News

Pest Control & Prevention in the Garden Posted on 15 Oct 07:21 , 0 comments

We asked our customers what issues they face in the garden and the top responses were Weeds and Bugs.  Today we're going to tackle the Bugs & Pests issue.

I need to say this first, bugs are a very important part of the garden.  Don't try to fight ALL of them, learn to work with and around them.  There are good bugs and bad bugs and both will be present in the garden whether you like it or not.  My goal with this article is to help you work WITH nature and not fight nature.
Container gardens are one way to slow down garden pests

Earlier this year I shared an Organic Pest Control series

First I shared Identifying Common Garden Pests

Part 1 Companion Planting

Part 2 DIY Organic Recipes

Part 3 Using Food Grade DE

Then, Identifying Common "Good Bugs" in the Garden


If you have not read these articles, I highly recommend going thru them.  Not because I shared them but because they will answer many of your questions.

Rather than fighting the bugs, let's chat about prevention.

Companion Planting is our first line of defense against bugs such as hornworms and squash bugs.  

Planting LOTS of Borage in the garden with tomatoes, tomatillos and other plants will help deter tomato hornworms.  This is NOT a complete prevention but it's a start.  

Nasturtiums are another great addition to your garden to deter bugs such as squash vine borers.

Marigolds can deter root-damaging Nematodes.

It is a good idea to keep an eye on your plants by checking on them daily of every other day.  If you catch a problem early enough you can say yourself a lot of trouble.  Aphids for example.  If you see a few of them, you can use a DIY organic spray to contain them before it becomes an all out infestation. Please be aware that some sprays, even organic, can still harm beneficial insects.

Do not compost infested or diseased plants.  This is one way to prevent further infestations.

From Rodale,

Attract an airborne defense squad
One of the best ways to short-circuit an onslaught of pests is to attract an airborne cavalry charge of beneficial insects. Many beneficials—including the small wasps that prey on pest caterpillars—will gratefully take advantage of the flat-topped floral landing platforms offered by members of the umbel family, which includes dill, Queen-Anne’s-lace, parsley, and carrots. (You have to allow the parsley and carrot plants to overwinter and grow into their second year to get those umbrella-shaped flowers that beneficials find so attractive.) Other plants beloved by beneficials include sweet alyssum, all kinds of mints, and chamomile.

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Weed Prevention & Control Without Chemicals Posted on 15 Oct 06:29 , 0 comments

We asked our customers what issues they face in the garden and the top responses were Weeds and Bugs.  Today we're going to tackle the Weeds issue.



Raised Beds
Because of gophers and rabbits, all of our gardens are raised beds.  This isn't economical for everyone but it keeps out pests and weeds!  When we built our beds, we laid out cardboard under the beds.  Each raised bed also has gopher wire or chicken wire stapled to the bottom.
Plenty of weeds around the outside of the beds and just veggies growing inside the bed!
For building instructions, see our tutorial Build Your Own Raised Beds
 

Mulch garden beds
Tom Lanini, a professor of plant sciences at the University of California Davis, said mulch is the most important factor in preventing weed growth. Nearly any barrier that blocks light works as a mulch. Bark and other decorative mulches work, but dried leaves, cardboard and newspapers are also effective.
Burn weeds
As a chemical-free alternative, though it still uses gas, Lanini recommends torching weeds with small landscape flamers, which are hooked to standard propane tanks. He said this method is quick and effective for ridding weeds in sidewalk cracks and lawn edging.
Boiling water – this is more effective than many expensive chemical herbicides. Just boil water and pour it on your weeds, but do NOT pour it on your plants because it will kill them too. In fact, it will kill anything you pour it on, including the beneficial creatures, so use with caution.
Vinegar – this works best on young plants because it will not kill the roots of well-established plants. For tougher weeds spray several days in a row to kill the weed leaves, just be careful not to spray your plants!
IF you choose to use a spray, even organic, please be aware that it will kill your veggies as well as weeds.  DIY organic sprays are a much safer alternative than synthetic chemicals and are great for sidewalk cracks where weeds spring up.
I have never used a spray but the recipe I found is below
1/2 cup liquid dish soap (PLEASE use an organic option such as Dr. Bronner's)
1 gallon white vinegar (yes, there are organic options)
1/4 cup salt
Mix all ingredients and add to a squirt bottle
EAT THE WEEDS!
Many people are unaware of the benefits of some of those pesky weeds.  **Please be sure to properly identify plants before consuming anything** 
 


