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Seed Instructions

We are posting our past seed instructions. Click your seed type to jump to each section

Jump to:     Beans     Watermelon     Pumpkin     Lettuce     Arulgula     Collard Greens     Cabbage     Radish     Basil     Parsley     Thyme     Oregano     Cilantro/Coriander     Garlic Chives     Garlic     Shallots     Tulips     Daffodils     Succulents     Tomatoes     Peppers     Potatoes     Marigolds     Carrots     Cosmos     Summer Squash     Sunflowers     Eggplant     Nasturtium     Okra     Sage Flowers     Sage Herb     Swiss Chard     Coneflowers     Wildflowers

Strawberry

Strawberries - Mignonette

  • These tiny seeds can take up to 6 weeks to germinate (be patient!)
  • Use a shallow tray with a well-draining soil mix
  • Keep your tray in a sunny area or grow indoors under a grow light
  • Sprinkle seeds across the top of the soil - if putting outdoors, lightly cover with soil
  • Allow plants to grow strong roots Before transplanting
  • Easy to take care of once it is well established!
  • Small but tasty fruit
  • Unlike most strawberries, this plant has very few runners, making it ideal for containers
  • A disease hardy plant
  • Like most strawberries, use mulch to keep berries out of the soil and their roots protected
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BEANS

Beans - Bush

  • Bush beans will not climb like pole beans
  • Beans can be planted directly about 1/2" deep
  • Beans can be up to 3 feet wide, so keep your plants at least 1 foot apart
  • Plants can take about 50-60 days to mature, then will produce regularly
  • Pick beans when they are 5-7" long
  • Pinch beans off the stalk or pull the stem to ensure you get the full bean
  • Do not pick or handle bean plants when wet as this can spread "rust", a common fungus
  • If your bean palnt starts to lean, you can use a pole to give it support
  • 3 varieties available: Venice, Early Contender, Royal Burgundy (Purple)
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Beans - Pole

  • Pole beans climb and require a trellis or fence (they will also climb other plants, such as corn and okra
  • Beans can be planted directly about 1/2" deep
  • Vines can be up to 10 feet long, so Make sure your trellis is large and your plants are at least 1 foot apart
  • Plants can take about 60-70 days to mature, then will produce regularly
  • Pick beans when they are 5-7" long
  • Pinch beans off the stalk or pull the stem to ensure you get the full bean
  • Do not pick or handle bean plants when wet as this can spread "rust", a common fungus

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SUCCULENTS

  • Tiny seeds, almost as fine as dust can be difficult to handle. Sometimes, in fact, the packet seems to contain nothing except a trace of dust-sized particles.
    1. Use a small pan or pot for sowing, about 4 or 5 inches is adequate.
    2. Fill the pan or pot to overflowing with the seed compost, then firm it first with your fingers, then with a wooden presser (if you have one).
    3. Pour a bit of fine sand into the seed packet and shake to mix sand and seed. If you do not have sand, you can use a fingertip to swirl and pick up the tiny seeds, or tap bag gently over pot.
    4. Sow the seed direct from the packet, tapping it slowly to release the sand-seed mixture evenly over the compost.
    5. Do not cover the seed with compost, simply press them into the surface with a wooden presser or your finger.
    6. Water the compost from underneath by standing the tray or pot in a bowl of tepid water.
    7. Cover with a piece of glass, cling film or seal inside a polythene bag to keep the compost moist and the atmosphere slightly humid.
    8. Remember that very fine seeds have a lower germination rate than normal-sized ones and the correct temperature for germination is very important.
  • Sowing: Sow indoors at any time of year. Fill small pots or trays with a light and well-aerated compost. Do not firm the mixture down too much. Stand the pots in water, moisten thoroughly and drain. You can stand the containers on a tray of damp sand, so that they do not dry out. Scatter the seed onto the top of the compost. Do not cover seed as they require light for germination, but avoid direct sunlight by shading the seeds after sowing.
  • If possible, germinate in a propagator otherwise, secure a polythene bag around the pot or cover the container with glass and place in a warm shaded place. Care should be taken to prevent the pots drying out from below. The majority of seeds germinate best at a temperatures of 68 to 72°F. Germination will usually take 30 to 180 days, patience is required, don't throw away the tray too soon.
  • Once germination has taken place, remove the glass or plastic and move into a good light. Be careful to keep the top of the compost damp. As soon as the first seeds have germinated, remove the plastic or raise the lid slightly to permit some circulation of air. From now on, the tiny seedlings need to be in a good light, but must be protected from direct sun. Shading from all but winter sun is desirable for the first 12 months.
  • Cultivation: Growth is slow, 6 to 8 weeks after sowing, transplant to single small pots (2-3in). Keep the temperature 64 to 77°F during daytime and 59 to 65°F during night. Cooler temperatures at night are better for the foliage pigmentation. Temperatures below 59°F will result in leaf deformation. After 12 to 14 months, transplant into a bigger pot. Avoid over-head irrigation, because wet leaf rosettes rot rapidly. Moderate fertilization levels are required during the spring and summer, but don't fertilize after mid-September.
  • 3 varieties available: Cheiridopsis robusta, Lapidaria margaretae, and Aloe variegata

