Garden Wisdom Blog

Garden Wisdom is the accumulation of years of tips, tricks, and techniques from West Coast Seeds. It is timeless, and it is cyclical. It follows the calendar year closely as the seasons change. It follows us into the kitchen with recipe ideas and it taps us on the shoulder with gentle reminders. These articles and blog entries cover many subjects, but we hope they help uncover new ideas and solve garden challenges. There is no “correct” way to garden, but there are many wise ways to garden.

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Take time to peruse a wide range of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds, along with cover crops, sprouts, micro-greens, and lawn solutions. Detailed planting instructions accompany each category and recommendations are made for container growing, heirloom growing, and planting for pollinators.

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Take time to peruse a wide range of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds, along with cover crops, sprouts, micro-greens, and lawn solutions. Detailed planting instructions accompany each category and recommendations are made for container growing, heirloom growing, and planting for pollinators.

Continue Reading

West Coast Seeds has conducted significant research into the companion planting guidelines and has defined the best possible results and reasons for each of our recommendations in our companion planting chart, below are a few thoughtful suggestions for you while planning your garden this year.

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West Coast Seeds has conducted significant research into the companion planting guidelines and has defined the best possible results and reasons for each of our recommendations in our companion planting chart, below are a few thoughtful suggestions for you while planning your garden this year.

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With over 1,100 seed varieties to choose from, finding a clear path to the checkout can feel overwhelming. There are beginner mistakes to be made - as well as ways for seasoned gardeners to bite off more than they can chew. Here are Mark's top ten pointers to consider when planting a new garden.

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With over 1,100 seed varieties to choose from, finding a clear path to the checkout can feel overwhelming. There are beginner mistakes to be made - as well as ways for seasoned gardeners to bite off more than they can chew. Here are Mark's top ten pointers to consider when planting a new garden.

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Thyme is a woody perennial shrub that has been used as a culinary and medicinal herb for thousands of years. Many species of thyme exist, and nearly all are native to the region around the Mediterranean. In ancient Egypt, thyme was used in embalming, and the ancient Greeks used it as a fumigant.

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Thyme is a woody perennial shrub that has been used as a culinary and medicinal herb for thousands of years. Many species of thyme exist, and nearly all are native to the region around the Mediterranean. In ancient Egypt, thyme was used in embalming, and the ancient Greeks used it as a fumigant.

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The holidays are over and the weather outside is still pretty frightful. Here on the coast it is altogether wet — the ground is sodden...

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The holidays are over and the weather outside is still pretty frightful. Here on the coast it is altogether wet — the ground is sodden and squishy. Elsewhere, snow is falling, and the ground is freezing hard. Only the most...

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The definition of “heirloom seeds” is a matter of debate. For our purposes, West Coast Seeds considers a plant an heirloom if it has been...

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The definition of “heirloom seeds” is a matter of debate. For our purposes, West Coast Seeds considers a plant an heirloom if it has been in cultivation for 50 years or more, although some people insist that 100 years is...

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Chard has been cultivated since at least as far back as the ancient Greek empire, and it was grown around the Mediterranean, particularly in Sicily. Some people still think of it as Sicilian spinach or spinach beet. Indeed, it is closely related to spinach (as well as quinoa, orache, and epazote) as a member of the family Amaranthaceae.

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Chard has been cultivated since at least as far back as the ancient Greek empire, and it was grown around the Mediterranean, particularly in Sicily. Some people still think of it as Sicilian spinach or spinach beet. Indeed, it is closely related to spinach (as well as quinoa, orache, and epazote) as a member of the family Amaranthaceae.

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The Heat Mats are fairly thick, with several layers of plastic heat bonded (not glued) over a strong heating wire. Water can't get into the mat so there are no worries when irrigating plant trays. At the end of the seed starting season we just roll them up and store them for next year — and we've been using the same ones for more than five years.

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The Heat Mats are fairly thick, with several layers of plastic heat bonded (not glued) over a strong heating wire. Water can't get into the mat so there are no worries when irrigating plant trays. At the end of the seed starting season we just roll them up and store them for next year — and we've been using the same ones for more than five years.

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Edible flowers can be used to add a splash of colour to all kinds of foods, from salads to desserts to fancy cocktails. A single...

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Edible flowers can be used to add a splash of colour to all kinds of foods, from salads to desserts to fancy cocktails. A single borage petal, carefully placed, can really enhance a slice of cake or an amuse bouche....

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The weather outdoors is cold and gloomy. Here on the coast it is altogether wet — the ground is sodden and squishy. Elsewhere, the first...

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The weather outdoors is cold and gloomy. Here on the coast it is altogether wet — the ground is sodden and squishy. Elsewhere, the first blankets of snow are falling, and the ground is freezing hard. Only the most spirited...

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With pollinator conservation in mind it’s a good idea to plant flower seeds for bees. But which are the best pollinator plants? Which bee flowers...

