Gardening Knowledge

Garden Knowledge 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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The first average frost date for Lower Mainland BC is November 2. This date is reflected pretty closely from the Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands,...

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The first average frost date for Lower Mainland BC is November 2. This date is reflected pretty closely from the Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands, coastal Vancouver Island, Puget Sound, and down to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. That means...

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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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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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The Chafer Beetle Resistant Lawn Blend is one lawn solution for home owners challenged by the animals that feed on the European chafer beetle, and dig up lawns in the process of hunting them. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Chafer Beetle Resistant Lawn Blend from seed.

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The Chafer Beetle Resistant Lawn Blend is one lawn solution for home owners challenged by the animals that feed on the European chafer beetle, and dig up lawns in the process of hunting them. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Chafer Beetle Resistant Lawn Blend from seed.

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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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This biennial relative of White Dutch clover improves soil structure, fixes nitrogen, provides nutritious pasturage, and feeds honey bees. Its widely branched taproots penetrate the subsoil deeply, drawing up nutrients unavailable to other plants. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Yellow Sweet Clover from seed.

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This biennial relative of White Dutch clover improves soil structure, fixes nitrogen, provides nutritious pasturage, and feeds honey bees. Its widely branched taproots penetrate the subsoil deeply, drawing up nutrients unavailable to other plants. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Yellow Sweet Clover from seed.

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The benefit of winter wheat is its hardiness. It all but eliminates winter soil erosion, and then supplies a source of carbon-rich organic matter to till under before planting vegetable crops. Continue reading below for information on how to grow winter wheat.

 

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The benefit of winter wheat is its hardiness. It all but eliminates winter soil erosion, and then supplies a source of carbon-rich organic matter to till under before planting vegetable crops. Continue reading below for information on how to grow winter wheat.

 

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This fast-growing annual produces ample organic matter that can be used as a mulch on the surface, or tilled under to improve soil texture and promote soil health. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow winter field peas.

 

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This fast-growing annual produces ample organic matter that can be used as a mulch on the surface, or tilled under to improve soil texture and promote soil health. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow winter field peas.

 

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Are chafer beetles causing your lawn grief in early spring? Consider replacing your lawn with White Dutch clover, or at least inter-planting with your grass seeds. This clover is very hardy, and will stand up to foot traffic. It can be mowed with regular lawnmowers. 

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Are chafer beetles causing your lawn grief in early spring? Consider replacing your lawn with White Dutch clover, or at least inter-planting with your grass seeds. This clover is very hardy, and will stand up to foot traffic. It can be mowed with regular lawnmowers. 

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When rye pollen is used to pollinate wheat flowers, the result is the remarkable hybrid known as triticale. It has a similar, albeit weaker, allelopathic effect to Fall Rye, but without the dense root system. Its grains are more nutritious than wheat, with less glutenin.

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When rye pollen is used to pollinate wheat flowers, the result is the remarkable hybrid known as triticale. It has a similar, albeit weaker, allelopathic effect to Fall Rye, but without the dense root system. Its grains are more nutritious than wheat, with less glutenin.

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The purpose of this cover crop is not to build soil as much as to generally benefit the garden. This is exactly the same seed that we sell for flower gardens, only in bulk sizes with cover crop instructions.

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The purpose of this cover crop is not to build soil as much as to generally benefit the garden. This is exactly the same seed that we sell for flower gardens, only in bulk sizes with cover crop instructions.

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This fast-growing annual produces ample organic matter that can be used as a mulch on the surface, or tilled under to improve soil texture and promote soil health. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Spring Field Peas from seed

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This fast-growing annual produces ample organic matter that can be used as a mulch on the surface, or tilled under to improve soil texture and promote soil health. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Spring Field Peas from seed

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This is one of the fastest growing grasses of all, growing from seed to mow-able lawn in just 21 days. It’s a very tough, hardy grass that forms clumps, rather than spreading by rhizomes, and it regenerates easily from wear. Continue reading below for instructions on how to grow perennial ryegrass from seed.

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This is one of the fastest growing grasses of all, growing from seed to mow-able lawn in just 21 days. It’s a very tough, hardy grass that forms clumps, rather than spreading by rhizomes, and it regenerates easily from wear. Continue reading below for instructions on how to grow perennial ryegrass from seed.

