True Leaf Market Blog: Knowledge Center

Preserving Your Harvest Through Pickling

Preserving Your Harvest Through Pickling 0

It’s that time of year when you get to feast upon the fruits of your labors and the harvest is in full swing. Have you ever considered pickling as a form of preserving your home grown produce? I like to pickle all sorts of veggies: jalapeños, banana peppers, beets, green beans, garlic, you name it. Ironically I’ve never had much success personally with pickling cucumbers, but I know plenty of people who have! Need a relish tray for that upcoming family dinner? No problem. Need to add an extra kick to those nachos for  the big game? We’ve got you...

  • Erica Groneman
Autumn Gardening in SoCal

Autumn Gardening in SoCal 0

I believe autumn gardening in Southern California is different in comparison to other parts of the country because the weather here (at least where I live) tends to be a bit kinder, at least in regards to temperature. In my neck of the woods we’ll still sometimes get sharper temperature drops and overnight frost once you get closer to winter but overall the warmer climate allows more freedom when it comes to gardening, especially if you’re close to the coast and can benefit from the humidity as well. The herbs I grow (thyme, oregano, chives, sage, and rosemary) do well...

  • David Bernal
Cover Crop Gardening in the Midwest

Cover Crop Gardening in the Midwest 3

Cover crops are the best way to replenish the soil in your garden. Fall cover crops will keep that soil alive through the winter. There are several seed types that are ideal for this, which ones really depend on the type of soil you have, and what your climate or hardiness zone is.Generally, it's best to clear out your summer garden about four weeks before the first frost date. Healthy plants can be cut down or pulled out by the roots and added to your compost pile. Any diseased plants should not be composted, for the safety of the garden...

  • Jordan Freytag

Independent Seed Companies Cooperate in Wake of Paradise, California Wildfire 0

True Leaf Market Seed Company is happy to announce a cooperative synergy with Sustainable Seed Company (SSC), whereby True Leaf Market will manage all operations for Sustainable Seed Company for the foreseeable future. Sustainable Seed Company has endured some real challenges in the past 9 months. Based in Chico, California, many of SSC’s employees (including owners) lived in nearby Paradise, California, and lost their homes in the tragic fire that ravaged Paradise in November of 2018. Despite the near impossible challenge of operating a business under those conditions, Sustainable Seed Company has continued to offer customers and community support during...

  • Jordan Freytag

Your Plants May Need a Break from the HOT Summer 0

  Even heat-hardy plants sometimes need a break from the nonstop sun. Even if you keep the soil evenly moist by using lots of soakers or drip irrigation hoses covered or cover the soil with a thick layer of mulch, many vegetables will stop producing fruit in extreme heat. For example, temperatures in the 90s cause many beans to hold back their flowers. Also, many tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants start having trouble completing the pollination process when temperatures rise above only 86°F. Well placed shading covers are often used to help cool down your plants on those hot summer days. Shade covers can be made...

  • Jordan Freytag

Front Yard Food Production 0

Front Yard Food Production is not a new idea! We recently got away for a weekend vacation (first one in 4 years!) on the Coast here in California. We rented a little house on a cove and after I packed the last of many boxes of groceries into the house I realized just how unsustainable we are as a people now. It wasn't just the many boxes of food we brought on this trip...as I sat on the deck and looked out across this craggy, rough remote point, I saw that someone had JUST built a huge house on the...

  • Jordan Freytag
How and Why You Should Grow Your Own Invigorating Food

How and Why You Should Grow Your Own Invigorating Food 0

Guest Writer: Lucy Wyndham Superfoods are vitamin and antioxidant powerhouses in the form of greens such as kale, seeds and nuts, fruits, and berries. They should be one of the main components of a healthy diet to reduce the risk of disease, potentially increase your lifespan, and boost your metabolism. Not only are the fruits of these plants nutritious, but the sprouts of many are, as well. You can also grow sprouts in even the smallest homes throughout cold-weather months. Better yet, it’s cheap to do.  The Basics of Sprouting Your Seeds Even if you think you kill every plant you set eyes on, it’s easier than you...

