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Grow 20-Pound Plants Our Ancestors Grew Posted on 17 May 12:47 , 0 comments

As a homesteader, we are always looking for old varieties of heirloom seeds to feed our family and animals.  I find that heirloom varieties have withstood the test of time and are plenty hardy to sustain our farming endeavors.  We've grown quite a few HUGE varieties of veggies here using beyond organic standards and eco-friendly practices.

We grew Zucchini that was over 16 inches long (Delicious zucchini bread, stir fry and zoodles from the big ones)
BLACK BEAUTY ZUCCHINI

We also grew Turnips that were almost 5 pounds!  
PURPLE TOP WHITEGLOBE TURNIP
*Most were about 1-2 pounds*


Our Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard became famous when it grew over 5 feet tall.  This isn't a normal size for swiss chard.  I let it grow to let it bolt and give me seeds


Mary's Heirloom Seeds now offers almost 500 varieties of heirloom seeds but today we're going to share with you about an OLD variety that can grow 20 pounds each.
 
Red Mammoth Mangel Beets produce an incredible mass of edible beet leaves and a large root up to 20 pounds or more in size!    These beets prefer deeply tilled, free draining, sandy soil to achieve full size. Simply allow your animals to graze on the tops, cut the tops for feeding or harvest the root. 

Fodder beets have been around since the 1400s if not earlier.  These beets were prized as nutritious animal feed that was easy to store.  Fodder beets are hardy, adaptable and palatable. They are ideal for planting in late summer for use as a winter and spring crop. 
Early harvested (smaller) Red Mammoth Mangel Beet
Mangel beets prefer neutral soil and are capable of thriving in less-than-ideal soil conditions. Full sun, however, is a necessity. Sow seeds directly into the prepared soil one month before the final frost date for early harvest, 10 to 12 weeks before the fall frost date for a late harvest. Seeds should be placed two inches apart and seedlings must be thinned out early. Rows should be spaced no less than 12 inches apart. A moderate amount of rainfall or irrigation is necessary for optimal growth to facilitate this, and a light covering of mulch may be necessary to retain moisture in drier climates.
 
The greens can be harvested at any time. Plucking a few leaves from each plant will not stress the root and will allow you or your livestock to enjoy nutrient-rich greens for many weeks. Carefully monitored and controlled grazing may be acceptable in the last few weeks before harvest.
 
Traditionally, mangel beets are not used as livestock fodder until January. During the time between harvest and January, certain components begin to break down in the root, making them easier to digest and less likely to cause digestive issues in your livestock.
 
To supplement your poultry feed and provide a pecking distraction, simply hang a beetroot in the coop. Greens can be fed to the poultry, as well. For other livestock, including cattle, horses, pigs and goats, beets are best sliced or cut into chunks before adding them in the daily ration of feed.
Are mangel beets edible for humans? Absolutely!  Just one crop of Mangel Beets (for us) is enough to store for an entire year of eating!
 
Last year we even grew a German Giant Radish that was over 12 inches long.  Again, we let it "bolt" and produce seeds but I wasn't expecting it to be so large.

 
Planning for the future is important. In the words of Jack Reacher (Lee Child), "Hope for the Best. Plan for the worst." While we cannot predict the loss of income, unexpected medical bills or car repairs, we should plan ahead and prepare the best we can.
 
You might also enjoy reading my article You Don't Need a Farm to Grow Food
 
If you're looking to grow large crops for fodder, the Red Mammoth Mangel Beet is a GREAT option.  If you're looking to grow bigger veggies, we can help.  You might like our article Easiest Veggies to Grow from Seed to Harvest and Feeding Your Plants-Updated.
 
If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask.
 

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MAY Seed Planting Guide for the US Posted on 26 Apr 07:29 , 1 comment

Before we get started with our MAY Planting Guide, we have a few specials to announce.
Genovese Basil and Sage will be on Sale thru May 10th

 

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



Helpful Links to
Get you Started    
April 25, 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. 
NEW ARRIVALS
 We've added a few more heirloom seeds for MAY!
 
