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Garlic is a perennial member of the onion family, Alliaceae, and is closely related to leeks, onions, shallots, and chives. All of these plants send up hollow, tubular (sometimes flattened) leaves from a bulb that grows below the ground. The leaves are followed by a flower stalk (scape), and then by the flower itself. Garlic may also produce “bulbils” – tiny bulbs that may begin to sprout, on the flower head. All parts of the garlic plant are edible, but the bulb is the most prized and useful in the kitchen.

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Garlic is a perennial member of the onion family, Alliaceae, and is closely related to leeks, onions, shallots, and chives. All of these plants send up hollow, tubular (sometimes flattened) leaves from a bulb that grows below the ground. The leaves are followed by a flower stalk (scape), and then by the flower itself. Garlic may also produce “bulbils” – tiny bulbs that may begin to sprout, on the flower head. All parts of the garlic plant are edible, but the bulb is the most prized and useful in the kitchen.

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Even in large scale, chemically dependent farm systems, Integrated Pest Management can reduce human and environmental exposure to chemical pesticides, and save a great deal of money. For the organic grower IPM is the obvious logical way to manage pests.

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Even in large scale, chemically dependent farm systems, Integrated Pest Management can reduce human and environmental exposure to chemical pesticides, and save a great deal of money. For the organic grower IPM is the obvious logical way to manage pests.

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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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Why limit your garden’s production to just the summer? There are still lots of seeds to start in July, particularly in regions with mild winters....

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Why limit your garden’s production to just the summer? There are still lots of seeds to start in July, particularly in regions with mild winters. Many of these varieties can be enjoyed as mature plants for fall and winter harvests,...

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The Perennial Wildflower Seeds ingredients are listed below. This is the right blend to establish where flowers are needed to come back year after year....

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The Perennial Wildflower Seeds ingredients are listed below. This is the right blend to establish where flowers are needed to come back year after year. Perennial flowers are often drought resistant and very winter hardy, so they can be relied...

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How do you know when to harvest garlic bulbs and if they have matured to the right point for harvest? Each leaf on the above-ground garlic...

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How do you know when to harvest garlic bulbs and if they have matured to the right point for harvest? Each leaf on the above-ground garlic plant represents one potential papery wrapper around the mature bulb. Having well developed, fully intact...

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Although they arrived from Europe, they’re well at home now in BC’s Lower Mainland and many other regions. This lively beetle (Amphimallon majalis) has an...

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Although they arrived from Europe, they’re well at home now in BC’s Lower Mainland and many other regions. This lively beetle (Amphimallon majalis) has an annual life cycle that is worth understanding in an attempt to control it. The beetle...

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Carrots are biennial plants, and store all of their first year’s energy in the long orange taproots we know so well. If left in the ground, they will flower in their second year, and produce quite pretty white umbels resembling yellow dill flowers.

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Carrots are biennial plants, and store all of their first year’s energy in the long orange taproots we know so well. If left in the ground, they will flower in their second year, and produce quite pretty white umbels resembling yellow dill flowers.

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Cilantro and dill are both good examples of umbelliferous plants. When these plants bloom, the flower structure is in a shape called an umbel —...

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Cilantro and dill are both good examples of umbelliferous plants. When these plants bloom, the flower structure is in a shape called an umbel — scores of tiny flowers arranged on a more or less flat or umbrella-shaped plane. Other...

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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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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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Predatory nematodes can be applied in the spring to combat chafer beetles, wireworm, and other soil dwelling beetle larvae. Predatory nematodes are effective against over 250 species of insect pests.

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Predatory nematodes can be applied in the spring to combat chafer beetles, wireworm, and other soil dwelling beetle larvae. Predatory nematodes are effective against over 250 species of insect pests.

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Beets, like many root vegetables are biennials, which, if not harvested, will bloom in the second year of growth. One of the interesting facts about...

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Beets, like many root vegetables are biennials, which, if not harvested, will bloom in the second year of growth. One of the interesting facts about beets is they are closely related to Swiss chard, which can easily be seen by...

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The much maligned dandelion actually has a lot to offer. It has been vilified in our culture as the invader of lawn spaces, thrusting its...

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The much maligned dandelion actually has a lot to offer. It has been vilified in our culture as the invader of lawn spaces, thrusting its dazzling yellow colour into an otherwise tranquil field of green. Homeowners pour millions of gallons...

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Why garden for Bumble Bees? Bumblebees are a keystone species. This means much of our ecological system hinges on the survival of bumblebees. Not just...

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Why garden for Bumble Bees? Bumblebees are a keystone species. This means much of our ecological system hinges on the survival of bumblebees. Not just native plants rely on these furry pollinators, but also many other organisms; over 250 insect...

