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The Beginner's Guide to Backyard Homesteading GIVEAWAY Posted on 11 Aug 16:43 , 99 comments

I know I say this often but we LOVE Giveaways here at Mary's Heirloom Seeds!

This is an extra special giveaway because we have a new book,  The Beginner's Guide to Backyard Homesteading, from Lisa at The Self Sufficient Homeacre as well as heirloom seeds.

I have followed Lisa's blog for years and she also shares great information.  She even interviewed me once for her website.  You can read here at Mary's Heirloom Seeds - An Interview.

This book is PACKED with helpful information about gardening and raising livestock.

"At one time homesteading allowed settlers to move west and claim land by farming it. Today, modern homesteaders choose to raise backyard chickens and tend gardens and orchards to increase sustainability and self-reliance. You, too, can make your backyard a productive oasis in an uncertain world."

I've already started reading my copy and I love it!  If you don't want to wait for the giveaway, you can always pre-order your copy HERE

This giveaway is open to all US residents from August 12th through August 22nd at midnight.  You must use the rafflecopter app at the bottom of this post to enter.  No purchase necessary.

As an added BONUS, we are also going to send Heirloom Seeds from Mary's Heirloom Seeds!

 

FALL GARDEN SEED STARTER KIT

This kit Includes:
-Fall Seed varieties: Ruby Red Swiss Chard, Pak Choy Cabbage, Champion Radish, Long Island Brussels Sprouts, Snowball Cauliflower, Detroit Dark Red Beet, Lacinato Kale (aka Dino Kale), Romanesco Italia Broccoli, Buttercrunch Lettuce and Jade Bush Beans
-Coconut Coir Brick
-40 non-woven seed starter bags (8X10cm)
-10 plant markers
-Printed planting instructions

 

ABOUT Mary's Heirloom Seeds
 
Mary's Heirloom Seeds is a "mom and pop" small business created out of a desire to help people become more sustainable and self-sufficient. Our customers know that we are a simple phone call or email away.
We currently offer over 700 varieties of Heirloom, open-pollinated, non-gmo & non-hybrid garden Seeds. Mary has signed the Safe Seed Pledge AND the Declaration of Seed Freedom.
Are you ready to enter the giveaway?

Giveaway is open to all Residents of the US.
Giveaway opens 8/12/2020 and ends 8/22/2020 at Midnight.
All giveaway entrants will be added to Mary's Heirloom Seeds mailing list.
Your information is never sold and we never send spam emails.
There is no purchase required to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Growing & Harvesting Patty Pan Squash Posted on 5 Aug 15:13 , 1 comment

Patty Pan Squash, also called Scallop Squash, is a mild flavored summer squash.  This beautiful squash is small, scalloped and round making it a fun addition to any garden.

YELLOW SCALLOP SQUASH

 

Scallop Squash usually grows as a bush or semi-bush so these compact plant don't take up as much room in the garden as a winter squash.  From seed to harvest, Patty Pan is ready to harvest in as little as 55 days.

Patty Pan Squash can be grown in containers, a bucket garden, in ground and in raised beds, making it an excellent choice for beginners as well as seasoned gardeners

 

Preferred Growing Conditions

Vegetables tend to all like the same growing conditions: full sun, and well drained soil full of organic matter. Organic matter contributes to the health of the soil: gives soil nutrients, aerates soil for better root growth, helps soil retain moisture, while at the same times allows soil to drain better.

BENNING'S GREEN TINT SCALLOP SQUASH

 

SEED PLANTING

We soak squash seeds for 24 hours in filtered water before planting but this step is absolutely optional.

Soil temperature should be about 70 degrees Fahrenheit before you plant your squash seeds.

Plant seeds ½ inches deep and six inches apart. Thin out after seedlings after they emerge, but will need at least two leaves to keep growing. Mature bush summer squash plants should be 20 inches apart in rows that are spaced 2 feet apart.