 
 
MAY 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**




Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant (transplant), Endive, Gourds (Louffa),  Kale, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Bunching Onions, Bulbing Onions, Southern Peas, Peppers, Sweet Potato, Radish, Radicchio, Sorrel Spinach, Summer Squash, 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!
Sow Outdoors: Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Beets, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collards, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant (transplant), Endive, Gourd (louffa) Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Leeks, Melons, Mustard, Peas-Snow or English, Southern Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, 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!
Arugula, Beans, Carrots, Celery, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, OKRA, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkins, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Sorrel, Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon.
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!
Sow Outdoors: Arugula, Bush Beans & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Beets, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Bunching Onion, Southern Peas, Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Radish, Radicchio, Spinach, Summer 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!


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*
 
Artichoke, Arugula, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Eggplant, Gourds (louffa), Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, Melons, Okra, Onions, Pak Choy, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips 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
 
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Gourds (Louffa), Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips 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
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
Artichoke,Arugula, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Gourds (louffa), Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon.
Herbs: Anise, Basil, Borage, Calendula, Catnip, Chamomile, Caraway, Chives, Cinlantro, Comfrey, Dill, Echinacea, Lavender,  Lemon Bee Balm, Lemonbalm, Lemongrass, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache Plant, Thyme and Yarrow
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
CONTINUE READING


Arugula, Beans, Beets, Carrots, Celery, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Gourds (Louffa), Endive, Eggplant, Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips 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
 
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Gourds (Louffa), Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon.
Herbs: Anise, Basil, Borage, Calendula, Catnip, Chamomile, Caraway, Chives, Cinlantro, Comfrey, Dill, Echinacea, Lavender,  Lemon Bee Balm, Lemonbalm, Lemongrass, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache Plant, Thyme and Yarrow
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Gourds (Louffa), Endive, Eggplant, Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Scallions, Sorrel, 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
Don't forget the Wildflowers!

 ARIZONA  
 
 NEW MEXICO   
FLORIDA has been split in 3 regions 
 



If you have additional questions please feel free to ask. 

 

Happy Planting,

 

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

APRIL Seed Planting Guide for the US Posted on 31 Mar 05:54 , 0 comments

Are you ready for another in-depth seed planting guide for the US? 

At Mary's Heirloom Seeds it is our goal to help you grow the healthiest, most productive garden from heirloom seeds.  If you have additional questions, we are happy to help!

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



March 31, 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. 
 Before we get started, we have lowered the cost
of 6 of our Starter Kits thru April 15th.

This is a great opportunity and  
they make great gifts!
APRIL 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: Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant (transplant), Endive, Kale, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Bunching Onions, Southern Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, 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!
Sow Outdoors: Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Beets, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collards, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant (transplant), Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Leeks, Melons, Mustard, Peas-Snow or English, Southern Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, 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!
Arugula Beans, Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Chard, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Pak Choy, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Sorrel, Spinach, Squash, Tomato, Turnip and Watermelon. 
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!
Sow Outdoors: Arugula, Bush Beans & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Collards, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Bunching Onion, Southern Peas, Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Radish, Radicchio, Spinach, Summer 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!


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, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Eggplant, Kohlrabi, Leek, Melons, Onions, Peppers, Radish, Rutabaga, Scallion, Tomatoes and Turnips
GREENS: Arugula, Chard, Collards, Endive, Kale, Mustard, Radicchio and Sorrel can be sown indoors under bright lights and planted outside when there are two true leaves. Curly cress and arugula prefer to be sown directly outside
Herbs: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cilantro, Comfrey, Dill, Fennel, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache plant and Thyme. 
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
Sow Indoors: Eggplant, Peppers and Tomatoes
Sow Outdoors: Arugula, Beans, Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Pak Choy, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Sorrel, Spinach, Squash, Tomato, Turnip and Watermelon. 
Transplant: Asparagus, Broccoli, Celery, Eggplant, Kohlrabi, Leek, Peppers and Tomatoes
Herbs: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cilantro, Comfrey, Dill, Fennel, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache plant and Thyme. 
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
Sow Indoors: Cabbage, Celery, Chard, Eggplant, Endive, Leek, Lettuce, Peppers, Radicchio, and Tomato
Sow Outdoors: Artichoke, Arugula, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chard, Carrot, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Pak Choy, Peas, Radish, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach and Turnips
Transplant: Artichoke, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Scallion, Sorrel and Spinach
Herbs: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cilantro, Comfrey, Dill, Fennel, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache plant and Thyme. 
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
CONTINUE READING