  • Jordan Freytag

Sustainable Seeds, Sustainable Cooking, Sustainable Us 0

Guest Writer: Lucy Wyndham Home cooking with sustainable ingredients has many benefits. A desire to eat healthily motivates 22% of Americans to cook at home. Why is it important to live sustainably? Have you been thinking about sustainable home cooking and don’t know where to start? Knowing there are suppliers that you can trust and other people engaging in sustainable cooking is inspiring. Start your journey today. Why live sustainably? Sustainability is on the increase. American households have seen an increase of 17% in the past five years of households growing food at home or in a community garden. Some householders have gone...

  • Jordan Freytag

Watering Early During the Summer Months will Prevent Mildew 0

The best time to water is in the morning but, if you water in the afternoon, allow enough time for foliage to dry out before sunset. Why: This reduces the risk of mildew and other fungi attacking leaves. Mildew is notorious for attacking zucchini, beans, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, and zinnia. What to look for: Infected leaves become covered with a white to gray powdery growth, usually on the upper surface. If left unattended to the plant's leaves will turn brown and drop.  How to combat mildew: Spray plants weekly with a solution made from 1 part cow’s milk to...

  • Jordan Freytag

Perfect Herbs for the Fish You Catch 0

Guest Writer: Lucy Wyndham One of the most satisfying things about growing herbs is that generally, they grow quickly. In the summer months, you can plant some seeds and look forward to eating your harvest a month later. In Italy, where they pride themselves on fresh food, 61% of people grow their own herbs to eat - wouldn’t it be lovely to do the same in your home too? You don’t need a lot of space to grow herbs, a few pots on a windowsill will suffice. If you have caught your own fish, there are a variety of herbs that will perfectly compliment your...

  • Jordan Freytag

Balancing Essential Vitamins with Sustainable Living 0

There are thirteen essential vitamins that are necessary for a healthy body. Eating a balanced diet is often the easiest way to maintain the levels of essential vitamins in your body, but for vegetarians, those with food allergies, and those with dietary illnesses, maintaining these levels can be hard. There are many fruits and vegetables that can help to fill in the gap in your nutritional plan. And these edible plants are often far more sustainable than multivitamins and mineral medications. Balance Health Foods Needs With Your Current Diet The easiest source of sustainable vitamins is healthy and well-grown fruits and...

  • Jordan Freytag

Wheatgrass Powder 0

Most of us have grown it, most of us have juiced it, and we love it for the crazy health benefits it gives us and our loved ones. I'm sure you've seen the capsuls and containers of dry wheatgrass powder. And lets be frank, it is easier to buy a container of wheatgrass powder than to grow it and juice it every day!  But what if you could make your own powder? One extra-large grow session a month and you could have a dry supply of wheatgrass! Without the morning harvest you can put a scoop in your favorite smoothie...

  • Andrew Stewart

New Research Suggests that a Mediterranean Diet can Prevent Depression 0

  People who adopt a Mediterranean style diet have been shown to be 33% less likely to develop depression, suggesting a significant role for diet in mental health. This is according to data from dozens of different studies, which has been analyzed by the University College London. It seems that a heavy plant based diet, with limited quantities of meat and dairy, has the greatest potential for preventing the onset of mood-related conditions. As an added bonus for environmental activists, this diet has been shown to be one of the most sustainable. What is the Mediterranean Diet? The Mediterranean diet is...

  • Jordan Freytag
Help Container Gardens Stay Cool in the Hot Summer

Help Container Gardens Stay Cool in the Hot Summer 0

Container gardens are vulnerable to overheating, here are some quick tips to help keep your containers cool and healthy: Lightly mulch. If you can, try to position the containers out of the hot western sun. If the container plants dry out to the point where re-wetting is not working, try soaking them in a bucket of water for half an hour, then drain the excess water. Container saucers full of water can create root rot and mosquito breeding. Instead, try to stand them in the saucers filled with sand, and keep the sand moist to ensures the roots stay cool and plants...

  • Jordan Freytag

Important Info About Your Sustainable Seed Co. Account 0

As you might know, Sustainable Seed Co. was devastated by the Paradise California wildfire of 2018, and was unable to continue operations. True Leaf Market has been helping by running operations since that time. Both companies have decided that it makes sense continue that arrangement permanently. Some Important Things to Know: The complete Sustainable Seed Company product offerings are still available, but the website is now redirecting to TrueLeafMarket.com. Your SSC account has been transitioned to TLM. Your encrypted password could not be transferred, so you will need to reset your password HERE. Click on “Forgot your password” to begin the...

