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Many plants benefit from a head start by sowing indoors during late winter and early spring. For a few crops, notably peppers and tomatoes, this...

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Many plants benefit from a head start by sowing indoors during late winter and early spring. For a few crops, notably peppers and tomatoes, this indoor start is an absolute requirement if growing from seed. These tender, tropical plants will...

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March and April are our busiest months, but this year is very exceptional. We have seen a remarkable surge in demand for seeds and gardening equipment. Our reduced Warehouse and Customer Service staff are doing everything they can to fulfill orders and answer questions as rapidly as possible.

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March and April are our busiest months, but this year is very exceptional. We have seen a remarkable surge in demand for seeds and gardening equipment. Our reduced Warehouse and Customer Service staff are doing everything they can to fulfill orders and answer questions as rapidly as possible.

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All winter, the northern hemisphere has been tilted slightly away from the sun. As summer approaches, the tilt changes so the north half of the planet tilts slightly towards the sun. The equinox occurs when Earth’s tilt is neither toward nor away from the sun.

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All winter, the northern hemisphere has been tilted slightly away from the sun. As summer approaches, the tilt changes so the north half of the planet tilts slightly towards the sun. The equinox occurs when Earth’s tilt is neither toward nor away from the sun.

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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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No matter where you live, growing food in containers can be accomplished if you learn some basics. While some types of vegetables are simply better...

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No matter where you live, growing food in containers can be accomplished if you learn some basics. While some types of vegetables are simply better suited to growing with their roots in the ground, the determined gardener can grow almost...

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One day this past summer several of us got together to photograph some of the flowers and produce from the trial fields in a more...

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One day this past summer several of us got together to photograph some of the flowers and produce from the trial fields in a more studio setting. Jill, who normally works in customer service, has some professional experience as a...

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Hand tools for the garden may have lots of uses or they may be for very specific jobs. Either way, the gardeners on staff here at West Coast Seeds have found some excellent tools to recommend. 

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Hand tools for the garden may have lots of uses or they may be for very specific jobs. Either way, the gardeners on staff here at West Coast Seeds have found some excellent tools to recommend. 

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As a vegetable crop (as opposed to a grain crop), the potato is the world’s most important foodstuff, so there are many interesting facts about...

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As a vegetable crop (as opposed to a grain crop), the potato is the world’s most important foodstuff, so there are many interesting facts about potatoes. The starchy tubers of the potato plant are exceptionally nutritious and so rich in...

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Onions begin to form bulbs in response to temperature, but also the length of the day. In southern Canada and the northern U.S., choose “long-day” onions. Our summer days are much longer than our winter days. “Short-day” onions are better suited to growing in the south, where the length of summer days is less pronounced.

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Onions begin to form bulbs in response to temperature, but also the length of the day. In southern Canada and the northern U.S., choose “long-day” onions. Our summer days are much longer than our winter days. “Short-day” onions are better suited to growing in the south, where the length of summer days is less pronounced.

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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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Lawn is unsustainable. For all its demands of water and mowing energy, it gives very little in return. Space that could be used for growing food, or...

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Lawn is unsustainable. For all its demands of water and mowing energy, it gives very little in return. Space that could be used for growing food, or even simple wildflowers, is dedicated instead to endlessly demanding, non-native grass. On a suburban cul...

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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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Grazing deer can be a major nuisance for gardeners in Coastal BC, on the Gulf Islands, and in the interior portions of the province. Vegetable gardens, full of tender greens and food, should be protected with sturdy fences, tall enough so that deer cannot leap over.

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Grazing deer can be a major nuisance for gardeners in Coastal BC, on the Gulf Islands, and in the interior portions of the province. Vegetable gardens, full of tender greens and food, should be protected with sturdy fences, tall enough so that deer cannot leap over.

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A hybrid is created by crossing two different varieties of the same plant. Crossing involves taking the pollen from the male flower of one plant and transferring it to the female flower parts of a different plant.

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A hybrid is created by crossing two different varieties of the same plant. Crossing involves taking the pollen from the male flower of one plant and transferring it to the female flower parts of a different plant.

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For the best success with seeds, we need to understand them and how they work. Seeds come in as many different packages as the plants...

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For the best success with seeds, we need to understand them and how they work. Seeds come in as many different packages as the plants that produce them. They may be enormous and clunky or tiny like specks of dust....

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You’ve selected your seeds, you’ve invested in unfamiliar seed starting equipment, you’ve planted the seeds — and now the damn things are coming up! What to do?!

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You’ve selected your seeds, you’ve invested in unfamiliar seed starting equipment, you’ve planted the seeds — and now the damn things are coming up! What to do?!

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There’s nothing quite as perfect as a ripe tomato – that distinctive fresh, green smell of a sun-warmed fruit that bursts in the mouth. It speaks of the summer’s heat like nothing else in the garden — but it does require starting tomatoes indoors.

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There’s nothing quite as perfect as a ripe tomato – that distinctive fresh, green smell of a sun-warmed fruit that bursts in the mouth. It speaks of the summer’s heat like nothing else in the garden — but it does require starting tomatoes indoors.

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Plant Hardiness Zones offer general guidance to the kinds of plants that will survive winter in a given area. The warmer the climate, the higher the number of the zone.

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Plant Hardiness Zones offer general guidance to the kinds of plants that will survive winter in a given area. The warmer the climate, the higher the number of the zone.

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All vegetables take a certain amount of time to mature before they are ready to harvest, so it’s crucial to provide that time. There is no point sowing tomato seeds in July, because they take several days (or weeks) to germinate, and the plants will not be mature enough to begin flowering for at least a month after that. 

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All vegetables take a certain amount of time to mature before they are ready to harvest, so it’s crucial to provide that time. There is no point sowing tomato seeds in July, because they take several days (or weeks) to germinate, and the plants will not be mature enough to begin flowering for at least a month after that. 

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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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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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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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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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