May 2017

Common Name: Lemon Basil

Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum

Native Range: India

Days to Maturity: 80-90 days

General Description:

Lemon basil is a heat loving heirloom herb. Intense, citrus flavor makes a great addition to many cuisines. A great variety for container planting. Lemon basil will reach a height of 12-24 inches. Basil is very susceptible to frost and cold-weather injury. Consider drying leaves or making pesto!

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun / part shade
  • Water: Average moisture
  • Soil: Well-drained, fertile soil

Seeding:

Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date. Sow seeds and lightly cover with a thin layer of sand. Be careful, seeds are small so they do not need to be buried.

Seeds can also be sown directly in the garden once the soil is warm enough (60-70°F).

In mid-May, transplant into the garden once danger of frost has past. Space plants 10 inches apart. Be sure to give them plenty of room for good air circulation.

Bloom Time: Mid-Summer. Lemon basil will produce white flowers.

Harvest Time:

Leaves can be harvested once the plant has produced at least six sets of leaves around the stem. Harvest by pinching off leaves. It is recommended to harvest no more than 20% of leaves. Harvest regularly to encourage growth and flavor.

Fun Facts:

  • When mass planted, basil is very attractive to many pollinators. If allowed to bloom, bumble bees, sweat bees, honey bees, syrphid flies and tiny beneficial wasps will be frequent visitors.
  • Picture below shows a metallic green sweat bee foraging on lemon basil flowers.
HERB, Organic Basil, Lemon

May 2017

Common Name: Borage

Scientific Name: Borago officinalis

Native Range: Mediterranean region

Hardiness Zone: 2 to 11

General Description: Borage is an easy to grow annual that readily self-seeds. Blue, star-shaped flowers make for a showy display in the garden. Stems and leaves are covered with bristly hairs. Both flowers and leaves are edible, with a mild cucumber taste. Mature plant will reach a height of 1-3 feet. This bushy plant will tolerant drought conditions and tends to be avoided by deer. Plant borage around your tomato plants to repel pests such as hornworms.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun / part shade
  • Water: Dry to light moisture
  • Soil: Well-drained, tolerant poor soils

Seeding:

In the spring, sow seeds outdoors a week – two weeks before last frost date. Plant seeds ¼ – ½ an inch deep and 24 inches apart. Be sure to cover seeds well as they need darkness to germinate.

It is not recommended to start indoors and transplant. Borage does not like to be moved.

Bloom Time: June- August

Fun Facts:

  • Attracts LOTS of honey bees and bumble bees
  • Borage honey is a light amber to white color with a distinct sweet taste
  • As flowers age, blue color turns pinkish white

April 2017

Common Name: Aunt Ruby’s German Green Tomato ORGANIC

Scientific name: Lycopersicon esculentum (Solanaceae Family)

Native Range: North America

Days to Maturity: 85 days

General Description: This is an heirloom beefsteak variety with indeterminate habit.  The fruit ripens to a pale green with a hint of yellow and a pink blush that runs to the interior.  These 5″ diameter tomatoes have a juicy, slightly spicy, fruity flavor. One of the largest green beefsteak varieties. Be sure to rotate planting location every three years. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and need LOTS of nutrients to produce fruit.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full Sun
  • Water: Consistent moisture
  • Soil: Fertile, rich soil, high in nutrients

Seeding: Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date for your area. Begin by sowing seeds in one container. Cover seeds with soil; they will germinate better in the dark. When seedlings reach 2 inches, transplant into individual pots. When transplanting, set the seedling deep into the soil. Depth will encourage more root formation. Once you are ready to plant in the garden, harden off your seedlings by setting them outside after last chance of frost.

Once established in the garden, they will need staking or additional support due to weight of fruit. Water regularly at ground level and fertilize once plants are 6 inches tall. Fertilize a second time in mid-summer.

Harvest Time: Pick fruit carefully when they have turned pale yellow-green. Tomatoes should be firm when picked. They will soften after harvest.

Fun Facts:

  • Open-pollinated
  • Indeterminate varieties will continue to grow, produce flowers and fruit all season until killed by frost.
Tomato, Organic Aunt Ruby's German Green

April 2017

Common Name: Sweet Chocolate Pepper ORGANIC

Scientific Name: Capsicum annuum (Solanaceae Family)

Native Range: Tropical America

Days to Maturity: 58-86 days

General Description: These sweet, medium sized, tomato-shaped peppers are great for northern gardens.  Chocolate-red, three or four-lobed fruits are early to mature.  Fruits ripen from green to deep chocolate with dark red interiors. Great for all purposes!

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full Sun
  • Water: Consistent moisture
  • Soil: Well-drained, fertile soil

Seeding: Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date of your area.  Sow seeds in one pot and cover lightly with soil. For better germination provide bottom heat using a heat mat. Peppers will germinate better at 80°-85° F. Transplant seedlings into individual pots and harden them off a week or two before last frost. Space plants 12-15 inches apart in the garden. Water regularly and fertilize when plants reach 6 inches tall.

