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

Eggplant seeds are relatively slow to germinate, and will probably take 10 days or longer. Soil heated from beneath is likely to speed germination and help young plants develop. Aim for around 27°C (just over 80°F). Sow indoors as long as 12 weeks before the last frost to give them a really good head start.

Continue Reading

Eggplant seeds are relatively slow to germinate, and will probably take 10 days or longer. Soil heated from beneath is likely to speed germination and help young plants develop. Aim for around 27°C (just over 80°F). Sow indoors as long as 12 weeks before the last frost to give them a really good head start.

Continue Reading

Many varieties of maize are grown for dried, fully mature seed, which is eaten as a grain, but sweet corn is picked before the seeds mature fully, before its sugars convert back into starch. This is why fresh corn must be eaten fairly quickly after harvest, before it degrades and becomes starchy.

Continue Reading

Many varieties of maize are grown for dried, fully mature seed, which is eaten as a grain, but sweet corn is picked before the seeds mature fully, before its sugars convert back into starch. This is why fresh corn must be eaten fairly quickly after harvest, before it degrades and becomes starchy.

Continue Reading

The precursor to the modern Brussels sprout were likely grown in ancient Rome, and today’s vegetable was perfected and popularized as early as the 13th century, in Belgium, which explains their common name. By the mid-16th century, they were being cultivated in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe.

Continue Reading

The precursor to the modern Brussels sprout were likely grown in ancient Rome, and today’s vegetable was perfected and popularized as early as the 13th century, in Belgium, which explains their common name. By the mid-16th century, they were being cultivated in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe.

Continue Reading

Building raised beds for your vegetable (or herb, or flower) garden requires an investment of work plus the cost of materials, but they will reward you in the coming years in a number of ways. Raised beds are usually built out of lumber, but a wide variety of other materials can be used, from bricks and stones to recycled plastic sheets. The premise is simply to contain the soil within some sort of frame that holds the soil above ground level.

Continue Reading

Building raised beds for your vegetable (or herb, or flower) garden requires an investment of work plus the cost of materials, but they will reward you in the coming years in a number of ways. Raised beds are usually built out of lumber, but a wide variety of other materials can be used, from bricks and stones to recycled plastic sheets. The premise is simply to contain the soil within some sort of frame that holds the soil above ground level.

Continue Reading

Broccoli has quite a few close relatives and variations, and these are designated in botany by the use of “cultivar groups.” Kale and collards, Chinese broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi all share the Latin name B. oleracea, but belong to different groups within that single species. Broccoli itself has several varieties: The most common you’re likely to see in grocery stores is called Calabrese in the UK, and just “broccoli” here in North America.

Continue Reading

Broccoli has quite a few close relatives and variations, and these are designated in botany by the use of “cultivar groups.” Kale and collards, Chinese broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi all share the Latin name B. oleracea, but belong to different groups within that single species. Broccoli itself has several varieties: The most common you’re likely to see in grocery stores is called Calabrese in the UK, and just “broccoli” here in North America.

Continue Reading

The wildflower seeds in our Knee High Meadow Blend produce a waist-high field of brilliantly coloured flowers that bloom over a very long period from...

Continue Reading

The wildflower seeds in our Knee High Meadow Blend produce a waist-high field of brilliantly coloured flowers that bloom over a very long period from spring to fall. This blend is best for areas that will be protected from foot...

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

We like to make distinctions that do not exist in the natural world. Bees are descended from wasps and are so closely related we should think of them as wasps with good PR. So, the next time someone says bees are good and wasps are bad please correct them.

Continue Reading

We like to make distinctions that do not exist in the natural world. Bees are descended from wasps and are so closely related we should think of them as wasps with good PR. So, the next time someone says bees are good and wasps are bad please correct them.

Continue Reading

Known since ancient Greece and Rome, the modern cabbage is a descendant of wild mustard. The Roman statesman Cato the Elder wrote of its medicinal...

