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EDIBLE FLOWERS @ Mary's Heirloom Seeds Posted on 04 Mar 07:48 , 1 comment

Safety First! As lovely as eating flowers can be, it can also be a little ... deadly! Not to scare you off or anything.
-Eat flowers you know to be consumable and preferably flowers you have grown yourself.
-Do not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.
-Eat only the petals, and remove pistils and stamens before eating
As with any new food, use caution.
 
Some of the varieties listed are "leafy" crops that bolt (flower) and the flowers are edible.
 
JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE
Often used for pickling purposes. Fresh tuber tastes like a water chestnut and is used in salads. Tubers can also be cooked like potatoes. The edible portion is the tuber or swollen end of an underground stem, which in some respects resembles a potato.
Flowers resemble small sunflowers or large daisies. Ripens in late fall.
 
ALLIUMS
All blossoms from the allium family (leeks,chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavorful!


Both flowers and leaves have a subtle anise or licorice flavor.


Petals are edible. Avoid the bitter calyx.


Blossoms come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to lavender


 
 
Blossoms are a lovely blue hue and taste like cucumber!


 
 
Small and daisylike, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I hope you have enjoyed another educational article.  if you have additional questions, please leave a comment below or send an email to mary@marysheirloomseeds.com

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MARCH Seed Planting Guide for the US By Region Posted on 01 Mar 08:48 , 0 comments

IT'S FINALLY MARCH!  We're planting more seeds this week and looking forward to SPRING!

Mary's Heirloom Seeds
Quick Links
Join Our List
NEW ARRIVALS
 








March 1, 2017
In case you missed it, we offer region specific planting guide for entire year on our blog
Mary's 2017 Planting Guide


I don't know about you but sometimes even I need a reminder of what to plant next month.  Plus, we're always offering new specials and posting new seed varieties.

MARCH SEED PLANTING GUIDE FOR THE US  

**Please keep in mind that this is a general recommendation for each region listed.  If your area is experiencing unusually extreme changes in weather you'll need to adjust and plant accordingly**
 


Sow Outdoors: Artichoke, Asparagus, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Beets, Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, Celery, Collards, Sweet Corn, Eggplant, Fennel, Lettuce, Melons, Bunching Onions, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Spinach, Swiss Chard,
Tomato and Watermelon.
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!
CONTINUE READING


Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Beets, Carrots, Sweet Corn, Endive, Leeks, Lettuce, Parsnips, Peas-Snow or English, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Spinach, Swiss Chard and Tomatoes 
Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon and Thyme
*Depending on your region, you might want to look at the APRIL planting list as well* 
CONTINUE READING



Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkins, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Spinach, Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon.
Don't forget the HERBS and Wildflowers!
CONTINUE READING


Sow Indoors: Eggplant and Basil
Sow Outdoors: Arugula, Artichoke, Asparagus, Bush Beans & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Celery, Collards, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Peas- Garden & Snow, Peppers, Potatoes, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, 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!


FLORIDA has been split in 3 regions 
  

Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Cantaloupe, Carrots, celery, Chinese Cabbage,Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Lettuce Melons, Mustard, Okra, Bunching Onions, Southern Peas, Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Summer Spinach, Summer Squash & Winter Squash, Swiss Chard and Watermelon 
CONTINUE READING


Amaranth, Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Kohlrabi, Okra, Bunching Onions, Southern Peas, Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Radish, Spinach, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Swiss Chard, Cherry Tomatoes and Watermelon   
CONTINUE READING



Amaranth, Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kohlrabi, Okra, Bunching Onions, Peas-Snow or English, Southern Peas, Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Radish, Spinach, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes and Watermelon
 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!   
CONTINUE READING


Arugula, Basil, Lima Beans, Snap Beans, Yardlong Beans, Beets, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Melons, Okra, Onion, Peanuts, Pumpkin, Radishes, Summer Squash,
Winter Squash, Sunflower, Tomatoes and Watermelon
Plant Herbs and Wildflowers
Transplants: Artichoke, Basil, Eggplant,
Peppers and Tomatoes