Sow Outdoors: Arugula Beans, Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant (transplant), Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Pak Choy, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Sorrel, Spinach, Squash, Tomato, Turnip and Watermelon. 
Transplant: Asparagus, Broccoli, Celery, Eggplant, Kohlrabi, Leek, Peppers and Tomatoes
Herbs: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cilantro, Comfrey, Dill, Fennel, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache plant and Thyme. 
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
 
Sow Indoors: Cabbage, Celery, Chard, Eggplant, Endive, Leek, Lettuce, Peppers, Radicchio, and Tomato
Sow Outdoors: Artichoke, Arugula, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chard, Carrot, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Pak Choy, Peas, Radish, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach and Turnips
Transplant: Artichoke, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Scallion, Sorrel and Spinach
Herbs: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cilantro, Comfrey, Dill, Fennel, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache plant and Thyme. 
Don't forget the Wildflowers!
Sow Indoors: Cabbage, Celery, Chard, Eggplant, Endive, Leek, Lettuce, Peppers, Radicchio, and Tomato
Sow Indoors: Artichoke, Arugula, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chard, Carrot, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Pak Choy, Peas, Radish, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach and Turnips
Herbs: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cilantro, Comfrey, Dill, Fennel, Mugwort, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Toothache plant and Thyme. 
Don't forget the Wildflowers!

 ARIZONA  
 

 NEW MEXICO   

FLORIDA has been split in 3 regions 
 

 
Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Chinese Cabbage, Southern Peas, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes and Radish
Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Chinese Cabbage, Sweet Corn, Okra, Southern Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Summer Squash, Winter Squash and Swiss Chard    
CONTINUE READING


 Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Cantaloupes, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Okra, Southern Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes and Watermelon
CONTINUE READING
Helpful Links to
Get you 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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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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Grow Your Own Salsa Garden with Recipe Posted on 12 Nov 06:51 , 0 comments

Who doesn't like Salsa?  There are so many variations of Salsa, mild to hot, mango to jalapeno and even green tomato salsa.  Creating a Salsa Garden is easy!  Mary's Heirloom Seeds has made things even easier with Mary's Salsa Pack Seed Combo!

My first suggestion, Coconut Pellets!  They make seed-starting "oh so easy."  Before you just go crazy and start planting all of the seeds it's important to decide which varieties you would like to include and how long each will take to mature.
Onions:
Not everyone likes onions in their salsa.  I do!  I prefer a red onion.  The Red Burgundy onion matures in approximately 100 days.  If you decide to grow this onion it should be planted first.  If you choose a bunching onion or a "green onion" you can wait on planting.  Bunching onion varieties take about 40 days to mature.

Tomatoes:
I prefer to use a smaller tomato for salsa like the Ace 55 or Roma.  Both varieties take approx 75-80 days to mature so they should be started one month after the onion (if you chose the red).  A larger option is a BeefsteakFor fancy salsa, try Emerald Green or Amana's Orange tomatoes.

Peppers:
For a mild salsa you can use Anaheim instead.  For a hot (or hotter) salsa I use Jalapenos.  For the crazy, burn your mouth for a week salsa, use Serrano Peppers or Habanero!  These pepper varieties also take 70-80 days to mature and should be planted at the same time as the tomatoes.

