• Heirloom Seeds

How to Grow Garlic

"Garlic"

How to Grow Garlic

 

This slow-growing, sustainable root is a work horse in the garden, easy to  grow, easy to care for and stores well in the kitchen.
Home-grown garlic boasts a unique and flavorful potency far superior to any other Allium I’ve tasted. Onions, leeks, shallots and chives are delicious but none can compare to my favorite Allium member, garlic. Both Hard Neck and Soft Neck garlic have many varieties to choose to grow. Hard Neck garlic seems to thrive best in my New England garden.

Plant garlic in the late summer or early fall. A couple of months before a ground freeze. This gives the roots time to adhere to the soil so the plant is stabilized for the cold of winter that it enjoys. Plant in full sun or light shade.
It’s so fine to see the garlic greens piercing up through the snow.

How to Plant Garlic

"Separate Garlic Cloves"

Separate Garlic Cloves

"Plant 2" Deep

Plant 2″ Deep Point Up

"Plant 6" Apart"

Plant 6″ Apart

 

 

 

 

 

Garlic flourishes best in loose, rich organic soil. It’s great if the pH is @ 6.5 but pH @ 6.0 – 7.0 is OK too. Lightly water when the soil is dry. Manure the soil a couple of months before sowing and again in the spring when the greens start to grow. Highly recommended.
Thickly layer with mulch before the ground hardens. Replace mulch with compost in the spring.

You can snip back garlic scapes to encourage larger bulbs. Garlic scapes are flower stalks. If you plan to eat garlic scapes it’s best to cut them back just as the scape begins to curl.

Harvest Garlic in late summer. Greens should be turning brown while some of the greens should still be green. “In other words, don’t wait until all the greens are brown.” Gently loosen the soil with a garden fork & gently dig one up. It’s tempting to pull the greens. Don’t. Garlic cures best with the greens and roots left on.
Garlic curing methods vary from one farmer to another. Some farmers cure garlic by laying it out on screens in an airy, shady place. Others braid the leaves and hang the bulbs in bunches, like I do.

How I cure garlic:
First I don’t wash my garlic. Washing garlic with water could cause rotting. I gently brush off any soil that I can with my hands. Any remaining soil will have to dry a bit more before I can clean it. I’ll wait until the clinging soil is dry enough to rub off even more later.

I like to cure my garlic by hanging it from its greens in an airy, shady place. Sometimes I braid the scapes making bunches of 5 or 6 garlic bulbs; other times I just hang them. Either way I hang them with air circulation in mind.

I leave the greens and roots on until the outside of the plant seems very dry. Then I remove the longest roots, if I have time, but leave very tiny roots attached. I do not remove the leaves. My garlic harvest remains hanging until I’m ready to cut off a bulb to use it.

Although my full sun garlic crops have produced bolder garlic harvests, my partly shaded garlic crops produced good, humble garlic harvests too.

Urban Farming – Sustainable – Grow Garlic

How to Grow Tomatoes

"Brandy Wine Tomato"

Brandy Wine Tomato

There are a variety of tomato types to grow.  There are a variety of ways to grow them.  There are tiny tomatoes, large tomatoes and medium tomatoes in between.  Red tomatoes, gold tomatoes, black tomatoes, purple tomatoes & more!    Choose your variety.  Choose your growing method.
Grow tomatoes using the simplest & most laid-back methods or commit to the more structured methods.  I try to choose a tomato type that will first most especially fit my time, the growing method I prefer & my growing area.  Then I select a variety.

How to Grow Tomatoes
General
Night Shade Family

Annual
Although seeds from previous crops do re-plant themselves & grow.

Light
Full Sun

Soil:
pH range: 5.8 – 7.0
Loose & organic rich.
Avoid soils that have housed eggplant, peppers, potatoes.

Fertilizer
N=high P=high K=high
Routinely for healthier plants.
Fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, compost tea, worm tea, etc.

Determinate:
Bush type
Bush at mature size – Flowers – Bears Fruit – Stops Growing
Can be grown without support …but grows best with low support.
Does not have to be pruned
Less yield per square foot than indeterminate tomatoes.

Indeterminate:
True Vine
Continuous growth – Continuous Flowers – Continuous Fruit
Grows best with support
Continuous training required to maximize garden space.
Pruning: Directs growth to the main stem
Begin pruning about 2 Weeks after the final transplant into the garden.
Remove suckers non flowering stems
More yield per sq foot than determinate tomatoes.

