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.

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Dainty Baby’s Breath is actually quite a tough plant. Ordinary soil will do. Be sure it is not too rich, and avoid feeding plants. Cut back after flowering to encourage a second bloom. This species is well suited to xeriscaping. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Gypsophila from seed.

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Dainty Baby’s Breath is actually quite a tough plant. Ordinary soil will do. Be sure it is not too rich, and avoid feeding plants. Cut back after flowering to encourage a second bloom. This species is well suited to xeriscaping. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Gypsophila from seed.

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It’s a slow process to grow Goji berries from seed, but once plants are established, they are highly productive. Plants will produce some fruit in the second year of growth, but from year three on, each plant will provide for healthful harvests of Goji berries. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Goji from seed.

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It’s a slow process to grow Goji berries from seed, but once plants are established, they are highly productive. Plants will produce some fruit in the second year of growth, but from year three on, each plant will provide for healthful harvests of Goji berries. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Goji from seed.

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Annual Gaillardia is known as Blanket Flower and is native to Northern Mexico. They make great cut flowers and look spectacular planted en masse in the hot, sunny conditions in which they thrive. Continue reading for some tips on how to grow Gaillardia from seed.

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Annual Gaillardia is known as Blanket Flower and is native to Northern Mexico. They make great cut flowers and look spectacular planted en masse in the hot, sunny conditions in which they thrive. Continue reading for some tips on how to grow Gaillardia from seed.

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This would-be gum tree is usually grown as an annual. Its peculiar, round leaves are the perfect grey-blue colour to add contrast to cut flower bouquets. With enough protection from winter extremes, it will grow to 7m (22′) tall. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Eucalyptus from seeds.

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This would-be gum tree is usually grown as an annual. Its peculiar, round leaves are the perfect grey-blue colour to add contrast to cut flower bouquets. With enough protection from winter extremes, it will grow to 7m (22′) tall. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Eucalyptus from seeds.

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Known as Sea Holly as it thrives in the sandy, well-drained soil near seashores. The seeds of Eryingium can be tricky to germinate, but if you follow our How to Grow Eryngium instructions, you should have good success.

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Known as Sea Holly as it thrives in the sandy, well-drained soil near seashores. The seeds of Eryingium can be tricky to germinate, but if you follow our How to Grow Eryngium instructions, you should have good success.

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Dianthus seeds produce hardy perennial plants that are colourful, drought-resistant, and bloom in the first year. Learn how to grow Dianthus from seeds in our simple online growing instructions. These short-growing flowers are widely variable and work well in raised beds, window boxes, containers, and even hanging baskets. Add colour and variety to your organic flower garden by growing Dianthus from seeds.

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Dianthus seeds produce hardy perennial plants that are colourful, drought-resistant, and bloom in the first year. Learn how to grow Dianthus from seeds in our simple online growing instructions. These short-growing flowers are widely variable and work well in raised beds, window boxes, containers, and even hanging baskets. Add colour and variety to your organic flower garden by growing Dianthus from seeds.

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Learn how to grow Common Woolly Sunflowers (Eriophyllum lanatum) from seed in our online seed planting instructions. Woolly Sunflowers are sometimes listed as Oregon Sunshine, and it will become apparent why as soon as they open. Don’t be fooled by the name though — they are not actually sunflowers.

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Learn how to grow Common Woolly Sunflowers (Eriophyllum lanatum) from seed in our online seed planting instructions. Woolly Sunflowers are sometimes listed as Oregon Sunshine, and it will become apparent why as soon as they open. Don’t be fooled by the name though — they are not actually sunflowers.

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Here are some notes on how to grow Echinacea. These hardy perennial plants are broadly referred to as Coneflowers. They are highly attractive to pollinators and make excellent cut flowers. They look spectacular in mass plantings.

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Here are some notes on how to grow Echinacea. These hardy perennial plants are broadly referred to as Coneflowers. They are highly attractive to pollinators and make excellent cut flowers. They look spectacular in mass plantings.

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These majestic yet unpretentious biennial plants are perfect for shady spots and cottage gardens. The flowers are highly attractive to bees and other pollinators. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow foxgloves from seed.

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These majestic yet unpretentious biennial plants are perfect for shady spots and cottage gardens. The flowers are highly attractive to bees and other pollinators. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow foxgloves from seed.

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Rocket Larkspur is an annual Delphinium that is native to Europe, but now grows as a wildflower in North America. It is very easy to grow and will tolerate nearly any garden soil. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Delphinium from seeds.