Dandelion leaves can be harvested at any point in the growing season, and while the smaller leaves are considered to be less bitter and more palatable raw, the bigger leaves can be eaten as well, especially as an addition to a green salad. If raw dandelion leaves don't appeal to you, they can also be steamed or added to a stir-fry or soup, which can make them taste less bitter. The flowers are sweet and crunchy, and can be eaten raw, or breaded and fried, or even used to make dandelion wine. The root of the dandelion can be dried and roasted and used as a coffee substitute, or added to any recipe that calls for root vegetables.
Purslane can often be found in moist garden beds, lawns, and shady areas, where it lies close to the ground and often goes unnoticed. This humble garden weed, however, is a nutritional powerhouse, as it is said to contain more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable, and can be a great addition to a salad or stir-fry, or used to thicken soups or stews. Purslane is a succulent, with a crispy texture, and the leaves and stems can be eaten raw or cooked to add a peppery flavor to any dish.
CLOVER
Other than the occasional four-leafed clover hunt, this common lawn weed goes mostly unnoticed, but is an important food for honeybees and bumblebees, and clover leaves and flowers can be used to add variety to meals. Small amounts of raw clover leaves can be chopped into salads, or can be sauteed and added to dishes for a green accent, and the flowers of both red and white clover can be eaten raw or cooked, or dried for tea.
LAMB'S QUARTERS
The young shoots and leaves of Lamb's Quarters (also known as goosefoot) can be eaten raw in any vegetable dish, or sauteed or steamed and used anywhere spinach is called for. The seeds of the Lamb's Quarters, which resemble quinoa, can also be harvested and eaten, although it takes a lot of patience to gather enough to make it worthwhile.
This common lawn weed (not to be confused with the tropical fruit also called plantain) is not only a great medicinal plant that can be used topically to soothe burns, stings, rashes, and wounds, but is also a great edible green for the table. The young leaves of plantain can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, or sauteed, and while the older leaves can be a bit tough, they can also be cooked and eaten as well. The seeds of the plantain, which are produced on a distinctive flower spike, can be cooked like a grain or ground into a flour, and are related to the more well-known psyllium seeds, which are sold as a fiber supplement and natural laxative.
The leaves of the wild amaranth, also known as pigweed, are another great addition to any dish that calls for leafy greens, and while the younger leaves are softer and tastier, the older leaves can also be cooked like spinach. The seeds of the wild amaranth can be gathered and cooked just like store-bought amaranth, either as a cooked whole grain or as a ground meal, and while it does take a bit of time to gather enough to add to a meal, they can be a a good source of free protein.
Curly dock (also called yellow dock) leaves can be eaten raw when young, or cooked when older, and added to salads or soups. The stems of the dock plant can be peeled and eaten either cooked or raw, and the mature seeds can be boiled, or eaten raw, or roasted to make a coffee substitute. Dock leaves are rather tart, and because of their high oxalic acid content, it's often recommended to only eat them in moderation, as well as to change the water several times during cooking.
 
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COOL Weather Crops to Plant & NEW Seeds for 2017! Posted on 06 Oct 09:15 , 0 comments

The latest from Mary's Heirloom Seeds!
*UPDATED from 2015*
NEW Heirloom Cabbage varieties for 2017!
seamless_fall_header.jpg
Mary's Heirloom Seeds
Quick Links
Join Our List
It's that time again....We've added more NEW Seeds and We're showing off all of our Cool Weather varieties here at Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Organic Garlic orders are shipping out every day.
If you have not received your email notification and are wondering when your Garlic will ship out, please feel free to send us an email.

Thanks and hope you enjoy our Cool-Crop info!
Mary's Cool Weather Crops    
It's getting cooler in parts of the US as we prepare for FALL planting.
Are you ready for Fall?
 
 
 
Each of the varieties listed above are links to our heirloom & organic, non-gmo & non-hybrid seeds. We now offer over 400 varieties!
~~NEW SEEDS~~  
   
EARLY WHITE VIENNA KOHLRABI


WALLA WALLA ONION


MAMMOTH MELTING SUGAR PEA

In case you missed it, we have other new varieties that were announced over the last 2 weeks.

