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Seed Saving: Heirloom Basil Posted on 24 Sep 05:47 , 1 comment

First up in our Seed Saving series is Heirloom Basil. In case you missed it, you might want to start with Seed Saving Basics to help you get started.

Basil seeds are pretty easy to collect so I thought this would be the perfect plant to start with. Just a few flowering basil plants can produce hundreds of seeds.
From seed to harvest, basil leaves are ready to eat in as few as 45 days. To collect basil seeds will take a bit longer.


When a basil plant gets too hot or older, the plant starts to "bolt" producing flowers. If you want to keep the plant producing leaves, pinch off those flowers. Otherwise, the plant will expend energy growing those flowers and producing seeds instead of leaves.

For seed saving, allow those flowers to continue growing. When they start to look a little dried out, it's time to harvest seeds.

Bring a basket, box or large container out to the garden with a pair of scissors. Gently snip off the entire flower stalk. Inside of those flowers are tiny seeds. When you are done collecting flowers it's time to collect seeds.

I use a large bowl for seed collecting. Use your fingers to gently roll those flowers over the bowl and the seeds should fall out. Some people use a colander in the bowl to easily separate plant material and seeds. The tiny seeds should slip through the holes in the colander leaving just plant material in the colander when you remove it from the bowl.



Basil varieties can cross pollinate. Basil plants are pollinated by small flying insects. The different varieties will cross pollinate, so it is important to isolate a favorite cultivar by at least 150 feet.

There are several ways to grow multiple varieties of basil and avoid cross pollination.

The first is to stagger planting, which doesn't always work because the plants can still bolt at the same time.

The next option is to pinch off flowers from varieties you are not saving seeds from and collect seeds from one variety at a time.

Another option is to plant your basil varieties at least 150 feet apart. Cluster your planting of each variety and plant other crops in between. If you have a front yard garden and a backyard garden this can be an easy task.

 

Once you have collected your basil seeds, it is important to ensure that they are dry before storing them. Leave the collected seeds on a plate or drying screen for several days in a cool, dry spot away from direct sun.

Remember to label your seeds when you store them.

 

 

Stay tuned for more specific seed saving techniques and seed varieties. -Mary

 

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask!
Email: mary@marysheirloomseeds.com
HAPPY PLANTING!


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


FALL SEED GIVEAWAY Posted on 22 Sep 04:08 , 124 comments

We are so excited to share another fun seed giveaway at Mary's Heirloom Seeds!

We have NEW goodies to share in this month's giveaway

 

Before we get to the amazing giveaway prizes...

As an added bonus, Mary's Heirloom Seeds has a discount code available for Seed Combo Packs

Use code: SEEDCOMBO22

at checkout to take 10% off every single seed combo pack

Ready for the giveaway info?

This giveaway is OPEN: September 22, 2022 - September 29, 2022

There will be FOUR winners chosen on September 30th!

This giveaway is open to all residents of the US and Canada.

No purchase necessary.

 

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds

All 4 winners will receive one of our NEW Mary's Heirloom Seeds BEE towels.
These are now available for purchase.
 

#1 one winner will receive seed combo pack

 

 

#2 one winner will receive our Fall Garden Seeds Super Combo Pack (valued at $35.50)

 

#3 one winner will receive our Fall Garden Seeds Combo Pack (values at $20)



#4 one winner will receive our Mary's Basil Seed Collection (valued at $17.50)

 

AND STICKERS!


Now for the details...

  • Giveaway begins on 9/22/2022 and ends at 11:59 pm on 9/29/22
  • FOUR winners will be selected at random
  • Winners must live in the United States or Canada
  • This one is important...We will email the winners on the 30th. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random
  • All entries will be added to our e-newsletter mailing list for Mary's Heirloom Seeds

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Seed Saving Basics Posted on 18 Sep 09:33 , 4 comments

Seed saving is becoming more and more popular with backyard growers. It is exciting to see so many people ask about the "how to" of seed saving. Without generations of seed savers before us, we would not have the precious few heirloom varieties we have today.

Onion flower almost ready for seed collecting

 

When you think of seed saving you might be focusing on flowering plants producing seeds and the actual collecting of those seeds. In some cases it is the actual act of saving a food crop seed from disappearing, never to be grown again.

In an 80 year period, 1903 to 1983, it is estimated that 93% of heirloom seed varieties were "lost" or became extinct. Now more than ever, the act of saving seeds and protecting biodiversity is critical.

I wrote Protecting Seed Diversity & Our Future back in 2017 and it is still relevant today.

Let's start with the basics.

