Whole green resources for seeds, soil health, pest management, tools, composting, container gardening, and more.
When you garden the organic way, you don’t rely on the labels on packages of fertilizers and pesticides to tell you what to do. You tune into the weather and the seasons. You notice the butterflies and bees. You act according to how your plants are performing. Through this focused attention, an organic gardener builds a deep and real bond with the earth. That bond makes preserving our planet and all of its resources a personal matter.
LEARN ABOUT IT
A fun and fail-safe way to make your garden a stopping station for seed-eating birds is to plant sunflowers. Planting sunflowers is, literally, child’s play. The seeds are big enough for little hands to maneuver into the ground, and when the plants bloom approximately 60 days later … wow! Plant them in straight formation, as a summer screen, or in a circle to create a private fort for children. Use them as climbing props for flowering vines, or space them 3 or 4 inches apart in a row so they stretch for light and give you armloads of long-stemmed flowers. However you use them, try hard to resist the urge to “neaten up” the garden in late summer. You’ll get another season of interest as the birds do acrobatics to dislodge the tightly packed, nutritious seeds.
Check out the hundreds of varieties available. You’ll find dwarfs and giants, branching reds and single-stemmed oranges, multiple small flowers and humongous heads. You’ll also find pollenless sunflowers. Choose whatever turns you on—some say the pollenless types make better cut flowers, and even they will make seeds if other sunflowers with pollen grow nearby. One word of advice: For bird-feeding purposes, the wilder, branching types are more generous and last longer in the garden than the once-and-done single-stemmed varieties.
Here are three of the more than 1,000 Whole Green resources you’ll find in the catalog:
When feeding plants with liquid fertilizer, add 1/4 teaspoon of dish soap to a quart of water. Then mix in the fertilizer, per the package’s instructions. The soap helps the fertilizer coat the leaf surface.