Harvest Time: Carefully remove peppers from the plant when they reach full size (3-4 inches). Fruit should be ready by early-mid season. Sweet Chocolate Peppers are good to eat at any time but become sweeter when they remain on the plant until they are dark brown.

Fun Facts:

  • Rare seeds!
  • Abundant phosphorus and calcium is needed for the best harvest.
Pepper, Organic Sweet Chocolate

March 2017

Common Name: Sugar Ann Snap Pea

Scientific Name: Pisum sativum var. sativum


Native Range
: Central Asia and Middle East

Hardiness Zone: 3-11

Days to Maturity: 52-75

General Description: A cool season crop, great for small gardens! Extra sweet pods arrive about 14 days earlier than other Sugar Snap varieties. Bushy vines will reach 24-30” tall and do not need support. Edible pods are medium green 2.5-3” with about 7 peas. Enjoy fresh from the garden or steam and add to a stir fry.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun – part shade
  • Water: Moderate moisture
  • Soil: Loamy, well-drained

Seeding: Directly sow into garden soil as soon as soil can be worked (late March- early April).  Peas will have better germination in warmer soils (60°F or warmer).  Sow seeds again in early-mid May for increased harvest. Seeds should be planted ½-1 inch deep and 2-4 inches apart. Keep soil moist during germination period.

Harvest Time: Pick pods when they reach 2.5-3”. To encourage production, do not allow excess pods to remain on vine.

Fun Facts:

  • Flowers are white and violet, arriving as early as late spring.
  • Powdery Mildew is a common disease. To prevent, avoid wetting foliage and water at the base of the plant. Space plants evenly to allow for air circulation.
Pea, Sugar Ann

March 2017

Common Name: Blue Flax

Scientific Name: Linum lewisii

Native Range: Europe and Asia

Hardiness Zone: 3-9

General Description: Five petal flowers ranging from vibrant blue to light blue on tall branching stalks. Foliage tends to be light to medium green. Blue flax will reach a height of 1-2 feet with a spread of 1 foot. This perennial is non-aggressive and will self-seed during the fall. USDA noted blue flax for their value in erosion control. Consider mass planting for an eye catching display.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun
  • Water: Light moisture (will tolerant dry soils once established)
  • Soil: Well-drained

Seeding: Sow seeds directly in the garden in early spring or late fall. For spring planting, sow one month prior to last frost date. Soil should be lightly tilled or raked to promote good seed-to-soil contact. Broadcast seeds and gently cover with soil. Keep the area moist for germination period. For late fall planting, sow seeds in soil after November 1st. The seed will lie dormant through the winter and germinate in spring as the days become warm.

Bloom Time: Early summer – midsummer, 6 week bloom period. To encourage blooms trim back spent flowers.

Fun Facts:

  • US Native Plant
  • Deer resistant
  • Drought tolerant
Blue Lewis Flax

                                February 2017

Common Name: Scarlet Nantes CarrotScarlet Nantes Carrot

Scientific Name: Dacus carota var. sativus

Native Range: Mediterranean Region

Hardiness Zone: 4 to 10

Days to Maturity: 65-75

General Description: Scarlet Nantes Carrot is a standard market carrot that has a long, cylindrical shape and a rich reddish-orange color. Flavor is sweet and delicious. Roots are fine-grained, containing almost no core. High moisture content makes this variety perfect for juicing. Carrots can reach up to 7 inches long. To prevent diseases, rotate planting location every season.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun. Will tolerate very light shade.
  • Water: Moderate moisture. Crusted soil can suppress germinated sprouts.
  • Soil: Well-drained soil with organic matter. Area needs to be free of stones.

Seeding:

This cool-weather crop is easily overplanted due to its fine seeds. Sow seeds directly into loose soil in early spring 2-3 weeks before last frost date. Carrots are slow to germinate, emerging in 2-4 weeks. Cover seeds with ¼ inch of soil—no more than ½ an inch. Lightly water seeds everyday for best germination. Once sprouts emerge thinning is critical to reduce competition. Thin seedlings to 1/2 – 1 inch spacing. Best time for thinning is when soil is damp. Plant seeds every 2-3 weeks throughout midsummer for continuous harvest.

Harvest Time:

Start harvesting as soon as carrots have reached desired size (up to 7 inches). Try pulling up one at a time to check size. Watering the area before harvest can make pulling by hand easier. Harvest by mid-September to avoid pest damage.