Continue Reading

Known since ancient Greece and Rome, the modern cabbage is a descendant of wild mustard. The Roman statesman Cato the Elder wrote of its medicinal properties, “It is the cabbage which surpasses all other vegetables.” The seventeenth century English physician...

Continue Reading

Micro Clover Seeding Calculator Overseeding an Established Lawn:50g for 1,000 square feet250g for 5,000 square feet500g for 10,000 square feet2.5kg for 50,000 square feet (one...

Continue Reading

Micro Clover Seeding Calculator Overseeding an Established Lawn:50g for 1,000 square feet250g for 5,000 square feet500g for 10,000 square feet2.5kg for 50,000 square feet (one acre) Sowing Rate with No Grass (recommended):50g for 100 square feet250g for 500 square feet500g...

Continue Reading

The component seeds in our wildflower mixes are carefully selected using a number of criteria. We select for variety of colour, for length of bloom...

Continue Reading

The component seeds in our wildflower mixes are carefully selected using a number of criteria. We select for variety of colour, for length of bloom time, for uniform height, and overall performance. We also consider longevity a key selling point...

Continue Reading

This blend of annual and perennial wildflowers is selected to attract and feed a wide array of bumble bees. The Bumble Bee Blend Wildflowers are...

Continue Reading

This blend of annual and perennial wildflowers is selected to attract and feed a wide array of bumble bees. The Bumble Bee Blend Wildflowers are hardy to Zone 4, and are best grown in full sun. Different components of the...

Continue Reading

The Biodiversity Blend provides the widest, most diverse combination of flower types in any of our wildflower blends. There are flowers to tempt every sort...

Continue Reading

The Biodiversity Blend provides the widest, most diverse combination of flower types in any of our wildflower blends. There are flowers to tempt every sort of pollinator, but particularly butterflies, wild bees, and hummingbirds. Several species are included that produce...

Continue Reading

West Coast Seeds recently launched the hashtag #savetherustypatchbumblebee across our social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We have been encouraging our followers to...

Continue Reading

West Coast Seeds recently launched the hashtag #savetherustypatchbumblebee across our social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We have been encouraging our followers to re-share our post and tag a friend in an effort to attract awareness to this...

Continue Reading

Through April and May we enjoyed a very robust display of lupins planted around our farmhouse and over the septic berm. The blue and purple...

Continue Reading

Through April and May we enjoyed a very robust display of lupins planted around our farmhouse and over the septic berm. The blue and purple flowers were visible from the nearby overpass and painted a streak of colour across the...

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

Flea beetles are tiny, hopping, flea-like beetles of the genus Phyllotreta. To deal with flea beetles, it’s best to understand their life cycle. Adults emerge...

Continue Reading

Flea beetles are tiny, hopping, flea-like beetles of the genus Phyllotreta. To deal with flea beetles, it’s best to understand their life cycle. Adults emerge from the soil in spring and feed, laying eggs on plants’ roots. They die off...

Continue Reading

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,...

Continue Reading

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...

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

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

The changing seasons, and the longer daylight hours in summer are a result of the angle of the Earth’s axis in relation to the sun....

Continue Reading

The changing seasons, and the longer daylight hours in summer are a result of the angle of the Earth’s axis in relation to the sun. It’s easy to forget how these changes can affect the growth of plants, and in...

Continue Reading

Last summer I planted a few rows of fall and winter harvest leeks in our demonstration beds at Kirkland House here in Ladner. We chose...

Continue Reading

Last summer I planted a few rows of fall and winter harvest leeks in our demonstration beds at Kirkland House here in Ladner. We chose the varieties described as “winter harvest” since they are bred to stand up to frost,...

Continue Reading

This is a list of seeds to start in April for south coastal British Columbia and the US Pacific Northwest. Finally it’s April and we...

Continue Reading

This is a list of seeds to start in April for south coastal British Columbia and the US Pacific Northwest. Finally it’s April and we are past the last average frost date in the BC Lower Mainland. Because this date...

Continue Reading