  • Jordan Freytag
6 Multi-Purpose Vegetable Seeds to Get You Thinking Outside the Garden Box

6 Multi-Purpose Vegetable Seeds to Get You Thinking Outside the Garden Box 0

1. Alfalfa - (Medicago sativa) This ancient field crop has only recently been celebrated for its multi-purpose benefits both in and out of the garden. Alfalfa is a proven winter-hardy cover crop seed that matures in 60-70 days, but can be quickly sprouted in 4-6 days for fresh, flavorful culinary use. Alfalfa seed can be grown and juiced as a nutrient-dense wheatgrass in 7-10 days. Other Uses: Sprouting Seed, Cover Crop Seeds, Sprout Powder 2. Cilantro - (Coriandrum sativum) Known most popularly throughout the world as coriander, cilantro seed is among the many herb seeds that can be enjoyed raw...

  • David Bernal
Cover Crop Highlight: Buckwheat

Cover Crop Highlight: Buckwheat 2

Not nearly as popular as Daikon radish or winter wheat, common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) grows faster and more plentiful than even these hardy winter crops. Buckwheat is arguably the most diverse winter crop as it quickly matures to about 24-36” tall and 18-24” wide and is ideally sown as a winter cover crop, fodder crop, or pest repellent. Similar to Daikon radish and yellow mustard, buckwheat produces a thick and deep taproot known to help increase tilth and aeration for overly compacted, heavy soils. Common buckwheat shares many of the same tolerances and ecological benefits as wild buckwheat while still...

  • David Bernal
Vintage Seed Packets by True Leaf Market

Vintage Seed Packets by True Leaf Market 0

A gardening tradition since Victorian England, artisan hand-crafted paper packets have heralded the growing season for nearly two hundred years. While many things have changed in the seed industry, this is one tradition we are proud to continue with our Culinary 10 Herb Seeds Collection. Featuring 10 individual and elegantly designed seed packets, this collection delivers all the nostalgia of generations past, reminding us that paper seed packets have always been for gardeners who thrive, not just survive. History of Paper Seed Packets Individual paper seed packets are a relatively modern development in the several thousands of years that human...

  • David Bernal
Winter Lettuce: The Other Desert Rose

Winter Lettuce: The Other Desert Rose 0

For many of us who don’t live in Arizona, the southwest border town of Yuma is hardly synonymous with lush river valleys and green horizons of lettuce farms. Less than five minutes from the Mexican border, the desert town of Yuma, Arizona has since become the official lettuce capital of the world for its unparalleled harvests and production. While still second to California in overall lettuce production, the state of Arizona is home to some unlikely counties that are growing the best winter lettuce in the country. Yuma is so proud of their lettuce that every February or March they...

  • David Bernal
Types of Corn Explained!

Types of Corn Explained! 2

Even though the 4th of July is already behind us and summer is in full swing, there is still plenty of time to get all your favorite varieties of corn planted for a late season harvest. Most varieties of corn are ready to harvest at about 3 months and can be sown as late as 90 days from your first regional frost. Corn is a member of the tenacious grass family and, anyone who’s grown it, knows it’s nearly effortless to maintain. Along with fast-growing leafy greens and roots crops, corn is popularly grown successively throughout the year for replete...

  • David Bernal

Dormant Seed Vs. Hard Seed 0

These two terms, while related, are not the same. They both result in delayed germination, but for different reasons. Hard seed is seed that are delayed mostly because of an extra hard seed coat. This can be a function of the species and also of the conditions as the seeds are forming and maturing. For some plant species, it is normal for a small or moderate percent of the seed to be hard seed. This is common in leguminous species. This seed is still viable, but germination will be slower. The number of hard seeds decreases after storage, which varies...

  • Jerry Sawyer
6 Reasons Why The Pros Still Plant Seeds in Summer

6 Reasons Why The Pros Still Plant Seeds in Summer 0

Experienced gardeners never miss out and always know that seeds can be sown year-round in every month of every season. Just spend a day at your local Farmers’ Market and see for yourself the abundance of garden fresh produce available well into the end of summer. Knowing which seeds to plant can be difficult since midsummer sowing is unconventional and intimidating for home gardeners, but here are the 6 easiest tips to keeping your green thumb perennially active that have nothing to do with wheatgrass, sprouting, or microgreens. 1. Late Summer Crops Fast-growing annuals such as lettuce and most leafy...