*If you are starting seeds indoors or in a greenhouse,
you can plant just about anything*
Arugula, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes and Turnips
Plant Herbs and Wildflowers

INDOOR planting for cooler/cold areas.  If your area is warming up or already warmed up, it might be time to plant outside! 
*If you are starting seeds indoors or in a greenhouse,  
you can plant just about anything*
 
Sow Indoors/Outdoors:  Artichoke, Broccoli, Cabbage, Celery, Chard, Collards, Eggplant, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Onions, Pak Choy, Peppers, Radicchio, Scallion, Tomatoes, Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Marjoram, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, and Thyme
Direct Sow: Arugula, Lettuce, Mustard and Spinach
CONTINUE READING


Sow Indoors: Basil, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Onion, Pak Choy, Peppers, Radicchio, Tomato, Chives, Fennel, Parsley, Oregano, Sage, Tarragon and Thyme.
Sow Outdoors: Arugula, Beets, Carrot, Kohlrabi, Lettuce,
Pak Choy, Peas, Radish, Radicchio, Spinach, Turnips,
Outdoor Herbs: Cilantro and Parsley
CONTINUE READING


Sow Indoors: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Celery, Chard, Eggplant, Endive, Kale, Leek, Lettuce, Onion, Peppers, Radicchio, Scallion, Spinach and Tomato.
Indoor Herbs: Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon and Thyme.
CONTINUE READING


Sow Indoors: Broccoli, Cabbage, Celery, Eggplant, Endive, Fennel, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Onions, Pak Choy, Peppers, Radicchio, Scallions, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes
Sow Outdoors: Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Carrots, Collards, Endive, Lettuce, Pak Choy, Parsnips, Peas, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Sorrel, Spinach and Turnips
Herbs: Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Sage,
Thyme and Wildflowers!
CONTINUE READING


Sow Indoors: Broccoli, Cabbage, Celery, Swiss Chard, Eggplant, Endive, Kale, Leek, Lettuce, Onions, Pak Choy, Peppers, Radicchio, Tomato.  Indoor Herbs: Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.
Sow Outdoors: Arugula, Beet, Carrot, Lettuce, Pak Choy, Peas, Radish, Radicchio, Sorrel, Spinach and Turnip.
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
CONTINUE READING



Helpful Links to
Get you Started    

BUILD A RAISED BED!   
We shared our Raised Bed tutorial last year but we have had so many requests lately that we shared again this year with Updates!


For 4 beds @ 4ft X 8ft we used about
5 cubic yards of soil.
Water the bed once it's filled with dirt and 
We also posted an article about
SOIL Recipes for raised bed gardens

TIME TO PLANT HEIRLOOM SEEDS!

Complete details on our blog
If you have additional questions please feel free to ask. 
Happy Planting,
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Using Coffee Grounds in the Garden Posted on 23 Feb 17:59 , 1 comment

We've discussed recycling and composting in the garden a few times.  There are many benefits of composting not just for the garden but also for our planet!

Before we get started with coffee grounds,
I need to mention that we just offered a 99 CENT SEED SALE
at Mary's Heirloom Seeds thru March 1st.  CLICK HERE for details.

 

If you drink coffee, you NEED to read this!  Hey, even if you don't drink coffee, you probably know someone who does and would be willing to share their coffee grounds


Composting coffee grounds is easy!  Just throw them into your compost pile or bin.  Used coffee filters can be composted as well, preferably unbleached.  If you add coffee grounds, this is considered "green material" so you'll need to balance with "brown material."

Coffee Grounds can be used as a fertilizer as it adds organic material to the soil.  This can improve drainage and water retention.  Bonus, spent coffee grounds attract earthworms!


There are many uses for Coffee Grounds in the garden.