Cilantro planting should be staggered throughout the year.  By planting multiple cilantro plants it will allow you to harvest as you need it instead of all at once.  Plant Cilantro at least 30 days before the rest of the Salsa Garden plants mature.  I recommend succession planting Cilantro for a plentiful harvest.
I love growing Cilantro
Recap-
Onions: 100 or 40 days
Tomatoes: 75-80 days
Peppers: 70-80 days
Cilantro: 30 days

Fresh Salsa

Ingredients
5 large tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tomatillo, diced (optional)
salt to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
Directions
In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, tomatillo, and salt to taste. Mix well. Add 1/2 of the jalapeno pepper, and taste. If you desire your salsa with more of a kick, add the remaining 1/2 jalapeno. If you are satisfied with the salsa's heat, do not add the remaining jalapeno pepper. Cover the salsa, and chill until ready to serve. 

Mary's Salsa Pack is available @ Mary's Heirloom Seeds for only $18.
(Gift wrap not included)

Make wonderful homemade salsa fresh from the garden!
 One packet of each.  Includes:
   - Thessaloniki Tomato
   -Jalapeno Pepper
   -Anaheim Pepper
   -Red Burgundy Onion
   -Cilantro


A great addition to Mary's Salsa Pack is the natural and Organic Soil Amendments.

I use DIY Organic Liquid Plant Food on my own veggies and I love it!  The difference in plant growth, flowering and crops has been fantastic.

Happy Planting! 
 


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JUNE Planting Guide for the US Posted on 27 May 11:33 , 0 comments


Are you ready to GET PLANTING?
http://www.marysheirloomseeds.com/





Mary's Heirloom Seeds Newsletter
JUNE Seed Planting Guide for the US by Region

Seed Combo Packs

seed pack combo
 

   
 Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 

Happy Friday!  Do you have plans for your garden this weekend?
Below you'll find our recommendations for JUNE seed planting as well as SEED SPECIALS!
 
JUNE Seed Starting Guide
for the US by Region

JUNE is time to plant PUMPKIN 
in time for OCTOBER - NOVEMBER


Arugula Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Chard, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Dwarf Cabbage, Endive, Gourds (Louffa), Kale, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers,  Pumpkin, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Sorrel, Summer Squash & Winter Squash, Tomato and Watermelon.
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!
 

 
Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Cantaloupe, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Gourds (Louffa), Lettuce, Melons, Okra, Southern Peas, Peppers, Sweet Potato, Radish, Radicchio and Watermelon.
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!
 
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Dwarf Cabbage, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Eggplant, Gourds (louffa),  Lettuce, Kale, Melons, Okra, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, SorrelSummer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips 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!
 
 
  
Arugula, Beans, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Gourds (Louffa), Endive, Leeks, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips 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
 
 
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Gourds (Louffa), Leeks, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Cherry Tomatoes, Turnips 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
 
 

Arugula, Beans, Beets, Calabrese Broccoli,
Dwarf Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber,
Eggplant (transplant), Endive, Gourds (louffa), Lettuce, Kale, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watemelon.
 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, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Gourds (Louffa), Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Melons, Mustard,
Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips 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
 
 
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumber, Gourds (Louffa), Endive, Eggplant (transplant), Leeks, Lettuce, 
Kale, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Scallions, Sorrel, 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
 
 


Arugula, Beans, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, OKRA, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkins, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Sorrel, Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon. 
  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


Arugula,  Beans, Beets, Collards, Corn, Endive,  Lettuce, Melon, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Sorrel, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon. 
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
 WILDFLOWERS!  
  

Arugula, Beans, Beets, Calabrese Broccoli, Cabbage, Corn, Endive, Lettuce, Kale, Melon, Mustard, Okra,   
Peas, Peppers, Radish, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard and Tomatoes
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
   
 
If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.  What will YOU plant this JUNE?
 
