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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Early this year I was so excited to get a hold of African Violet seeds, I wanted to start growing them right away! However, African...

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Early this year I was so excited to get a hold of African Violet seeds, I wanted to start growing them right away! However, African Violets need warm temperatures (20°C or higher) for germination, so I needed to wait patiently...

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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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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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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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Dactylis (orchard grass) is a long-lived and fast growing perennial that produces faster re-growth in summer than Timothy grass. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow orchard grass from seed.

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Dactylis (orchard grass) is a long-lived and fast growing perennial that produces faster re-growth in summer than Timothy grass. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow orchard grass from seed.

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Cloud Grass, a species of bentgrass, forms a diaphanous hazy mist in late summer when its delicate, tiny flowers spread out in all directions. It is useful to know some tips on how to grow cloud grass.

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Cloud Grass, a species of bentgrass, forms a diaphanous hazy mist in late summer when its delicate, tiny flowers spread out in all directions. It is useful to know some tips on how to grow cloud grass.

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Nicotiana flowering tobacco looks timeless in the garden, adding height and airy lightness to any sunny spot. Water during hot, dry spells. Deadhead frequently to keep plants looking neat and to prolong flowering. Stake in windy exposures. Aphids can be blasted off plants with a shot from the hose. Sow on the surface of the soil, and do not cover. Thin to 45-60cm (18-24″) apart. It is easy to grow Nicotiana seeds.

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Nicotiana flowering tobacco looks timeless in the garden, adding height and airy lightness to any sunny spot. Water during hot, dry spells. Deadhead frequently to keep plants looking neat and to prolong flowering. Stake in windy exposures. Aphids can be blasted off plants with a shot from the hose. Sow on the surface of the soil, and do not cover. Thin to 45-60cm (18-24″) apart. It is easy to grow Nicotiana seeds.

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Collinsia is a wonderfully easy annual to grow from seed. Like Alyssum and a handful of others, it's pretty much a matter of simply placing the seeds where the flowers are to grow and add some water. The only challenge with Collinsia seeds is that the plants tend to fade in very hot summer weather.

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Collinsia is a wonderfully easy annual to grow from seed. Like Alyssum and a handful of others, it's pretty much a matter of simply placing the seeds where the flowers are to grow and add some water. The only challenge with Collinsia seeds is that the plants tend to fade in very hot summer weather.

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This hardy, low-growing wildflower mix includes twelve species of annuals and perennials that can be used to replace conventional grass lawns. The blend can also be mixed in with other Lawn Solution seeds to increase forage and shelter for pollinators and other beneficial insects.

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This hardy, low-growing wildflower mix includes twelve species of annuals and perennials that can be used to replace conventional grass lawns. The blend can also be mixed in with other Lawn Solution seeds to increase forage and shelter for pollinators and other beneficial insects.

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There’s no mistaking the colour and stature of annual Zinnias. Plant Zinnia seeds in average, well-drained garden soil, but dig in a generous amount of well-rotted manure the previous fall. Pinch off growing tips early in the season for bushier growth. Water regularly, keeping leaves as dry as possible. Deadhead regularly. Feed once in early spring, and again once flowering has begun. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Zinnia from seed.

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There’s no mistaking the colour and stature of annual Zinnias. Plant Zinnia seeds in average, well-drained garden soil, but dig in a generous amount of well-rotted manure the previous fall. Pinch off growing tips early in the season for bushier growth. Water regularly, keeping leaves as dry as possible. Deadhead regularly. Feed once in early spring, and again once flowering has begun. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Zinnia from seed.

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Unless otherwise stated, all the wildflower mixes will contain perennials, annuals, and biennials. Seeds must come into contact with the soil in order to germinate. Do not bury seeds more than 2-3 times their thickness. Continue reading below for some other tips on how to grow wildflowers from seed.

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Unless otherwise stated, all the wildflower mixes will contain perennials, annuals, and biennials. Seeds must come into contact with the soil in order to germinate. Do not bury seeds more than 2-3 times their thickness. Continue reading below for some other tips on how to grow wildflowers from seed.

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This large genus includes both hardy annuals and perennials that are variously known as pansies, violets, Johnny-Jump-Up, and Heartsease. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow pansies and Violas.

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This large genus includes both hardy annuals and perennials that are variously known as pansies, violets, Johnny-Jump-Up, and Heartsease. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow pansies and Violas.

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The scent of yarrow repels aphids, but their flowers attract hoverflies, lady beetles, and parasitoid wasps that prey on aphids and garden grubs. The leaves and stems of yarrow contain enzymes that break down rapidly, so it can be added to the compost raw or as a tea to accelerate the heap. Achillea is a hardy perennial also known as milfoil. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow yarrow from seed.