Many gardeners like to use used coffee grounds as a mulch for their plants. Other used for coffee grounds include using it to keep slugs and snails away from plants. The theory is that the caffeine in the coffee grounds negatively affects these pests and so they avoid soil where the coffee grounds are found. Some people also claim that coffee grounds on the soil is a cat repellent and will keep cats from using your flower and veggie beds as a litter box. You can also use coffee grounds as worm food if you do vermicomposting with a worm bin. Worms are very fond of coffee grounds. 


Decomposing coffee grounds have their own fungal and mold colonies and those fungal colonies tend to fight off other fungal colonies. If this seems weird, just remember that the antibiotic penicillin was developed from a mold. The world of teeny, tiny things is fighting for space and resources just as fiercely as the world of big, visible things, and you can use that to your advantage.


Disease suppression

As they decompose, coffee grounds appear to suppress some common fungal rots and wilts, including Fusarium, Pythium, and Sclerotinia species. In these studies, coffee grounds were part of a compost mix, in one case comprising as little as 0.5 percent of the material. Researchers suggest that the bacterial and fungal species normally found on decomposing coffee grounds, such as non-pathogenic Pseudomonas,Fusarium,  andTrichodermaspp. and pin molds (Mucorales), prevent pathogenic fungi from establishing. A similar biocontrol effect was noted on bacterial pathogens including E. coliand Staphylococcusspp., which were reduced on ripening cheeses covered with coffee grounds.


Effects on plant growth

Given their antimicrobial activity, it’s not surprising that attempts to cultivate mushrooms in coffee grounds have been variable and species-specific. Likewise, their effects on plant growth are unpredictable.  Coffee ground composts and mulches have enhanced sugar beet seed germination and improved growth and yield of cabbage and soybeans. It’s been an effective replacement for peat moss in producing anthuriums. Increases in soil nitrogen as well as general mulching benefits, such as moderating soil temperature and increasing soil water, are proposed mechanisms for these increases.


Using Coffee Grounds in the Garden

-Toss them in the compost

-Add them to your vermicompost (worm bins)