Seed starting in containers or Seed Starter Pods and then transplanting another option with squash. You can start seeds indoors about four weeks prior to the last frost date. Don’t forget to harden off your seedlings, meaning slowly adjust them to the outdoor climate and sun.

 

Consider staggering your plantings of summer squash. Planting two to four weeks apart can keep you harvesting summer squash a little longer. Patty Pan is a prolific producer but it never hurts to plant more just in case.

 

Squash Pests and Diseases

Don’t forget to check summer squash plants for pests often. Squash bugs will set in pretty quickly. They will be your biggest pest problems. Cucumber beetles like summer squash plants, too.

 

Companion Plants for Squash

Beans, corn, cucumbers, icicle radishes, melon, mint, onions and pumpkin. Helpers: Borage deters worms, improves growth and flavor. Marigolds deters beetle. Nasturtium deters squash bugs and beetles.

Oregano provides general pest protection. Dill may repel the squash bug that will kill your squash vines. Generously scatter the dill leaves on your squash plants. Keep squash away from potatoes.

WHITE SCALLOP SQUASH

 

Maintaining Your Squash Plants

Consistent watering is key with squash. Mulch helps a lot with maintaining soil moisture. So, put a good layer of mulch down around summer squash plants.

Side dress with compost or fertilize every 4 weeks.

Squash plants produce both male and female flowers.  Usually, male flowers appear first then fall off.  Then, the plant starts to produce both male and female flowers.  Lack of pollinators or lack of pollination can be an issue for some gardeners.

Hand Pollination tip: pick the first male blooms and brush them against the female bloom. This will help increase the output of summer squash.

 

Healthy Harvest

Patty Pan Squash can be picked when the fruits are about 2 inches in diameter and as large as 4 inches in diameter.  At this stage, they are tender and the skin is still soft.  There is no need to peel or remove the skin before cooking or preparing.

If you happen to grow them larger, they are excellent stuffed

 

RECIPE: Stuffed Scallop Squash

 

If you have specific garden or seed related questions, please contact us via email at MARY@MARYSHEIRLOOMSEEDS.COM
Happy Planting!


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HEIRLOOM SEED SALE thru 8/8/2020 Posted on 2 Aug 18:59 , 2 comments

We love heirloom seeds and we especially enjoy offering specials.

This week we have a few unique varieties on sale.

The first is a seed starter kit...

FALL GARDEN SEED STARTER KIT

 

SAVOY CABBAGE, PERFECTION DRUMHEAD

 

HARRIS MODEL PARSNIP

 

AMERICAN PURPLE TOP RUTABAGA

 

RUTGERS TOMATO

 

RED MAMMOTH MANGEL BEET

 

MEDIUM RED CLOVER

 

WHITE EGG TURNIP

 

AUTUMN BEAUTY SUNFLOWER

 

PURPLE CONEFLOWER

 

If you have specific garden or seed related questions, please contact us via email at MARY@MARYSHEIRLOOMSEEDS.COM
Happy Planting!



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Some Peas Like it HOT! Posted on 28 Jul 07:56 , 0 comments

With so many new gardeners this year, we've added a few "getting started" videos to our youtube channel. Mary's Heirloom Seeds on YT

In general, Peas are a cool weather crop but some varieties like it HOT!

Cool Weather Peas are best grown in temperatures at or below 70 degrees so they are great as a Fall and Spring crop. Heirloom Pea Seeds

English Pea, also called a Garden Pea: eat the pea and not the pod

Snow Pea: Edible pods often used in stir fry.  The pea inside does not fully form before harvesting (unless you're harvesting for seed saving)

Sugar snap: Pods are plump when ready.  Both the pea and the pod are eaten.

Cool weather peas do not stay fresh very long after harvesting so it's good to have recipes or storage options available. 

HOT weather peas are often called Southern Peas or Cowpeas.  Southern Peas are more beanlike than pealike. The best know Southern pea is the blackeyed pea.