NEW Seeds for 2017 at Mary's Heirloom Seeds

99 Cent Seed Sale and More!
We are currently working on new labels and packaging.  If you purchase any of the NEW varieties for 2017, your order may be delayed up to a week.  Please have patience as we are working as fast as possible gearing up for the 2017 planting season.
~~FALL SEED COMBOS ~~  

Fall Garden Seeds Combo Pack
Our unique selection of cool-weather crops is perfect for your fall garden.  This combo pack Includes 7 varieties of individually packed seeds.
Arugula (100)
Russian Red Kale (100)
Purple Plum Radish (100)
Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach (100)
Calabrese Broccoli (100)
Dwarf Pak Choy Cabbage (100)
Fennel (100)


Fall garden Seeds SUPER Combo
Our unique selection of cool-weather crops is perfect for your fall garden.  These are individual packs of seeds.  This combo pack includes the seed selection from our regular Fall Garden Combo Pack, plus quite a few more for a total of 12 seed packs
Arugula (100)
Russian Red Kale (100)
Purple Plum Radish (100)
Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach (100)
-Calabrese Broccoli (100)
Dwarf Pak Choy Cabbage (100)
-Fennel (100)
Detroit Dark Red Beet (100)
-Berlicum Carrot (100)
Long Island Brussels Sprouts (80)
Snowball Self-Blanching Cauliflower (200)
Rainbow Swiss Chard (100)
FLORIDA GARDENERS!
We now offer 3 different combo packs specific to Florida

Florida Garden Seeds MINI Combo

Florida Garden Seeds Combo

Florida Garden Seeds SUPER Combo
If you have additional questions please feel free to ask. 
Happy Planting,
Mary's Heirloom Seeds, P. O. Box 3763, Ramona, CA 92065

PLANT A FALL GARDEN & SAVE Posted on 14 Sep 11:21 , 0 comments

Depending on where you live, many of you are planting FALL Crops.  This is a great way to extend your growing season and save money!  If you have never planted a Fall garden but you would like to, this is a great opportunity.  If you're on the fence about planting a Fall garden, this is definitely a must-read!

Let's get started!

RADISH everywhere!!!  Yes, I'm that excited about Growing Radish.  From Seed to Harvest, many Radish varieties are ready to harvest in 23-35 days.  Longer & larger varieties such as the Japanese Minowase Radish can take up to 70 days.

From our tutorial Growing Radish from Seed to Harvest,
"Sow radishes in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before average date of  the last frost in spring. Sow succession crops every 2 weeks in spring and in autumn. Two or more crops can be grown in spring. Radishes require 22 to 70 days to come to harvest. Warm weather can result in small roots. Long days may also cause radishes to flower; plant radishes during the shorter days of spring and autumn. In mild winter regions, grow radishes in late autumn and early winter. Radishes can withstand frost.
Keep radish planting beds moist but not too wet. Even, regular watering will result in quick growth. Radishes that receive too little water will become woody tasting. Prepare planting beds with aged compost. Side dress radishes with aged compost at midseason."
 
Cost Breakdown:
1 pack of Purple Plum Radish = $2.00 for 100 seeds
 
1 "bunch" of organic Radish from the store = $1.49 for 6 radishes
**That means you'll spend almost $25 for 100 radishes!!!
 
Don't like raw Radish?  Try Pickled Radish!  I just posted the recipe to our blog.
 
 
ARUGULA is another great Fall Crop.  From seed to harvest, Arugula is ready to start eating in as few as 40 days.  You can harvest the entire bunch or just a few leaves at a time.
"Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in moist soil.  It is best to sow lettuce or spinach seeds thinly in rows spaced about 1 ft. apart or simply scatter the seeds in blocks. Cover lightly with soil, firm in place and water well. Keep the soil moist until germination. Once the plants have a grown their true leaves, you can begin to thin the plants to about 6" apart."
Cost Breakdown:

At Mary's Heirloom Seeds, a packet of Arugula seeds is $3.00 and contains 200 seeds. Even if only 90% of those seeds germinate (almost 100% of mine grow!), that still leaves 180 plants!
For this comparison, we're going to share a very economical option for growing greens (especially if you don't have a yard or much room to grow)
Grow Your own:
Sterilite 18 gallon bin: $9
Organic Potting Soil: $9 a bag
Arugula Seeds: $3
Total: $21 for 180 Arugula Plants (much more than a bunch)

Purchased at my local store, organic Arugula is about $1.99 per bunch. Let's compare:

180 homegrown bunches of Arugula $21

180 store bought bunches of Arugula $358.20

If you save your seeds...The savings are incalculable!

 
BEETS are another easy Fall crop.  From seed to harvest, beets reach maturity at approx 55 days! **Leave them to grow longer for larger beets**  BEETS are a "double-duty" crop for us.  When we harvest beets, the greens are used raw in salad or sauteed with garlic and onions (just like spinach). The actual beet has many uses!  We roast them with garlic & olive oil, shredded over salad and even pickled!
 
From our article Growing Organic Beets From Seed to Harvest,

"Beets are fairly frost hardy and can be planted in the garden 30 days before the frost-free date for your area. Although beets grow well during warm weather, the seedlings are established more easily under cool, moist conditions. Start successive plantings at 3 to 4 week intervals until midsummer for a continuous supply of fresh, tender, young beets. Irrigation assures germination and establishment of the later plantings."
 

