The dirt: "Starting Seeds”; "Powerhouse Plants”

  • Updated: April 1, 2014 - 1:31 PM

the dirt

Seed-starting guide

“Starting Seeds” (Storey Publishing, $8.95) is a basic guide to growing plants from seed, whether they’re started indoors or out.

The book takes readers through the whole process of seed starting — deciding what to grow, determining when to start the seeds, sowing them, caring for seedlings and, in the case of seeds started indoors, transplanting them to the garden.

Author Barbara Ellis includes lists of easy seeds to start with as well as information and helpful pointers to boost the chances of success.

Double-duty plants

Some plants put on a show for a few weeks. Others enhance the garden for two or more seasons.

It’s the latter that Graham Rice spotlights in “Powerhouse Plants: 510 Top Performers for Multi-Season Beauty” (Timber Press, $24.95)

The book profiles 510 hardworking plants with multiple-season appeal. They comprise annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, vines and grasses that add interest through their leaves, flowers, fruits, bark or other plant parts.

In addition to describing the plants, Rice includes tips for caring for them, situating them to their best advantage and combining them effectively with other plants.

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