I am THRILLED to announce a HUGE GIVEAWAY and just in time for SUMMER!
From Mary, "In case you missed it, there have been numerous reports over the last few year about mass bee die-offs, CCD and the possible correlation between bee deaths and neonictinoide poisons. It has been argued that loss of bee populations will put human life as we know it at risk. Bees are an integral part of nature and human life."
Welcome to Mary's Heirloom Seeds! All of the seeds listed are open-pollinated, non-gmo and non-hybrid, non-patented, untreated, heirloom garden seeds.
Mary has signed the Safe Seed pledge. Seed Orders placed Monday-Thursday are shipped within 24 hours, except for holidays.
This "BEE-FRIENDLY" Seed Pack Giveaway includes
1 full pack of EACH of the following organic varieties:
I guess I should start out by explaining the term "heaver feeder." In garden-speak, a heavy feeder is a plant variety that requires more nutrients than your average plant. For this article I'm talking veggies. If you're growing a veggie garden or
you've ever grown a garden then you probably know that nutrients are
very important. Sun and soil are important as well (and SEEDS) but
nutrients also play an integral role in plant health. Most "all-in-one" type of fertilizers
have an "NPK" rating. NPK stands for Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium
(potash). What does each nutrient do? In addition to other properties,
Nitrogen helps plant foliage to grow strong. Phosphorous helps roots and flowers grow and develop. Potassium (Potash) is important for overall plant health.
For step-by-step growing instructions, feel free to check out my Growing Tips & Videos page. There is a wealth of info available!
The classifications below are based on having fertile soil at the start. If you have sandy soil or clay soil, amending the soil is important.
Heavy Feeders include Asparagus, Broccoli, Celery, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Melons, Okra, Peppers, Pumpkins, Squash and Tomatoes.
For heavy feeders, work your organic nutrients into the soil approx 3 weeks before planting. If you have already planted, making your own liquid feed is very easy with the right nutrients.
For Eggplant, Peppers, Squash and Tomatoes I usually fertilize every 3-4
weeks, with the first fertilization at planting for the first 9 weeks. Each variety of nutrients will have their own set of instruction. The organic nutrients I use call for approx 1 tablespoon at a time. During the approx 9 weeks I side-dress with homemade compost, compost tea or DIY Alfalfa Tea fertilizer for one or all of the "feedings."
Be careful not to fertilize too close the the stem or base of your plant. Nutrients should be applied at the "drip-line" of the plant to keep from burning your plant.
Moderate Feeders include Beans, Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, GREENS: Kale, Lettuce, Spinach and Swiss Chard.
Beets, Carrots, Leeks, Onions, Radish and Rutabaga are all light feeders. If your radish grows spindly then it needs calcium. Otherwise, just make sure your soil is fertile and you should be good to go.
For moderate and light feeders, work your organic nutrients into the
soil approximately 3 weeks before planting. If you have already planted,
making your own liquid feed is very easy.
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greens have long, broad, dandelion-like leaves with an asparagus-like
flavor. A rapid grower, the leaves and tender spring stalks can be used as early greens. Germination: 45-70 days Days to Maturity: 52-80 days
About Dandelion Dandelion greens contain vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron,
magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, riboflavin, beta carotene and fiber.
They are actually more nutritious than most of the fruits and vegetables
you can buy in the grocery store. It is also touted as being beneficial to your liver, kidneys, blood
and digestion. Not to mention that it supposedly helps with acne,
weight-loss, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is nearly a
From Global Healing Center HERBAL PROPERTIES AND USES: Highly nutritious and
known to treat a variety of ailments, dandelion is a great plant to grow
in your garden. From heart problems to acne, liver diseases to eye
conditions, most people are unaware that this weed has higher amounts of
potassium than bananas and more vitamin A than carrots. Dandelion is
also reported to have anti-rheumatic capacities. It is also a powerful
diuretic with additional laxative properties. Good for hepatic and
gallbladder conditions, digestive complaints, as well as general
Growing Dandelion from Seed Because dandelion is considered a weed, it doesn't take much effort to grow. If you're looking for a low-maintenance garden green.
Plant seeds directly in the garden 1/4 inch deep in the soil in single rows, about 8 inches. Plant the dandelion seeds in early spring in well-drained, fertile soil. Harvesting Dandelion Never harvest dandelions from a location that is near a road or has been treated with pesticides or other chemicals. Harvest leaves as needed when they are a usable size.
If you're growing a veggie garden or you've ever grown a garden then you probably know that nutrients are very important. Sun and soil are important as well (and SEEDS) but nutrients also play an integral role in plant health.
