Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How Long Do Moringa Seeds Last?

Hi Friends,

I get asked this question a lot.  The first important point is seed quality. It needs to be good quality seed. Moringa seeds are dark and firm. If the seed is light, cream colored or soft, it is old or bad seed. Give the batch of seeds a germination test. Take a few seeds, soak them overnight in water, drain them, put them into a sandwich bag, don't add any extra water, keep the seeds separate from each other, put in a warm place like your oven, and see if they sprout.

In my last post, I told you how we lost our big trees in Mina, Nevada. They froze despite all my efforts. I had seed from two years ago so decided to see if it was still good. I planted about 50 seeds and only 10 did not come up. They are growing just fine. That is good germination for having the seeds this long. I had kept the seeds dry and free from moisture and heat.

Interestingly at the old house, I found a box of different seeds. The lady who had lived there, who died was a avid gardener. In the box were many varieties of seed. Some had gotten bugs in them. Most were molded and bad. There was one box of bean seeds from 20 some years ago. The seeds looked in good shape. For the fun of it, I planted 5 seeds.  I am amazed that four came up and are doing great. They are vigorous and strong. So the quality of the seed and the way you store it, are the two main factors.

New baby Moringa trees are planted into the 33 gal containers by windows.   With the wonderful windows we have all over the living room, I expect them to grow well.  I am thankful for the plants that did survive the extreme temperatures and treatment at the old house. I think often we give up too easy. This applies to planting and life. Sometimes life throws some hard chapters and it is easy to just throw in the towel. The hard part is to keep trying even when life throws you some curves. So keep planting and keep trying.

God be with all of you,

Kate, the Herbladyisin

Please support this blog by buying your Moringa products through my website at 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Yearly Report- Success and Failures with Moringa and our Other Plants

Hi Friends,

I have not written in awhile. Having just moved here to Stagecoach, Nevada, I had to wait to see where things were.  This blog is to share the success and failure of the last year living in the wilds of Nevada. I know why a lot of people do not grow much here. It takes dedication to your goals, creativity, grit, and persistence.  You must work at it.  I am very positive about this new year and our future here. I hope you will remain reading this blog will learn from it and enjoy it. I will share the successes and failures of this new chapter in our lives.  You must keep believing in your dreams, even when there are times when you have no idea of the next step. Life is about getting up, dusting your dreams off, redoing them if needed, and moving forward.  It is how you perceive your failures and how to react to them. It is going on to make things work.  If you are in a hard place in your life and your dreams seems just a series of road blocks, don't quit. It takes guts at times to be patient. It takes a mind set.  Again, keep trying and working on your dream.

Success:  The Goggi plants that we have moved three times, survived all including winds, cold, and being dug up. They are all alive and well except one.  They are now all leafed out and setting roots. I am really happy about that since they are difficult to get started from seed, grow very slowly to begin with, and are expensive.  So folks Goggi plants can be grown here in Nevada successfully.

The bay tree survived.

The grape starts survived. One blackberry out of 4 survived.

My Comfrey roots survived.  Even two Pau d' Arco trees survived. This was amazing because they got left at the old house by accident. They were in a protected area of the porch but got no water for two months. We came back to the old house to dig up the Comfrey roots and opened up the porch area, to find them alive and well. They too cannot be left outside in the winter. They will come into the house in winter to be house trees. They lived through all of that so have to try and save them.  I would have never grown them, had I known we were going to move to Nevada. They are much tougher than I thought they were. It is a good thing this house has a huge living room and there is only the two of us. We have one sofa bed, one TV, and a whole lot of plants. 

Failures:   In sadness, I need to report that even though we have a great new house with an immense living room filled with windows and light, that all my big Moringa trees froze to the point of death at the old property in Mina.  I cried over the loss but they did not make it through last winter.  The old house and Mina did not fare well for their survival. The insulation did not save them.  I cried a lot since we paid to move them up here to the new house. Just this week, I had to admit, after inspecting the root balls, that they were dead. The root ball was soft. If they are alive, the root ball is firm.  Our former house and shed was not enough to save them.  It got 5 degrees for a few days and freezing for many more. I knew when we moved to Mina, it was not where God meant us to be. It was a place to be patient and wait until the right place came along. I did all that I could to save them and it did not work. In saving that, I am starting over here in our new home and property.

