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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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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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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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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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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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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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Planting to attract predatory insects is one of the key tactics for pest control in an organic garden system. Insects, like plants, come in all shapes and sizes, and play many different roles in the environment as well as in your garden. As sure as some insects are pests others are positively beneficial.

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Planting to attract predatory insects is one of the key tactics for pest control in an organic garden system. Insects, like plants, come in all shapes and sizes, and play many different roles in the environment as well as in your garden. As sure as some insects are pests others are positively beneficial.

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Plants need water – that’s a fact. And many vegetable crops need quite a lot of water (along with sunshine and nutrients) to produce the...

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Plants need water – that’s a fact. And many vegetable crops need quite a lot of water (along with sunshine and nutrients) to produce the tasty roots and fruits that nourish us year round. Part of the goal of organic...

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What the heck is xeriscaping? Simply put, xeriscaping is a system of landscaping with water conservation as the priority. In areas that receive little rainfall...

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What the heck is xeriscaping? Simply put, xeriscaping is a system of landscaping with water conservation as the priority. In areas that receive little rainfall in the summer, some thoughtful xeriscaping will allow flowering plants to thrive, adding visual appeal...

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Most of the vegetables we eat on a regular basis are cultivated adaptations from some older source. A good example is broccoli, which is the...

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Most of the vegetables we eat on a regular basis are cultivated adaptations from some older source. A good example is broccoli, which is the very same species of plant as cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and kohlrabi. All of...

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There are some very interesting facts about tomatoes. No one can say for certain, but the ancestor of all modern tomato varieties appears to have...

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There are some very interesting facts about tomatoes. No one can say for certain, but the ancestor of all modern tomato varieties appears to have been a scrambling vine that was native to the highlands of Peru. Archaeological evidence suggests...

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In our relatively short growing season, we need to grow most food crops in a fairly intense way. We need to select crops that mature...

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In our relatively short growing season, we need to grow most food crops in a fairly intense way. We need to select crops that mature quickly. Some crops, like mescluns and salad greens grow so fast that we can take...

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The wildflower seeds in our Knee High Meadow Blend produce a waist-high field of brilliantly coloured flowers that bloom over a very long period from...

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The wildflower seeds in our Knee High Meadow Blend produce a waist-high field of brilliantly coloured flowers that bloom over a very long period from spring to fall. This blend is best for areas that will be protected from foot...

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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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Known since ancient Greece and Rome, the modern cabbage is a descendant of wild mustard. The Roman statesman Cato the Elder wrote of its medicinal...

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Known since ancient Greece and Rome, the modern cabbage is a descendant of wild mustard. The Roman statesman Cato the Elder wrote of its medicinal properties, “It is the cabbage which surpasses all other vegetables.” The seventeenth century English physician...

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This blend of annual and perennial wildflowers is selected to attract and feed a wide array of bumble bees. The Bumble Bee Blend Wildflowers are...

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This blend of annual and perennial wildflowers is selected to attract and feed a wide array of bumble bees. The Bumble Bee Blend Wildflowers are hardy to Zone 4, and are best grown in full sun. Different components of the...

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