Germinating Tomato Seeds
Recommend: Soil-less Starting Mix
Tomato seedlings are prone to damping-off disease.
A soil-less potting mix will help avoid this problem.

When to Sow
6 – 7 Weeks before last frost
Keep Moist – Not Wet
Keep Warm – Not Cold

Sowing
1/2 Deep
1″ Apart

Days to Germination
6 – 8 Days
Move germinated seeds to a sunny window or grow light.

Transplanting
Step 1: At about 10 days old transplant seedlings into 2 inch growing pots.
Hint: Clip all leaves except leaves within top inch.
Replant seedlings covering entire stem up to top 1 inch where remaining leaves are.
More roots will grow from the buried stem.
Stronger Roots = Stronger Plants

Step 2: About 2 weeks later transplant into 4 inch pots.
Hint Clip all leaves except leaves within the top 2 inches.
Replant seedlings covering entire stem up to top 2 inches where remaining leaves are.
More roots will grow from the buried stem.
Stronger Roots = Stronger Plant

Hardening Off:
About 2 weeks before transplanting to the garden or an outdoor planter.
Move tomato plants to a sheltered area outside.
Leave them out for a short while at first.
Increasing the outside time a little each day.
Tomato plants will be well adjusted to the outdoors by the time they are permanently transplanted into their outdoor area.

Into the Garden
Finally!
Deep Planting Method
Promotes Deep Roots
Deep Roots Promote strength during drought & heat.
Dig a hole 6″ wide
Dig a depth so that only 4 inches of the plant will be exposed.
Clip off any leaves that will be buried.
Set the plant. Fill with soil. Water…extremely well.

Shallow Planting Method
Promotes Shallow Roots
Shallow Roots for cooler climates.
Inclined to suffer from drought & root damage.
But if that’s all you have to work with…go with it!
Dig a trench 2″ – 3″ Deep
Dig a length so that only the top 4 inches of the plant will be exposed.
Clip off any leaves that will be buried.
Lay in trench. Fill with soil leaving the top leafy 4″ exposed. Water…extremely well.

Harvesting Tomatoes
Recommend: Vine Ripening
Harvest tomatoes when the skin of the tomato slightly springs back to shape after the touch of a finger.
Don’t forget to save some seeds for next year.

Companion Plants
Asparagus, pot marigold, basil, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper,
cabbage family, carrot, bush bean, celery, chive, cucumber, marigold, mint, pepper, head lettuce, borage to name a few.

Bad Companion Plants
Fennel, dill, potato, pole bean

Pests
Tomato hornworm, tomato worm, aphids, blister beatles, stink bugs, tomato fruit worms to name a few.

Find your planting zone:
United States

World

Egyptian Walking Onions

How to Grow Egyptian Walking Onions

"Egyptian Walking Onion"

Egyptian Walking Onion

Light:
Full Sun
Soil:
Plant in well-drained, moist soil.
Planting Depth:
1 or 2 inches deep

I planted mine about 1 1/2 inches deep.

Spacing:
Walking Onions can be planted in clusters or rows. They even work well in pots.
Roughly 4 to 6 inches between each bulb whether planting in Rows or Clusters.
Rows: A foot apart.

“I planted mine in a circle cluster.”

When to Plant:
Walking Onions are best when planted in the fall; however they may be planted year round.

First year plants will not produce top sets of onions but once these onions are in their 2nd year and thereafter they will thrive with produce; they won’t let you down!

Harvesting:
Harvest the onion greens throughout the season by snipping a couple from this and a couple from that.

Leave enough greens on each plant to allow the production of onion clusters. New greens will grow from the same plant.

When all the greens are harvested from one plant it is unlikely that you will have any clusters of onions on that plant that year. You can plan on them the following year instead.

Onion sets can be harvested from all stalks from about the middle of summer through late summer.

Unless natural re-planting is what you want your Walking Onions to do, quickly harvest onion bunches from fallen stalks that have turned brown before the onions re-plant themselves.

In-ground Walking Onion bulbs are generally harvested in late summer and early autumn.

If you desire harvesting larger in-ground Walking Onions it is best to snip away any clusters at their onset so as to confine the growing energy all into that one in-ground onion.