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TOMATOES

  • Tomatoes are easy to grow, and should be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost
  • Once there is no more danger of frost, you should have fairly large seedlings to transplant to containers or your garden
  • Tomatoes need temperatures between 55 and 85 to properly set fruit
  • Mulching helps to maintain moisture and soil temperature
  • If you grow your plants in containers, be sure to add nutrients to your soil every few weeks, or you’ll end up with small fruits (or blossom-end rot)
  • For Determinate Tomatoes: These are great for a container, or use a tomato cage to offer support to your growing tomatoes
  • For Indeterminate Tomatoes: These are vining tomatoes and need some room to spread out
  • Water your plants in moderation! Too much water, and they crack or develop blossom-end rot, while too little water will cause the fruit to sag and possibly fall off the plant
  • Tomatoes and peppers can be planted close together, but they are the same family, so diseases and pests can affect them both
  • Watch for Tomato Horn Worms (or related caterpillars) which can strip your tomato plants in days and are practically invisible!
  • 2 varieties available: Roma (Determinate) and Large Red Cherry (Indeterminate)

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PEPPERS

  • Follow the same instructions as Tomatoes
  • 3 varieties available: Sweet Banana, California Wonder, and Early Jalapeno

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COSMOS

  • Plant seeds in moist, well-drained soil about ¼-in deep and 12–18 in apart after the danger of frost has passed. If you still have 4-6 weeks before your frosts are done, you can start them indoors. Move them to larger pots when they are 3-4 inches tall.
  • Cosmos like soil that is not too rich, as rich soil will encourage foliage at the expense of bloom.
  • They can tolerate warm, dry weather.
  • Depending on the type of flower (you're getting a variety), cosmos can grow anywhere between 18–60 in tall.
  • When growing cosmos from seeds, it takes about 7 weeks to first bloom. After that, your flowers should continue to bloom until the next frost.
  • If you let the seed heads blow away during the fall, cosmos might sow themselves throughout your garden.
  • 2 options available: Orange Sulphur and "Crazy for Cosmos" Mix (may include Orange Sulphur variety)

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CARROT

  • Make sure your soil is free of stones; carrots need deeply tilled soil that they can push through.
  • Plant seeds using seed strips or individually. If planting individually, plant seeds about 2 inches apart, with about a foot between rows.
  • Gently mulch to retain moisture, speed germination and block the sun from the roots.
  • Soil should be well drained and loose to prevent forking and stunting of the root growth.
  • Once plants are an inch tall, thin so they stand 3 inches apart. Snip them with scissors instead of pulling them out to prevent damage to the roots of remaining plants.
  • Water at least one inch per week.
  • Fertilize 5-6 weeks after sowing. Manure can cause carrots to fork and send out little side roots. Don’t use it before you plant your seeds.
  • For the Fall: Carrots taste much better after a couple of frosts. Following the first hard frost in the fall, cover carrot rows with an 18-inch layer of shredded leaves to preserve them for harvesting later.
  • 2 varieties available: Rainbow and Parisian

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SUNFLOWER

  • Sunflowers are fairly easy to grow, as long as they get sunshine, water, and occasional fertilizer. They are not usually bothered by pests (except for birds eating freshly planted seeds
  • IMPORTANT: Sunflowers leach a chemical into the soil that will prevent some plants from growing near them. Keep them in a separate area of the garden and rotate your sunflower location to prevent chemical buildup
  • Sunflowers need to be planted somewhere that gets about 6 hours of sun each day
  • Mammoth variety can get up to 10 feet tall - these will need support of some kind, dwarf varieties are usually about 2 feet tall
  • 2 varieties available: Mammoth Grey-striped and Sunspot Dwarf

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SQUASH

  • If you are experiencing freezing temperatures, start your seeds indoors in a tray
  • Use compost or soil additives to feed squash - this will help to avoid blossom-end rot
  • Most summer squash varieties tend not to spread, but it's best to plant seeds about 1" deep and 2-3 feet apart
  • Water consistently - soil should be moist about 4" down
  • Squash vines are usually hollow to allow water to travel freely - this makes them especially susceptible to Squash Vine Borers (see our blog for more details)
  • Squash have 2 flower types, male, which appear first and look like a normal flower, and female, which have a bulb/baby squash starte. If your squash still has a flower on the end, it is not ready for harvest and can still suffer blossom-end rot
  • Harvest squash when they are large enough for your use (when squash gets too large, it can be tough/woody and the seeds will need to be removed when cooking)
  • 2 varieties available: Early Summer Crookneck and Dark Green Zucchini