Sincerely,                                   
Mary
The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.
Thomas A. Edison 
 "The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway."
Michael Pollan 
Mary's Heirloom Seeds, P. O. Box 3763, Ramona, CA 92065

JUNE Planting Guide for the US Posted on 27 May 11:33 , 0 comments


Are you ready to GET PLANTING?
http://www.marysheirloomseeds.com/





Mary's Heirloom Seeds Newsletter
JUNE Seed Planting Guide for the US by Region

Seed Combo Packs

seed pack combo
 

   
 Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 

Happy Friday!  Do you have plans for your garden this weekend?
Below you'll find our recommendations for JUNE seed planting as well as SEED SPECIALS!
 
JUNE Seed Starting Guide
for the US by Region

JUNE is time to plant PUMPKIN 


Arugula Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Chard, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Dwarf Cabbage, Endive, Gourds (Louffa), Kale, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers,  Pumpkin, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Sorrel, Summer Squash & Winter Squash, Tomato and Watermelon.
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!
 

 
Arugula, Bush & Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Cantaloupe, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Gourds (Louffa), Lettuce, Melons, Okra, Southern Peas, Peppers, Sweet Potato, Radish, Radicchio and Watermelon.
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!
 
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Dwarf Cabbage, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Eggplant, Gourds (louffa),  Lettuce, Kale, Melons, Okra, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, SorrelSummer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips 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!
 
 
  
Arugula, Beans, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Gourds (Louffa), Endive, Leeks, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips 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
 
 
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Gourds (Louffa), Leeks, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Cherry Tomatoes, Turnips 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
 
 

Arugula, Beans, Beets, Calabrese Broccoli,
Dwarf Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber,
Eggplant (transplant), Endive, Gourds (louffa), Lettuce, Kale, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watemelon.
 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, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Gourds (Louffa), Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Melons, Mustard,
Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallions, Sorrel, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips 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
 
 
Arugula, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumber, Gourds (Louffa), Endive, Eggplant (transplant), Leeks, Lettuce, 
Kale, Melons, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Scallions, Sorrel, 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
 
 


Arugula, Beans, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Lettuce, Melons, Mustard, OKRA, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkins, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Scallion, Sorrel, Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon. 
  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


Arugula,  Beans, Beets, Collards, Corn, Endive,  Lettuce, Melon, Mustard, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Radicchio, Rutabaga, Sorrel, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watermelon. 
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
 WILDFLOWERS!  
  

Arugula, Beans, Beets, Calabrese Broccoli, Cabbage, Corn, Endive, Lettuce, Kale, Melon, Mustard, Okra,   
Peas, Peppers, Radish, Scallions, Sorrel, Spinach, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard and Tomatoes
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
   
 
in time for OCTOBER - NOVEMBER

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.  What will YOU plant this JUNE?
 
Sincerely,                                   
Mary
The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.
Thomas A. Edison 
 "The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway."
Michael Pollan 
Mary's Heirloom Seeds, P. O. Box 3763, Ramona, CA 92065

9 Easiest Vegetables to Grow from Seed to Harvest Posted on 18 May 11:36 , 0 comments

If you search the web, you'll find that many gardeners agree on the top easy veggies to grow.  We all have our challenges and our favorites.

You don't have to have a "farm" or land to grow food.  If you're up to it, read my recent article "You Don't Need a Farm to Grow Your Own Food."  


Just last week we posted about our Bucket Garden Project.  "For this project, 100% of the buckets used are recycled.  Some of the buckets were from previous projects and the yellow ones once held fresh kitty litter.  The white buckets are food grade.  The goal of this project to spend as little as possible and still grow food."


So let's get started!


People often ask, "What's the easiest veggie to grow?"  For me, that's a tough one.  If I had to choose just ONE, the easiest veggie with the best yield, it would have to be Swiss Chard.   Swiss Chard is easy to grow from seed and provides continual harvest for several months after maturity.  Swiss Chard can survive warm and hot climates so that's a plus.


What are the 9 Easiest Veggies to Grow?



Planting:
Soak seeds overnight in water before planting to ensure strong germination. Plant seeds half an inch deep and 3 inches apart. Set out seedlings 12 inches apart. Indoors or out, thin newly germinated seedlings with cuticle scissors instead of pulling them out. Chard seed capsules often contain two or more seeds. If more than one germinates, promptly snip off all but the strongest sprout at the soil line

Harvesting:
Twist off individual outer leaves and compost old leaves that have lost their glossy sheen. Three to five leaves can be picked from mature plants at a time, but be sure to leave the growing crown intact.

