Margaret Lauterbach

Margaret Lauterbach

The season of seeds plants excitement in us gardeners

Sowing tiny seeds and seeing emerging seedlings develop marks one of the best times of the year for me. Seeds in themselves are miraculous products of nature, ranging in size from coconuts to seeds so tiny that a cluster looks like soot. Each seed, even the tiniest, contains an embryo and sufficient food to develop a root (radix), appearing as a greenish-white dash on potting soil, and tiny straplike primary leaves. Primary leaves then can manufacture sufficient food to develop a true leaf or two, and then they take over manufacturing food for the plant from sunshine, water and carbon dioxide.

Margaret Lauterbach

Pears, pears and more pears: These fruit trees are producing

Have you ever had a dessert pear? Seckel pear, a small delicious dessert pear, is known as the only true American pear because it allegedly first appeared as a mutation on a farm owned by a Mr. Seckel near Philadelphia in the early 1800s. Some folks think it’s a hybrid cross of a European pear with an Asian pear. It’s popularly known as a sugar or candy pear for its sweet flavor. Important to us in this area, it’s resistant to fireblight, while few other varieties of pear are resistant.

Margaret Lauterbach

There are always successes and failures after summer of gardening

The growing season is drawing to a close, and vegetable gardeners have had some successes and some failures. Some are complaining about small tomatoes, and that is a problem I’ve seen on some varieties (not all) in my garden. Why are some tomatoes too small? It may be from stress, our high heat, insufficient water or too much nitrogen. Apparently if temperatures over 100 degree are to blame, not all varieties are equally susceptible.

About Margaret Lauterbach

Margaret Lauterbach

The Statesman's weekly gardening columnist, Margaret Lauterbach has advised Treasure Valley gardeners on everything from sowing to composting to coping with the soils, pests and diseases of this unique climate. Send garden questions to melauter@earthlink.net or Gardening, The Statesman, P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707.

Into the garden with Margaret Lauterbach

Idaho Statesman gardening columnist Margaret Lauterbach spends time in her early spring garden, reflecting on why we love gardening so much.