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The scent of yarrow repels aphids, but their flowers attract hoverflies, lady beetles, and parasitoid wasps that prey on aphids and garden grubs. The leaves and stems of yarrow contain enzymes that break down rapidly, so it can be added to the compost raw or as a tea to accelerate the heap. Achillea is a hardy perennial also known as milfoil. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow yarrow from seed.

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Veronica is also known as Brid’s-eye and Speedwell. It is a popular hardy perennial that grows upright with multiple spires of intensely blue flowers. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Veronica from seed.

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Veronica is also known as Brid’s-eye and Speedwell. It is a popular hardy perennial that grows upright with multiple spires of intensely blue flowers. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Veronica from seed.

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Tithonia is a heat-loving annual plant that grows very much like a sunflower. It gets quite tall, so works best in the back of the border, but it looks wonderful planted in large groups. The orange flowers of the Mexican sunflower are large and amazingly bright. Continue reading below for guidance on how to grow Tithonia from seed.

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Tithonia is a heat-loving annual plant that grows very much like a sunflower. It gets quite tall, so works best in the back of the border, but it looks wonderful planted in large groups. The orange flowers of the Mexican sunflower are large and amazingly bright. Continue reading below for guidance on how to grow Tithonia from seed.

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Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are annual climbing plants which can grow to heights of 1–2 meters (3-6'). Most varieties require a trellis for support. The flowers range with a variety of colours and intensity of fragrance. They are are a flowering plant in the genus Lathyrus in the family Fabaceae (legumes), native to Sicily, southern Italy and the Aegean Islands. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow sweet peas from seed.

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Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are annual climbing plants which can grow to heights of 1–2 meters (3-6'). Most varieties require a trellis for support. The flowers range with a variety of colours and intensity of fragrance. They are are a flowering plant in the genus Lathyrus in the family Fabaceae (legumes), native to Sicily, southern Italy and the Aegean Islands. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow sweet peas from seed.

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Strawflowers are well known by crafters and florists for their unusually high quality as dried flowers. The petals on each strawflower are like stiff paper, and they unfold from the centre to form concentric rings in bright colours. Officially a tender perennial, most gardeners treat them as annuals and simply sow fresh seed each year. Give them an early start indoors, or direct sow strawflower seeds in regions with long summers.

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Strawflowers are well known by crafters and florists for their unusually high quality as dried flowers. The petals on each strawflower are like stiff paper, and they unfold from the centre to form concentric rings in bright colours. Officially a tender perennial, most gardeners treat them as annuals and simply sow fresh seed each year. Give them an early start indoors, or direct sow strawflower seeds in regions with long summers.

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Sunflowers will grow in just about any well-drained soil, and they are drought tolerant.  Annual flowers that can grow to incredible heights in just one season. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow sunflowers from seed.

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Sunflowers will grow in just about any well-drained soil, and they are drought tolerant.  Annual flowers that can grow to incredible heights in just one season. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow sunflowers from seed.

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Statice is also known as sea-lavender and marsh-rosemary. It is widely grown for cut flowers and for dried flower arrangements. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Statice from seed.

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Statice is also known as sea-lavender and marsh-rosemary. It is widely grown for cut flowers and for dried flower arrangements. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Statice from seed.

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Strawberries are hardy perennials, but the plants become less robust after about three years. Start strawberry plants from seed, and then propagate by cuttings and runners. Continue reading below for some pro tips on how to grow strawberries from seeds.

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Strawberries are hardy perennials, but the plants become less robust after about three years. Start strawberry plants from seed, and then propagate by cuttings and runners. Continue reading below for some pro tips on how to grow strawberries from seeds.

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Snapdragons are of the genus Antirrhinum also known as dragon flowers. They are native to rocky areas of western Europe. Snapdragons are tolerant of heat and cold, but do best in summer, producing the familiar cottage garden flowers. The flowers are pollinated by bumblebees. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Snapdragons from seed.

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Snapdragons are of the genus Antirrhinum also known as dragon flowers. They are native to rocky areas of western Europe. Snapdragons are tolerant of heat and cold, but do best in summer, producing the familiar cottage garden flowers. The flowers are pollinated by bumblebees. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Snapdragons from seed.

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Grow Sisyrinchium once, and the common name of Blue-Eyed Grass will make complete sense. The leaves of this low growing perennial are quite grass-like, and in summer it comes alive with very delicate blue flowers that seem to appear out of nowhere. Below are some top tips on how to grow Sisyrinchium from seeds.

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Grow Sisyrinchium once, and the common name of Blue-Eyed Grass will make complete sense. The leaves of this low growing perennial are quite grass-like, and in summer it comes alive with very delicate blue flowers that seem to appear out of nowhere. Below are some top tips on how to grow Sisyrinchium from seeds.

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