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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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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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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 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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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 arrival of third week in June brings us the last day of spring and the first day of summer. This year, it will occur...

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The arrival of third week in June brings us the last day of spring and the first day of summer. This year, it will occur at 3:07am (PST on the west coast, or 10:07am GMT) on Thursday, June 21, but...

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

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

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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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In nearly any gardening situation, we have the opportunity to mentor — and to be mentored. Growing food organically is a life-long learning curve. Newbie...

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In nearly any gardening situation, we have the opportunity to mentor — and to be mentored. Growing food organically is a life-long learning curve. Newbie gardeners sometimes feel shy about asking questions, but this is the way to learn. Master...

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CSAs represent one of the ways that small organic farmers are changing the way we think about food, the way we access food, and how...

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CSAs represent one of the ways that small organic farmers are changing the way we think about food, the way we access food, and how we, as consumers, participate with food production. CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture, and we’ve talked...

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West Coast Seeds is a proud supporter of the amazing organization, Growing Chefs. These “Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture” bring food into the urban classroom...

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West Coast Seeds is a proud supporter of the amazing organization, Growing Chefs. These “Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture” bring food into the urban classroom in the form of raw ingredients that are completely unfamiliar to the students. Their mission...

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Food miles measure the literal distance in mileage between the producer and the consumer. They’re used to demonstrate the relative carbon footprints of conventionally farmed...

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Food miles measure the literal distance in mileage between the producer and the consumer. They’re used to demonstrate the relative carbon footprints of conventionally farmed and imported groceries. This isn’t an effort to make consumers feel guilty. It’s about better...

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If you ever find yourself tempted to purchase kale from a supermarket, you really ought to try growing it. By its nature, kale is one...

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If you ever find yourself tempted to purchase kale from a supermarket, you really ought to try growing it. By its nature, kale is one of the easiest, hardiest, and most productive of all crops. It doesn’t need warm soil...

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As we continue this Twenty-one Days of Green, planting trees seemed like an obvious choice. There are several fruit trees already growing on the farm...

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As we continue this Twenty-one Days of Green, planting trees seemed like an obvious choice. There are several fruit trees already growing on the farm at West Coast Seeds, so the idea came to expand the orchard area and expand...

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One of the amazing opportunities facing all gardeners and farmers is planting for wildlife — or, at least, growing food with biodiversity in mind. Organic...

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One of the amazing opportunities facing all gardeners and farmers is planting for wildlife — or, at least, growing food with biodiversity in mind. Organic gardeners understand that soil health is inherently dependent on robust biodiversity in the soil. Earthworms,...

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With just eight more days left to Earth Day, we thought it would be good to list some of the many Earth Day events planned...

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With just eight more days left to Earth Day, we thought it would be good to list some of the many Earth Day events planned for next weekend. There are some big events in the city, and lots of local...

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Back on Day 2 of our Twenty-one Days of Green, we talked about planting chives. We chose chives because they have to be among the...

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Back on Day 2 of our Twenty-one Days of Green, we talked about planting chives. We chose chives because they have to be among the very simplest of all herbs to grow from seed. They are extremely useful in the...

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Grass is used to fill in an awful lot of public spaces. We think of it as the automatic response to revitalizing just about any...

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Grass is used to fill in an awful lot of public spaces. We think of it as the automatic response to revitalizing just about any building or construction site, and since grasses are so darn tough, they seem to thrive...

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Okay – now for the fun stuff. Seed balls (sometimes called seed bombs), are simple balls of clay and soil that contain seeds. They can...

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Okay – now for the fun stuff. Seed balls (sometimes called seed bombs), are simple balls of clay and soil that contain seeds. They can be placed or tossed into their growing spot, and the clay/soil mix provides the seeds...

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