Cost Breakdown:

1 pack of Beets (on average) = $3 for 100 seeds

1 bunch of Organic Beets at my local store is $1.99 for 3 beets

**That's over $65 for 100 beets and that doesn't even include the greens!

 
I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.  Growing your own organic food is fun, rewarding and it can save you a lot of money.  Bonus, you know exactly how your food is grown and it didn't have to be transported in from thousands of miles away.

**I didn't mention soil and water for most of these. Soil can be used again if you replenish nutrients and water can be recycled from rain and other household activities.**
RUBY RED SWISS CHARD

What are some other Fall or Cool Weather crops?
Helpful Links

 
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PLANT A FALL GARDEN & SAVE Posted on 14 Sep 11:21 , 0 comments

Depending on where you live, many of you are planting FALL Crops.  This is a great way to extend your growing season and save money!  If you have never planted a Fall garden but you would like to, this is a great opportunity.  If you're on the fence about planting a Fall garden, this is definitely a must-read!

Let's get started!

RADISH everywhere!!!  Yes, I'm that excited about Growing Radish.  From Seed to Harvest, many Radish varieties are ready to harvest in 23-35 days.  Longer & larger varieties such as the Japanese Minowase Radish can take up to 70 days.

From our tutorial Growing Radish from Seed to Harvest,
"Sow radishes in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before average date of  the last frost in spring. Sow succession crops every 2 weeks in spring and in autumn. Two or more crops can be grown in spring. Radishes require 22 to 70 days to come to harvest. Warm weather can result in small roots. Long days may also cause radishes to flower; plant radishes during the shorter days of spring and autumn. In mild winter regions, grow radishes in late autumn and early winter. Radishes can withstand frost.
Keep radish planting beds moist but not too wet. Even, regular watering will result in quick growth. Radishes that receive too little water will become woody tasting. Prepare planting beds with aged compost. Side dress radishes with aged compost at midseason."

Cost Breakdown:
1 pack of Purple Plum Radish = $2.00 for 100 seeds

1 "bunch" of organic Radish from the store = $1.49 for 6 radishes
**That means you'll spend almost $25 for 100 radishes!!!

Don't like raw Radish?  Try Pickled Radish!  I just posted the recipe to our blog.


ARUGULA is another great Fall Crop.  From seed to harvest, Arugula is ready to start eating in as few as 40 days.  You can harvest the entire bunch or just a few leaves at a time.
"Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in moist soil.  It is best to sow lettuce or spinach seeds thinly in rows spaced about 1 ft. apart or simply scatter the seeds in blocks. Cover lightly with soil, firm in place and water well. Keep the soil moist until germination. Once the plants have a grown their true leaves, you can begin to thin the plants to about 6" apart."
Cost Breakdown:

At Mary's Heirloom Seeds, a packet of Arugula seeds is $3.00 and contains 200 seeds. Even if only 90% of those seeds germinate (almost 100% of mine grow!), that still leaves 180 plants!
For this comparison, we're going to share a very economical option for growing greens (especially if you don't have a yard or much room to grow)
Grow Your own:
Sterilite 18 gallon bin: $9
Organic Potting Soil: $9 a bag
Arugula Seeds: $3
Total: $21 for 180 Arugula Plants (much more than a bunch)

Purchased at my local store, organic Arugula is about $1.99 per bunch. Let's compare:

180 homegrown bunches of Arugula $21

180 store bought bunches of Arugula $358.20

If you save your seeds...The savings are incalculable!


BEETS are another easy Fall crop.  From seed to harvest, beets reach maturity at approx 55 days! **Leave them to grow longer for larger beets**  BEETS are a "double-duty" crop for us.  When we harvest beets, the greens are used raw in salad or sauteed with garlic and onions (just like spinach). The actual beet has many uses!  We roast them with garlic & olive oil, shredded over salad and even pickled!
 
From our article Growing Organic Beets From Seed to Harvest,

"Beets are fairly frost hardy and can be planted in the garden 30 days before the frost-free date for your area. Although beets grow well during warm weather, the seedlings are established more easily under cool, moist conditions. Start successive plantings at 3 to 4 week intervals until midsummer for a continuous supply of fresh, tender, young beets. Irrigation assures germination and establishment of the later plantings."
 

Cost Breakdown:

1 pack of Beets (on average) = $3 for 100 seeds

1 bunch of Organic Beets at my local store is $1.99 for 3 beets

**That's over $65 for 100 beets and that doesn't even include the greens!

 
I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.  Growing your own organic food is fun, rewarding and it can save you a lot of money.  Bonus, you know exactly how your food is grown and it didn't have to be transported in from thousands of miles away.

