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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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West Coast Seeds offers its guidelines to companion planting to you as suggestions keeping in mind, each garden is unique and all of the factors...

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West Coast Seeds offers its guidelines to companion planting to you as suggestions keeping in mind, each garden is unique and all of the factors should go into consideration while planning your garden, including but not limited too sun exposure,...

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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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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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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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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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It’s early July, and squash plants of all types are beginning to bloom on farms, in gardens, and even in balcony containers. Every year at...

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It’s early July, and squash plants of all types are beginning to bloom on farms, in gardens, and even in balcony containers. Every year at this time we start hearing from would-be squash growers with a mysterious complaint: The plants...

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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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These instructions will help you plan your garden, making a cloche greenhouse configuration, choose your covering material and pipe frame. Then they will help you...

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These instructions will help you plan your garden, making a cloche greenhouse configuration, choose your covering material and pipe frame. Then they will help you set up your greenhouse and make the very best use of it for great gardening...

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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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The plight of the Monarch butterfly has been a big news item in recent times. Just look up “monarch butterfly” on Youtube, and you’ll find...

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The plight of the Monarch butterfly has been a big news item in recent times. Just look up “monarch butterfly” on Youtube, and you’ll find scores of videos aimed at Monarch conservation. The Monarch is unusual due to its remarkable...

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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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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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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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At West Coast Seeds we are huge fans of school gardens. Nothing beats seeing a class of happy, engaged kids learning about how soil works,...

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At West Coast Seeds we are huge fans of school gardens. Nothing beats seeing a class of happy, engaged kids learning about how soil works, and how to grow food from seed. The match seems so natural, and yet school...

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