  • David Bernal
5 Sap-Suckers in Your Garden and How to Get Rid of Them

5 Sap-Suckers in Your Garden and How to Get Rid of Them 3

When compared to larger pests such as grasshoppers, snails, or beetles able to feed on plants directly, sap-suckers can be some of the more manageable insects in the garden if spotted early. They are soft-bodied and an early infestation can be easy to eradicate, usually with nothing more than a garden hose, DIY soap spray, or ladybugs from your local nursery. Sap-sucking insects are much smaller and have adapted mouths to pierce the skin of a leaf to feed on essential sap, soft tissue, and mesophyll. Early signs of infestation may be difficult to diagnose because sap-suckers are carriers of...

  • David Bernal
To Bolt or Not to Bolt . . . How to Prevent it!

To Bolt or Not to Bolt . . . How to Prevent it! 0

Bolting is the event when a plant sets to flowering and starts going to seed early due to heat/sun exposure. It is the plant's last-ditch effort to preserve itself before it dies, most commonly occurring with annuals. Instead of attempting to survive amid the heat, the plant puts its energy into producing seed to ensure its longevity. New leaf growth ceases and flowers rapidly appear. There are a few different causes of bolting. Simply put, the plant is stressed, which initiates bolting. The stress is a result of heat-related issues: Over Exposure Some varieties suited for early spring planting can...

  • Jordan Freytag
Revitalize and Beautify Your Ground with Summer Cover Crops!

Revitalize and Beautify Your Ground with Summer Cover Crops! 0

Have you decided to opt out of gardening this year and don't want your garden plot to go fallow? Or do you have a piece of your plot that you want to revive? Or are you looking to control weeds so that you don't have to remove them when you DO decide to garden? With minimal effort, you can grow summer cover crops this season to address all of these issues. Plus, cover crops can be very pretty, something we should talk more about! Several cover crops grown in the summer can produce flowers rapidly, not only revitalizing empty ground...

  • Jordan Freytag
Purple Coneflower: A Lasting Classic American Wildflower

Purple Coneflower: A Lasting Classic American Wildflower 0

Don’t give mom flowers this year that will only last a few days when you could give her flowers to last up to 40 years or more! While some of the most commercial wildflowers such as larkspur, cosmos, zinnia, or sunflower are timeless annuals, let’s never forget the always fashionable and classic American wildflower, purple coneflower! Known as echinacea when consumed herbally such as in teas, tinctures, and dried supplements, purple coneflower is an all-American wildflower native to the rocky woodlands and clearings of the eastern and central United States. Purple coneflower still flourishes wildly throughout the eastern states in...

  • David Bernal
What is "The Mother's Day Rule"?

What is "The Mother's Day Rule"? 0

Mother’s Day has ties to the gardening world, and it’s not just the lovely flowers! A year after her mother’s death in 1906, loving daughter, Anna M. Jarvis, requested that friends and neighbors commemorate her mother’s passing at her local church on the first Sunday of May. Anna handed out over 500 hundred white carnations to the mothers in her community—white carnations being her mother’s favorite flower. Carnations have since become synonymous with Mother’s Day. A white carnation is a symbol of unconditional love and a pink carnation is that of a Mother’s love. In the following years, Anna promoted the...

  • Jordan Freytag
Grow Perennial Herbs Successfully this Year!

Grow Perennial Herbs Successfully this Year! 1

Spring is here and it’s never too late to get started on your bountiful perennial herb garden! Whether grown indoors or out in the garden bed, fragrant and savory perennial herbs are a timeless and effortless way to reinvigorate any tired garden bed, patio, or kitchen with the sweet scent of summer. Rather than worry about the daily maintenance of soft, tender, and wilty annual herbs, establish your perennial herb garden this season for several years worth of harvests. The new Mountain Valley Seed Perennial Herb Collection features a handpicked selection of 6 of the most drought-resistant, low-maintenance, and full...

  • David Bernal

The Last Frost Dates of Spring 6

Similar to the USDA hardiness zones map which helps growers anticipate the minimum annual temperature in their region, the annual frost dates easily help catalog the first and last 32°F days of the year. These first and last frost days of the year essentially “bookend” the growing season as we know it, helping growers anticipate when it's time to sow and when it’s time to reap. While hardiness zones were created from 30 years of USDA climate data, the average first and last frost dates were also similarly designed from three decades of research by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration...