-Add directly to soil for organic matter

-Mulch with coffee grounds

-Add to you Organic liquid fertilizer

-Mix with carrot seeds to improve germination and soil aeration


There you have it!  Do you use Coffee Grounds in the garden?
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NEW 99 Cent SEED SALE Posted on 23 Feb 17:42 , 0 comments

~~~SALE EXTENDED THRU MARCH 2ND~~~
I love these announcements!!!
We've added MORE new heirloom seeds @ Mary's Heirloom Seeds!


Greens and squash are a few of our garden favorites.  They are easy to grow and usually offer a tremendous harvest.  Swiss Chard for example can be harvested for months (even a year).  Our squash is usually so prolific that we are constantly giving it away by the bucketful!

Take a look at these beautiful new varieties. 

They're only 99 cents a pack thru MARCH 1st.

COCONUT COIR PELLETS are also on sale thru March 15

 

45 days.  Bibb is a fabulous tasting lettuce that is crisp, clean and easy to grow.  Bibb will hold longer in the heat than  Buttercrunch Bibb, yet still grows quickly in our cool weather.



 90 days.  Banana Melon produces a fruit that is long (18"-20") and shaped sort of like a torpedo.  Not what you would normally think of as a melon shape.  Fruit can weigh in excess of 5lbs. It has blue-grey skin that turns yellow as it matures.  Banana melons are smooth with very little netting.  In 1889 it was commonly available at farmer's markets in Philadelphia, New York and Boston.



An early ball-head type heirloom cabbage, Copenhagen Market is an excellent cabbage  that has been an favorite of gardeners, market growers and cabbage fans all over the world.  Copenhagen Market has literally set the standard as the model for all commercial cabbage varieties developed since.
 
Copenhagen Market produces a heavy yield of 4 to 5 pound, 7 inch round heads of cabbage.  Height of the plant is about 12-14" and width is about 25".



(Indeterminate) Heirloom from farmers in a Lebanese hill town. Huge pink beefsteak tomato: fruits typically weigh 16-24 oz., or even larger when well grown. A good choice for a gardener’s boast or county fair entry. Has a multidimensional sweet flavor that seems to be expressed best in northern areas. In southern areas the quality is more variable. Good foliage disease resistance.



55 days.  This patty pan type of squash dates back to the early 1900s.  The fruits are a greyish-green tint and have deeply scalloped edges.
Benning's Green Tint Scallop Squash can get pretty big but they are best harvested around 3-4 inches in diameter.



55 days.  Sugar Ann is considered one of the best early snap peas around.        
Dwarf vines only reach 2' long (not a bush), but are loaded with sweet, crisp, 2 1/2" peas.  Perfect for those with limited planting space.  We simply cannot get enough of these for stir fries.  They are so crisp and sweet we eat them raw in salads as well.


2 VARIETIES that aren't NEW but we've decided to offer
on sale as well thru MARCH 1st.

 

Don't miss out on our special on

THAT'S ALL FOR NOW!  HAPPY PLANTING!

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HEIRLOOM TOMATO ANNOUNCEMENT & SALE Posted on 15 Feb 06:55 , 1 comment

We sent this out yesterday to our e-mail list but thought it would be nice to share to our blog as well.  Happy Planting!

Mary's Heirloom Seeds
Quick Links
Join Our List
A few favorites @MARY'S HEIRLOOM SEEDS
February 14, 2017
We are SUPER excited to announce the addition of several new (to us)
As promised, we're continuing to add heirloom varieties to our already unique selection at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  As an added bonus, the varieties we are announcing today are on Sale thru February 19th!

HEIRLOOM TOMATO SEEDS added today!!!    

Seeds listed in this section are ON SALE thru February 19th.  
We have a $10 order minimum 
with the free shipping option. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*Excellent for HOT climates*
 
 
If you're wondering what to plant, 
check out our
and 
Also ON SALE thru February 19th @ Mary's Heirloom Seeds




If you have additional questions please feel free to ask. 

 

Happy Planting,

 

Mary's Heirloom Seeds, P. O. Box 3763, Ramona, CA 92065

February Planting Guide for the US-Find Your Region Posted on 07 Feb 04:51 , 0 comments

Mary's Heirloom Seeds
Quick Links
Join Our List
February 6, 2017
In case you missed it, we offer region specific planting guide for entire year on our blog
Mary's 2017 Planting Guide

I don't know about you but sometimes even I need a reminder of what to plant next month.  Plus, we're always offering new specials and posting new seed varieties.

**Don't forget, we have a 50% Off Sale going on thru February 10th**

FEBRUARY SEED PLANTING GUIDE FOR THE US  