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Rocket Larkspur is an annual Delphinium that is native to Europe, but now grows as a wildflower in North America. It is very easy to grow and will tolerate nearly any garden soil. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Delphinium from seeds.

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This easy to grow annual flower species is sometimes called Chinese Forget-Me-Nots or Hound’s Tongue. It is a relative of borage, and is native to Asia. Continue reading below for our expert tips on how to grow Cynoglossum from seed.

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This easy to grow annual flower species is sometimes called Chinese Forget-Me-Nots or Hound’s Tongue. It is a relative of borage, and is native to Asia. Continue reading below for our expert tips on how to grow Cynoglossum from seed.

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Cosmos will flower more in poor soil, rather than rich, so avoid manures and fertilizers. Pinch out the growing point when plants are around 45cm (18″) tall to encourage bushier growth and more flowering points. Water during very dry spells, but otherwise, Cosmos is well suited to xeriscaping. Cosmos seeds are easy to harvest and save. These annual plants are sometimes referred to as Cosmea. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Cosmos from seed.

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Cosmos will flower more in poor soil, rather than rich, so avoid manures and fertilizers. Pinch out the growing point when plants are around 45cm (18″) tall to encourage bushier growth and more flowering points. Water during very dry spells, but otherwise, Cosmos is well suited to xeriscaping. Cosmos seeds are easy to harvest and save. These annual plants are sometimes referred to as Cosmea. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Cosmos from seed.

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This easy annual plant also answers to Cornflower, Bachelor’s Button, Bluebottle, Hurtsickle, Hardheads, Knapweed, and Star Thistle. We use the genus name to keep it nice and simple. It grows well in any ordinary, well drained garden soil.  Seeds will flourish within the pH range of 5.5-7.0. Deadhead regularly to prolong blooming and prevent self-sowing. Planting several times over the spring will produce a longer bloom time throughout summer and early fall. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Centaurea from seed.

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This easy annual plant also answers to Cornflower, Bachelor’s Button, Bluebottle, Hurtsickle, Hardheads, Knapweed, and Star Thistle. We use the genus name to keep it nice and simple. It grows well in any ordinary, well drained garden soil.  Seeds will flourish within the pH range of 5.5-7.0. Deadhead regularly to prolong blooming and prevent self-sowing. Planting several times over the spring will produce a longer bloom time throughout summer and early fall. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Centaurea from seed.

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Coreopsis is sometimes listed as Calliopsis or Tickseed. It is superbly easy to grow once established and untroubled by insects, disease, and even deer. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Coreopsis from seed.

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Coreopsis is sometimes listed as Calliopsis or Tickseed. It is superbly easy to grow once established and untroubled by insects, disease, and even deer. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Coreopsis from seed.

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Aquilegia is a hardy perennial known commonly as Columbine. The genus includes 60-70 species, including many that are native to Canadian woodlands and forests. They are best known for the exceptionally deep nectar-bearing spurs that jut backwards from each flower. These are enjoyed by moths, bumblebee, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Continue reading below for some top tips on how to grow Columbine from seed.

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Aquilegia is a hardy perennial known commonly as Columbine. The genus includes 60-70 species, including many that are native to Canadian woodlands and forests. They are best known for the exceptionally deep nectar-bearing spurs that jut backwards from each flower. These are enjoyed by moths, bumblebee, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Continue reading below for some top tips on how to grow Columbine from seed.

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Cleome is very easy to grow once established, and may work best from direct-sown seeds. Any ordinary garden soil will work, including dry areas once plants are established. Cleome self-sows with gusto, so if you want to avoid this, remove flower heads before seeds ripen. This annual native of South America is quite drought tolerant so it's good for xeriscaping. Continue reading below for more tips on how to grow Cleome from seed.

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Cleome is very easy to grow once established, and may work best from direct-sown seeds. Any ordinary garden soil will work, including dry areas once plants are established. Cleome self-sows with gusto, so if you want to avoid this, remove flower heads before seeds ripen. This annual native of South America is quite drought tolerant so it's good for xeriscaping. Continue reading below for more tips on how to grow Cleome from seed.

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Plant Clarkia in cool, moist, well-drained soil. Avoid nitrogen-rich beds and planting beside nitrogen fixers (beans, peas, clover, lupins…). Flowering will be reduced in hot weather. While plants are still small, intersperse the Clarkia bed with twiggy branches to provide support as they grow. Tall plants will need staking. Crowding Clarkia plants may increase flower production. Clarkia may self-sow. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Clarkia from seed.