  • David Bernal
Versatile Hydroponic Growth Mediums

Versatile Hydroponic Growth Mediums 0

Choosing between soil and a hydroponic pad as a growth medium is dependent on your preference. Often, we hear folks vouching for the cleanliness of hydroponic mediums while others vouch for the forgiving nature of soils. We find that those who grow using hydroponic methods have the extra time and attention required for successful growth. Here are some descriptors for each to help you make the right decision that is right for your growing needs: Jute Mat Jute is a fibrous plant that has been used to make rope and textiles for hundreds of years. Jute grow pads are made...

  • Jordan Freytag
Soil Preparation: Cover Crops, Worm Castings, and More!

Soil Preparation: Cover Crops, Worm Castings, and More! 4

Celebrate the late winter warmth by getting a head start on preparing your soil as we inch our way towards the first day of spring this Saturday. Daylight savings is now behind us and our days are becoming longer and finally gifting most of us with plenty of warmth and sunshine to comfortably work the soil again. While many grow zones are about ready to sow frost hardy root vegetables and cool leafy greens, take advantage if you can of any warmth during this final week of winter to give your starts the spring they deserve. Whether you need to...

  • David Bernal
5 Tips for Growing Your Vegetable Starts Indoors

5 Tips for Growing Your Vegetable Starts Indoors 2

If you are planning to or have started your vegetable seedling indoors, here's reminder of some best practices to keep your seedlings healthy so that you can have the best spring and summer garden possible! Thin seedlings as they emerge from soil When your seedlings poke through the potting soil in your plug trays, snip all but one of them. Pick out the strongest seedling that you'd like to save and cut the rest out. Of course, it depends on what seed you are growing; for lettuces and herbs, for example, you'll want several per cell as these plants are...

  • Jordan Freytag

Why We've Switched to Generic Packaging 0

We've received many questions about our new packaging and what it means for our seeds. Rest assured, our seeds are the same high quality seeds that we've been providing for decades. In short, our new packages help up to stock inventory and to ship your orders out to you at a fast rate. In order to offer such a wide variety of heirloom seeds at the lowest prices, the majority of our paper packets do not have variety-specific photos. Please visit our website for photographs and detailed planting instructions. By shifting to generic packaging for many of these varieties, we...

  • Jordan Freytag
The Benefits of Growing Mushrooms at Home!

The Benefits of Growing Mushrooms at Home! 0

Medicinal mushrooms have been incorporated in ancient healing modalities for centuries. Only recently have researchers been able to isolate and identify the specific compounds that give the various mushrooms their incredible health-supporting properties. All mushrooms contain polysaccharides, or long chains of carbohydrates. The type of polysaccharide within the mushroom determines the qualities and strengths of the mushroom. Many mushrooms are considered adaptogens, an appropriate term that describes a substance’s ability to help us adapt to life’s stressors. Essentially, they help our internal state respond appropriately to external input. At True Leaf Market, we offer a number of grow-your-own mushrooms kits and...

  • Ashley Claire Turner
Frost Got You Down? Start Sprouting and Microgreening!

Frost Got You Down? Start Sprouting and Microgreening! 0

Now that November is here, our fall gardens are reaching their conclusion, and I begin leaning into a different method of gardening to keep excercising my green thumb. I begin microgreening and sprouting like mad! There something about the colder months that push me into getting my kitchen counter organized, busting out the sprouting jars and the microgreens planting trays, getting my counter-top garden in place. For those of you who may not know what microgreens are, they are simply certain plant varieties that are grown en masse on a grow surface, harvested when the seedlings are still very young....

  • Jordan Freytag
How to Plant Your Own Herb Garden from Seed!

How to Plant Your Own Herb Garden from Seed! 0

Whether you are familiar with or new to growing herbs, a herb garden in its peak, is a truly stunning site. The colors and aroma pair together in a harmonious duet. A presence unmatched, herb gardens call us back to our ancient past, as we imagine a healthier present. Herbs have become so readily available that we’ve forgotten how essential they are to the human story. From our ancestors to ourselves, the properties of herbs have been used for a spectrum of reasons: to cleanse the air of bad spirits, provide relief from pain, aid us in our healing, and...