My Organic Peppers!
Most "all-in-one" type of fertilizers have an "NPK" rating. NPK stands for Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (potash). What does each nutrient do? In addition to other properties, Nitrogen helps plant foliage to grow strong. Phosphorous helps roots and flowers grow and develop. Potassium (Potash) is important for overall plant health.
Blood Meal is a 100% natural fertilizer that's extremely rich in
nitrogen. Provides a consistent source of minerals and nutrients for
plants considered "heavy feeders." Keep your plant soil healthy with this nitrogen rich fertilizer
the crops you grow, soil that has been too often planted can start to
lose its growing potential. Over time, the minerals and nutrients
that plants need to grow and stay healthy become depleted. Blood meal
helps restore these lost nutrients and revitalize depleted gardening
Blood meal is an all natural powdered fertilizer that contains one of
the highest, non-synthetic nitrogen counts (12-0-0) available.
Easy to use
Works in gardens, yards, lawns, and soil beds
Perfect for revitalizing soils that have been heavily worked
Scent serves as a deterrent to common garden pests such as rabbits and deer
Also helps accelerate composting breakdown of carbon based composts such as leaves and straw
Blood Meal works quickly, providing “heavy” feeding plants such as
corn, lettuce, and okra with the high amounts of nitrogen. This fast
acting organic fertilizer works to build new growth and keeps mature
plants healthy and green. Blood meal can help brown, spotted, or wilting
plants recover by infusing the soil around their roots with nutrients
and minerals essential to healthy plant growth. More information about Blood Meal
Blood Meal works with bacteria and nematodes in the soil to breakdown
the powder into nitrogen components so plants can more easily absorb
the nutrients. This increased bacterial process adds life to your soil
base, causing increased root growth and a stronger overall root system.
Because Blood Meal has such a high nitrogen count, applications
should be spread out enough to allow time for the plant to use the extra
nutrients. Overuse could result in excessive amounts of nitrogen being
present, which can damage plants instead of feeding them. This
phenomenon is known as “burning” and occurs with nearly all fertilizers
when they are overused. Organic Bone Meal (Phosphorus) 4-12-0
How can you tell if your garden has a phosphorus deficiency? The
easiest way to tell is to look at the plants. If your plants are small,
are producing little or no flowers and have a bright green or purplish
cast to them, you have a phosphorus deficiency. Since most plants in the
garden are grown for their flowers or fruit, replacing phosphorus in
the soil if it is lacking is very important.
Phosphorus is involved in many plant processes, including:
Energy transfer reactions
Development of reproductive structures
Work the bone meal into the soil well if you are planting a new bed. If you are fertilizing existing
plants, rake the top 2 inches of soil around the plants with a bow rake
or hoe to work in the bone meal. Use care to avoid disturbing the plant
I've put off posting about our hyrdo growing experiment. Doc and I are growing hydroponic Scorpion Peppers!!!! These are gonna be some HOT peppers.
Doc is growing his pepper plant in his hydro system and I am growing peppers in dirt. Guess which one is growing HUGE?
Check out this timeline of pictures comparing the DIRT-grown Pepper with the HYDRO-grown pepper.
5/4/2014 HYDRO pepper. At this point, the hydro and dirt grown peppers are about the same. They are approx 6 weeks from germination. Out of 2 seeds we planted in rockwool, only 1 germinated.
Out of the 7 seeds we planted in dirt, 5 germinated. All total we planted 9 seeds and now have 6 seedlings.
5/15/2014 HYDRO pepper. Once the roots grew deeper into the nutrient solution, this plant EXPLODED with growth. It's amazing the difference in only 11 days.
5/15/2014 Comparison between the HYDRO pepper(left) and the DIRT pepper(right).
The HYDRO pepper is a deeper shade of green. The DIRT pepper is a bit taller with it's leaves a bit more spread out. 5/22/2014 Comparison between the HYDRO pepper (left) and the DIRT pepper (right).
The difference in just a week is INCREDIBLE! The HYDRO pepper is growing at an amazing rate.
The stem of the HYDRO pepper
The stem of the DIRT pepper
Check out these ROOTS...
Doc's Hydro Grow Kit is a Brand NEW item we offer in our booth at the Yellow Green Farmer's Market. One HUGE plus to growing HYDRO instead of outdoors in dirt has been NO BUGS! My dirt-grown peppers have already gone through a round of white fly and powdery mildew while the HYDRO-pepper is pest-free.