Here's our latest video

 

A few of our favorites:

Alaska Pea: sugar pea so the pod and pea are eaten. GREAT short-season pea

Blue Podded Pea: eaten early, they are more like a snow pea.  Wait to harvest and they are shelling peas

Mammoth Melting: Excellent snow pea for stir fry

Sugar Ann snap pea: delicious eaten raw. Not a bush but a smaller vining snap pea

Wando garden pea: English pea for shelling.  More heat tolerant than most peas

 

NEW at Mary's Heirloom Seeds this year is the Purple Hull Pinkeye Cowpea

 

California Black Eye Pea: as the name implies, this is a black eye pea used in soups and stews

Whippoorwill southern pea: a pre-1700 cowpea.  Drought tolerant. Small seeds are light brown with dark speckles.

 

 

If you have specific garden or seed related questions, please contact us via email at MARY@MARYSHEIRLOOMSEEDS.COM
Happy Planting!


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JULY SEED GIVEAWAY Posted on 16 Jul 07:29 , 154 comments

We LOVE Giveaways!!!!

This giveaway is sponsored by
Mary's Heirloom Seeds



This Giveaway will run from Thursday, July 16th thru Monday, July 20th at midnight est and is open to residents of the US.
We will pick ONE Lucky Winner on Tuesday, July 21st
Each entry in the app below is a separate entry.




SEEDS: Jade Bush Beans, Black Beauty Zucchini, Little Gem Lettuce, French Breakfast Radish and Pak Choy Cabbage

(individually packaged seeds)

Coconut Coir 

30 non-woven seed starter bags (8X10cm)

5 Plant Markers

Printed Basic planting instructions included



ABOUT US

From Mary,
Mary's Heirloom Seeds is a "mom and pop" small business created out of a desire to help people become more sustainable and self-sufficient. Our customers know that we are a simple phone call or email away
We currently offer over 650 varieties of Heirloom, open-pollinated, non-gmo & non-hybrid garden Seeds. Mary has signed the Safe Seed Pledge AND the Declaration of Seed Freedom.
Are you ready to enter the giveaway?


Giveaway is open to all Residents of the US.
Giveaway opens 7/16/2020 and ends 7/20/2020 at Midnight.
All giveaway entrants will be added to Mary's Heirloom Seeds mailing list.
Your information is never sold and we never send spam emails.
There is no purchase required to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

JULY SEEDS SALE thru 7/20/20 Posted on 14 Jul 17:51 , 4 comments

If you're looking to stock up on seeds are just add a few to your collection, we've got you covered!

FALL planting is right around the corner so some of these may come in handy sooner than later

 

*NEW ARRIVAL*

Easy Garden Seed Starter Kit

 

PARISIENNE CARROT

 

HARRIS MODEL PARSNIP

 

RUTGERS TOMATO

 

JUANE CANARY MELON

 

MAMMOTH BEET

(Mammoth beet is the one on the right)

 

GOLDEN CAL WONDER BELL PEPPER

 

AMERICAN FLAG LEEK

 

 DAIKON RADISH

 

 

That's all for now!  This sale will last through July 20, 2020 or while supplies last.

If you're wondering WHAT to plant and WHEN to plant, check out our

USDA ZONE SPECIFIC PLANTING GUIDE

and our

REGION SPECIFIC PLANTING GUIDE

If you have specific garden or seed related questions, please contact us via email at MARY@MARYSHEIRLOOMSEEDS.COM
Happy Planting!


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Dilly Bean Recipe from the Garden Posted on 8 Jul 17:29 , 5 comments

What do you do when you have a massive harvest of Jade Bush Beans? MAKE DILLY BEANS! 

Dilly beans are a wonderful harvest treat. 

 

We love pickles and spicy food around here so of course I had to make a few jars of Spicy Dilly Beans.  Below you'll find several options to make your own dilly beans just the way you like

Some recipes call for blanching your beans first.  I did not.  I love crispy beans and easy recipes so we just used fresh beans.