**I didn't mention soil and water for most of these. Soil can be used again if you replenish nutrients and water can be recycled from rain and other household activities.**
RUBY RED SWISS CHARD


What are some other Fall or Cool Weather crops?


Helpful Links






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DIY Organic Liquid Fertilizer Mix Posted on 04 Sep 20:43 , 3 comments

A customer recently asked about using our Mary's Organic Plant Food in the garden on growing plants. Granular and powdered plant food is usually easier to apply MIXED into soil. However, making your own liquid, organic plant food is easy!

First, liquid feeding is usually easier with established plants. Second, liquid feed can give your plants a quicker "boost" if they need fast relief.


At Mary's Heirloom Seeds we offer a unique selection of Organic Soil Amendments. These can be combined to best suit your plant nutrient needs.

Let's get started!

For this recipe, I'm using 4 different organic soil Amendments.

Mary's Organic Plant Food


  • A complete plant food with all 15 essential nutrients
  • Originally developed for professional gardeners
  • Complex blend of natural organics provide complete and balanced feeding of all 15 nutrients
  • Environmentally safe
  • No sludges, hazardous or toxic ingredients


AZOMITE *Very important for healthy root growth*


  • Give Plants the Vital Minerals They need to Thrive
  • Great soil additive for all plants
Azomite rock dust is a naturally mined volcanic rock composed of over 70 minerals and trace elements that are essential for optimal plant health. The rock formation in Utah from which Azomite is mined was formed when volcanic ash merged with sea water. This mixture of volcanic ash and sea water created a unique source of trace minerals and elements that moist soils are void of. Just like humans, plants require many minerals to reach peak health and vigor. Re-mineralize your soil with Azomite and your plants will thank you and reward you! 


ALFALFA MEAL
Derived from leguminous perennial alfalfa plant used for pasture and cover crop. Primary benefit of this pleasant smelling meal is increasing organic matter, although it is also a valuable plant-derived fertilizer.
  • NPK analysis is 2.8-0.29-2.4
  • Contains trace minerals and triaconatol
  • Excellent addition to the compost pile for nitrogen content and absorbency
  • Roses respond especially well to alfalfa meal
  • WSDA Certified Organic Alfalfa Meal


Organic Calcium supplement-Oyster Shell
Carefully blended from organic nutrients in the ideal proportions without the use of synthetics, growth stimulants or low quality fillers
Calcium is a component of plant cell walls, and it’s needed for enzyme formation and nitrate uptake. Organic calcium can also be used to help neutralize excessively acidic soils, which is especially important when you’re growing green, leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach, or cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale.
Highest quality ingredients help provide an effective and environmentally friendly approach to plant care, crop fertilization and soil management.


DIY LIQUID FERTILIZER RECIPE
1 cup Mary's Organic Plant food
1/3 cup Oyster Shell
1/3 cup Organic Alfalfa Meal
1/3 cup AZOMITE
**1/4 of each for light feeding**

Add all ingredients to a 5 gallon bucket 
*Preferably a food-grade, pba-free bucket*
Fill the bucket with water and mix thoroughly
Let the mixture sit for 12-24 hours. Optional: stir occasionally

Apply liquid fertilizer to plants @ 1 to 4 cups per plant

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FALL HERB GARDEN Posted on 17 Aug 10:04 , 0 comments

Fall is a prime time for planting the hardiest herbs that actually grow very well in areas with mild winters. You can put an assortment of your favorite cool-weather-loving fall herbs by the kitchen door—all in one container, if you like—for a pinch of each right at your fingertips. You can also plant pretty cilantro and parsley in existing flower beds or containers to serve as a green companion for pansies and other winter flowers.


With just a little early planning NOW, you can have several herbs that like cool weather this Fall.  Fall Herb Garden suggestions include parsley (flat Italian or curled), sage, rosemary, thyme, chives, lavender, Basil, cilantro, and mint. Within a few weeks, you will be rewarded with the freshest flavors for autumn meals. 


From Seed to Harvest:

Basil - 60 to 90 days *I've harvested as early as 30 days*
Chives - 80 to 90 days
Garlic Chives - 80 to 90 days
Cilantro - 60 to 90 days *I've harvested as early as 30 days*
Lavender - 90 days
Italian Parsley - 40 to 60 days
French Parsley - Chervil - 80 to 120 days
Peppermint - 90 days - Perennial
Rosemary - 90 days - Perennial (grows for several years) *I have seen Rosemary "trees" almost 5 feet tall
SAGE - 90 days
Thyme - 90-180 days

 For more FALL Planting info check out our recent articles:

I hope you have enjoyed another educational article and video.  Please share so that we may help more people grow their own organic food!