Doc's Hydro Grow Kit includes
1 food-grade (BPA Free) grow bucket, 1 - 5 gallon black bucket (to keep your roots in the dark),
1 - 6 inch basket lid (where your plant grows) with enough hydroton to fill and 3 cubes of rockwool (both growing media)
1 air pump and 1 air stone with tubing to oxygenate the water. We'll have more Doc's Hydro Grow Kits available this weekend at the Yellow Green Farmer's Market in Booth #281.
If you are interested in indoor lighting and nutrients, please check out our Indoor Growing Accessoriespage. We'll keep you posted on our progress in another 2 weeks. Until then Happy Planting!
If you have a short growing season or want to get a head start, plant watermelon
seeds indoors in individual containers or pots. We recommend using coconut coir pellets, which can be planted directly in the garden with minimal
transplant shock. Plant one to two seeds per pot.
Sow watermelon seeds in hills or rows. For regular watermelons, sow three
to four seeds per hill, spacing the hills eight to ten feet apart. Space
the rows ten feet apart or more, if you have room. Thin watermelon seedlings
in each hill, to two seedlings one week after they have germinated. When
planting in rows, space the seeds four to six inches apart and thin seedlings
to ten to twelve inches apart. For bush varieties, final spacing can be cut
in half or even more if you are tight for space. Days to Germinate: 3-5 days Days to Harvest: 65-85 days
Watermelon prefers full sun for healthy, strong vines.
Companion plants for Watermelon
Planting corn with your watermelon will provide shade for the plants
during the hottest time of the day. Allow about a foot between the corn
plants so the watermelon plants still receive enough sun.
Young melon plants are susceptible to insect invasion, especially
cucumber beetles. Once the plants mature, they can tolerate some leaf
loss due to insects, but keeping companion plants nearby helps control
swarms of pests. Cass County Master Gardeners recommend marigold,
oregano and nasturtium as companion plants for melons.
from almanac.com, Dr. Bill Rhodes, professor of horticulture at Clemson University, offers the following advice on how to tell if watermelons are ripe:
Thump it. If the watermelon sounds hollow, it's ripe.
Look at the color on the top. The watermelon is ripe when there is little contrast between the stripes.
Look at the color on the bottom. A green watermelon will have a white
bottom; a ripe melon will have a cream- or yellow-colored bottom.
Press on it. If the watermelon sounds like it gives a little, it's
ripe. (Rhodes doesn't like this method because it can ruin the quality
of the fruit.)
Check the tendril. If it's green, wait. If it’s half-dead, the
watermelon is nearly ripe or ripe. If the tendril is fully dead, it's
ripe or overripe; it’s not going to get any riper, so you might as well
Stems should be cut with a sharp knife close to the fruit.
Watermelons can be stored uncut for about 10 days. If cut, they can
last in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Wrap tightly in plastic.
Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in moist soil. It
is best to sow lettuce or spinach seeds thinly in rows spaced about 1 ft. apart or simply scatter the seeds in blocks. Cover lightly with
soil, firm in place and water well. Keep the soil moist until
germination. Once the plants have a grown their true leaves, you can
begin to thin the plants to about 6" apart.
be harvested in the cut and come again method of harvesting lettuce.
Cut individual leaves, starting with the older, outer leaves, and
letting the young inner leaves remain and continue growing for a later
harvest. You can also cut down the whole plant, for a larger harvest.
Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep and 3 inches apart. Set out seedlings 8 inches apart.
Indoors or out, thin newly germinated seedlings with cuticle scissors
instead of pulling them out. Chard seed capsules often contain two or
more seeds. If more than one germinates snip off all but the strongest
sprout at the soil line. Gradually thin direct-sown seedlings to 8-12
Harvest individual leaves from the outer area but be sure to leave the crown intact.
picking helps to stimulate the production of new leaves. Rinse leaves
with cool water immediately, shake off the excess moisture, and store in
plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Chards: Bean, cabbage family, tomato, onion and
roses. Don't overlook chard's value as an ornamental plant in flower beds or
wherever you have room for it. Don't grow chard near cucurbits, melons, corn or
Lettuce: Does well with beets, broccoli, bush beans, pole
beans, carrots, cucumbers, onion, radish and strawberries. It grows happily in
the shade under young sunflowers. Dill and lettuce are a perfect pair.
Keep lettuce away from cabbage. Cabbage is a deterrent to the growth and flavor
Spinach: Plant with peas and beans as they provide natural
shade for the spinach. Gets along with cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant,
onion, peas, strawberries and fava bean. Plant spinach with squash. It's a good
use of space because by the time squash plants start to get big the spinach is
ready to bolt.
