CHICOPEE, Mass (Mass Appeal) – Our series on ‘Herbs: A to Z’ continues with herbs that begin with the letter ‘E.’ Carol Joyce is the Owner of White Buffalo Herbs in Warwick, shared more about herbs Echinacea, Elderberry, Eucalyptus and Eyebright.
SOIL Blocking (How to start seeds indoors without pots)
Large mixing pan
2 five gallon buckets black peat (Terre Noire)
½ cup powdered lime
2 buckets coarse sand
2 buckets brown peat
3 cups base fertilizer.
1 bucket soil
1 bucket compost
Mix all items together (use a small hoe, paint scraper, or shovel)
You are now ready to make soil blocks:
Mix small amount of mix with water to make a mud pie consistency. Scoop into soil blocker. Level off & then turn over to put in seed tray. Continue to fill tray. Add seeds & mark. Keep loosely covered with saran wrap in warm area. Add lighting as soon as seeds pop through the dirt.
1 part Greensand
1 part Colloidal (rock) phosphate
1 part Blood Meal (dried blood)
NOTE: For best results, always try to use YOUR garden’s soil, local compost, local manure, & add base fertilizer as top-dressing to soil all summer long. Soil Blockers can be purchased from Johnnie’s (Albion, ME) or Territorial Seed Co (Oregon) approx . cost: $40
This can be reduced for home needs. Suggest use large coffee can instead of a 5 gallon bucket & reduce the other amounts accordingly.
The block allows air to “prune” the roots of the baby seedlings & makes them stronger for transplanting into your garden in the Spring! (also affords you the opportunity to do without pots)
ECHINACEA Root Extract
Dried Echinacea root
½ pint 100 proof vodka
Clean ½ pint canning jar
1. Pour 1 part dried Echinacea root (Echinacea purpurea or angustifolia)
2. Place in canning jar.
3. Pour over 100 proof vodka.
4. Cap & label
5. Place in cool dry spot for 6 weeks.
6. Strain out spent root.
7. Store in cool dark cupboard. Pour into dropper bottles or use by the tablespoon, as needed. Keeps up to 5 years.
To follow our series on Herbs ‘A to Z’ click here.