Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reader's Questions: Nasturtiums and More

Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders. ~Henry David Thoreau

Today I have three more garden questions and answers!

How I love rose geraniums! Years ago I found a recipe for rose geranium cake in The Herb Companion magazine. I have since lost it. Geraniums grow like weeds here in California so they are wonderful and easy to grow. I do not know where I could buy seeds for red clover though. Do you have any sources? ~Jacqui

I'm not sure it's the same cake recipe but I found one on the Herb Companion website that sounded yummy:

As far as the red clover seeds, you can usually find them in any seed catalog that has herb seeds or in the spring check the seed racks in larger garden centers and you should find it.

My Grandson had to do a growing project for junior school, so he came to me with a packet of seeds, Nasturtium, we had a great time sowing, then watching them grow, planting them out and now the full colour in August, My question:- The seed pods that are now forming all over the plants, can they be used as new seed for next year, as this (if it worked) would show Jack the full cycle If it could work could you tell me what to do with the seed pods, as I am sure there is more to it than just planting. ~Ron H. & Jack

You sure can! I've collected nasturtium seeds many times. Leave them on the plant and they should turn brown. They'll need to dry, so you can put them in a small basket or anything that won't trap in the moisture. When they look dry like the seeds you planted then you can keep them in an envelope until next season and plant them as you did before. This is such a cool idea!

We grew a bunch of eggplants and when we go to fry them they are very very bitter. Does anyone know how to get rid of that bitter taste and any good recipes for fixing eggplant? ~Selma

Eggplant should be picked early, while its smaller and the skin is still glossy. The seeds are what can cause bitterness if they're are too many. If you aren't sure how old it is, then try choosing eggplant that feels lighter-the heavier it is, the more seeds could be inside. The skin shouldn't be dull or spongy.

You can try cutting up or slicing the eggplant, sprinkling it with salt and allowing it to drain for an hour or so. After this you'll need to press the eggplant with paper towel to remove any water. Then use it as you planned. The link below has some good recipes to try with eggplant.

On OFL we have tips on growing and using chamomile:


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