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Oats are not particularly cold hardy, so a summer planted crop will die back, holding the soil in place, and providing ample carbon-rich organic matter to till under before planting spring vegetables. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow oats from seed.

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Oats are not particularly cold hardy, so a summer planted crop will die back, holding the soil in place, and providing ample carbon-rich organic matter to till under before planting spring vegetables. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow oats from seed.

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We love red clover as a cover crop. Its thick, deep roots access nutrients lower in the soil column than many plants can reach and bring them to the surface. It can stand up to foot traffic, and can be mowed two to three times in summer, extending its bloom period. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Medium Red clover from seed.

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We love red clover as a cover crop. Its thick, deep roots access nutrients lower in the soil column than many plants can reach and bring them to the surface. It can stand up to foot traffic, and can be mowed two to three times in summer, extending its bloom period. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Medium Red clover from seed.

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Use Klondike Ladino clover as a nitrogen fixing cover crop, or as a long term ground cover, either on its own, or in combination with grasses. It tolerates wet conditions and foot traffic. It reduces soil compaction and improves soil health. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Klondike Ladino clover from seed.

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Use Klondike Ladino clover as a nitrogen fixing cover crop, or as a long term ground cover, either on its own, or in combination with grasses. It tolerates wet conditions and foot traffic. It reduces soil compaction and improves soil health. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Klondike Ladino clover from seed.

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The roots of this hardy annual extend deeply into the soil, improving porosity and drainage, and fixing nitrogen as they grow. The tops are lanky and sprawling, and can be cut in spring to provide an excellent mulch. Continue reading below for information on how to grow hairy vetch from seed.

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The roots of this hardy annual extend deeply into the soil, improving porosity and drainage, and fixing nitrogen as they grow. The tops are lanky and sprawling, and can be cut in spring to provide an excellent mulch. Continue reading below for information on how to grow hairy vetch from seed.

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Fava Beans cover crop seeds produce hardy annual, upright plants. This small-seeded broad bean is a popular nitrogen fixer. The large brittle plants work in easily with front end tillers, or can be cut and composted. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow fava beans from seed.

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Fava Beans cover crop seeds produce hardy annual, upright plants. This small-seeded broad bean is a popular nitrogen fixer. The large brittle plants work in easily with front end tillers, or can be cut and composted. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow fava beans from seed.

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This cereal grain grows quickly in the fall and survives winter weather even in zone 3. It bursts into growth in the spring so try to turn under or cut back before it reaches 30cm (12"). It is harder to turn under when it is 1m (3') tall. Continue reading below for some good advice on how to grow fall rye from seed.

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This cereal grain grows quickly in the fall and survives winter weather even in zone 3. It bursts into growth in the spring so try to turn under or cut back before it reaches 30cm (12"). It is harder to turn under when it is 1m (3') tall. Continue reading below for some good advice on how to grow fall rye from seed.

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Within ten days of blooming (or at any time before), Crimson clover produces ample organic matter that can be used as a mulch on the surface, or cut and tilled under to improve soil tilth and promote soil health. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow crimson clover from seed.

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Within ten days of blooming (or at any time before), Crimson clover produces ample organic matter that can be used as a mulch on the surface, or cut and tilled under to improve soil tilth and promote soil health. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow crimson clover from seed.

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Buckwheat cover crop seeds produce hardy annual, upright plants. It grows so fast it can reach 1m (3') tall in only three weeks. Then it blooms with white flowers, attracting pollinating insects and beneficial hover flies. This cover crop grows densely enough that it can be used to smother out competing weed species. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow buckwheat from seeds.

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Buckwheat cover crop seeds produce hardy annual, upright plants. It grows so fast it can reach 1m (3') tall in only three weeks. Then it blooms with white flowers, attracting pollinating insects and beneficial hover flies. This cover crop grows densely enough that it can be used to smother out competing weed species. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow buckwheat from seeds.

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This is a blend of four certified organic clover varieties Ladino, Medium Red, Alsike, and Crimson, with Annual Ryegrass included as a nurse crop that will protect the seeds and soil until the clovers emerge. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Bees in Clover.

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This is a blend of four certified organic clover varieties Ladino, Medium Red, Alsike, and Crimson, with Annual Ryegrass included as a nurse crop that will protect the seeds and soil until the clovers emerge. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Bees in Clover.

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