Green, Yellow or Purple?

Honestly, you can use just about any bean to make dilly beans.  If you use Royalty Purple Podded bean, just know that those pretty purple beans will turn green once they are processed in your canner.  For this, we used Jade Bush Beans which are officially my favorite garden bean.  They continue to produce in hot weather and they've given us so many beans!

 

Spicy Dilly Bean Recipe

recipe adapted from Fresh Preserving

Makes about 6 pint jars

Ingredients:

3 lbs of fresh Jade Bush beans

3 3/4 cups vinegar

3 3/4 cups water

1/3 cup pickling salt (some people use kosher salt)

6-12 cloves of garlic (I really like garlic)

6-12 sprigs of dill

cayenne pepper flakes (optional)

mustard seeds (optional)

 

Some of our jars included cayenne pepper flakes & mustard seeds while others are more mild.  I like to have a few options available.

 

Directions:

Prepare you jars and water bath canner, making sure everything is clean before you get started.

Trim and cut fresh beans into jar-length pieces.  If you're using pint jars, about 4 inches long

Combine water, vinegar and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

Place 1 or 2 garlic cloves (whole or crushed), 1 or 2 sprigs of dill in each jar. If you are making spicy dilly beans, add 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon mustard seeds.

Pack beans into each jar, leaving about 1/2 of headspace. Remove air bubbles.

Ladle hot brine (water,vinegar & salt) into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.  Remove air bubbles and wipe off jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band.

Place each full jar in boiling water canner.

Process for 15 minutes and then remove to cool for 24 hours.

Check each jar to be sure they sealed properly

*This recipe was processed in a water-bath canner for 15 minutes.  You can skip the water-bath canning if you keep them refrigerated.  If you choose to refrigerate them, they are not shelf-stable and will spoil quicker.*

 

ENJOY!

If you have specific garden or seed related questions, please contact us via email at MARY@MARYSHEIRLOOMSEEDS.COM
Happy Planting!


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Growing Basil from Seed to Harvest Posted on 3 Jul 14:22 , 1 comment

Basil is a favorite for most home gardeners and homesteaders.  It's easy to grow and usually prolific.  At Mary's Heirloom Seeds, we offer quite a few unique varieties such as Dark Purple Opal Basil, Thai Holy Basil and even Lemon Basil.

Seed Starting Basics

Sow Basil seeds indoors 2-4 weeks before your first frost day OR sow seeds outside when soil is warm and temperatures do not drop below 65 F during the day.  Seeds should be sowed approx 1/4 deep in moist, well-drained soil.

Basil seeds usually germinate in as few as 5-7 days.  Make successive sowings of basil seeds for continuous summer harvests.

Licorice Basil

 

Caring for Basil

From seed to harvest, Basil is ready in as few as 45 days.  Basil can grow in full sun as as little as 6 hours of sun. Space Basil plants about 12 inches apart or interplant basil between larger plants such as Tomatoes and Peppers.

Water basil when soil is dry to the touch and try to water soil and not leaves.  In warmer months, Basil will need more water.

Basil is pretty pest tolerant but you might see the occasional flea beetle marks or leaf miners.  Aphids can usually be sprayed of with a water hose.

 

Dark Purple Opal Basil grown in a container

 

Companion Planting with Basil

Plant with tomatoes, peppers, squash, oregano, asparagus and other herbs.  Basil can be planted with just about every veggie.

Basil is said to repel thrips, flies and mosquitoes.

Thai Holy Basil

 

One healthy, well pruned Basil plant can produce around 1/2 cup of leaves every week.  If you're limited on space, there are even dwarf varieties such as Dwarf Greek Basil.

Once mature, harvest basil leaves regularly to promote healthy growth.  It is usually recommended to harvest from the top of the plant, using scissors or fingernails.  Try to cut as close to the stem as possible.