Fun Facts:

  • Carrots are a great source of fiber, potassium and vitamin A.
  • Carrot greens can be used in soup stock, pesto, curries or tea.
  • Common pest: carrot rust fly
  • British gardeners plant sage around the area to repel the carrot fly
Scarlet Nantes Carrot

February 2017

Common Name: Detroit Dark Red BeetDetroit Dark Red Beet

Scientific Name: Beta vulgaris var. crassa

Native Range: Europe & Asia

Hardiness Zone: 2-7. For zones 8-11 grow as a fall crop

Days to Maturity: 55-65

General Description: The Detroit Dark Red Beet is the most popular all-purpose red beet. It is globe-shaped, tender with blood red flesh that is sweet and delicious. Beets are easy to grow and tolerate a wide range of climates. Beets prefer cool weather; in zones 8-11 where summers can be hot, grow them as a fall, winter or early spring crop.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun to part shade
  • Water: Consistent moisture
  • Soil: Well-drained, sandy loam soil high in organic matter. Avoid acidic soil areas.

Seeding:

Sow seeds directly into soil in early spring as soon as soil can be worked. Beets tend to have spotty germination. Pre-soaking seeds for 1-2 hours will soften seed coat and speed germination. Plant seeds ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart. Seeds need close contact with the soil; it is best practice to press down on soil after planting. Sprouts will emerge in 10-20 days. Thin seedlings when they reach 4-5 inch to 3 inches apart.

Harvest Time:

Pull up plants when exposed root tops are 2 inches across.

Fun Facts:

  • Reddish green leaves make a great addition to summer salads
  • Planting garlic and mint with your beets will improve the growth and flavor
  • Beets are very sensitive to toxic substances in the soil and may not germinate if planted near walnut trees or soils containing herbicides
Beet, Detroit Dark Red

American Flag Leek

January 2017

Common Name: American Flag Leek

Scientific Name: Allium ampeloprasum

Native Range: Egypt

Hardiness Zone: 2 to 5

Days to maturity: 120-155

General Description: Leeks require a long season, but are otherwise very easy to grow and the mild onion flavor makes a great addition to many soups, stews, sautés or salads. Start the tiny seeds indoors in early spring, setting out any time after hard frosts are gone—seedlings can tolerate a few degrees of frost.  As the plants start to become larger, earth up soil or mulch, covering the stems, which then blanch or turn white and improves their flavor.  American Flag Leek has blue-green leaves with thick white stalks and will make an attractive and tasty addition to your vegetable garden.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Water: Medium moisture and tolerates some periods of drought
  • Soil: Well-drained soil with high organic matter.

Seeding:

Start the tiny seeds indoors during February or 6-8 weeks before last frost date. Seeds should be planted in soil 1/4 to 1/2 inch in depth. Seedlings will begin sprouting between 5-7 days. For direct seeding, sow seeds in mid-late April. For transplanting, space seedlings 3-4 inches apart in the garden.

Harvest Time:

When tops are 8-12 inches and white stalks are 1 inch in diameter.

Fun Facts:

  • Leeks are a great source of fiber, folic acid, vitamins B6 and C, manganese and iron.
  • Leeks are cold tolerant so they can be left in the garden for fall harvest but should be lifted and stored before bitter cold arrives.
Leek, Organic American Flag

January 2017Walla Walla Onion

Common Name: Walla Walla Sweet Onion

Scientific Name: Allium cepa

Native Range: Corsica

Hardiness Zone: 2 to 5

Days to Maturity: 90-100

General Description: Walla Walla Sweet Onions are an heirloom from the early 1900’s.  They are large and (you guessed it) sweeter than typical onions.  They have a slightly flattened, round shape with light brown skin and creamy white flesh. Plants will reach a height of 10-12 inches with fruits sizes between 4-6 inches.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun to partial sun.
  • Water: Moderate moisture until tops fall over.
  • Soil: Fertile well-drained soil. For sweeter onions, avoid fertilizing with gypsum.

Seeding:

Begin planting onion seeds indoors between January and February. Use fresh seeds because onions will lose their viability after 2 years. Set out starts a month or six weeks before your frost-free date. For direct seeding, sow seeds at a depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch during mid-late March to April. Seedlings will start to sprout within 10-14 days. Thin to 4 inches apart when seedlings have 5-10 leaves.

Harvest Time: Can be harvested for fresh eating at any size. As summer progresses, days become warmer and longer which encourages bulbing (formation of underground tissue). By late August the tops of plants will begin to fall to the ground and watering is no longer needed. Once most of the tops are on the ground, bulbs will be ready for harvest in a week or two. Harvest by pulling the neck and lift the onions out of the ground. Leave onions on top of soil for 3-5 days to let cure for better storage properties.

Fun Facts:

  • The Washington State Vegetable is the Walla Walla Sweet Onion.
  • Onions are an excellent source of vitamin C, B6, Folate, and manganese.
  • Slice into planks, grill until caramelized and enjoy your summer bounty!
Walla Walla Sweet Onion