 

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SEPTEMBER PLANTING GUIDE FOR THE US Posted on 17 Aug 07:34 , 1 comment

As promised, we are continuing to share our month-to-month, regions specific Planting Guide from Mary's Heirloom Seeds!  Can you believe it's almost September?  It's still super hot and we're already planning out our FALL garden!
 
**Just a reminder**  Organic Garlic is now available as a Pre-Order thru August 20th
Please read all of the ordering info before placing your order. Organic Garlic must be purchased in advance and we usually sell out by August/September
 
 
 
SEPTEMBER  SEED PLANTING GUIDE
 
 
SOUTH FLORIDA
Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Kale, Lettuce, Melon, Mustard, Okra, Bulbing Onions, Bunching Onions, Southern Peas, PEPPERS, Sweet Potatoes, Radish, Romaine, Sorrel, Summer Spinach (Malabar Spinach), Summer Squash & Winter Squash, Swiss Chard TOMATOES, Turnips

 Herbs: Anise, Basil, Borage, Calendula, Catnip, Chamomile, Caraway, Chives, Cilantro, Comfrey, Dill, Echinacea, Lavender,  Lemon Bee Balm, Lemonbalm, Lemongrass, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache Plant, Thyme and Yarrow 

Pretty much EVERY  Herb!! Don't forget the  Wildflowers!

CENTRAL FLORIDA
Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard, PEPPERS, Pumpkin, Radish, Romaine, Sorrel, Summer Spinach (Malabar Spinach), Summer Squash, Swiss Chard TOMATOES and Turnips
 Herbs: Anise, Basil, Borage, Calendula, Catnip, Chamomile, Caraway, Chives, Cilantro, Comfrey, Dill, Echinacea, Lavender,  Lemon Bee Balm, Lemonbalm, Lemongrass, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache Plant, Thyme and Yarrow 
Pretty much EVERY  Herb!! Don't forget the  Wildflowers
 
Glass Gem Corn

NORTH FLORIDA
Bush & Pole Beans, Beats, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Fennel Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Bulbing Onions, Bunching Onions, Radish, Romaine, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash & Winter Squash, Strawberry, Swiss Chard and Turnips.
 Herbs: Anise, Basil, Borage, Calendula, Catnip, Chamomile, Caraway, Chives, Cilantro, Comfrey, Dill, Echinacea, Lavender,  Lemon Bee Balm, Lemonbalm, Lemongrass, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache Plant, Thyme and Yarrow 
Pretty much EVERY  Herb!! Don't forget the  Wildflowers
 
 
Arugula, Beets, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cilantro, Endive, Fennel, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Bunching Onions, PEAS, Radish, Rutabaga, Spinach, Swiss Chard and Turnips
 
Sugar Snap Pea

Arugula, Beets, Chinese Cabbage, , Carrots, Collards, Endive, KALE, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Onions, PEAS, Radicchio, Radishes, Rhubarb, Rutabaga, Sorrel, Spinach, Swiss Chard and  Turnips
Transplant: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks and Mustard.
HERBS: Basil, Cilantro, Dill and Fennel
 
Arugula, Beets, Cilantro, Collard greens, Endive, Lettuce, Mache, Mustard Greens, Pak Choy, Radicchio, Radishes, Rutabaga, Sorrel and Spinach


Arugula, Basil, Cilantro, Collard greens, Lettuce, Mache, Mustard Greens, Peas, Radishes, Sorrel, Spinach and Turnips
Cover Crops: Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Oats and Wheat
 
Crimson Giant Radish


SOUTHERN INTERIOR
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, Cilantro, Collards greens, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard greens, Parsley, Pak Choy, Radish, Rutabaga, Sorrel, Spinach, Swiss Chard and Turnips
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Broccoli (Transplants), Brussels Sprouts (Transplants), Carrots, Cauliflower (Transplants), Cilantro, Collard Greens, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard greens, Onion, Pak Choy, Parsley, Peas, Radish, Rutabaga, Sorrel, *Malabar Spinach,* Spinach, Summer Squash and Turnips
Our favorites: Basil, Cilantro and Parsley
 
 
HAWAII
Sow Outdoors - Arugula, Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Melons, Onions, Radish, Summer Spinach (Malabar), Squash, Peppers, Tomatoes and Zucchini.
Herbs: Anise, Basil, Borage, Calendula, Catnip, Chamomile, Caraway, Chives, Comfrey, Dill, Echinacea, Lavender,  Lemon Bee Balm, Lemonbalm, Lemongrass, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache Plant, Thyme and Yarrow
Pretty much EVERY  Herb!!!
Don't forget the  
Wildflowers!



