is a biennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9, which means each plant reaches maturity within a two-year cycle. In colder locations it can take 3-4 years to mature and flower.

    In the first year, the plant produces only short clumps of compound leaves.

    It grows tall in the second year, with flowers blooming in midsummer, followed by fruiting and going to seed.

    Once the seeds have ripened and been dispersed, the life cycle is complete, and plants generally die. However, if you cut off the flower stalks before the seeds form, the plant will continue to grow for many more years.

    Though each plant may only live for a couple of years, it self seeds easily, so you will likely see new plants popping up year after year.

    Cultivation and History

    Angelica has been cultivated for food and medicine since at least 800 AD.

    Though its exact origin isn’t known, it is thought that this plant is likely native to the Middle East, possibly Syria, or to northern European countries, including Norway, Russia, and Lithuania.

    It grows wild in the northern climates of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, and Iceland.

    When Vikings started trading in Europe during the 9th century, it was an important commodity. In early Icelandic law, a person could be fined for stealing angelica from someone else’s garden patch.

    According to legend, a 14th century monk was visited in a dream by an angel who revealed angelica to him as a cure for the plague. All parts of the plant were believed to be effective in warding off evil spirits, witches, and spells, as well as the Black Death.

    Sometimes referred to as “holy ghost root,” this herb was considered one of the most powerful plant medicines at the time.

    Along with nutmeg and treacle, angelica water was an ingredient in “the King’s Majesty’s Excellent Recipe for the Plague,” a remedy – to be taken twice a day – published by the Royal College of Physicians, in the 1600s.

    Candied angelica, a confection made from the stems, was first produced and marketed by the Danes. By the early 17th century, candied roots and stems were popular in England.

    The aromatic root is used in France to flavor liqueurs such as Chartreuse, and “Angelica” is also its own branded product – an herbal liqueur made in Massachusetts.

    It is also a popular ingredient in gin distillation, often combined with coriander and juniper berries.

    A. atropurpurea, commonly known as purple stem angelica, is a species native to eastern North America, found in moist and swampy woodlands, mostly by riverbanks.

    This species has similar characteristics to A. archangelica, and has a long history of use among Native American cultures in food and medicine.

    Medicinal Use

    The fleshy root is the primary part used in herbal remedies, though seeds and leaves are sometimes used as well. Historically, the stalks have been candied and used mainly as a confection.

    Considered a warming and aromatic bitter tonic, angelica is often used to help improve weak digestive function, including indigestion, poor fat absorption, a feeling of heaviness, and heartburn.

    It has also been recommended by herbalists to those with respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis and COPD, to relieve bladder infections, and to bring on delayed menstrual periods.

    A leaf compress can be applied to the chest to reduce inflammation, and ear drops made from the herb can be used to combat clogged ears and improve hearing loss due to waxy buildup.

    According to herbalist Matthew Wood in his book “The Earthwise Herbal Repertory: The Definitive Practitioner’s Guide,” burning the root as an incense helps to relax the mind and body and open the imagination, allowing the mind to enter what shamanic herbalists refer to as “dreamtime.”

    The Earthwise Herbal Repertory

    A Note of Caution:

    Always consult with a medical professional or trained herbalist before beginning any herbal treatment. This herb should not be used during pregnancy, or by those who take blood thinners or other prescription medication.

    Propagation

    Angelica is usually propagated from seed or transplants. Once you get a patch going, this herb will largely take care of itself.

    To help established plants continue to self seed, simply pull back any mulch in the autumn so the seeds will fall directly onto the soil below. Leave flower heads on the plants so the seeds can mature and drop, and new plants will sprout in the spring.

    Division of this plant is not recommended. For medicinal use, most growers want the root to get as big as possible, and allow it to grow through two seasons. But if you choose to divide nonetheless, instructions are included below.

    From Seed

    Seeds are best planted when they are fresh and ripe.

    If you have access to already established angelica plants, you can save seeds by securing a paper bag over the mature flower heads.

    The seeds will collect inside the bag instead of falling to the soil below.

    Once collected in early fall, the fresh seeds can be pressed into the soil surface in a sunny location, preferably when air temperatures are between 60-65°F. Do not cover the seeds with soil, as they require light to germinate. Keep the soil moist until seedlings appear.

    If fresh seeds are not available, you can propagate angelica from dried seed, just bear in mind that germination rates will be lower.

    Refrigerate seeds for a few weeks prior to planting out in the garden, to cold stratify. Sow in the fall or early spring on the surface of the soil. Keep garden beds lightly moist until germination.

    From Seedlings or Transplants

    Starting fresh seeds in the fall is best, but you can also do an early spring planting if you prefer. If you are sowing in spring, you’ll need to refrigerate the stored seeds for a few weeks before planting.