Why is it important to save seeds?
There is something truly amazing about planting seeds that you grew and saved.
Protecting genetic diversity is a great reason to save seeds. Working towards a more sustainable, sufficient lifestyle/garden is another great reason. Saving seeds is like printing money only better because you can't eat money (gross).

When you save seeds from your best plants each year you're gradually making improvements. Future seeds will be more adapted to grow in your particular climatic and soil conditions.

Make sure you start with open-pollinated, not hybrid, seeds or plants. Saving seeds is easier than most people think. For many vegetables and flowering plants, it’s as easy as plucking dry seeds off the plant and storing them. Wet seeds that come packaged inside of fruits take just a few more minutes of easy work.

The vegetables recommended for beginning seed savers are beans, peas, tomatoes, and lettuce. That is because these vegetables are self-pollinating, reducing the chance of undesirable crossbreeding. However, there is still a chance that they may be insect pollinated with another plant of the same species in your garden.

If you plan on harvesting seeds, it is important to understand "market maturity vs. seed maturity." By this, I mean that some crops are ready for eating long before the seed is mature. Examples of this include cucumbers, eggplants, peas, beans, and cabbage.

 

 Many of the heirloom seeds we offer at Mary's Heirloom Seeds have a rich, unique history. They have a "story" to tell. By saving and planting seed, you add your own chapter to the story.

Collecting Seeds

This is the fun part! Collect seeds from healthy plants, specifically plants that are not diseased or stunted. This is an important step. You can also choose to select seeds from that's with specific traits, such as heat tolerance and productivity.

Keep in mind that if you are leaving pods on the plant for seeds or allowing them to "bolt" your plant might slow down on producing food. Basil for example, for leaf production it is recommended to pinch off flower. However, if you are working on saving seeds, you will need those flowers for seed production.

Wet Seeds

I mentioned earlier that "wet seeds" take a little more time. Wet seeds are seeds inside fruits/veggies like tomatoes, cucumber and eggplant. These seeds will need to be rinse and left to dry before storing them. It is important to remove any damp plant matter from these seeds to prevent molding. Tomato seeds are usually fermented for optimal germination. I will discuss this in depth in a later article.

Once you have collected your wet seeds, place them on a drying rack or plate to fully dry. This can take a few days to a few weeks. I do not recommend storing on a paper towel as the towel can hold moisture, causing it to mold and the seeds might also stick to the paper towel. A plate or drying screen will allow you to move the seeds around to adequately dry seeds. Your drying area should be in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. Do not use an oven to dry seeds.

 

Dry Seeds

Dry are usually the easiest seeds to collect. A few examples of dry seeds include Zinnia, Sunflower, Basil, Cilantro and Beans. These seeds are either right out in the open or left in the pod to dry out. As we get into specific seed varieties and saving seeds from them, you'll see that there are a few different ways to collect dry seeds. This Sunflower seed head is HUGE and not even the largest one we grow!

 

Storing Seeds

"Seeds in good condition and stored properly should last at least one year and, depending on the plant, may last two to five years." This is specific for optimal germination. If you are going to plant old seeds, you can perform your own germination test to check their viability.

Seeds should be stored in cool, dry and dark spot.

You can use Jars, bags and bins.  You can re-use containers and get creative

Some people store them in a jar in their refrigerator or freezer. I don not store my personal seed stash in a refrigerator or freezer as my seed stash would not fit. Instead, I store individually packaged containers in a large tote inside a large closet in a cool spot

If you intend to keep your seeds in a basement or area that might flood, a watertight container is a MUST. One of my customers let me know that they learned this the hard way.

Be sure to seal up your seeds to keep out bugs and rodents. Another customer let me know that she learned this the hard way.

Seed storage is a frequently asked question. This video is great for those of you that have purchased extra seeds and/or saved seeds.

 

 

As a special request, we also offer seed saving envelopes. You can choose from printed or plain. These are the same material as our seed packs at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.

Made from 40% post-consumer recycled paper and 100% compostable.

Made in the USA. Acid free


This is just the first in our Seed Saving Series. In case you missed our live chat about Seed Saving, here's the replay

 

 

Stay tuned for specific seed saving techniques and seed varieties. -Mary

 

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask!
Email: mary@marysheirloomseeds.com
HAPPY PLANTING!


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


Mary's Heirloom Seeds Pre-Fall/September Seed Sale Posted on 26 Aug 16:36 , 2 comments

***SEED SALE EXTENDED THRU SEPTEMBER 11TH***

You may have seen some of those funny "hey girl" memes floating around. Well, my sister made me a fun vintage one so of course we're having a seed sale!

 

FALL is right around the corner so you'll find a few fantastic Fall varieties. If stored properly, you can easily stock up on seeds for next year during this epic seed sale.