Planting Zones:
Walking Onions do best in Planting Zones 3-9

Find Your Plant Hardiness Zone:
U.S. Planting Zones
Worldwide Planting Zones

Other names:
Tree Onions, Perennial Onions, Egyptian Tree Onions, Walking Onions, Winter Onions, Egyptian Walking Onions, Top Onions

I like to grow this hardy, Perennial Onion with it’s distinct vigorous flavor and unique growth habit. The entire plant is edible.

Miniature bunches of onions grow on the top of the greens and I can see when they are ready to harvest.
“No guess work!

If I want larger onions I can snip the clusters before they form, thus nurturing & encouraging the in-ground onion to grow larger.

I use these miniature onions as I would use any other onion.

I appreciate the option of chopping or not. I simply peel and add whole tiny onions to a recipe.
Works great in a kitchen without space for lots of food prep.

On occasion I chop these tasty gems in halves or quarters when I think it’s potent flavor may be too overwhelming for a particular salad or dinner guest.

The hollow greens have spiced up my soups and salads making me appear to be the chef that I am not.

My stir-fries really appreciate them!

When I choose not to harvest they simply bend and reproduce even more! Even the in-ground bulb that the entire onion plant grows from can be harvested and eaten or left in the ground to grow even more.

Seeing it’s greens peep up through the snow in early spring is an inspiration after a long winter!

Urban Farming – Sustainable – Grow Walking Onions

Urban Farming? Do you grow Walking Onions?

How to Grow Red Raspberries

"Red Raspberry"

Red Raspberry - Latham


…urban style.

How to Grow Red Raspberries

Everbearing
Everbearing Red Raspberries, grow and produce fruit differently. Everbearing Raspberries grow crops on the tips of the canes during the autumn of their first year. During the second year, these same canes will grow another crop at the lower part of the same cane and during the summer.

Red Raspberries Canes
Floricane:
Summer berries. Bears fruit it’s 2nd year toward the bottom of the cane.
Primocane
Fall berries. Bears fruit at the top of the cane

Blooms Mid-spring to late summer

When to Plant:
Early spring.

Find your planting zone:
United States

World

Light:
Raspberries love full sun.

Soil:
Loam, sandy, organic rich.
Avoid soils that have housed eggplant, peppers, potatoes or tomatoes within a few years prior to a raspberry’s occupancy.

It’s nothing personal; they simply fear any leftover root rot causing fungus, ‘Verticillium’, that may be lingering in the soil.

Soil Prep & Maintenance:
Raspberries enjoy a soil with a pH of 5.6 upwards to 6.2. The raspberry farmer can test the fertility and pH levels of the soil with a pH test kit. Scientifically speaking: 2 lbs of each of the following per 1,000 square feet: potassium, nitrogen & phosphorus.
Adjusting pH levels in soils with more acidic character can be accomplished by adding ground limestone. Planting a couple of cover crops per season, tilling them into the soil before they go to seed will insure healthy soil and deter weeds.. Millet, rye, buckwheat or oats make good cover crops. Otherwise compost and manure can be continuously tilled into the soil all season.

Irrigation:
Good irrigation equals good fruit size and good yield.
Raspberries don’t like sitting in soppiness for long periods of time.

How to Plant:
Plant as deep as it was in the growing pot and at least twice the size of the root ball. Allow roots to spread comfortably without cramming.

Pruning
Healthy red raspberry plants require constant air circulation at the base to prevent any rot, fungus or disease. Pruning the raspberry plant back to grow within a 12″ to 18″ width, (smaller urban farmers may want to adjust accordingly), will insure adequate, disease preventing air flow and sunlight.

Pests:
Japanese Beetle, Raspberry Fruitworm, Red-Necked Borer, Raspberry Cane Borer

Diseases:
Verticillium, Cane Blight, Cane Gall, Orange Rust, Mosaic Virus, Anthracnose, Spur Blight

Raspberries have a special place in my memories and my taste buds. The raspberries I knew throughout my childhood grew along the edge of the road, and well into the forests.

"Red Raspberry"

Red Raspberries


These tasty little fruits established themselves quite regularly on my what-to-do weekend list of adventures. It was always a challenge to pick a berry from the bush and put it into the pail. The detour to my taste buds was most often traveled.

Urban Farming – Sustainable – Grow Red Raspberries