  • Jordan Freytag
Seed Shortages, Delivery Times, and What We are Doing.

Seed Shortages, Delivery Times, and What We are Doing. 1

Due to COVID 19 and other related factors, the demand for home delivery services are at a record high this year. In general, we recommend that you take care of all your holiday shopping early.  At True Leaf Market, we want to ensure the best holiday shopping experience for all our customers, including reasonable shipping times and adequate seed inventory. Here are some of the supply issues we are facing: Herb seeds are currently short due to a combination of crop failure and increased demand due to COVID-19. Organics are very short this year due to the extremely high COVID...

  • Jordan Freytag
Fall Photo Contest Winners

Fall Photo Contest Winners 0

First, we want to thank all of you who entered the contest. We were overwhelmed by the number of submissions and by how much creativity each of you put into your photos. We were thrilled to see all of the beautiful gardens, both large and small, microgreen and vegetable. The entire creative team here at True Leaf Market is so inspired by the diverse ways all of you use True Leaf Market seeds. The photos really showcased how incredibly beneficial it is to grow your own seed no matter where you are in the country! We really have the best...

  • Jordan Freytag
11 Delicious Ways to Eat Your Homegrown Sprouts

11 Delicious Ways to Eat Your Homegrown Sprouts 0

There’s no feeling like growing your own food and then getting to sit down and eat it. That feeling is carnal and ancient; our ability to do this is part of what makes us human. This is why we get such a rush when we walk into our kitchens to check on our sprouting jars and see those very first signs of growth. In that moment, the realization that we have the power to create life strikes us like lightning. The miracle of life aside, sprouts are a powerhouse food. They aid the body in digestion, increase fiber content and...

  • Jordan Freytag
5 Lessons from Our Summer Garden

5 Lessons from Our Summer Garden 0

Another summer and another harvest has come and gone. And whether you're a beginner trying out your first garden or a seasoned farmer with a thumb as green as the earth, there are always lessons to be learned as to how to make next year’s bounty even better. Like many gardening enthusiasts, my wife, Hailey, and I got our start from container gardening in an apartment. Each year we learned to adapt to sunlight and crop varieties best suited to our Zone 7a conditions and north-facing balcony. However, this past summer we’ve been fortunate enough to have our very first...

  • David Bernal
Backslop Romance | Fermentation, Inoculation, and Henrietta the Sourdough Starter

Backslop Romance | Fermentation, Inoculation, and Henrietta the Sourdough Starter 1

These mason jar fermenting tips + tricks are brought to you by Marina Jade Phillips, Fermenter Extraordinaire and champion of our PickleHelix and Fermenting Lids. The first two months of 2018 marked both my first trip to Mexico and my first bicycle tour. Living on two wheels did not slow my fermentation habit; I toted stainless steel jars of fermented vegetables in my panniers. I credit consuming lacto-bacteria with my lack of stomach troubles that can plague travelers in South America. Regularly introducing healthy bacteria into our digestive tract is a great way of inoculating our body with microbes that...

  • Jordan Freytag
Saying Goodbye to Summer:  Vine-Ripening, Early Winters, and Canning

Saying Goodbye to Summer: Vine-Ripening, Early Winters, and Canning 0

Fall is less than two weeks away and––if your garden is anything like mine, half of it is over and waiting for cover crop season and the other half is still spitting out its best stuff. Green peas, artichokes, fava beans, and many ornamentals have been long since spent, yet many late season performers such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, and berries don’t seem to be slowing anytime soon. Although you may be anxious to get your summer garden completely harvested and cleaned up for winter cover crops, one of the worst mistakes we can make as home gardeners is...

  • David Bernal
The Father of the Modern Brassica: Dr. Jack Brown and his Mighty Mustard® Cover Crop

The Father of the Modern Brassica: Dr. Jack Brown and his Mighty Mustard® Cover Crop 7

Over the past 40 years, True Leaf Market has had the privilege of sharing some very special heirloom and non-GMO varieties with you from all over the world. Many of these cultivars were grown and developed by the most passionate growers, breeders, and researchers throughout the centuries. We would like to take a moment to highlight an extraordinary individual who has made unparalleled contributions to our understanding of oilseed Brassica cover crops, foraging crops, and sustainable mustard biodiesels. For more than 30 years, the University of Idaho’s Dr. Jack Brown has been the preeminent grower and researcher of the benefits...

