Sow Basil seeds indoors 2-4 weeks before your first frost day OR sow seeds outside when soil is warm and temperatures do not drop below 65 F during the day. Seeds should be sowed approx 1/4 deep in moist, well-drained soil.
Basil seeds usually germinate in as few as 5-7 days. Make successive sowings of basil seeds for continuous summer harvests.
From seed to harvest, Basil is ready in as few as 45 days. Basil can grow in full sun as as little as 6 hours of sun. Space Basil plants about 12 inches apart or interplant basil between larger plants such as Tomatoes and Peppers.
Water basil when soil is dry to the touch and try to water soil and not leaves. In warmer months, Basil will need more water.
Basil is pretty pest tolerant but you might see the occasional flea beetle marks or leaf miners. Aphids can usually be sprayed of with a water hose.
One healthy, well pruned Basil plant can produce around 1/2 cup of leaves every week. If you're limited on space, there are even dwarf varieties such as Dwarf Greek Basil.
Once mature, harvest basil leaves regularly to promote healthy growth. It is usually recommended to harvest from the top of the plant, using scissors or fingernails. Try to cut as close to the stem as possible.
Pinching off flowers is recommended to keep a continuous harvest all summer long. Flowering is also called "bolting" and the plant will put forth more energy for flower production. If you wish to save the seeds, allow your plants to bolt.
Cherokee Purple: Indeterminate. 90 days to maturity. thought to have been passed down from Native Americans of the Cherokee tribe. Vigorous vines benefit from strong staking or caging.
San Marzano Tall Vine: Indeterminate. 90 days to maturity. AMAZING for sauce. Grows VERY well here in California. We made the most delicious sauce last year. San Marzano is the premier canning tomato with heavy walls, very few seeds and little juice
Mortgage Lifter: Indeterminate. 90 days to maturity. Kentucky family heirloom grown since the 1930s. Exceptionally meaty and typically crack-free.
Green Zebra: Indeterminate. 75 to 90 days to maturity. Flesh is bright green and very rich tasting, sweet with a sharp bite to it (just too good to describe!). A favorite tomato of many high class chefs, specialty markets, and home gardeners. Around 3 ounces each and Yield is excellent.
You'll find over 70 varieties of Heirloom Tomato seeds at Mary's Heirloom Seeds. We continue to grow and help people grow more and more every year. if you're looking for seeds, You're in the right place!
If you have additional questions please give us a call or email
Cold hardiness and nutrient-rich qualities are why cabbage makes this list. It can stay in the garden late into fall and store in a root cellar or cold greenhouse. Sauerkraut, a fermented food rich in vitamins and probiotics, is a traditional means of preserving cabbage, and your kraut can keep in a crock for months.
Pictured is Pak Choy Cabbage (also called bok choy and pok choy). This is a fantastic, fast-growing variety of Chinese cabbage.
Kale is a superfood that keeps on giving! When growing Kale, you harvest the outer leaves instead of pulling up the whole plant. This allows for multiple harvests of nutrient-dense food.
Lacinato Kale is a good heat-tolerant variety if you live in warmer climates
Winter squash, rich in fiber and vitamins A and C. Grow ‘Waltham Butternut’ for a pest-resistant, HUGE performer in the garden. Pumpkin and Acorn squash are also homestead favorites and they store very well.
HUBBARB BLUE reaches 16 to 20 pounds. It is also a "trap crop" for companion planting so Hubbard Blue is a must-have in our garden
If stored properly, winter squash and pumpkin can last a few months after harvest making this an excellent homestead crop.
Beans are most definitely a homestead favorite. From our article Feeding a Family from the garden, it is recommended to plant 10-20 plants per person to feed for a year. If you're just looking to add to your food preps, 5 plants or more per person would work
Dry beans, or legumes, are a homestead favorite as they store very well without needed to can them.
Green Beans are easy to grow and can or freeze. If you have a smaller garden space, planting pole beans are an excellent option as they grow UP.
Flint corn is suited to cooler, wetter climates and is the most difficult to grind.
Flour corn, grown by American Indians in the Southwest, is the easiest to grind.
Dent corn is characterized by the dent in the top of each kernel.
Common field corn is dent corn.
Popcorn is exactly as the name implies. It is used dried for popping.
Sweet corn does not store as well so it should be consumed or preserved after harvest.
ROOT CROPS: Garlic & Potatoes
I know I mention a few different root crops for homesteading but Garlic and Potatoes are in a category together as they store very well if properly cured. "Seed potatoes" and "seed garlic" is available from most seed companies only seasonally. You can use store bought but you might be exposing your garden to soil born diseases.
Tomatoes can be dried, frozen or canned. They can be made into soups, sauces, pastes and more. They then become the base ingredient in hundreds of kitchen recipes. Tomatoes are one of the easiest veggies to can because they are a high acid veggie and as such, they can be water bath canned instead of needing a pressure canner.
Fast growing, fast maturing and a double duty crop because you eat the root and greens. Easy to pickle and delicious raw. Radish can also be roasted just like mini potatoes. French Breakfast Radish is a more mild variety. German Giant Radish can be eaten small or large. Japanese Daikon is a nice, spicy variety but it takes a couple weeks longer to mature.
Fast growing, fast maturing and a double duty crop because you eat the root and greens of beets. Depending on your growing region, some gardeners can grow beets year-round.
Detroit Dark Red is definitely a favorite because it's so pest resistant. Red Mammoth Mangel deserves a mention because it can grow 20 POUNDS, making it great to feed livestock
Wheat for those of you not gluten sensitive. Wheat is used to make so many food items such as bread, pasta and pastries.
We carry Einkorn Wheat berries, which is an ancient grain. Some people with gluten sensitivity have had success using Einkorn instead.