MARITIME CANADA & NEW ENGLAND
Arugula, Beets, Cilantro, Endive, Lettuce, Mache, Pak Choy, Radish, Rutabaga, Sorrel and Spinach
Cover Crops: Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Oats and Wheat
 

Arugula, Beets, Calabrese Broccoli, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Radish, Rutabaga, Spinach and Turnips.
FALL HERBS: Basil & Cilantro


NORTH CENTRAL & ROCKIES
Arugula, Cilantro, Endive, Lettuce, Mache, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Sorrel and Spinach
Cover Crops: Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Oats and Wheat



If you have warmer days and cold nights, consider planting greens in small containers to bring inside at night.  Or, plant an indoor windowsill garden to harvest fresh greens such as European Mesclun Mix and Arugula

RADISH is an excellent Fall crop.  It is easy to grow and a quick harvest!  
 
HELPFUL LINKS
 Wondering when to plant ORGANIC GARLIC?

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Growing Pumpkins from Seed to Harvest Posted on 06 Aug 06:17 , 1 comment

Pumpkins are a warm-season vegetable that can be grown throughout much of the United States. They require a fairly long period (3 - 4 months) of hot weather and can not tolerate any frost. Besides being used as Halloween jack-o'-lanterns, pumpkins are used to make pumpkin pies, soup, bread, butter, custard, and even cookies.
What do you need?
3 to 4 months of sunny weather, with day time temperatures of at least 70 F, preferably hotter.  A very sunny location.  The won't grow under trees and in the shade.
Rich soil, that doesn't sit under water.  Pumpkins like lots of organic matter: manure, grass clippings, leaves, compost should be worked into the soil ahead of planting.
Water!  They do need to be watered, a good soaking, at least once a week.
 
When to Plant
Pumpkin is a very tender vegetable. The seeds will not germinate in cold soil, and the seedlings are injured by frost. Do not plant until all danger of frost has passed, and the soil has thoroughly warmed. Basically, plant seeds late April through July in the deep South; and from late May to mid June in the north.
Spacing and Depth
Pumpkins grow as a vine, which means they take up a LOT of space. Pumpkins require a minimum of 50 to 100 square feet per "hill". Plant four or five seeds per spaced an inch or two apart in one hole (called a "hill"). Leave 5 to 6 feet between each hill. When the young plants are well-established, thin each hill to the best two or three plants.
 
There are newer "semi-bush" varieties that do not vine quite so much (of course the yield is also smaller). Plant semi-bush varieties one inch deep (four or five seeds per hill) and thin to the best two plants per hill. Allow 4 feet between hills and 8 feet between rows.
Plant miniature varieties one inch deep, with two or three seeds every 2 feet in the row. Rows should be 6 to 8 feet apart, with seedlings thinned to the best plant every 2 feet when they have their first true leaves.
 
Plant bush varieties one inch deep (1 or 2 seeds per foot of row) and thin to a single plant every 3 feet. Allow 4 to 6 feet between rows.
Care
Pumpkin plants should be kept free from weeds by hoeing and shallow cultivation. Irrigate if an extended dry period occurs in early summer. Pumpkins tolerate short periods of hot, dry weather pretty well.
 
Bees, that are necessary for pollinating squash and pumpkins, may be killed by insecticides. Organic gardening and pest control methods should be employed (of course!).
 
Harvesting
Pumpkins can be harvested whenever they are a deep, solid color (orange for most varieties) and the rind is hard. If vines remain healthy, harvest in late September or early October, before heavy frosts. If vines die prematurely from disease or other causes, harvest the mature fruit and store them in a moderately warm, dry place until Halloween. Cut pumpkins from the vines carefully, using pruning shears or a sharp knife and leave 3 to 4 inches of stem attached. Snapping the stems from the vines results in many broken or missing "handles." Pumpkins without stems usually do not keep well. Wear gloves when harvesting fruit because many varieties have sharp prickles on their stems.
 
Avoid cutting and bruising the pumpkins when handling them. Fruits that are not fully mature or that have been injured or subjected to heavy frost do not keep. Store in a dry building where the temperature is between 50 and 55°F.
Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

Companion Plants for Pumpkin
Pumpkin pals are corn, melon and squash. Marigold deters beetles. Nasturtium deters bugs, beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection. Again dill may help repel those frustrating squash bugs. 
 