    Sow seeds into rich potting soil in flats or small pots. Since germination rates for stored seeds are quite low, be liberal with the number of seeds sown per pot.

    According to Ruth Smith, from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, this plant requires alternating temperatures of warm and cold in order to germinate. Place the flats or pots outside where they will be subject to fluctuations in temperature. Be sure to bring them inside if you are expecting a freeze.

    You can also simulate daily temperature fluctuations by keeping plants on a windowsill during the day and moving them into a refrigerator each night. During this stratification period, make sure they are getting adequate water.

    You can bring the trays indoors after 21 days to germinate. Place them in an area where temperatures will remain consistently above 60°F. They should germinate after 21-28 days.

    Transplant seedlings outside in the spring when they are 3-4 inches tall. Space seedings 12-24 inches apart in rows 36 inches apart.

    Division

    You can also propagate by dividing the roots of established plants in the second year of growth, in the spring before flowering, or in the fall when plants go dormant.

    Cut back the plant to about a foot or so from the ground so it is easier to work with. Take a sharp spade and divide the plant down the center, or remove the entire plant and divide the roots into 2-3 sections, depending on the size of the root.

    Replant each piece in a garden bed amended with compost, spacing 18 to 24 inches apart.

    Divisions may fail to thrive if the taproot is damaged.

    How to Grow

    This herb prefers rich, moist, and slightly alkaline soil, though it will tolerate almost any soil type.

    Moisture is important, however, as it does not tolerate dry conditions well. Be sure to keep the soil well watered, and mulch liberally to help retain moisture.

    It should be planted in a full sun to part shade location. Since this herb is native to cool climates, in hotter zones it is a good idea to plant it in partial shade to protect it from the heat.

    Once plants are established, maintenance is fairly easy. Keep plants free of weeds and water regularly at the base to prevent fungal diseases.

    Growing Tips
    • Start seeds in peat pots to avoid disturbing roots when transplanting.
    • Do not attempt to transplant plants larger than 3-4 inches tall, as established plants have sensitive taproots.
    • Cutting stalks at the end of the first year of growth will encourage flowering in the second year.
    • Keep soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.
    • Mulching will prevent the soil from drying out and inhibit the growth of weeds.
    Where to Buy

    If you want to add  A. archangelica to your herb garden, seeds are sometimes available from nurseries and garden centers.

    A. archangelica ‘Holy Ghost’ is suitable for growing in Zones 3-10 and will reach a mature height of up to five feet tall.

    ‘Holy Ghost’

    You can find seeds available for purchase at Eden Brothers.

    Managing Pests and Disease

    While not particularly prone to pests or disease, there are a few pesky critters and potential problems to keep an eye out for.

    Insects

    You may find these pests bothering your angelica plants occasionally:

    Aphids

    These pesky little sap-sucking bugs will feed on the green foliage, and can cause wilting of leaves, a decline in plant vigor, and stunted growth. Aphids also secrete honeydew, a sticky residue that can cause mold to grow on leaves.

    Weed regularly to reduce the risk of aphid infestation. You can eradicate these pests with diatomaceous earth, or a homemade insecticidal soap made with water and a few drops of dish soap.

    Learn more about managing aphids in the garden here.

    Leaf Miners

    This insect category refers to a variety of moths and flies which eat through leaf tissue when in the larval stage. Damage can appear as spots, blotches, or squiggly lines through foliage.

    Applying neem oil will disrupt the miners’ life cycle and reduce infestations. You can also put out sticky traps to catch the adults before they lay their eggs.

    Spider Mites

    Related to spiders, these arachnids live underneath leaves and pierce leaf tissue to feed, sucking out the fluids. They will cause spotting and yellowing of leaves, and may eventually cause foliage to drop entirely.

    Try applying a homemade insecticidal soap mixed with neem oil to get rid of them.

    Disease

    Angelica doesn’t suffer from much in the way of disease, but under certain conditions you might need to keep an eye out for the following:

    Crown Rot

    This soil borne fungal disease causes rotting of the stems at the base of plants near the soil line, and may also cause leaves to yellow, wilt, and die.

    Treatment is difficult, as the fungus that causes this disease, Pellicularia rolfsii, can live in the soil indefinitely.

    It’s most commonly seen in wet conditions and heavy soils, and can spread via flowing water.

    If rotting is discovered, remove and dispose of diseased plants as soon as you notice them.

    Prior to replanting a new crop, solarize the soil that has been infected by covering it with plastic for 2-3 months in the heat of summer.

    You can also amend heavy, clay soils with compost to improve drainage and reduce the risk of future disease.

    It is also helpful to water plants at the base, completely avoiding the leaves, and apply mulch to encourage adequate drainage.

    Harvesting

    All parts of angelica are edible.

    The leaves can be harvested in the first year. Cut off leaves as needed, being careful not to damage the main stem.

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