These specials posted below will be available through September 8th at midnight.

To view the specific information about each heirloom seed variety listed, click the image or text below.

Every order will also receive a free *extra* seed pack. We also have new stickers!!! If you would like a free sticker included with your order, please ask.

 Ready to get this seed party started?

GREY ZUCCHINI

 

 

DILL DUKAT

 

 

GOLDEN CROOKNECK SQUASH

 

 

BULL'S BLOOD BEET

 

 

GREEN ARROW PEA

 

 

LATE FLAT DUTCH CABBAGE

 

 

PAK CHOY CABBAGE

 

 

AMERICAN FLAG LEEK

 

 

CHERRY BELLE RADISH

 

 

LONG PURPLE EGGPLANT

 

 

DI CICCO BROCCOLI

 

ACE 55 TOMATO

 

 

KLONDIKE STRIPED BLUE RIBBON WATERMELON

 

 

COSMIC PURPLE CARROT

 

 

CAYENNE PEPPER

 

JALAPENO PEPPER

 

 

HUNGARIAN WAX HOT PEPPER

 


 

UTAH TALL CELERY

 

MARY'S SALAD GREENS COMBO PACK

 

EARLY WHITE VIENNA KOHLRABI

 

 EARLY PURPLE VIENNA KOHLRABI

 

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask!
Email: mary@marysheirloomseeds.com
HAPPY PLANTING!


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


 


SEED SAVING KIT GIVEAWAY Posted on 20 Aug 02:13 , 136 comments

We are so excited to share another fun seed giveaway at Mary's Heirloom Seeds!

We have more NEW goodies to share in this month's giveaway

 

Before we get to the amazing giveaway prizes...

As an added bonus, Mary's Heirloom Seeds has a discount code available for Seed Combo Packs

Use code: SEEDCOMBO22

at checkout to take 10% off every single seed combo pack

Ready for the giveaway info?

This giveaway is OPEN: August 20, 2022 - August 29, 2022

There will be FOUR winners chosen on August 30th!

This giveaway is open to all residents of the US and Canada.

No purchase necessary.

 

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds

All 4 winners will be able to choose which NEW Seed Saving Kit they win.
These are brand new SEED SAVING KITS.
If you don't want to wait until the giveaway is over, you can purchase them using the links provided below.


3 SISTERS GARDEN SEED SAVING KIT

 

Basil Collection Seed Saving Kit

 


HEIRLOOM TOMATO SEED SAVING KIT

 

MARY'S 5 SEED SAVING KIT

 

 POLLINATOR GARDEN SEED SAVING KIT

 

SWEET & SPICY PEPPER SEED SAVING KIT

 

 

AND STICKERS!


Now for the details...

  • Giveaway begins on 8/20/2022 and ends at 11:59 pm on 8/29/22
  • FOUR winners will be selected at random
  • Winners must live in the United States or Canada
  • This one is important...We will email the winners on the 30th. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random
  • All entries will be added to our e-newsletter mailing list for Mary's Heirloom Seeds

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MARY'S HEIRLOOM SEEDS T-SHIRTS Posted on 19 Aug 04:49 , 2 comments

I finally decided on 2 designs and 2 colors. It wasn't easy but I enjoyed all of the beautiful shirts.

Great for when you're out in the garden, in the greenhouse prepping for next season or in the kitchen preserving your homegrown harvest!

*THIS IS A PRE-ORDER* available August 18th - September 11th All t-shirts are printed by a local business here in East Texas.

T-shirts will ship on or after October 1st. All seed orders with t-shirts will ship on or after October 1st.

Unisex shirts. These t-shirts fit true to size.

We have 2 designs available in 2 different colors.

Shirt material is a blend of cotton & polyester.

*Free sticker & pollinator seed pack with every purchase*

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE


AUGUST SEED SALE Posted on 1 Aug 11:40 , 4 comments

Thank you for stopping by to check out our August seed sale!

 

These specials posted below will be available through August 10th at midnight.

To view the specific information about each heirloom seed variety listed, click the image or text below.

Every order will also receive a free *extra* seed pack.We also have new stickers!!! If you would like a free sticker included with your order, please ask.

 

Are you ready?

This one is a *NEW ARRIVAL* COLORFUL CARROT COLLECTION

 

BOSTON PICKLING CUCUMBER

 

LATE FLAT DUTCH CABBAGE

 

MAMMOTH MELTING SNOW PEA

 

EVERGREEN WHITE BUNCHING ONION

 

WATERMELON RADISH

 

SWEET BASIL - LARGE LEAF

 

JALAPENO PEPPER

 

 


If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask!
Email: mary@marysheirloomseeds.com
HAPPY PLANTING!


