September 2017

Common Name: White Dutch Clover

Scientific Name: Trifolium repens

Native Range: Europe

Hardiness Zone: 3-9

General Description: White Dutch Clover is a cool-season perennial legume that is used, as a ground cover, cover crop, erosion control, and in pasture mixtures. Many homeowners use white dutch clover in their lawn seed mix as it is quick to sprout and provides soil stabilization and nutrients for the lawn grasses. It has a creeping growth habit and spreads with rhizomes or “runners” and usually matures between 6 – 8 inches tall. Grows best in moist, well-drained, fertile soils, however will tolerate clay soils.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Water: Average, consistent moisture
  • Soil: Fertile, well drained soil

Seeding: Seed at a rate of 1/4 – 1/2 lb per 1,000 sq ft. or 8-10 lbs per acre. Seed during the cool seasons of your area; spring or late summer.

Bloom Time: Spring- Early Summer. White flowers.

Benefits of planting clover:

  • Widely adapted to various soil conditions. Light flooding, periods of drought and clay soils
  • Once established, tolerates heavy foot traffic.
  • Builds soil health. Fixes nitrogen into the soil. Nitrogen plays critical roles in plants (i.e. photosynthesis and protein production)
  • Prized by the bees! Bees seek both nectar and pollen from clovers.

For more information visit Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education

White Dutch Clover, Trifolium repens

September 2017

Common Name: Green Manure Cover Crop Mixture

Contains: Austrian Winter Peas, Winter Hairy Vetch, Common Vetch, Oats and Winter Rye

General Description: This mix is a late season, winter cover crop and will provide vigorous late season growth to loosen the soil and improve drainage. It provides winter erosion control, adds vital nitrogen, nutrients and organic matter to enrich and build the soil and control weeds. The vetches are excellent pollinator plants, attracting honey bees and beneficial predatory wasps. The winter rye and oats will grow over the winter even when the temperatures are barely above freezing and form a thick tangle of roots and tough stalks that add fibrous organic matter to the soil. The vetches and Austrian Peas are winter hardy and prolific nitrogen producers, so you’ll need less fertilizer come spring. This ‘green manure’ can be mowed or incorporated after flowering, before seed production if you don’t want volunteers sprouting up next season.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun
  • Water: Average moisture
  • Soil: Well-drained soils of various quality

Seeding: Plant in orchards, vineyards, or in rotation with vegetable and field crops from mid-September to October to get established before freezing temperatures arrive.  Sow the Green Manure Cover Crop Mixture at a rate of about 1 pound per 500 sq feet, about 50 days before the first killing frost.

 

Why is Green Manure Beneficial?

  1. Enhances soil fertility and soil structure by adding nitrogen and forming soil particles into aggregates
  2. Erosion protection from winter winds. Cover crop roots hold soil in place during snow melt periods and heavy storms.
  3. Weed suppression. Annual rye has allopathic properties that prevent weed seeds from germinating around the root zone.
  4. Insect reduction. Cover crops attract beneficial insects that will help control garden pests including aphids.

For more information visit Colorado State University Extension.

August 2017

Common Name: Red Russian Kale – Organic

Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea var. acephala

Native Range: Europe & Mediterranean region

Days to Maturity: 25-50

General Description: Red Russian kale is a tender and colorful leafy green. This plant can reach a height of 1-3 feet. With blue green leaves with reddish purple veins, red Russian kale is a perfect addition to salads or sautéed in stir fries. When the cold weather arrives, kale will tolerate frost, color will deepen and flavor will be improved. This is an excellent variety to plant for fall harvests. Nutritious, fast-growing and cold hardy.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Partial to full sun
  • Water: Consistent moisture
  • Soil: Well-drained, fertile soil

Seeding:

For summer harvest, direct sow seeds in early spring. As summer approaches, provide light shade to protect against the strong summer sun. For fall harvest, direct sow seeds in mid-late summer. Plant seeds ¼ to ½ an inch deep. After two weeks thin seedling to 12-14 inches apart.

