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Blossom end rot is one of the most common complaints for tomato growers, particularly on plants grown in containers. It’s a complex problem that results...

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Blossom end rot is one of the most common complaints for tomato growers, particularly on plants grown in containers. It’s a complex problem that results from calcium not being available to the plants as the ovary at the base of...

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Prior to the potato’s arrival from the New World, turnip was the root-crop of choice for cool, wet soils, so many northern European cultures have significant relationships with this vegetable. It says a lot about turnips.

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Prior to the potato’s arrival from the New World, turnip was the root-crop of choice for cool, wet soils, so many northern European cultures have significant relationships with this vegetable. It says a lot about turnips.

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Most of the vegetables we eat on a regular basis are cultivated adaptations from some older source. A good example is broccoli, which is the...

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Most of the vegetables we eat on a regular basis are cultivated adaptations from some older source. A good example is broccoli, which is the very same species of plant as cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and kohlrabi. All of...

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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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Many people in North America think of kohlrabi as being a distinctly European vegetable, but it is actually a staple ingredient in many international cuisines. It is has been a popular crop, for instance, in Northern India and Kashmir since the 1600s.

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Many people in North America think of kohlrabi as being a distinctly European vegetable, but it is actually a staple ingredient in many international cuisines. It is has been a popular crop, for instance, in Northern India and Kashmir since the 1600s.

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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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Some types of crops take an awfully long time to mature. To harvest leeks in the summer, the seeds have to be started indoors way...

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Some types of crops take an awfully long time to mature. To harvest leeks in the summer, the seeds have to be started indoors way back in late winter — leeks just take that long to grow. With preparation and...

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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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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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It’s tempting to imagine, when planting a row of spring radishes, that they will be ready in perfect shape at harvest time, free from blemishes,...

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It’s tempting to imagine, when planting a row of spring radishes, that they will be ready in perfect shape at harvest time, free from blemishes, and wholly uniform in size and shape. Typically, though, this is not the case. There...

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The most notable capsaicinoid about peppers is called capsaicin, a crystalline substance found almost entirely in the pithy flesh that holds the seeds in place inside the chili. The seeds and skin contain very little, if any, capsaicin. When eaten, capsaicin is detected by heat receptors in the mouth, and the brain responds as though something hot (in terms of temperature) has been consumed.

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The most notable capsaicinoid about peppers is called capsaicin, a crystalline substance found almost entirely in the pithy flesh that holds the seeds in place inside the chili. The seeds and skin contain very little, if any, capsaicin. When eaten, capsaicin is detected by heat receptors in the mouth, and the brain responds as though something hot (in terms of temperature) has been consumed.

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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 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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Although it’s still cold outside and the days are still short, there are many seeds to start in February indoors. The early start means your...

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Although it’s still cold outside and the days are still short, there are many seeds to start in February indoors. The early start means your seedlings do some essential early development, and when they are transplanted outdoors in the spring,...

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“Green manure” is the name given to cover crops that are planted for the purpose of adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil. These...

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“Green manure” is the name given to cover crops that are planted for the purpose of adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil. These plants can be as effective as animal manure in producing humus, thereby increasing soil fertility...

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What is manure? Broadly speaking, manure is organic matter. Animal manure is the feces of animals—primarily of livestock like horses, cows, and chickens. It may...

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What is manure? Broadly speaking, manure is organic matter. Animal manure is the feces of animals—primarily of livestock like horses, cows, and chickens. It may be “pure,” but it often includes bedding or litter materials like straw or sawdust, in...

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Why grow strawberries at all, when there are so many plump, juicy ones available in the grocery store? For me, that’s like asking, “Why grow...

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Why grow strawberries at all, when there are so many plump, juicy ones available in the grocery store? For me, that’s like asking, “Why grow tomatoes from seed when the stores have lots, even in winter?” Anyone who has enjoyed...

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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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Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) This evergreen perennial herb is native to the Mediterranean region, where it still grows wild as well as domesticated. Its Latin generic...

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Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) This evergreen perennial herb is native to the Mediterranean region, where it still grows wild as well as domesticated. Its Latin generic name refers to the dew (ros) of the sea (marinus). For thousands of years, this...

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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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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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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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