**Please keep in mind that this is a general recommendation for each region listed.  If your area is experiencing unusually extreme changes in weather you'll need to adjust and plant accordingly**

 


Sow Indoors:  Swiss Chard, Eggplant, Fennel, Peppers, Bunching Onions (Scallions), Tomatoes, Basil and Chives.
Sow Outdoors: Arugula, Artichoke, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Bulbing Onion, Bunching Onion, Peas- Snow & Snap, Potatoes, Radish, Rutabaga,  Spinach and Turnips
Indoor  HERBS: Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Sorrel, Tarragon and Thyme.
CONTINUE READING


Sow indoors in early February. Sow Outdoors in late February: Arugula, Asparagus, Basil, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Cilantro, Chives, Endive, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard, Parsley, Peas, Radish
CONTINUE READING


Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Melon, Okra, Onion, Rutabaga, Pea, Pepper, Pumpkin, Radish, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomato and Watermelon
CONTINUE READING


*Plant indoors if February is before your last frost date*
Arugula, Artichoke, Asparagus, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Eggplant, Endive, Fennel, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Onions, Peas- English & Garden, Radish, Radicchio, Scallions, Sorrel and Spinach. For warmer parts of the gulf coast: Peppers, Squash, Tomatoes and Watermelon.
CONTINUE READING 


FLORIDA has been split in 3 regions 
  

Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Cantaloupes, Carrots, celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Okra, Bunching Onions, Peas-Snow or English, Southern Peas, Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Radish, Spinach, Summer Squash & Winter Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes and Watermelon   
Pretty much EVERY  Herb!! Don't forget the  Wildflowers!   
CONTINUE READING


Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Cauliflower, celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Okra, Bunching Onions, Peas-Snow or English, Southern Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Radish, Spinach, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon
Pretty much EVERY   Herb!! Don't forget the  Wildflowers!   
CONTINUE READING


Amaranth, Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Cauliflower, celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Bunching Onions, Peas-Snow or English, Peppers, Potatoes, Radish, Spinach, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon
Pretty much EVERY   Herb!! Don't forget the  Wildflowers!   
CONTINUE READING


Basil, Arugula, Beets, Pak Choy, Carrots, Swiss Chard, Collard greens, Corn, Cucumbers, Melon, Mustard Greens, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Radishes, Spinach, Summer Squash, Sunflower, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon
Plant Herbs and Wildflowers
Transplant: Artichoke, Swiss Chard, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Peppers and Tomatoes


INDOOR planting for cooler areas

Sow Indoors: Artichoke, Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Fava Bean, Kale, Leek, Lettuce, Onion, Pak Choy, Peas, Radicchio, Rhubarb, Spinach and HERBS!
CONTINUE READING


Sow Indoors: Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Celery, Kale, Leek, Lettuce, Onion, Radicchio, Chives, Fennel, Parsley, Oregano, Sage, Tarragon and Thyme
CONTINUE READING


Sow Indoors: Arugula, Artichoke, Asparagus, Cabbage, Celery, Endive, Kale, Leek, Lettuce, Onion, Radicchio, Scallion, Sorrel and Spinach.
CONTINUE READING


Sow Indoors: Arugula, Broccoli, Celery, Swiss Chard, Eggplant, Endive, Fennel, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Onions, Pak Choy, Peppers, Radicchio, Rhubarb Scallions, Tomatoes, Basil and Chives.
CONTINUE READING


Sow Indoors: Artichoke, Arugula, Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Celery, Swiss Chard, Eggplant, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Onions, Peppers, Radicchio, Sorrel, Spinach and Turnips.
CONTINUE READING


Helpful Links to
Get you Started    
NEW SEEDS!!   
If you have additional questions please feel free to ask. 

 

Happy Planting,

 

Mary's Heirloom Seeds, P. O. Box 3763, Ramona, CA 92065

SOIL Recipes for Raised Bed Gardens Posted on 31 Jan 14:33 , 4 comments

I love our raised bed gardens!!!  There are so many benefits such as less water usage, almost zero weeding and best of all, LOTS of food produced in a small space.

I've had so many questions about what to use for Garden Soil.  The thing is, you can ask all of the "experts" and there is no absolute "right" way.  No one way works for everyone so below you will find some of the recommended recipes for gardens beds.  You'll also find my own recommendations based on what has worked for me.