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Crop rotation is the practice of not growing plants where similar plants grew the previous year. Crop rotation prevents the build up of pests and diseases...

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Crop rotation is the practice of not growing plants where similar plants grew the previous year. Crop rotation prevents the build up of pests and diseases and optimizes the use of soil nutrients. Plants from different “families” need different amounts of...

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About Compost and Composting Composting is the process of breaking down organic material. It is one of the basic principles of organic and biodynamic gardening,...

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About Compost and Composting Composting is the process of breaking down organic material. It is one of the basic principles of organic and biodynamic gardening, and has been in practice for a surprisingly long time. Pliny the Elder refers to...

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Micro-greens can be grown anywhere, at any time of year. You need to provide some basic elements like soil, moisture, and light, but that’s it. You can grow them in the winter in Yellowknife, or in the summer in Tahiti – it makes no difference. I also like micro-greens because of the wildly diverse potential they represent.

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Micro-greens can be grown anywhere, at any time of year. You need to provide some basic elements like soil, moisture, and light, but that’s it. You can grow them in the winter in Yellowknife, or in the summer in Tahiti – it makes no difference. I also like micro-greens because of the wildly diverse potential they represent.

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Organic gardeners share one challenge that has many faces – how to protect seedlings along to the point when they are strong enough to defend themselves. Because seedlings are so tender and tasty, and low to the ground, they are easy pickings for a host of animals, from the very tiny to the enormous. Everything from wireworms and millipedes up to raccoons and deer are perfectly happy to chomp on veggies, sometimes eradicating a whole bed of newly emerged plants.

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Organic gardeners share one challenge that has many faces – how to protect seedlings along to the point when they are strong enough to defend themselves. Because seedlings are so tender and tasty, and low to the ground, they are easy pickings for a host of animals, from the very tiny to the enormous. Everything from wireworms and millipedes up to raccoons and deer are perfectly happy to chomp on veggies, sometimes eradicating a whole bed of newly emerged plants.

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In many cases pre-packaged soil from the garden centre may serve its purpose when filling containers or raised beds. It is usually manufactured in massive amounts by mixing various raw ingredients before bagging. Here is our container soil recipe.

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In many cases pre-packaged soil from the garden centre may serve its purpose when filling containers or raised beds. It is usually manufactured in massive amounts by mixing various raw ingredients before bagging. Here is our container soil recipe.

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There are four central issues that offer a better understanding of garden soil and how it can be improved: Soil structure, soil components, soil life, and soil pH. Gardeners (and farmers) will benefit from contemplating these four factors on their own and in harmony with one another.

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There are four central issues that offer a better understanding of garden soil and how it can be improved: Soil structure, soil components, soil life, and soil pH. Gardeners (and farmers) will benefit from contemplating these four factors on their own and in harmony with one another.

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We often talk about cultivating organic soil that is rich in microbial action, and full of organisms. Soil in the garden combines naturally occurring minerals...

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We often talk about cultivating organic soil that is rich in microbial action, and full of organisms. Soil in the garden combines naturally occurring minerals with various organic and and any organic or mineral amendments you add. As the organic...

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Most potting soils have enough nutrients that fertilizers are not necessary for seedlings until they are transplanted to the garden. Generally speaking, you want the fertilizer to go beneath each transplant, but not in direct contact with its roots. In a typical situation (transplanting a tomato plant, for example), you would dig a hole slightly deeper than the root ball of the seedling.

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Most potting soils have enough nutrients that fertilizers are not necessary for seedlings until they are transplanted to the garden. Generally speaking, you want the fertilizer to go beneath each transplant, but not in direct contact with its roots. In a typical situation (transplanting a tomato plant, for example), you would dig a hole slightly deeper than the root ball of the seedling.

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Stored manure is often referred to as “rotted manure.” It has no unpleasant smell, and its texture has changed since it was produced. Rotted manure is a fantastic soil amendment. Ideally it will retain some of its natural nitrogen, but not to the extent that it causes burning or excessive foliar growth in your crops. In some farming systems manure is stored for a year in a pile with steep, compacted sides.

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Stored manure is often referred to as “rotted manure.” It has no unpleasant smell, and its texture has changed since it was produced. Rotted manure is a fantastic soil amendment. Ideally it will retain some of its natural nitrogen, but not to the extent that it causes burning or excessive foliar growth in your crops. In some farming systems manure is stored for a year in a pile with steep, compacted sides.

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Growing food outdoors over winter is easy if you equip yourself with the right gear. Outdoors, we use cloche protection, row cover, and mulches to...

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Growing food outdoors over winter is easy if you equip yourself with the right gear. Outdoors, we use cloche protection, row cover, and mulches to insulate the soil and keep frost off plants. And we choose the hardiest varieties of...

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