A Permanent Home for us and the trees: 

We will stay here in Stagecoach on this property. We still have the wind to content with but the soil is decent. We have a great house with sunlight in every room to raise some trees indoors. It is a perfect house for the Moringa trees. I am only sorry it came too late to save the big trees. I am not one to give up and so forward once more. I have been told that despite the winds here, we can build a mound greenhouse. There are several people doing it. We will build it between the rabbit enclosure and the chicken coop area for wind break.  So that is our goal before winter....a greenhouse.

Planting in Windy Places

Wall of chicken cook acts as a wind break.

You must find a way to provide a wind break, either naturally or created for your plants. This wind break could be a created wall, a building, or fence. My garden area will have to be located with the coop as a windbreak. I planted grapes into tires as you will see in the pictures, to protect them for the time being.  Our water rate here is only $50.00 for 25,000 gal of water. And no I did not add a extra 0 accidently. That is twenty five thousand gallons of water. That is why there are three organic farms here in this area. In San Diego where we moved from, it is beautiful weather for growing everything, but who can afford the water rates. Then in the summer you have water restrictions and water police. We have none of that here. Our neighbors have goats and mules with a close access to manure and compost. We have over an acre to plant trees and scrubs such as elderberries.  We should be able to buy it here in a couple of years. This area is also filled with country minded people as well but near the city for sales.

Protecting the grape from wind and rabbit damage. This one got hurt before I could creatively come up with a way to protect it. It should recoup now.    This is a young plant.

Moringa Seedlings Started: 

So am starting from scratch with new seedlings.  These will be raised to stay in the house except perhaps in the summer. We may set them outside, then back into the house when it gets cold.  Right now I have 20 new seedlings with grow lights directed on them.  The containers must be covered over with chicken wire to keep the cats from destroying them.

I have decided to grow some of the Moringa trees as a seasonal crop.  I will keep 6 in the house and use the rest until the cold starts. My rabbits and I love to eat fresh Moringa leaves. You can only keep so many trees in the house. So will make the rest into a seasonal crop. If we get the greenhouse done in time this year, they will go into the green house. People here in Nevada, grow veggies so why not the trees. With several trees, there should be enough leaves for fresh tea and food.  So that is the plan folks.  

Protecting Your Plants from Pet Cats:  

These little guys are planted into a 33 gal trash can where the big tree was planted. I have a grow light over it as well as it being near our slider with plenty of sun. I will cut the wire out around the growing trunk as it gets bigger.

The other day our two half grown cats turned over a pot with 10 seedings. It is a good thing, I love them for they were in deep trouble. I was really upset at the damage they did.   I had potting mix spilled  over a 4 sq foot area in the house, seedlings scattered in the mess.  Of the 10 seedlings, 8 managed to retain their root and seed pod. I carefully re-potted them to see if they could be saved. Of the 8 seedlings, 7 look like they survived the cats. I then had to find a way to protect them. Placing chicken wire over the tops worked. Cats, as most people with cats know, are a real problem with your plants.  I was really upset with the whole thing, but what can you do. You must be smarter than your cats.  Cardboard placed in the bottom of the pot around the plant root, will help keep them from using the pots as a potty. The problem with the cats is that they will eat the Moringa seedlings if you don't watch them. I will find a way as they get taller to protect the plants. You must get really creative to do this.  Right now until they get taller, the wire keeps them safe.

This is the cover off a ceiling fan that broke. I am using it as a guard for the plant. I have a grow light on it too. As it gets bigger, I will make a wire cage around it to save it from the cat terrorists.  I will upload pictures on their growth.  I love my Moringa trees.  They are a part of my life now. 

Well this is review of things. I hope you all will keep reading the blog. I will be writing weekly now with Spring here and all.

Please support this blog by buying your Moringa products through my website at 

God bless you all....Kate, the Herbladyisin