Pinching off flowers is recommended to keep a continuous harvest all summer long.  Flowering is also called "bolting" and the plant will put forth more energy for flower production.  If you wish to save the seeds, allow your plants to bolt.

 

Ready for Recipes?

BASIL LEMONADE (text version

 

STUFFED SCALLOP SQUASH

 

Homegrown Basil Walnut Pesto

Grilled Eggplant with Fresh Basil

 

If you have specific garden or seed related questions, please contact us via email at MARY@MARYSHEIRLOOMSEEDS.COM
Happy Planting!


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JUNE SEED GIVEAWAY Posted on 16 Jun 16:13 , 85 comments

We LOVE Giveaways!!!!

This giveaway is sponsored by
Mary's Heirloom Seeds



This Giveaway will run from Tuesday, June 16th thru Saturday, June 20th at midnight and is open to residents of the US and Canada.
We will pick THREE Lucky Winners on Sunday, June 21st
Each entry in the app below is a separate entry.
If you love Basil as much as we do then you'll LOVE this collection of seeds!
This collection includes individually packed seeds of the following varieties:
Dark Purple Opal Basil, Genovese Basil, Lemon Basil, Licorice Basil, Siam Queen Basil, Sweet Basil Large Leaf, Thai Holy Basil


Includes one pack of the following varieties:
Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach, Cimmaron Red Lettuce
Summer Bibb Lettuce, Rainbow Swiss Chard



#3 Mary's Picks
This is 3 of Mary's favorites
(not a combo pack available at Mary's Heirloom Seeds)


ABOUT US

From Mary,
Mary's Heirloom Seeds is a "mom and pop" small business created out of a desire to help people become more sustainable and self-sufficient. Our customers know that we are a simple phone call or email away
We currently offer over 650 varieties of Heirloom, open-pollinated, non-gmo & non-hybrid garden Seeds. Mary has signed the Safe Seed Pledge AND the Declaration of Seed Freedom.
Are you ready to enter the giveaway?


Giveaway is open to all Residents of the US & Canada.
Giveaway opens 6/16/2020 and ends 6/20/2020 at Midnight.
All giveaway entrants will be added to Mary's Heirloom Seeds mailing list.
Your information is never sold and we never send spam emails.
There is no purchase required to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Heat Tolerant Varieties for Your Garden Posted on 8 Jun 16:26 , 3 comments

For some of our customers it has been a very wet year.  For some it has been VERY hot and others very dry.  It's getting hot here so we thought it would be good to share heat tolerant crops.

We have a few older posts on our blog about heat tolerant crops but we thought it might be nice to offer an update.

 

OKRA is a heat-loving favorite!

 

PEPPERS love heat!

 

Amaranth thrives on heat.  Some varieties of Amaranth can be traced to the 1700s

 

Squash & Pumpkin are heat tolerant and easy to grow.

 

Heirloom Corn is a Summer favorite that's also heat tolerant.

 

Heirloom Tomatoes!  Some varieties such as Matt's Wild Cherry, Floradade, and Homestead are more heat tolerant than others

 

CUCUMBER

Mexican Sour Gherkin, also called Cucamelon, is a fun addition to the garden!

 

BEANS

 

Malabar Spinach

Edible leaves grown from Malabar Spinach seeds can be used throughout summer and will flourish in heat and humidity. Young leaves of this herb plant can be cooked and added to recipes and fresh leaves make a great salad. Climbing to 10 feet or more, Malabar Spinach is a lovely vine for trellises and arbors. It is also commonly referred to as Climbing Spinach Vine, Red Vine Spinach or Creeping Spinach. The Malabar Spinach herb is one of the very few garden herbs that is a vining plant.

 

EGGPLANT

 

LUFFA

 

 

If you have specific garden or seed related questions, please contact us via email at MARY@MARYSHEIRLOOMSEEDS.COM
Happy Planting!


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