Tag Archives: seed

Growing Herbs in Winter

fresh cut herbs

fresh cut herbs brought indoors, will stretch your fresh herbs by about two weeks.

I’m starting seed in the Aerogarden this week.

Aeroponics is a soil-free growing method where plant roots are suspended in air within a 100% humidity, highly-oxygenated growing chamber. Because the roots are bathed with ideal levels of nutrients, water and oxygen, plants grow significantly faster, are healthier and have a higher nutrient content than plants grown in soil. It’s like having a little green house on the kitchen counter.

I’ll grow bright green lettuces and herbs all winter. The 70 million Americans buy organic products weekly will appreciate the simplicity and convenience of Aerogrow.

This little table top garden is a defiant cabin fever cure for us die hard gardeners. AeroGarden is not promoted to help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or “cabin fever.” Still anything that tricks my plants into believing the sun is shining, has a positive affect on my attitude.

Gardening is America’s #1 hobby with more than 70 million active gardeners. There are 18 million fresh herb gardeners which is up 41% since 2000.

Small, sweet as candy, little strawberries that you can grow from seed. photo PBH

This little table top garden provides fresh herbs for my cooking all winter. A sprig of fresh basil or parsley will add sparkle to any dish.

In the spring, I start seeds in the AeroGarden. Last spring I had great success getting tiny sweet strawberries to grow from seed. Picking these tiny French Alpine strawberries (fragaria vesca) are like finding candy in the garden. Buy strawberry seed at Renee’s Garden.

Spinach, Spring Green

Herb Companion Blog


Spinach Seeds for Your Spring Garden

Grow spinach this year for fresh salad greens. Photo by faria! Courtesy Flickr

I am growing a vegetable I used to hate: If your introduction to spinach was from a can

of that salty gray-green plant matter, you understand. Not even Popeye could change my mind.

In 2006, an Escherichia coli bacterium (E. coli) outbreak in spinach was followed by more food contamination incidents. In 2007 a company recalled bags of its spinach after finding salmonella during testing. And in 2010, spinach potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes was recalled. Seed sales tell us that record numbers of people are purchasing vegetable seeds. More and more, we want to know where our food comes from. Food contamination is rarely a problem if the food comes from our own backyard. You can supplement a lot of family meals by growing spring greens, like spinach, beets, turnips and lettuce.

I’m growing spinach (Spinacia oleracea ‘Bloomsdale Long-Standing’) this spring. In fact, those first few leaves of these glossy greens never made it to the kitchen last year. I ate them in the garden. (They were that good.) A fan of heirlooms or not, this is a good spring greens choice that has been around for more than 100 years.

Bloomsdale heirloom spinach, a home garden favorite for over 100 years

For this cool-season crop, save a few seeds from your spring planting and sow again for a fall crop. Expect a heavy, continuous yield of thick-textured, glossy dark green leaves. If you grow lettuce, you can grow spinach; its soil and light requirements are similar. Greens are a cool-season crop that love full or partial sun. Put a few radishes in with the spinach to serve as row markers. Gardening Tip: Try a couple of spinach varieties to possibly extend the season and see which one grows best for you. It might not be the same choice every year.

‘Bloomsdale Long Standing’ spinach is slow-growing, slow to bolt and has better-than-average heat and drought resistance. It will usually grow a week or two longer than other spinach varieties. It grows more upright than most spinach, keeping the leaves cleaner or less gritty.

Try This: Let your kids or grandkids help you plant a container of salad greens. Spinach, served fresh in salads or cooked in quiches and souffles, is a delightfully different thing than canned spinach. It supplies vitamins A, C and the B-complex, calcium, and proteins. Try this easy Spinach Souffle Recipe from Burpee.

spinach quiche by Pille - Nami-nami Courtesy Flickr

If chives are up, use it in your spinach salad. I suggest that you use spikey chive leaves instead of green onions, or break apart blossoms and sprinkle the flower petals on the salad.

You can buy spinach seed, Spinacia oleracea ‘Bloomsdale Long-Standing’ from many seed sources. Mine is from Burpee Seed and I have always had good luck with their seeds.

Seed Sales

Late Spring Seed Spree for 2010

Early peas will be replaced by green beens.

After peas are harvested, snap bean will follow

Most seed companies have reduced prices to tempt you into buying more seeds about this time every year. It is a good time to see where you can fill the empty spaces in your garden and try some succession planting to keep your garden growing until late fall. These are a few of the seed companies that caught my eye.

Renee’s Garden Seeds says, “Planting season is here, and we’re offering a Spring Fling Discount of 15% off your next order.
Enter DSC410 in the “coupon code” box on the checkout page. Good on or before May 2, 2010. Shop for seed to grow cool season crops.

Small enough to eat grilled or stuffed for appetizers or on a veggie tray

Compacts pants are a good choice for containers.

Gurney Seed and Nursery Co is having a clearance sale. They have a Special Offer: Save $20.00 When You Buy Product Totaling $40.00 or More. Limit One Offer Per Customer. I bought a couple of thornless blackberry vines. I’ve always had good luck ordering asparagus and fruit trees from Gurney’s.

Johnny’s Selected Seed, “Take 20% off selected varieties (below) while they last.save 20 percent on potatoes Use offer code 10-1070 when checking out to get your discount.” They are offering Yukon Gold, Dark Red Norland, Red Gold and Superior. All good home garden choices. Also take advantage of the bumper seed crop with reduced prices on select seed varieties.

Seeds of Change will give you 10% off everything when you become a fan on Facebook. Use offer code: FACEBOOK at checkout.

Even Home Depot has Buy-One-Get-One seed packets right now.

Squash are heavy producers. Plant only a few of each kind.

Most all the spring crops are in the ground. If yours are not, you still have time for salads and spring greens. Now is a good time to look over your remaining seed and plan for the space that will be available as you harvest spring crops.

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