Heirloom seeds or seeds that have been passed down for generations are
far hardier and as some studies suggest, have more nutritional value
than genetically modified (GMO) seeds.
I don't sell
anything that I wouldn't grow in my own garden. All of the seeds
listed are un-treated, non-hybrid, open-pollinated, non-gmo, heirloom
seeds. Plants are grown using no chemicals.
have been growing my own vegetables and besides the money they save me
the flavor is WAY better than the vegetables available at the
supermarket.It also makes me feel less dependent on the supply and I know what goes on my veggies.
put together a few packages of seeds that seem to belong together and
the individual seeds are available also. Food prices are not going down
and growing your own food, especially heirloom veggies, is a great way
to save money and get more nutrition for your dollar.
From the article, "The cost of fresh produce is poised to jump in the coming months as a three-year drought in California shows few signs of abating, according to an Arizona State University study set to be released Wednesday.The study found a head of lettuce could increase in price as much as 62
cents to $2.44; avocado prices could rise 35 cents to $1.60 each; and
tomatoes could cost 45 cents more at $2.84 per pound. (The run-up in
produce prices is in line with other projections showing that overall
food cost gains are expected to accelerate this year.)"
The prices listed above are most likely an average. Here in Florida, conventionally grown tomatoes are $3.99 a pound and almost TWICE that if you buy organic.
If you follow the Midlife Farm Wife (or read the news) you know that Beef and Pork prices are going up as well.
From her article Beef in the US...The Steaks are High, "Due to an extremely harsh winter and the loss of thousands of beef
animals, South Dakota was terribly hard hit as early as October 2013 as
reported in The Huffington Post,
there is now far less beef available "home grown" beef. Coupled with
the effects of the drought we suffered in the Midwest summer of 2012
which caused many beef farms to liquidate, there were less animals to
begin with, PRIOR to the bad winter.
Back to our country in general. In the 1980's the U.S. there were over
115 million cattle, now that number is less than 90 million which might
explain why we import approximately 15% of our beef from Canada,
Mexico, Australia and South America.Beef is obviously limited and beef
prices are skyrocketing. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that
the average price of ground beef in February 2014 was up to $5.28/pound
compared to just $4.19/pound in 2013. A decade before it averaged
What are my solutions for the rising cost of food? Well, I have several. First...GROW YOUR OWN VEGGIES! It really doesn't take a lot of time or effort to grow a basil plant or even salad greens. Arugula is an easy green to grow and takes approx 40 days. It needs soil, water and sun. Arugula can even be grown in a recycled plastic or wood container. No need to go out and spend a bunch of money. At Mary's Heirloom Seeds you can purchase a packet of non-gmo, open-pollinated Arugula seeds (200 seeds) for only $3.00!
Tomatoes take a bit longer to grow, about 60-90 days but well worth the effort. Mary's Heirloom Seeds offers 21 different varieties of HEIRLOOM Tomato seeds. Heirloom Tomatoes are so delicious and juicy!
Choose from Cherokee Purple, Emerald Green, Amana's Orange, Cherry and Beefsteak varieties. Prices range from $3 to $4 for 25 to 45 seeds. If you've never eaten an heirloom or homegrown tomato you are missing out!
As for meat, we have cut back. I'm not saying we have become vegetarians but we no longer eat meat twice a day. As the primary cook in the house I manage to prepare healthy, well-rounded meals using REAL food (not processed junk). I've decided to go back to Meatless Mondays. This is a great way to eat more veggies and cut back on our grocery bill.
SPROUTS are another way to get nutrient-dense "greens" without spending lots of money or time. Mung Beans grow into Bean Sprouts in as few as 3-6 days. Mung Beans are my favorite! Check out Nutritional Info for Sprouts. SPROUTS can be grown in a glass jar on the kitchen counter. They don't need light or dirt...Just water!
All of the seeds listed are open-pollinated, non-gmo and non-hybrid, non-patented, untreated, heirloom garden seeds.
Mary has signed the Safe Seed pledge. Seed Orders placed Monday-Thursday are shipped within 24 hours,
(except for holidays) Once your order has been processed. Shipping on Heirloom Seeds is Free within the Continental US, Hawaii, Alaska and US Territories!
I know Memorial Day isn't for another week.
However, If you order your seeds NOW then you'll have them delivered before or just in time for
Memorial Day weekend planting!
This Weekend ONLY we have a few SALE varieties!
Stunning violet-blue pods are produced on lovely little bush
plants that do not require staking. The delicious peas are perfect for
soups and stews, or pick small and these can be used as a snow pea. A
great addition originally from Holland.