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Plant Clarkia in cool, moist, well-drained soil. Avoid nitrogen-rich beds and planting beside nitrogen fixers (beans, peas, clover, lupins…). Flowering will be reduced in hot weather. While plants are still small, intersperse the Clarkia bed with twiggy branches to provide support as they grow. Tall plants will need staking. Crowding Clarkia plants may increase flower production. Clarkia may self-sow. Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Clarkia from seed.

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Cerinthe (AKA Honeywort) is an elegant looking plant that stands out for its unusual habit. Each stem arches upward out forward with a seemingly endless series of purple-blue bell shaped flowers. This plant works very well in larger containers or flower borders. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Cerinthe from seeds.

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Cerinthe (AKA Honeywort) is an elegant looking plant that stands out for its unusual habit. Each stem arches upward out forward with a seemingly endless series of purple-blue bell shaped flowers. This plant works very well in larger containers or flower borders. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Cerinthe from seeds.

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Learn how to grow Chrysanthemums from seed. These perennial plants regularly undergo name changes, and may be listed as Chrysanthemum, Leucanthemum, Pyrethrum, or Tanacetum.

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Learn how to grow Chrysanthemums from seed. These perennial plants regularly undergo name changes, and may be listed as Chrysanthemum, Leucanthemum, Pyrethrum, or Tanacetum.

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Celosia is a relative of Amaranth, and native to the highlands of East Africa where it is known in Swahili as mfungu. Today’s cultivated Celosias have been selected for the brightness of their colours and compactness of growth. Celosia is sometimes listed by the common names Cockscomb or Woolflower. Continue reading below for our best tips on how to grow Celosia from seed.

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Celosia is a relative of Amaranth, and native to the highlands of East Africa where it is known in Swahili as mfungu. Today’s cultivated Celosias have been selected for the brightness of their colours and compactness of growth. Celosia is sometimes listed by the common names Cockscomb or Woolflower. Continue reading below for our best tips on how to grow Celosia from seed.

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Barely cover the tiny seeds. Use fresh seed starting mix and keep it moist until germination. Harden seedlings off over the course of at least one week. Transplant out after last frost at 25-30cm (10-12″) apart.

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Barely cover the tiny seeds. Use fresh seed starting mix and keep it moist until germination. Harden seedlings off over the course of at least one week. Transplant out after last frost at 25-30cm (10-12″) apart.

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Space or transplant China Asters 30-45cm (12-18″) apart. This spacing is key to success later  in the season, so please follow the guidance. Do not pinch back young plants. Water regularly during dry spells. This plant is particularly sensitive to over-watering, and will not thrive if over-crowded, poorly ventilated, or situated close to a heat-reflecting surface. Mulch around the plants in summer to help keep the roots cool.

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Space or transplant China Asters 30-45cm (12-18″) apart. This spacing is key to success later  in the season, so please follow the guidance. Do not pinch back young plants. Water regularly during dry spells. This plant is particularly sensitive to over-watering, and will not thrive if over-crowded, poorly ventilated, or situated close to a heat-reflecting surface. Mulch around the plants in summer to help keep the roots cool.

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These hardy, but short-lived perennial plants are usually grown as annuals.  Grows to 5–60 in (13–152 cm) tall, with alternately branching, glaucous, blue-green foliage. The leaves are divided into round, lobed segments. Blooms are solitary on long stems which are silky-textured each with four petals. Flower colours range from yellow to orange, flowering from early spring through to fall. The petals close at night or in the cold, windy weather and open again the following morning. Flowers will remain closed in cloudy weather as well. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow California poppies from seed.

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These hardy, but short-lived perennial plants are usually grown as annuals.  Grows to 5–60 in (13–152 cm) tall, with alternately branching, glaucous, blue-green foliage. The leaves are divided into round, lobed segments. Blooms are solitary on long stems which are silky-textured each with four petals. Flower colours range from yellow to orange, flowering from early spring through to fall. The petals close at night or in the cold, windy weather and open again the following morning. Flowers will remain closed in cloudy weather as well. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow California poppies from seed.

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These easy-to-grow annual flowers are also known as English marigolds or pot marigolds. Calendula repels a number of bad nematodes in the soil, but may attract slugs. Plant with tomatoes and asparagus. Please continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Calendula from seed.

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These easy-to-grow annual flowers are also known as English marigolds or pot marigolds. Calendula repels a number of bad nematodes in the soil, but may attract slugs. Plant with tomatoes and asparagus. Please continue reading below for some tips on how to grow Calendula from seed.

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