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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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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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Where bees are scant, or in settings like balconies that cannot accommodate flowers to attract bees, hand pollination is another option. The principle is fairly straight forward: Pollen is transferred from the open male flower to the stigma of the open female flower. At this point, the male flower can even be removed and dissected, as it is not going to be feeding any bees or serving the plant.

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Where bees are scant, or in settings like balconies that cannot accommodate flowers to attract bees, hand pollination is another option. The principle is fairly straight forward: Pollen is transferred from the open male flower to the stigma of the open female flower. At this point, the male flower can even be removed and dissected, as it is not going to be feeding any bees or serving the plant.

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Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) This annual herb is known officially as coriander just about everywhere outside of the Americas. We often think of the fresh leaves...

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Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) This annual herb is known officially as coriander just about everywhere outside of the Americas. We often think of the fresh leaves as cilantro, and the seeds (which are very easy to harvest) as coriander. Cilantro is...

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All homegrown vegetables are nutritious. The fact that you can eat them fresh, just after they have been harvested, means that they will be at...

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All homegrown vegetables are nutritious. The fact that you can eat them fresh, just after they have been harvested, means that they will be at the peak of both flavour and nutrient value. But among the many food plants you...

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Rhubarb is a perennial member of the family Polygonaceae, so it is related to buckwheat and knotweed. This plant’s ancestry lies in the western and northwestern provinces of China and in Tibet, where it has been used medicinally for close to 5,000 years. There are many forms of wild rhubarb – all members of the genus Rheum are considered to be rhubarb of one form or another. 

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Rhubarb is a perennial member of the family Polygonaceae, so it is related to buckwheat and knotweed. This plant’s ancestry lies in the western and northwestern provinces of China and in Tibet, where it has been used medicinally for close to 5,000 years. There are many forms of wild rhubarb – all members of the genus Rheum are considered to be rhubarb of one form or another. 

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The bean is an annual plant of the family Fabaceae. This is a huge plant family, with over 19,000 species, so there are many interesting...

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The bean is an annual plant of the family Fabaceae. This is a huge plant family, with over 19,000 species, so there are many interesting facts about beans. Only orchids and asters outnumber the members of this botanical group. Among...

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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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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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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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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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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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Thyme is a woody perennial shrub that has been used as a culinary and medicinal herb for thousands of years. Many species of thyme exist, and nearly all are native to the region around the Mediterranean. In ancient Egypt, thyme was used in embalming, and the ancient Greeks used it as a fumigant.

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Thyme is a woody perennial shrub that has been used as a culinary and medicinal herb for thousands of years. Many species of thyme exist, and nearly all are native to the region around the Mediterranean. In ancient Egypt, thyme was used in embalming, and the ancient Greeks used it as a fumigant.

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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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These two culinary herbs are very closely related, with flavours that are almost indistinguishable. They represent two of about 20 species of Oregano, all members of the mint family, Lamiaceae. They offer a good opportunity to learn more about marjoram and oregano.

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These two culinary herbs are very closely related, with flavours that are almost indistinguishable. They represent two of about 20 species of Oregano, all members of the mint family, Lamiaceae. They offer a good opportunity to learn more about marjoram and oregano.

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Archaeological evidence suggests peas were grown as food crops in Neolithic Turkey, Syria, and Jordan, and in the Nile valley in Egypt as early as 4500 BC. Dried peas remained an important foodstuff in Europe into the Middle Ages, but some time in the late 1600s eating green peas (as we do today) became a culinary fad in France and England.

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Archaeological evidence suggests peas were grown as food crops in Neolithic Turkey, Syria, and Jordan, and in the Nile valley in Egypt as early as 4500 BC. Dried peas remained an important foodstuff in Europe into the Middle Ages, but some time in the late 1600s eating green peas (as we do today) became a culinary fad in France and England.

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Garlic has been used as both food and medicine since at least the 25th century BC, around the time that the pyramids were being constructed...

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Garlic has been used as both food and medicine since at least the 25th century BC, around the time that the pyramids were being constructed at Giza, Egypt. In his Ecologues, Virgil writes all about garlic being consumed by ancient...

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The plant above is spinach, and it’s getting ready to bolt. As we approach the summer solstice, the spring garden is transformed into something quite...

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The plant above is spinach, and it’s getting ready to bolt. As we approach the summer solstice, the spring garden is transformed into something quite different. Various plants begin to behave in new ways. Growth really kicks in for vine-forming...

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Gardening instructions can be full of peculiar phrases from British gardening traditions. “Potting on,” “pricking out,” and “hardening off” are all things we do with...

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Gardening instructions can be full of peculiar phrases from British gardening traditions. “Potting on,” “pricking out,” and “hardening off” are all things we do with seedlings to help them prepare for eventual transplanting out into the garden. Hardening off seedlings...

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There are loads of ways to start seeds indoors in the late winter and early spring. You can use really basic tools like egg cartons...

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There are loads of ways to start seeds indoors in the late winter and early spring. You can use really basic tools like egg cartons on a windowsill, and this will achieve a perfectly reasonable end for most types of...

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Well it’s that time of year again… The 2018 Gardening Guide is out in the hands of many gardeners, and providing a glimmer of hope...

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Well it’s that time of year again… The 2018 Gardening Guide is out in the hands of many gardeners, and providing a glimmer of hope about the coming season. Winter is just about to commence (three more days from the...

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Carrots can be grown quite densely compared to a lot of other crops. They’re not only good for fresh eating, but they store particularly well...

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Carrots can be grown quite densely compared to a lot of other crops. They’re not only good for fresh eating, but they store particularly well for use in the fall and winter — and beyond in some cases. With a...

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About Amaranth: All Amaranths are annuals or short lived perennials with oval, pointed leaves of various colours, which are followed by minute flowers borne on...

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About Amaranth: All Amaranths are annuals or short lived perennials with oval, pointed leaves of various colours, which are followed by minute flowers borne on (sometimes drooping), tassel-like spikes that last until the end of summer. These then give way...

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