Harvesting:

To harvest kale leaves start from the outside of the plant and pitch off from the base. Leaves should be at least 6-8 inches.

Fun Facts:

  • Kale arrived in the US during the 17th century
  • Seeds can be saved for up to 4 years
  • Love kale? Check out Eat More Kale for fun kale apparel, stickers and recipes
Red Russian Kale

August 2017

Common Name: Bloomsdale Spinach – Organic

Scientific Name: Spinacia oleracea

Native Range: First cultivated in Afghanistan or Tajikistan

Days to Maturity: 45-55

General Description: Very few leafy greens top heirloom spinach for easy-to-grow productivity and nutrition. This fast growing variety produces thick, oversized leaves with a superb flavor. Plants resist tip burn and downy mildew. This variety thrives in cool weather and is a great variety for container growing. During the summer consider providing additionally shade cover. This will prevent bolting during long, hot summer days.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Partial to full sun
  • Water: Frequent, consistent moisture
  • Soil: Well-drained, fertile soil. Avoid acidic soils

Seeding:

Direct sow seeds in the spring once the soil is warm enough to be worked. Plant seeds ½ an inch deep and 1 inch apart. For continued harvest throughout the season, re-seed every two weeks. For fall harvests, sow seeds in late summer.

Harvest Time:

Carefully cut outer leaves when they are between 4-6 inches long. Be sure to leave the center stem so the plant can continue to grow.

Fun Facts:

  • Peas and beans will provide your spinach with natural shade when planted together.
  • Spinach gets along well with cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, onions and strawberries.
  • Seeds can be saved for up to 2 years
Spinach, Organic Bloomsdale

July 2017

Common Name: Dwarf Evening Primrose

Scientific Name: Oenothera missouriensis

Native Range: Southern / Central United States

Hardiness Zone: 4 to 10

General Description: Commonly known as Missouri evening primrose will produce large, showy yellow flowers. As the name suggests, blooms will open in late afternoon and last until the following morning. This is a long-lived perennial that makes a great ground cover around shrubs or in rock gardens. Plant typically grows 6-12 inches tall.

Site Requirements:

    • Light: Partial sun to full sun
    • Water: Low moisture
    • Soil: Wide range of soil conditions: clay, dry or rocky soils

Seeding: Start seeds indoors 8 weeks before last frost date for early summer blooms. For direct sowing in the garden plant seeds in the fall or early spring. Spread seeds on the top of soil and press into soil for good seed to soil contact. If planted in spring, keep seeds moist during germination period.

Bloom Time: May through August

Fun Facts:

  • Fragrant, showy flowers are loved by moths
  • Drought tolerant
  • Seed pods are beautiful! Color is spotted red/pink
Dwarf Evening Primrose

July 2017

Common Name: Jack O ‘Lantern Pumpkin

Scientific Name: Cucurbita maxima

Native Range: Central America

Hardiness Zone: 2-11

Days to Maturity: 100-110

General Description: The Jack O’ Lantern variety is a perfect pumpkin for carving and cooking. Each fruit averages 20 pounds. The skin is deep rich orange making them perfect for Halloween festivities. The shape is a slightly flattened sphere which helps the fruit stay upright. The flesh is richly flavored, ideal for pies and breads. Seeds can be roasted for a nutritious snack.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun
  • Water: Consistent moisture
  • Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

Seeding: Directly sow seeds into hills after last chance of frost. Seeds should be planted 1 inch deep. Plant 4-6 seeds per hill then thin to 2 plants per hill. Seeds will begin to germinate after 10-14 days. When fruits begin to appear, lay straw, hay or mulch around the base of the plant and under fruit. This will reduce the chance of disease.

Harvest Time:

In late September / early October pumpkins will become ready for harvest. Fruit should be firm. For harvesting, cut pumpkin from the vine leaving 3 inches of stem attached.