Vegetable plants need loose, free-draining soil with readily available nutrients to produce abundantly. Each year's crop takes a bit of the nutrient base of the soil with it, so this must be returned on an annual basis to keep the garden productive.  This means adding amendments every year to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients.

First, a caution for the thrifty.  Be wary of advertisements for cheap or free bulk topsoil, as this material is generally scraped from construction sites and may be full of roots and rocks, making it unsuitable planting vegetables. Go to the landscape supply yard and look at the options to make sure you are getting a loose, clean, lightweight material that has compost already mixed in.

If you are building and filling  multiple beds, buying bagged soil isn't economical.  Call around your area and ask for bulk organic topsoil.  You might not be able to find "organic" soil so you can always ask for untreated soil.

1 - 4 foot by 4 foot raised bed takes 16 cubic feet of soil or approx 1/2 a cubic yard of soil

I saw one recipe that called for 1/3 Peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 compost.

This is not a recipe I use.  First, peat moss is on the acidic side.  Coconut Coir is neutral and a more sustainable addition to your garden.  Next, too much vermiculite will keep your soil from retaining moisture and nutrients.

Here's another recipe I found:
  • 3 parts compost
  • 1 part peat moss 
  • 1 part vermiculite

Here's my all time favorite from Rodales:
You want the kind that’s dark, rich, and loaded with microorganisms. Fill your beds with a mix of 50 to 60 percent good-quality topsoil and 40 to 50 percent well-aged compost. Before each new growing season, test your soil for pH and nutrient content. You can buy a kit at most home-improvement stores. If your test shows a need for additional nutrients like nitrogen and potassium, raise levels by working in amendments such as bone meal and kelp. Dress beds with an additional ½ inch of compost later in the growing season to increase organic matter and boost soil health. 

I use my own version of the above recipe.  I add coconut coir to each bed.  Depending on what I'm planting, if it needs lighter soil I'll add a bit of vermiculite.  Most of our beds are fed with our own DIY Organic Liquid Fertilizer Mix

We've been building up our own compost and amending the topsoil we purchased by the truckload several years ago.  If you are just getting started, you might have to shop around for a healthy option.


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Build Your Own Raised Beds and GROW! Posted on 31 Jan 13:22 , 3 comments

We're finally updating our Build Your Own Raised Bed tutorial!  Our first post was in 2015 when we moved to our new homestead and built a bunch of 8 foot by 4 foot beds.

We are STILL using these beds but we ended up putting gopher wire on the bottom to keep the gophers out.  We've also adapted this tutorial to make a few 4 foot by 4 foot beds for different projects or just because they were easier to handle.

Many of you have seen our updates on facebook.  We have expanded our growing area over the last week.  This place is HUGE!  We wanted to get growing fast but with the rocky ground (and gophers) at our new homestead, we decided to build raised beds.  Here's how we built...


Tools:
Drill (required)
Circular saw (optional)  
Staple Gun (optional) 

Lumber & Supplies:
We purchased 2"x12"x16' untreated boards
untreated 4"x4" posts-Buy it 8 feet long and have it cut in 1 foot long posts
48" landscaping cloth (optional)
 3" deck screws from a local hardware shop.
It takes 1 and a 1/2 boards to make these 4X8 beds.  
That means 12 boards will make 8 beds.


A few thing I've learned:
Landscaping cloth works to keep the weeds out but NOT gophers.

If you have gophers or other burrowing pests, I highly recommend gopher wire or hardware cloth (it's not actually cloth).  Affix the wire to the bottom of the bed after you build the bed but before you fill with dirt

The 3 inch deck screws can be expensive but they are well worth it

I was told that the 4" post at each corner was overkill but I feel it is worth it.  Our raised beds are in great shape so far!

If you choose to build 4 foot by 4 foot beds, you can purchase pre-cut boards OR buy 1- 2X12X16 and have it cut into 4 foot boards.

If you prefer to make smaller beds then you will need to re-adjust length/quantity of boards. 

Screws: 32 
3 inch "Star Drive" deck screws
*These include a drill bit* 
The 2"x12" board were cut in 4' and 8' pieces.   
The 4"x4" posts were cut in 12" pieces.
If you don't have a circular saw (or want to make the boards easier to handle) I suggest having the people at the shop cut your boards. 
The 12" pieces of 4x4 post were attached  
to the ends of the 2x12x8 pieces with the  
3" deck screws: *4 screws per board per corner* 