CHARD growing in a container


Radishes are a cool weather crop best planted in spring and autumn. Growing radishes during the hot summer months will cause them to bolt.  

Planting: When preparing the planting bed, loosen the soil 6 to 10 inches deep, and mix in good compost or well-rotted manure. Sow seeds a half inch deep and 1 inch apart, in rows spaced 12 inches apart. After the seedlings appear, thin salad radishes to 3 inches apart; thin oriental radishes to 8 to 10 inches apart.

Harvest: Some Radish varieties such as Early Scarlet Globe radish can mature in as few as 22 days!
RADISH is a quick growing veggie!


Planting:  All types of lettuce grow best when the soil is kept constantly moist, and outside temperatures range between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare your planting bed by loosening the soil to at least 10 inches deep. Mix in an inch or so of good compost or well-rotted manure. Sow lettuce seeds a quarter of an inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows or squares, or simply broadcast them over the bed.

Harvest: Harvest lettuce in the morning, after the plants have had all night to plump up with water.
LETTUCE is a great container vegetable



For the sake of simplicity, I classify beans in 2 categories: Bush and Pole.

Bush beans are usually compact and grow close to the ground. Pole beans climb and require a trellis or other support. Bush beans tend to produce more beans in a shorter time, while pole beans will produce more over an entire season. Pole beans typically require much less.

Planting: Wait until well after the last frost before you plant the beans as they all like warm soil for germination. Plant the seeds about an inch below the surface and keep watered until the seed germinate

Harvest: Whether you grow pole beans or bush beans you will have an abundant harvest if you remember to pick regularly. Most beans are harvested before the seed grows too large, and the overall harvest will continue for many weeks if the beans are picked every day or so.
BEANS are one of my favorite!


Planting: In the spring, sow carrot seeds in fertile, well-worked soil about two weeks before your last frost date. In cool climates, continue planting every three weeks until midsummer.  Sow your seeds about a quarter inch deep and 2 inches apart, in rows spaced at least 10 inches apart; carrots do well in double or triple rows. Thin seedlings to 4 to 6 inches apart, depending on the variety’s mature size.

Harvesting: Pull or dig spring-sown carrots when roots reach mature size and show rich color.  Summer-sown carrots that mature in cool fall soil can be left in the ground longer, but should be dug before the ground freezes to preserve their quality
Delicious CARROTS


There are two types of cucumbers: slicing and pickling. Each type comes in several different varieties. The slicing types are long and usually grow to about 6 or 8 inches in length while the pickling types are shorter, reaching around 3 to 4 inches once mature.

Planting:
Thoroughly water the soil before plant­ing seeds half an inch deep and 6 inches apart. When the seedlings have three leaves, thin them to 12 inches apart, which is the spacing you should use if transplanting seedlings.

Harvest: To maximize production, harvest fruits as soon as they reach picking size. Pick daily, be­cause under ideal conditions, cucumber fruits can double in size in just one day. Use scissors or small shears to snip fruits with a short stub of stem attached.
Tiny CUCUMBER growing on the vine!


The two main things you can do to keep your summer squash plants healthy and productive are to provide plenty of water and to fertilize regularly. Water your plants when the top inch of soil is dry (test by poking your finger into the soil) and then, water deeply and gently so the water percolates down into the soil

Planting: Soak seeds in water for 24 hours before planting to ensure strong germination.  Direct seed ½ to 1 inch deep into hills or rows.

Harvest: Harvest zucchini squash when the fruits are small. This will result in a more tender and flavorful squash.
Last year some of our ZUCCHINI grew HUGE!


There are two basic Types of Tomatoes: Determinate and Indeterminate. 