Fun Facts:

  • Pumpkins are an easily propagated by seed.
  • Pumpkins are very sensitive to frost and thrive in warm soil conditions.
  • Powdery mildew is a common disease. Avoid watering the foliage and water directly at the base of the plant. Give plants plenty of space to allow air circulation.
Jack O'Lantern Pumpkin

June 2017

Common Name: Red Kuri Winter Squash

Scientific Name: Cucurbita maxima

Native Range: Japan

Days to Maturity: 90-95

General Description: Red Kuri is a Japanese winter squash that produces teardrop-shaped fruits roughly 12” long and 10” wide. With rich, buttery flesh and chestnut-like flavor this variety can make a great addition to pies or many baked goods. When grown organically, the stunning bright orange rind can be eaten. Each plant will produce 2-3 fruits weighing between 3-5 pounds.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun
  • Water: Average moisture
  • Soil: Well-drained fertile soil

Seeding: Direct seed when the soil reaches 70°F. Sow in groups or hills of 3-5 seeds. Plant seeds 2-2.5 cm deep. Seeds will begin to germinate in 5-10 days. Thin to the 2 strongest plants per hill. As fruits start to develop, place mulch or straw under the squash to keep them off the soil.

Harvest Time: Fruits will begin to mature in late summer into early fall. When fruit is full size, the rind should be hard and have a rich orange color. Harvest by cutting 2 inches above the squash, stem should be attached. The long stem will prevent fruit from rotting quickly.

Fun Facts:

  • Drought tolerant
  • Reliable yields in cold climates with short growing season
  • Red Kuri Sqaush can be stored in a dry, cool space for 3-6 months
Squash, Winter, Organic Red Kuri

June 2017

Common Name: Lemon Queen Sunflower

Scientific Name: Helianthus annuus

Native Range: United States

Hardiness Zone: 3-10

Type: Annual

Bloom Time: July/August, 6-8 weeks of blooms

General Description:

The Lemon Queen Sunflower can reach a height of 5-7 feet. Petals are pale lemon-yellow with dark brown centers. Butterflies and bees adore sunflower nectar! Plant along borders or in mass plantings to attract pollinators. To increase blooms, keep up with deadheaded spent flowers. Towards the end of the season, allow the last batch of blooms to go to seed. This will be a great food source for backyard birds.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full sun
  • Water: Regular moisture
  • Soil: Wide range of soil conditions

Seeding:

Direct sow seeds in the garden when soil has warmed to 70°F. Plant seeds ½-1” deep and 6” apart. Seeds will begin to germinate in 7-10 days. When planting sunflower seeds a common problem is predation by birds. To reduce predation, cover seeds with straw, hay or fine netting.

Fun Facts:

  • Sunflowers were named for their habitat of facing the sun throughout the day
  • A perfect cut flower
  • Native Americans cultivated sunflowers over 1,000 years ago
  • Thrives in well-drained dry soils
Lemon Queen Sunflower

June 2017

Common Name: Mexican Sunflower

Scientific Name: Tithonia rotundafolia

Native Range: Mexico & Central America

Hardiness Zone: 2-11

Type: Annual

Bloom Time: July to Sept.

General Description: The Mexican Sunflower is a tall, heat-loving beauty that is a must for any butterfly garden. This variety is easy to start from seed and brings vibrant orange blooms starting in July.  Mature plants will reach a height of 4-6 feet, spreading 2-3 feet.

Site Requirements:

  • Light: Full Sun / partial shade
  • Water: Dry to medium moisture
  • Soil: Well-drained

Seeding:

For early blooms, start seeds indoors 4-8 weeks before last frost date. Transplant in the garden after last chance of frost, planting 2 feet apart. For direct sow, seed in mid-spring. Regularly deadhead spent flowers throughout the season to prolong bloom time.

Fun Facts:

  • A monarch butterfly favorite! You can often see swarms around Mexican Sunflowers during migration period
  • Attracts: butterflies, bees and hummingbirds
  • Low maintenance care
Mexican Sunflower

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