Category Archives: Urban Gardens

Earthyman Article on How to Do a Dormant Seeding

When and how to do a dormant seeding is a question that is often asked when sowing native seeds.  By following these simple guidelines, you can be successful using a dormant seeding.

Make sure your site is prepared and there is no sign of any growing live vegetation present.  An exception would be if you were planning on supplementing an existing planting to add more diversity.  After the ground temperature drops below 50 degrees, you can start sowing your seed usually in the Midwest this occurs at the end of October or the first of November.  Even if you have 2 inches of snowfall, the seed can be broadcast over the snow.  Any time in late fall or even winter, seeds can be broadcast.

You can check your soil temperature in your state by googling for soil temperatures for instance in Iowa, you may go to: http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/NPKnowledge/soiltemphistory.html

If you have a small area, one to two acres or less, broadcast your seed by hand.  In this instance the seed can be mixed with 10 to 20 parts of wet sand to 1 part seed by volume.  After you have thoroughly mixed your seed with the wet sand, divide it into 2 to 4 lots and go over the entire area with each lot.  The seed can then be broadcast by hand using an ice cream container under one arm and reaching in with the other hand to grab a handful of this seed matrix.  Cast it in a swinging motion just as you would feed chickens.  With the next lot of seed, walk in a different direction so as to get a more even distribution of the seed.  This is repeated with each lot and going a different direction each time.

Since this is a dormant seeding, we are depending upon Mother Nature to achieve good seed to soil contact which is the most important element in any kind of seeding.  Mother Nature will then rain, snow, freeze and thaw. This is just what we want as it will ensure the proper stratification of the seed to break the dormancy code and allow better germination in the spring.  Stratification is a process whereby we can either by Mother Nature or human treatment break the dormancy of seeds to enable germination.

Go to Native Wildflowers & Seeds Website for a variety of quality native seeds and seed mixes.   Ion Exchange, Inc. is a Native Plant and Seed Nursery for over 25 years.  They grow and market native wildflowers, grasses, sedges and rushes.

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Earthyman’s Video on The Butterfly Attractor Kit For Your Butterfly Garden

Earthyman explains how you can create your own Butterfly Garden in your back yard using plants from Ion Exchange, native seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa

To Purchase This Excellent Butterfly Attractor Kit Click On Our Link Below

http://ionxchange.com/products/BIRD-%26–BUTTERFLY-ATTRACTOR-STA.html

Tiny Climates Article By Earthyman

By Howard Bright, hbright@acegroup.cc

Have you ever thought about how little it takes to change the climate?  Pay attention the next time you walk down a lane, street or natural area.  They all will show you what nature does.  It may sound very simple but did you notice that the temperature dropped 10 degrees beneath the shade of a tree as you stopped to catch your breath on a hot 90-degree day?  Did you ever sit on the south side of hot sunny slope and feel the heat from the sun.  As you walked up the steep slope and down on the other side, you sat down on this north facing slope under a tree and now you actually experienced a chill as the temperature suddenly was reduced and no direct sunlight was found there.

Nature’s plants are finely tuned with these tiny climatic conditions known as microclimates.  That’s why we find plants such as Hepaticas, Snow Trilliums, Harebells and Trout Lilies on north facing slopes.  Ever noticed that the moss grows thick on the north side of a tree?  Ever noticed how your inner self-feelings can change as you face different directions.  Native Americans knew this and recognized the different directions in their everyday rituals in greeting the new day.

Tune your senses to your “tiny climate” and notice what is going on in your world and how easy it is to change your outlook on life.  Happy climate change to you!

Earthyman

http://ionxchange.com/

The Natural World Article By Earthyman From Ion Exchange, Inc.

The natural world, as recognized over and over again can be our best teacher. The struggles and stresses that we perceive in our daily lives can get to be such a drain on us. When this happens, our lives are no longer in cadence or harmony with others and the natural world. We start to feel distressed and lost while even armed with our fine educations, years of therapy, self-awareness and physical fitness. Where do we turn? There seems to be no answer and no one to help us.

I remember when I was very young and my parents used to argue with each other, I would get very upset and walk out of the house. There was an old red oak stump in our timber. I would just sit there, staring at the ground and trees around me. It was my escape and my haven from stress and turmoil. This little wood lot that had been so mistreated and now barely remained had become my friend and companion. Having been stripped of all valuable timber long ago, then grazed, then abandoned, now recovering but extremely scarred, the landscape did not complain but only saw new opportunity for change and a new life. The stripping of its timber was not harbored in a memory bank filled with judgments of greed or bad behavior. No one was being held responsible for the condition of this little parcel. Out of what looked like total defilement and desolation came a new beginning and a new life for this old, old piece of ground.