  • David Bernal
What Are Cover Crops?

What Are Cover Crops? 3

Download Your Free Cover Crop Growing Guide Cover crops are seeds that are planted en masse for several reasons that benefit the soil and/or the local environment. Most often cover crops are grown by farmers in rotation with their cash crops to protect and rejuvenate the soil, a practice that goes back centuries. Evidence of cover crop use can be found in different times and places throughout history: The Native Americans had a system of agriculture called “The Three Sisters” that utilized cover crop properties of beans, squash, and corn by planting them together, cycling nutrients through the soil, creating...

  • Jordan Freytag
Microgreens – More Nutritious Than Mature Vegetables and Herbs?

Microgreens – More Nutritious Than Mature Vegetables and Herbs? 3

In the past few years, there has been optimistic research into determining whether microgreens are more nutritionally dense per calorie than that of fully matured vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The 2012 article “Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens” published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers Dr. Qin Wang of the University of Maryland and Gene Lester of the USDA conclude that microgreens contain up to 4-40x more raw nutrients than their fully matured counterparts. Although research of microgreens has only begun, there are already some contrasting studies showing minimal differences in...

  • Zach Pope
Year-Round Companion Planting for Organic, Pesticide-Free Gardening

Year-Round Companion Planting for Organic, Pesticide-Free Gardening 3

Just as we understand in the animal kingdom how different, unrelated species will mutually benefit one another, whether intentionally or not, so too does the plant kingdom experience the same caliber of harmony and symbiosis (mutual benefit). Herbs, fruits, grains, vegetables, and ornamental flowers offer a wide variety of benefits to surrounding plants both above soil (pest control, disease, pollination, and physical support) while amending soil nutrition and tilth to deter soil-borne diseases, insects, and weeds, while boosting flavor and yields. Also known as intercropping among professional growers and greenhouses, companion planting is the purposeful cultivation of mutually beneficial (symbiotic)...

  • David Bernal
Introducing the True Leaf Market Herb Growing Guide!

Introducing the True Leaf Market Herb Growing Guide! 0

This pocket-sized herb garden booklet includes the facts and growing information about your favorite herbs and ones you may have not even known about! Beginning the booklet is an overall guide to herb gardening followed by individual herb pages that will help you to become an herb gardening expert very quickly. We are so proud of this handy guide that we've decided to give it away completely free. If you would like a PDF version, we've made it easy to download. Become a Herb Gardening Expert in No Time! Visit the Herb Growing Guide Page to download your free PDF!...

  • Jordan Freytag
Summer Garden Photo Contest Winners!

Summer Garden Photo Contest Winners! 6

First, we want to thank all of you who entered the contest. We were overwhelmed by the number of submissions and by how much creativity each of you put into your photos. We were thrilled to see all of the beautiful gardens, both large and small, microgreen and vegetable. The entire creative team here at True Leaf Market is so inspired by the diverse ways all of you use True Leaf Market seeds. The photos really showcased how incredibly beneficial it is to grow your own seed no matter where you are in the country! We really have the best...

  • Jordan Freytag
The Great Seedpocalypse of 2020?

The Great Seedpocalypse of 2020? 7

No, there likely won’t be a seed apocalypse in 2020 and beyond, but, there will be a few challenges… There definitely are some issues about the availability of some varieties of seeds in 2020, and possibly into 2021 that you should be aware of… As you are likely aware, the demand for seeds of all kinds was way up in the spring of 2020, and demand is still far above normal. It is probably not an exaggeration to say that across the entire industry, more seeds were sold in March and April than the seed industry expected to sell for...

  • Jordan Freytag
How Late is Too Late to Start Your Garden?

How Late is Too Late to Start Your Garden? 1

June is here, and some of you might be wondering—have I missed the planting window? Is it too late to plant my garden? We say NO WAY! It’s never too late to plant in summer months as long you stick to more short term crops that will mature by summer's end when cooler temperatures set in. You'll need to manage the heat and light exposure your plants receive as well since summer months can be blisteringly hot. Shade cloths may be a necessity, but other than that, you are good to go! You see, the later you are in the growing...

  • Jordan Freytag
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