BUT...I would say SUNFLOWERS instead on our homestead. We avoid wheat. Sunflowers produce seeds to feed us and our chickens. They also produce A LOT of seeds to grow more. Sunflowers also attract pollinators to our garden to help us grow the BEST garden ever!
Pretty much grow your own pharmacy if you know what to grow and how to dry it. We offer a few seed combo packs like the "In the Kitchen" Herb Garden Kit to help you grow a small herb garden. For your own home apothecary, we have quite a few options. CLICK HERE to see our herb seed combo packs
Produces a diversity of gorgeous translucent, jewel-colored ears, each one unique. A stunning corn variety selected over many years by Carl "White Eagle" Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer and breeder from Oklahoma.
Selected from crossing several traditional corn varieties and saving seed from the vivid, translucent kernels. Size of ears range from 3-8 inches.
Glass Gem Corn plants commonly produce numerous tillers, or side stalks, which also produce ears. Height of plants depend upon quantity of water, but can reach up to 9 feet, typically 6 feet. A popcorn, the kernels may be ground into cornmeal or popped
In the course of growing some of the older corn varieties still being farmed at that time, Carl began noticing ancestral types of corn re-appearing in his crops. As he isolated these, he found many of the variants to match up with traditional corns that had been lost to many of the Native tribes - particularly those peoples who had been relocated during the 1800s to what is now Oklahoma. Thus, he was able to re-introduce specific corn types to the elders of those tribes, and this helped their people in reclaiming their cultural identities. The corn is, to them, literally the same as their blood line, their language, and their sense of who they are."
What are some of the Heirloom Corn varieties that Carl worked to "Back to Life"?
Plant corn in well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. Grow in full sun. Mulching around your corn will help keep the free of invasive weeds during the summer.
Corn seeds should be sown in warm conditions, covered very lightly (depth of ¼ inch) and kept reasonably moist until seedlings emerge.
The sweet corn seedlings should germinate after 10 - 12 days, and once they have fully emerged the weakest seedling from each pot should be removed. If you choose to direct-sow, thin Seedlings 6-8 inches apart.
Water well and if they are being germinated indoors - move to a warm, bright windowsill.
40-60 days. A hardy Japanese non-heading type mustard that is extremely vigorous and cold tolerant.
Mizuna grows in bunches and has long stems growing from a central stalk. The dark green leaves have deeply serrated edges and have a fringed appearance. The thin, white stems are firm and offer a crunchy texture. Mizuna is harvested at both the baby lettuce and mature stages, with the younger leaves being more tender and milder.
20-50 days. Contains: Arugula, Red Russian Kale, Greenwave, Tatsoi, and Mizuna Mustard, and Paris Island Cos Lettuce. Start harvesting your greens when they’re 4- to 6-inches long. This can be as soon as 2 weeks after planting!
80 days. (Indeterminate) Bulgarian heirloom tomato
The word druzba means "friendship" in Bulgarian and Druzba is a very friendly tomato. Not too large, half pound to a pound, the fruit is born in clusters of 3 to 5. Flavor is outstanding, with just the right combination of sweetness and tartness.
60-70 days. (Semi-determinate) Moskvich is a high quality, early season, Russian Heirloom.
Fruits are round to slightly flattened with deep red color and luscious, rich flavor. Great eaten fresh or processed. Highly resistant to cracking, making it a great pick for the greenhouse. Like most Russian varieties, it can stand up to cool conditions.
Tomatillo is an often overlooked heirloom variety. Native to Mexico and domesticated by the Aztecs around 800 B.C., the tomatillo is one of our most ancient food bearing plants.
Growing Tomatillo is similar to growing tomatoes but isn't as heavy a feeder as tomatoes.
Select a growing area with full sun exposure and well-drained, moderately rich soil.
The rule of thumb for sowing seeds is to plant the seed twice as deep as it is wide (or twice as deep as the diameter of the seed). Tomatillo seeds are really small, so don’t plant them very deep – they only need to be planted 1/8″ – 1/4″ deep. Grow at least 2 plants at a time, more if you plan to make a bit of salsa.
My personal rule of thumb is to always plant more than you think you'll will need. This will come in handy if you have pest issues such as bugs, birds, squirrels and even cats. If you produce more than you need or use, you can always store for later or share with friends and family.
Similar to growing tomatoes, Tomatillo sprouts roots along the stems, so it does well when planted deep in the soil. Tomatillo plants grow 3 to 4 feet tall and about the same in width, so space the plants 3 feet apart in rows 3 to 4 feet apart. Plan to give them support in the form of gardening trellises or tomato cages.
Tomatillo will continue to produce until frost takes over. Although moderately drought-tolerant, tomatillos do best with an inch or so of water per week (more if you live in a very hot climate).
You know a tomatillo is ready to be cut from the plant when the fruit has filled out the husk. Left to ripen further, the fruit will frequently split the husk and turn yellow or purple depending on its genetics.
We hope you have enjoyed yet another informative growing article here at Mary's Heirloom Seeds. If you have additional questions please ask!
110 days. An heirloom to the Buffalo, New York area, it was first distributed to select members of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society by Mr. Ives in the Spring of 1833 and quickly became available as a commercial variety shortly thereafter.
75 days. Also called Ancho Pepper in its dried form, the Poblano is a pepper of many wonderful uses including salsa, grilling, stir fries or stuffed for chile rellenos and substituted in any dish for bell pepper.
Rox orange is an old time sorghum favorite for syrup. Rox Orange sorghum is grown like corn, but prefers well drained sandy loam. Rox Orange will grow to 8 ft. tall and can be cut for silage after 70-80 days, or be used for livestock grain if left to full maturity.