There were Yellow Warblers, Myrtle Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, Ruby Crown Kinglets, and Purple Finches, over 100 species of beautiful birds in this small haven along with squirrels, rabbits and copperheads. It was amazing that this land, so poor, could house and care for such a diversity of life. Underneath the shallow leaves and humus of the oaks and hickories, it was only 2″ to shale rock. Erosion had not even allowed a new soil to stay in place. Now a new soil was starting to form. The oaks grew ever so slowly, but they grew. Now, down the slope, a small clearing, a little knoll occupied by Andropogon virginicus, or Broom Sedge as we called it, was dotted with Eastern Red Cedars. From here, I could lie down in the grass and look to the south and east to see a whole horizon bounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Only 12 miles away, I could see Big Bald Mountain on the North Carolina line marked by the Appalachian Trail. It was a beautiful wilderness within site of this abandoned and forgotten vestige that was once a link and connection to these mighty mountains. Like a child cast out into a desert of chaos and severed from its mother, this little wood lot had become an island. My education and awareness might not have been that well established at the age of nine but my feelings were in tact and I knew this was a place where I could go and start to heal and find comfort. I didn’t have to worry about conflict here. I was accepted and I fit in with the rest. I became part of that landscape and it is still within me. I have learned from the great spirit of the natural world. Every change is an opportunity for a new beginning. Nature does not hear or respond to shame, blame, doubt, and guilt nor does she harbor regrets or grudges. She takes what she has and moves on to constantly create more beauty in the world.

I think it’s time to move on and create some beauty in our world. Won’t you join the natural world

Earthyman

http://ionxchange.com/

Earthyman Article: Answers Given to Me by Butterflies

While standing on our balcony over looking a remnant prairie adjacent to the ocean on South Padre Island, my mind went still.  Suddenly, an orange butterfly below me appeared in the little prairie.  I noticed that it did not seem to go to some blooming yellow flowers where I expected him to be attracted.  Instead he went to a shrub with no flowers, which seemed nondescript.  He landed there and seemed to be doing something as he went from shrub to shrub of the same species.  He then came within 6 inches of a yellow flower while still remaining on a nondescript shrub.  Then he flew over to a yellow flower and hovered a few seconds and flew off.

In the meantime a small yellow butterfly came flipping up and down between the shrubs.  Then a light came on for me.  I said to myself “if you, the little yellow butterfly, passes straight in front of me and continues north that will be a sign that I am on the right path in making a very difficult decision” that I have been pondering for years.  It did do just that.  The butterfly passed from East and kept going north with no hesitation.  My answer had been given me, “do it”.  Then at that same moment when the little yellow butterfly was just landing on the beautiful bloom of a wild primrose, the orange butterfly showed up again at the very flower that he had passed up previously.  He landed there and stayed for over 2 minutes getting the most out of this flower that he had avoided before.

The meaning of all this then hit me.  I had been given the green flag to pursue the unknown and forget about the old habits of grazing on the nondescript things in life and go for it but stay with it and milk it for all it is worth.  A warm feeling came over me and I will never forget this moment.

Earthyman

To Purchase Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/

Buy Red Wildflowers From Ion Exchange, Inc., Native Wildflower Seed & Plant Nursery

Earthyman is at the Mississippi River Bottoms Looking at All These Beautiful Fall Blooming Wildflowers.  One of the Prettiest is the Red Cardinal Flower (Lobelia Cardinalis).  It Adds Beautiful Red Color to Your Wetland Garden

Click On Link Below To View Buy Red Wildflowers Article

Buy Red Wildflowers From Ion Exchange, Inc.

To Purchase This Beautiful Red Cardinal Flower Click On Our Link Below

http://ionxchange.com/products/LOBELIA-CARDINALIS-%7C-Cardinal-Flower.html

If You Love Wildflowers and You Love To Photograph Them Watch This Great Video From Matthew McDaniel on How To Photograph Wildflowers

Matthew McDaniel’s Video on How To Photograph Wildflowers : How to Become a Better Photographer.  When You’re On A Nice Walk or Hike and come across Wildflowers What’s The Best Way To Photograph Them?  Well Watch This Video and Find Some Helpful Ideas.

If You Would Like To Purchase Some Beautiful Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/