Determinate tomatoes produce the fruit all at once. These are typically bush tomatoes, and make the best tomatoes for container gardening. Since all the tomatoes are ripe within a short period of time, these are great plant choices if you plan to can or have a short tomato growing season.

Indeterminate tomatoes grow on a vine. If properly cared for, will produce all season until the first frost.

For indoor seed starting: Start seeds indoors under bright fluorescent lights in early spring, about six to eight weeks before your last spring frost

Soak seeds in water for 24 hours before planting to ensure strong germination.  Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and gently cover with soil

The easiest way to grow tomatoes from seed is to plant seeds in small containers.  Tomato seeds usually germinate in 5-14 days.  Once seedlings are 4-8 inches tall, transplant into a 5-gallon container/bucket or into your garden.
Homegrown HEIRLOOM TOMATOES


Easy-to-grow beets do double-duty in the kitchen, producing tasty roots for baking, boiling or sautéing and fresh greens to boil or steam.

Planting:  Begin planting beet seeds directly in the garden one month before your last spring frost date, followed by a second planting two to three weeks later. Beet seeds can germinate in cool soil, but they sprout best when soil temperatures are above 50 degrees

Start planting beets for fall harvest 10 to 12 weeks before your expected first fall frost.

Harvest:  Beets can be harvested whenever they grow to the desired size. About 60 days are required for beets to reach 1 1/2 inches in diameter
Delicious BEETS

We hope you have enjoyed yet another informative growing article here at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  If you have additional questions please ask! 
 
Below you will find a list of Helpful Links! *UPDATED*

 
Current Series: Container Gardening

Seed Starting Tips Series


Organic Pest Control Series:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marys-Heirloom-Seeds/229833070442449







Start A Bucket Garden Posted on 10 May 05:58 , 3 comments

Why a "Bucket Garden" you ask?  At Mary's Heirloom Seeds we are dedicated to helping people grow their own food and we understand that Space and funds are often a factor.
For this project, 100% of the buckets used are recycled.  Some of the buckets were from previous projects and the yellow ones once held fresh kitty litter.  The white buckets are food grade.  The goal of this project to spend as little as possible and still grow food.
Helpful article: Growing in Containers
IF you are interested in starting this project and you are going to BUY buckets, I would suggest purchasing the white Food Grade buckets at your local hardware store.

**PLEASE read: We understand that people have concerns about growing in plastic or the use of plastic.  Food Grade buckets are available.  Our goal for this project is help people grow no matter their space or financial circumstance**

To keep the grass and weeds from growing up inside the buckets, I used landscaping cloth which I already had in the garage.  This step is optional.  You can lay down cardboard as a weed blocker if you'd like.

We just posted GROWING IN CONTAINERS on our blog if you're interested in What to Plant in containers

We drilled holes in the bottom of each bucket to keep the soil from getting waterlogged.  Drainage is important.

When I first started this project, I just filled up the buckets I had available.  

I would have saved a lot of time and effort if I had planned out my area with EMPTY buckets.  Please feel free to learn from my experience.  Map out how many buckets you have and how much space you intend to use BEFORE filling up each bucket.

If you're buying bags of soil, 1.5 cubic feet bag of soil = 11.22 US gallons.  That means 1 bag should fill up 2 buckets.  If you choose to add perlite or Coconut Coir then you'll need to adjust.

For my buckets, I added composted horse manure to the bottom of each bucket.  The manure is FREE from our neighbors.  You might be able to find soil and compost free on community forums.
Additional soil amendments include Azomite and Mary's Organic Plant Food.  Once seeds are planted and seedlings are transplanted, each bucket will be watered with Endo & Ecto Mycorrhizae Root Boost

Here we have 23 containers.  This is a small project at the moment.  ***We have several customers that have sent pics of their gardens since posting.  Some are growing in 60 and even 100 buckets***


I transplanted 3 tomatoes and 3 beans into the buckets so far and 2 already had mint planted.  Next I'll plant SEEDS.  Stay tuned for our next update.


We hope you have enjoyed yet another informative growing article here at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  If you have additional questions please ask!


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