Garden Wisdom Blog — harvest

Bolting

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Bolting

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 plants, while other leafy greens suddenly go to seed. The term “bolting” is not immediately intuitive, especially to new gardeners. But it’s a term that must be understood to maximize success in the garden. All plants have the genetic prerogative to make seeds, but they employ different strategies, and react differently to changes in the seasons. A large number of...

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Overwintered Leeks

category: Articles and Instructions category: Garden Resources category: Vegetable Talk harvest leeks seeds staff-review transplant winter-gardening

Overwintered Leeks

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, but included Alto Varna, which is known mostly as a fast growing summer harvest leek. All these leeks were sown last July, and transplanted into five inch holes in early September. While they are intended for harvest between November and February, they lasted in very good form until late April. While we did harvest a few leeks over winter, the...

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About Dandelions

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About Dandelions

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 of weed control chemicals into their lawns each year in a vain attempt to vanquish this foe. So what is it about dandelions that most homeowners hate so much? There is a degree of old fashioned thinking of lawns as symbols of wealth and status. This historical memory seems to harken back to England in the 17th Century, when tightly...

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Ten Must-Have Seeds for 2018

AAS category: Articles and Instructions category: Garden Resources category: Seed Talk garden-wisdom harvest seeds staff-review trials

Ten Must-Have Seeds for 2018

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 Solstice at the time of writing), but it marks the point when the days begin to grow longer. For gardeners, that’s a key turning point. Our main trial garden on our farm underwent a sizeable expansion in 2017 as we took on seed trials for the All-America Selections, [AAS] as well as our own extensive trials of new products. The...

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Commit to Grow Day 20: Mentor

category: Articles and Instructions category: Garden Resources category: Organic Growing Commit-to-Grow harvest how-to how-to-grow raised-beds

Commit to Grow Day 20: Mentor

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 gardeners understand that there are always more innovations and ideas that will help us rethink and reshape our gardens. At West Coast Seeds, we are very proud of our staff mentoring program. Raised garden beds were offered to all staff as both a hands-on teaching tool and a way to break up the day and relax for a moment. Our...

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