32 screws total


After taking the 4' and 8' boards to the garden the 4' and 8' boards were assembled so that the 4' boards covered the ends of the 8' boards with their attached posts. 


This gave the assembled bed a 4'x8' OUTSIDE dimension gopher wire was attached to the bottom

Now, we have pictures of our 4 foot by 4 foot beds!


4 ft by 4 ft bed


4 ft by 4 ft bed with gopher wire


We used a staple gun to attach the gopher wire to each bed
The assembled bed was then placed gopher-wire side down and filled with good, organic soil with plenty of Organic Nutrients added to the beds.

4 X 4 growing Organic Radish


For 4 beds @ 4ft X 8ft we used about
5 cubic yards of soil.
Water the bed once it's filled with dirt and organic plant food.  We added more dirt once the soil compacted a bit.
TIME TO PLANT HEIRLOOM SEEDS!

If you have additional questions about getting started or would like more info please feel free to ask.  As always, I am happy to help.

If you'd like to check out some of our gardening tips, check out our fb page. 

Stay tuned for info on FILLING and maintaining these beds!


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Pollinator Garden Challenge Posted on 26 Jan 20:28 , 0 comments

We recently shared a new report Bumble Bee Put on Endangered Species list.  Every day we encourage people to grow without the use of harmful pesticides and work with pollinators in the garden.

JOIN US in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge!  Have you heard of the challenge?  

Mary's Heirloom Seeds is joining National Pollinator Garden Network CHALLENGE.  NPGN collectively represents approximately 800,000 gardeners, 10,000 schoolyard gardens and bring a baseline of a 250,000 registered pollinator gardens nationwide from across its five main founding organizations.

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC) is a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America. We will move millions of individuals, kids and families outdoors and make a connection between pollinators and the healthy food people eat.

The focus of the NPGN is: to inspire individuals and community groups, institutions and the garden industry to create more pollinator habitat through sustainable gardening practices, habitat conservation and provide these groups the tools to be successful.

So how are we getting involved?  We already offer a SUPER unique election of Wildflower Seeds and Herb Seeds that are bee-friendly.  We grow organic and plant for the bees in our own gardens.

FIRST, we are adding more Bee-Friendly SEEDS at Mary's Heirloom Seeds!  **Listed below**

Next, we are offering 50% OFF every single variety listed under FLOWERS.  Yes, you read that right.

50% off Flower Seeds now thru February 10th when you use code  BEES50  at checkout in the appropriate box.

How does it work?

CLICK HERE for our huge selection of flower seeds.  At checkout, find the box marked "discount"

Type in BEES50

in the box and click "apply" to automatically calculate your saving.  If you have trouble using our discount code, please send an email to mary@marysheirloomseeds.com and we can help you locate the appropriate box.

If you haven't read our article Plant for Pollinators and Increase Crop Yields then NOW is the time.  Not only are you helping the precious bee population by planting bee-friendly varieties, you can boost your crops!!!

NEW Seed varieties added today:

MIDNIGHT RED AMARANTH

 

RUSSIAN RIVER MERLOT AMARANTH

 

AUTUMN BEAUTY SUNFLOWER MIX

 

BLACK OIL SUNFLOWER

 

MAMMOTH GREY STRIPE SUNFLOWER

VELVET QUEEN SUNFLOWER



HAPPY PLANTING! 

 
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Mary's 2017 Planting Guide for the US Posted on 27 Nov 14:53 , 1 comment

The official announcement was sent out today to our entire mailing list


Mary's Heirloom Seeds
Quick Links
Join Our List
November 27, 2016
I know it's still 2016 but we have had so many request lately that we just had to share.

How is this different than our previous planting guides???

We've added a few new regions by request AND we've added quite a few articles from 2016

Now you can plan your 2017 garden from one convenient article link!
If you have additional question, please ask

MARY'S 2017
PLANTING GUIDE  

  

FLORIDA has been split into 3 sections for a more thorough planting guide
 
 
SOUTH FLORIDA

CENTRAL FLORIDA

NORTH FLORIDA


ADDITIONAL PLANTING GUIDES
When to Plant Organic Garlic

When to Plant Potatoes

As always, if you have additional questions please feel free to ask!
This data has been compiled from our own research as well as feedback from our customers.

RECENT ARTICLES &
GETTING STARTED    
If you have additional questions please feel free to ask. 
Happy Planting,
Mary's Heirloom Seeds, P. O. Box 3763, Ramona, CA 92065

 

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