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.

Filters

All Filters
Filters

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,...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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....

Continue Reading

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,...

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Enjoy tasty, succulent, spinach-like leaves all summer, after regular spinach varieties have all bolted. This oddball's closest relatives in the family Aizoacea include some of the most familiar succulent houseplants. It is grown as an annual in most locations, but may overwinter in Zone 8 and up. Continue reading below for some of our best tips on how to grow New Zealand spinach.

Continue Reading

Enjoy tasty, succulent, spinach-like leaves all summer, after regular spinach varieties have all bolted. This oddball's closest relatives in the family Aizoacea include some of the most familiar succulent houseplants. It is grown as an annual in most locations, but may overwinter in Zone 8 and up. Continue reading below for some of our best tips on how to grow New Zealand spinach.

Continue Reading

The trick to growing spinach is to grow it fast and harvest it fast, and use the right varieties in the right season. Spinach bolts as the days get long and when the soil gets hot. That’s why spinach is usually grown in early spring and fall, in low temperatures and short days. Some varieties do a little better in long day, hot conditions. Pick them promptly in hot weather.

Continue Reading

The trick to growing spinach is to grow it fast and harvest it fast, and use the right varieties in the right season. Spinach bolts as the days get long and when the soil gets hot. That’s why spinach is usually grown in early spring and fall, in low temperatures and short days. Some varieties do a little better in long day, hot conditions. Pick them promptly in hot weather.

Continue Reading

Crop rotation is the practice of not growing plants where similar plants grew the previous year. Crop rotation prevents the build up of pests and diseases...

Continue Reading

Crop rotation is the practice of not growing plants where similar plants grew the previous year. Crop rotation prevents the build up of pests and diseases and optimizes the use of soil nutrients. Plants from different “families” need different amounts of...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

In a relatively short growing season, we need to grow most food crops in a fairly intense way. We need to select crops that mature quickly....

Continue Reading

In a 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 several...

Continue Reading

Here's our list of seeds to start in August for fall and winter harvests. These fast-growing seeds are cold hardy, and will thrive as the...

Continue Reading

Here's our list of seeds to start in August for fall and winter harvests. These fast-growing seeds are cold hardy, and will thrive as the nights get cooler in late August and September. Check the first average frost date for...

Continue Reading

Spinach also contains oxalic acid, which inhibits the absorption of iron by the body. The availability of iron in spinach is increased if it is eaten with foods rich in vitamin C and calcium, so mixing it with citrus juice or dairy makes it more nutritious.

Continue Reading

Spinach also contains oxalic acid, which inhibits the absorption of iron by the body. The availability of iron in spinach is increased if it is eaten with foods rich in vitamin C and calcium, so mixing it with citrus juice or dairy makes it more nutritious.

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

Some vegetable varieties thrive in the cool conditions of fall and early winter, and offered a bit of protection from extreme cold, they can be...

Continue Reading

Some vegetable varieties thrive in the cool conditions of fall and early winter, and offered a bit of protection from extreme cold, they can be harvested right through until spring. The best winter gardening varieties actually improve in flavour, texture,...

Continue Reading

As far as the calendar is concerned, spring is half over, despite the sense for many of us in 2017 that is yet to begin!...

Continue Reading

As far as the calendar is concerned, spring is half over, despite the sense for many of us in 2017 that is yet to begin! There are still dozens of seeds to start in May. It can still be cold...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

Now we’re just three weeks away from the longest day of the year (summer solstice on June 21st), so the soil is warm enough to...

Continue Reading

Now we’re just three weeks away from the longest day of the year (summer solstice on June 21st), so the soil is warm enough to plant squash and bean seeds. Even in colder climates where the nights are still frosty,...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

Winter is finally over, and spring has arrived. It’s time to plant seeds! Many gardeners make the mistake of thinking of seed planting as a...

Continue Reading

Winter is finally over, and spring has arrived. It’s time to plant seeds! Many gardeners make the mistake of thinking of seed planting as a one time, annual event, as though it was something to get over and done with...

Continue Reading

Back on Day 2 of our Twenty-one Days of Green, we talked about planting chives. We chose chives because they have to be among the...

Continue Reading

Back on Day 2 of our Twenty-one Days of Green, we talked about planting chives. We chose chives because they have to be among the very simplest of all herbs to grow from seed. They are extremely useful in the...

Continue Reading

Preserving Summer Morning chill and shorter daylight hours signify the slowing down of the summer garden. We harvest and share the last of our favourites...

Continue Reading

Preserving Summer Morning chill and shorter daylight hours signify the slowing down of the summer garden. We harvest and share the last of our favourites – tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, corn, peppers, but we also want that summer taste in the...

Continue Reading

There are many combinations of plants for interplanting – which combination suits your needs the most? One way of maximizing the return from garden space...

Continue Reading

There are many combinations of plants for interplanting – which combination suits your needs the most? One way of maximizing the return from garden space is to interplant crops. This is the practice of planting one kind of crop, and...

Continue Reading