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


 


AUGUST SEED GIVEAWAY Posted on 1 Aug 11:06 , 113 comments

We are so excited to share another fun seed giveaway at Mary's Heirloom Seeds!

We have NEW goodies to share in this month's giveaway

 

Before we get to the amazing giveaway prizes...

As an added bonus, Mary's Heirloom Seeds has a discount code available for Seed Combo Packs

Use code: SEEDCOMBO22

at checkout to take 10% off every single seed combo pack

Ready for the giveaway info?

This giveaway is OPEN: August 1, 2022 - August 9, 2022

There will be FOUR winners chosen on August 10th!

This giveaway is open to all residents of the US and Canada.

No purchase necessary.

 

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds

All 4 winners will receive one of our NEW Mary's Heirloom Seeds towels.
These should be available for purchase in a few days.


#1 one winner will receive a handy seed storage container along with
our seed combo pack Fall Garden Seeds Super Combo Pack (valued at $35.50)

 


 

#2 one winner will receive our Fall Garden Seeds Super Combo Pack (valued at $35.50)

 

#3 one winner will receive our Fall Garden Seeds Combo Pack (values at $20)



#4 one winner will receive our Mary's Basil Seed Collection (valued at $17.50)

 

AND STICKERS!


Now for the details...

  • Giveaway begins on 8/1/2022 and ends at 11:59 pm on 8/9/22
  • FOUR winners will be selected at random
  • Winners must live in the United States or Canada
  • This one is important...We will email the winners on the 10th. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random
  • All entries will be added to our e-newsletter mailing list for Mary's Heirloom Seeds

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Growing Collard Greens from Seed Posted on 29 Jul 14:49 , 5 comments

Collards are a southern favorite and absolutely delicious. Bonus, they are pretty easy to grow and can produce massive yields.

What are Collard Greens?

Collard is a group of certain loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea. Collards produce dark green leaves and tough stems that can be (often times are) removed before eating. The flavor of collard greens is a cross between cabbage and hearty kale, similar to Swiss chard. Collard greens are a southern staple. 

 

When to Plant Collard Seeds

Plant collard seeds from early spring to approximately 3 months before expected fall frost. If you live in a very mid climate, you might be able to grow them year round. Although they are a cool weather crop, they can tolerate heat.

Collards thrive in temperatures between 65°F and 75°F (18-24°C) and can withstand frost down to 25°F

 

Planting Collard Seeds

Sow seed ¼ to ½  inch deep in fertile, well drained soil. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Collard seed should germinate in 5 to 10 days at an optimal temperature of approx 75°F.

 

Collards can be grown in full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

For indoor planting: Start seeds indoors 6 to 4 weeks before the last frost in spring or 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost in fall.

It is a good practice to rotate crops every year or seasons. Avoid planting where cabbage family crops have grown recently.

Space plants 18 to 20 inches apart.

Harvesting Collard Greens

About 2 months after planting, you can start to harvest by clipping individual leaves. Collards are very hardy, and they flavor can improve into the late fall with light frost.


If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask!
Email: mary@marysheirloomseeds.com
HAPPY PLANTING!


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


 


Seed Garlic Info for 2022 Posted on 8 Jul 04:21 , 6 comments

Did you plant garlic last year? We did and the flavor of homegrown is just unbeatable. If you haven't grow garlic but you'd like to, here is your chance.

Before jumping in, there are a few things you should know.

First, "seed garlic" isn't like the seeds you get in our paper envelopes. Seed garlic is sold by the "bulb" which is made up of 6 to 16 "cloves." Each clove is planted to grow a brand new bulb.

Garlic grows best with full, direct sun and loose, fertile, well-drained soil.

Next, seed garlic is seasonal so once these are gone, we won't have more until next year. In our growing region we usually plant Garlic in Late October and harvest in Late June/Early July.

Softneck garlic is usually best suited for HOT climates like Florida but can be grown in cooler regions as well. Hardneck varieties produce scapes.

Pre-Orders of seed garlic are now available!

 

Let's introduce you to our garlic!

 





GERMAN RED (hardneck)


INCHELIUM RED (hardneck)

MUSIC (hardneck)

RED CHESNOK (hardneck)

 

Pre-order your garlic July 8th thru August 1st. Seed Garlic orders ship out after October 5th.

As we ship on a first come, first serve basis, your order may not ship until days or weeks later. You will receive an email when your order ships.

Seed Garlic does not qualify for free shipping.

Please purchase additional items in a separate order.  All orders containing SEED GARLIC will ship TOGETHER after October 5th depending on your order status.


If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask!
Email: mary@marysheirloomseeds.com
HAPPY PLANTING!


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