Common Problems
Powdery mildew causes a white, powdery mold growth on the upper surfaces of the leaves. The growth can kill the leaves prematurely and interfere with proper ripening.
Cucumber beetles and squash bugs attack seedlings, vines and both immature and mature fruits. Be alert for an infestation of cucumber beetles and squash bugs, as populations build in late summer, because these insects can damage the mature fruits, marring their appearance and making them less likely to keep properly.

For pollination and cross-pollination issues, please watch our recent video



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Growing Broccoli from Seed Posted on 06 Aug 05:55 , 2 comments

*UPDATED 1/24/17*
Broccoli is a cool weather crop that generally thrives in cooler temperatures that do not exceed 30°C (86°F). The ideal temperature for cultivating broccoli is between 65 - 75°F.
Broccoli should be planted in an open, sunny or partially shaded area.  I like to soak seeds for up to 24 hours before planting.
Sow broccoli seeds thinly, approximately 1/4 inch deep in rows that are 2 feet apart. Cover the seeds loosely with soil and water well. The seeds will germinate within about 10 days and then the seedlings can be thinned out to 1 foot apart (for Calabrese).

Spring Raab Rapini Broccoli is an excellent variety for shorter growing seasons and gardeners who want a quick-growing crop.

36 days.  Broccoli Raab is also known as broccoli Asparago in Italy where it is prized for being a culinary delight.
Spring Rapini doesn't grow like the broccoli most people think of.  It doesn't have a central head, but rather it is treasured for its cluster of yellow buds.

Matures very quickly from seed. Green shoots have a captivating flavor. Cut 6" pieces when the "broccolis" are the size of a quarter.

Calabrese is another fast-growing crop and some varieties will be ready to harvest from anything between 40 - 65 days. If sown in April or May, the broccoli should be ready to harvest from July onwards until November. In warmer climates, plant early in the year and again in Fall.
48 days. (Brassica oleracea) An Italian heirloom that was brought to America in the 1880s, 5-8" heads and many side shoots.
For the best results, broccoli should be planted after a crop of peas or beans, as these vegetables leave deposits of nitrogen in the soil, which is much needed by the broccoli for healthy growth and development. 

 
Romanesco Italia Broccoli
Romanesco Italia Broccoli 
75-100 days.    The true and popular Italian heirloom with spiraling, apple-green heads that are so superbly flavored.   Romanesco broccoli heads are really densely packed clusters of lime green flower buds that develop in the center of a leafy rosette. This variety is widely grown in northern Italy.  
 
Harvest the broccoli when the side florets start to loosen slightly but the main head is still very compact. Cut at the base of the stalk, so that the main head is removed.
Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Fertilizer Requirements for Broccoli
Broccoli plants are heavy feeders and will do well with a dose of fertilizer every couple of weeks. Use a well balanced fertilizer for best results. This will give the plants enough energy to get large enough to support full heads of broccoli. 
If you are interested in growing broccoli organically, you can work some compost or well-rotted manure into the soil before planting. You can also use organic products like Mary's Organic 3-4-4, Blood Meal or fish emulsions to fertilize your broccoli plants.  
If you're looking for a good organic, liquid fertilizer, try our DIY Liquid Fertlilizer Kit
  • Nitrogen deficiency: If the bottom leaves turn yellow and the problem continues toward the top of the plant, the plants need a high nitrogen (but low phosphorus) fertilizer or bloodmeal. Blood meal is a quick Nitrogen fix for yellowing leaves.
Companion plants for Broccoli include: Basil, Bush Beans, Cucumber, Dill, Garlic, Hyssop, Lettuce, Marigold, Mint, Nasturtium, Onion, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Tomato. 
Celery, onions and potatoes improve broccolis' flavor when planted near it. Broccoli loves plenty of calcium. Pairing it with plants that need little calcium is a good combination such as nasturtiums and beets. Put the nasturtiums right under the broccoli plants. Herbs such as rosemary, dill and sage help repel pests with their distinct aromas. 
 
Cabbage loopers: Small holes on the leaves between the veins mean small green caterpillars are present. Look at the undersides of the leaves.
Harvesting Tips from The Old farmer's Almanac
  • In terms of timing: Harvest broccoli when the buds of the head are firm and tight before the heads flower. If you do see yellow petals, harvest immediately.
  • For best taste, harvest in the morning before the soil heats up.
  • Cut heads from the plant. taking at least 6 inches of stem.
  • Cut the stalk of the main head at a slant, about 5 to 8 inches below the head.
  • Most varieties have side-shoots that will continue to develop after the main head is harvested. You can harvest from one plant for many weeks, in some cases, from spring to fall, if you’re summer isn’t too hot.
  • Store broccoli in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you wash before storing, make sure to dry it thoroughly.


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