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OKRA

  • Plant okra in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun about ½ to 1 inch deep and 12 to 18 inches apart
  • You can soak the seeds overnight in tepid water to help speed up germination
  • Okra plants get tall, space out the rows 3 - 4 feet apart (by the end of the season they can be well over 7 feet!)
  • Add mulch to reduce nearby weeds
  • Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 NPK
  • Thin plants when they are 3" tall to 10 to 18 inches apart
  • Keep well watered throughout the summer months 1"/week, use more if you are in a hot, arid region
  • Okra are usually ready to harvest in 50-60 days
  • After the first harvest, remove the lower leaves to help speed up production
  • Harvest okra when small (2-3" long), and the tip is flexible, these are the best for eating/pickling/canning
  • Cut the stem just above the cap with a knife or shears
  • If your okra get too large, is too hard to cut, or the tip has become rigid, leave these to develop seeds for next year
  • Wear gloves/long sleeves when cutting the Burgundy okra, the tiny spines can irritate your skin
  • To store okra, put the uncut and uncooked pods into ziploc bags to freeze, or can/pickle them.
  • 3 varieties available: Emerald, Red Burgundy, and Clemson Spineless

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SAGE

Sage Flowers

All Sage flower seed species benefit from being started indoors, but they grow fairly reliably
if sown outdoors in warm soil where summers are hot.
  • Plant Sage seeds outdoors after frost danger has passed and prepare soil by weeding it and loosening it
  • Lightly rake seeds into the soil and keep the seeds and young seedlings moist until well-established
  • If you want to save your seeds for spring, start these seeds indoors 10 weeks before last frost. Sow in starter trays, press the seed
    into the soil and barely cover. Sage needs light to germinate. When the frost season has passed, transplant the seedlings
    into the garden 12 - 18 inches apart in a sunny location
  • Give them plenty of water in dry weather
  • Seeds will fall into the soil and germinate continuously all year except during freezing temperatures
  • Great for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds!
  • 3 varieties available: Scarlet, Blue, and White Swan

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Sage Herb

  • If growing indoors, start anytime. Do not move outside until there is no danger of frost
  • Plant in loose/well-drained soil
  • Water regularly, to ensure the plants do not dry out
  • Plants can grow up 30" (outdoors)
  • If planting outside, keep away from cucumbers
  • Harvest sparingly during the first year until the plant is established
  • Prune any heavier/thicker stems in spring
  • Use sage fresh or dried (fresh is best!)

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SWISS CHARD

Swiss Chard does well in practically every season!
Did you know: Swiss Chard is actually a type of beet that doesn't produce a bulbous root!
  • You can soak the seeds in water for 15 minutes to help speed up germination
  • Start your seeds as soon as possible, or if waiting til spring, be sure that the soil is at least 50°F
  • Swiss Chard needs loose, well-draining soil with full sun to partial shade (they like shade)
  • Keep your Swiss Chard well spaced (they can get quite large, but need a minimum of 6-12")
  • If you're expecting early frosts, use a hoop house or row covers to protect your plants and extend your season
  • Swiss Chard can be harvested when it is 9-12" tall, but can grow up to 2 feet
  • Plant near tomatoes, cabbage and brassicas, alliums, beans, radish, lettuce, mint, and celery
  • AVOID planting near most herbs, potatoes, corn, cucumbers, and melons
  • Swiss Chard is a perfect plant for containers and can be grown indoors for a year-round supply (just give extra water)
  • Swiss Chard is super hardy - it tolerates summer heat, poor soil, neglect, and light frosts (not frozen ground)
  • When harvesting, remove no more than half the stems and leaves, use fresh or cooked
  • If the plant bolts (goes to seed), the leaves will taste bitter
  • 3 varieties available: Rainbow, Fordhook, Large White Rib

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CONEFLOWERS

  • Plant in an area of your garden that will get at least 6 hours of sun each day
  • If your area has cold winters, plant in the fall so that the seeds can chill, in warmer areas,
    put your seeds in the fridge about 3 weeks before planting in early spring
  • Coneflowers are fairly drought resistant and thrive in dry summers, so avoid overwatering
  • Coneflowers don't need a lot of fertilizer, but if your flowers are small, work in some compost to the roots
  • Cut back coneflowers to rejuvenate them and grow new blooms until the first frost
  • Coneflowers reseed themselves year after year and are great pollinator attractors
  • 3 varieties available: Mexican Hat, White Swan, and "Conehead" Mix

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