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With pollinator conservation in mind it’s a good idea to plant flower seeds for bees. But which are the best pollinator plants? Which bee flowers are the easiest to sow and grow? What flowers can be grown in containers or...

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One of the facts about carrots is that the wild ancestors of the modern carrot (Daucus carota sativus) probably first appeared in the regions of...

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One of the facts about carrots is that the wild ancestors of the modern carrot (Daucus carota sativus) probably first appeared in the regions of modern Iran and Afghanistan. The plants were cultivated primarily for their aromatic leaves and seeds,...

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As the growing season shifts to winter mode, our attention turns to protecting food plants and flower beds and baskets for as long as possible....

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As the growing season shifts to winter mode, our attention turns to protecting food plants and flower beds and baskets for as long as possible. Watch for the first signs frost, which sneaks in on a clear windless autumn night....

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Deciduous trees can't make enough of the short days and the sun appearing low on the horizon, so nearly all of them shed their leaves. The sugars in the drying leaves convert into starches and are drawn back into the tree trunk as the tree enters dormancy. This causes the dramatic change in leaf colours and leads to leaves falling.

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Deciduous trees can't make enough of the short days and the sun appearing low on the horizon, so nearly all of them shed their leaves. The sugars in the drying leaves convert into starches and are drawn back into the tree trunk as the tree enters dormancy. This causes the dramatic change in leaf colours and leads to leaves falling.

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For many of us growing up, lettuce represented the primary source of vegetable greens in our diets. Lettuce is absolutely standard in sandwiches and burgers, and makes...

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For many of us growing up, lettuce represented the primary source of vegetable greens in our diets. Lettuce is absolutely standard in sandwiches and burgers, and makes a simple, inoffensive base for salads. Its flavour is mild and neutral — not too...

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Hedgerows provide important cover for mammals, from voles to coyotes, and create a natural corridor to cross the property in relative safety. The shrubs provide excellent nesting sites for songbirds, and the tall trees (eventually) provide much needed nesting spots for raptors. We are so pleased to add this feature to our organic field.

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Hedgerows provide important cover for mammals, from voles to coyotes, and create a natural corridor to cross the property in relative safety. The shrubs provide excellent nesting sites for songbirds, and the tall trees (eventually) provide much needed nesting spots for raptors. We are so pleased to add this feature to our organic field.

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Winter is a gift: it’s nature’s down time, a time when many plants go dormant and many animals have a winter’s rest. However, for those...

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Winter is a gift: it’s nature’s down time, a time when many plants go dormant and many animals have a winter’s rest. However, for those animals that are still active, winter can be a challenge. It’s hard for small animals to...

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It’s September, and much of the garden has been put to bed. Heat loving summer crops have all but withered: Sunflower heads have been cut...

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It’s September, and much of the garden has been put to bed. Heat loving summer crops have all but withered: Sunflower heads have been cut for drying, tomatoes have been picked green and brought indoors, and pumpkins sit bright and...

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Different bees and pollinators benefit from specific types of flowers. Whether a flower is deep or shallow, red or yellow, generous with nectar or stingy......

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Different bees and pollinators benefit from specific types of flowers. Whether a flower is deep or shallow, red or yellow, generous with nectar or stingy... These all impact the attractiveness to different pollinators. We have collected some of the Best...

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Understanding the relationships between specific types of flowers and specific pollinators helps to explain why biodiversity is so important. The greater variety of flowers (including vegetables and herbs) in the garden, the wider range of pollinators can be supported.

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Understanding the relationships between specific types of flowers and specific pollinators helps to explain why biodiversity is so important. The greater variety of flowers (including vegetables and herbs) in the garden, the wider range of pollinators can be supported.

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Planting for fall & winter harvests has to start in the summer and fall. Just like we sow summer harvest crops in the late winter...

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Planting for fall & winter harvests has to start in the summer and fall. Just like we sow summer harvest crops in the late winter and spring – it’s the same concept. Did you know that many crops can be...

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It’s a beautiful summer day. Since sowing your tomato seeds in Spring, you’ve been nurturing your container garden, preparing for harvest. There is nothing like...

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It’s a beautiful summer day. Since sowing your tomato seeds in Spring, you’ve been nurturing your container garden, preparing for harvest. There is nothing like a juicy, summer-ripened tomato fresh from the garden. Finally, it’s time. You will taste the...

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Urban Bee Supplies is joining the West Coast Seeds family and we couldn't ask for a better match! The world of bees & seeds is...

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Urban Bee Supplies is joining the West Coast Seeds family and we couldn't ask for a better match! The world of bees & seeds is closely related, and we are all excited about taking part in this new adventure. West...

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Blossom end rot is one of the most common complaints for tomato growers, particularly on plants grown in containers. It’s a complex problem that results...

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Blossom end rot is one of the most common complaints for tomato growers, particularly on plants grown in containers. It’s a complex problem that results from calcium not being available to the plants as the ovary at the base of...

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