Get to Know Your Seeds: A Seed Type Guide

Get to Know Your Seeds: A Seed Type Guide 15

We’ve had an influx of calls inquiring about the specifics of seed labeling—questions like “What is the difference between sprouting and microgreens seeds and traditional garden vegetable seeds?” and “Are heirloom seeds and open-pollinated seeds the same thing?” and a slew of others. We know it can be overwhelming looking at all the varieties of seeds and their types, reading terms like “microgreens seeds” and “sprouting seeds”, "treated" and "untreated seeds", and "heirloom" and "open-pollinated"—you just hope that you’ll pick the right ones for you. We hope that the following article will help you understand seed identifiers and how it...

June: Companion Plants & Beneficial Insects

June: Companion Plants & Beneficial Insects 1

Now that the growing season is underway, an abundance of life begins to spring up in our garden: seedlings take root and begin branching out, showing signs of their future production. But with new growth and life, comes the chance of pests finding their way into your garden. Some folks never have to deal with an infestation of pests—and hopefully you won’t either. When invasive species of insects happen to make their way into a garden, some folks rid them by spraying with pesticides. But we believe avoiding harmful pests by taking preventative measures and treating them using safe and...

May: Easy-Going Transplanting & Sowing

May: Easy-Going Transplanting & Sowing 0

Now is the time of year that folks are sowing seeds outdoors and transplanting indoor plant starts. Many beginner or inexperienced gardeners would like a clear-cut date and time that is best to sow and transplant. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that. But no worries—you don’t have to break your brain trying to be the “perfect” gardener. Just understanding a few basics and taking it easy will keep gardening an easy-going and fun practice that will pay off! Knowing the estimated frost date and being aware of the weather patterns of your area will help you know when the...

April: "Hardening Off" The Right Way

April: "Hardening Off" The Right Way 1

As your starts begin maturing, bearing their “true” leaves, we know the time is drawing near to transplant. Transplanting can be a stressful time for growers as it is not uncommon to lose plants to “transplant shock.” When our plants spend the first few weeks of their lives indoors, a virtually weatherless environment, and then are dropped into the ground, they are slow to begin growing again because of the shock of the outside elements—and sometimes they are unable to recover. The heat and cold, sunlight, wind, and rain can all damage your plants when they aren’t used to receive...

March: From The Ground Up

March: From The Ground Up 0

It is about this time when your garden vegetables are germinating, poking through their little starter pots and pellets, reminding you that transplanting time is on the horizon. It is at this stage that you may have realized that you haven’t prepared you’re the soil in your garden plot. Of course, all the advice you’ve received to take steps to replenish your garden soil in the fall has gone out the window. But there are some simple steps to take to revitalize your soil up to just 2 weeks before the transplanting date. First, it is very important to understand...

Sprouts and Microgreens: Enzyme Powerhouse and Teaching Aid

Sprouts and Microgreens: Enzyme Powerhouse and Teaching Aid 0

Growing initiatives in schools and community centers around the country are teaching kids and members of the community how to grow their own sprouts and microgreens and the health benefits of including them in their diets. We see the importance of educating kids and adults about these high-nutrition food sources because, in this day and age, clean food packed with nutrients is hard to come by and eating sprouts fills you with the nutrients to lead to longer and fuller years. One thing both microgreens and sprouts are full of is enzymes. And according to Dr. Mercola, a diet rich...

The 3 Essential Steps for Storing Winter Squash

The 3 Essential Steps for Storing Winter Squash 0

The process of storing winter squash may seem to be long and complicated. Although it may take up to two weeks, the steps for preparing your squash for long term winter storage can be as easy as brewing summer tea. All you need it to know these three essential steps:   1. Be Careful When Harvesting Try not to damage the squash or its main stem as you harvest. Be sure to use scissors or pruners when cutting vines. Pulling can cause damage to the main stem, making it likely that the squash with rot. Any squash with blemishes or...

January: A Time for Planning

January: A Time for Planning 1

When the cold winds of January sweep over us, we know it’s time to start planning that spring garden. We break out the gardening journal (if you don’t use a gardening journal, we recommend that you do) and draw-up plans of how we’d like our garden to be laid out this year as well as a list of seeds that we’d like to grow and what area of the garden will be dedicated to them. It’s a perfect time to be thinking about what kinds of crops and which varieties you’d like to grow this year, especially peppers and tomatoes...

A Long Winter: Cover Crops

A Long Winter: Cover Crops 0

Winter is coming! And we know what that means—it is time to rejuvenate your soil with cover crops. It is a bit late in the season to plant and expect immediate results, unless you’re planting cold hardy grain, like Winter Rye, Wheat, and Triticale, which can be sown nearly the day before the killer frost. Cold hardy grains are tenacious cover crops, ones that sprout up quickly and survive the icy winter and begin to grow again in the spring. In fact, these grains germinate in 34 to 40-degree soil, so this time of year is not only suitable for...

Some Random (but Useful) Thoughts on Winter Squash

Some Random (but Useful) Thoughts on Winter Squash 0

Did you know the “winter” in winter squash refers to the period of time it is stored and not the period of time it is grown as many may assume. That’s just one of the little things that may be unknown about this rather useful, beneficial, and tasty vegetable. Many varieties of winter squash are rich in properties that promote health in different areas of the body. Some have claimed that winter squash helps ease some of their arthritic symptoms. It doesn’t cure arthritis, but folks have claimed that it eases the pressure and tension they feel in there joints....

About Cucumbers

About Cucumbers 0

Written by Angelina Bernardini - Winner of the 2016 Demetrios Agathangelides Scholarship! Cucumbers come from the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, and have been consumed by humans since growing wild in India around 3000 BCE. Soon after domestication, they spread across Asia, the Mediterranean, and thanks to the Spanish, the Americas, cucumbers have become a staple to the cuisines of so many countries. They Egyptians even found a way to make a light alcoholic beverage from fermenting cucumbers. It seemed that everyone was in love with cucumbers but this delicious vegetable did fall out of favor in the 1700’s when they were...

Biological Control as an Alternative to Pesticide Use

Biological Control as an Alternative to Pesticide Use 0

Written by Kaitlin Miller – Winner of the 2016 Demetrios Agathangelides Scholarship!   When it comes to pesticides, many farmers try to limit its use as it tends to accumulate in the soil and plant tissue with the possibility of becoming harmful to consumers. In addition, farmers are better able to market their crop when pesticide use is close to none. One way of combating pest invasion is predator introduction to a certain cropping system. When predator population is low in an area under attack by pest species, natural predators may be introduced to the area as a method of...

The Year-Round Herb Garden

The Year-Round Herb Garden 0

“What’s the big deal with fresh herbs?” Some folks say. “I can get a plethora of the same herbs (and more) at my local grocery or specialty foods store.” Yes, this is true. There are more dried-herb options at stores, and it seems to be much easier for the consumer. But have you considered just how long those herbs have been dried when their being manufactured—not to mention how long they’ve been sitting on the shelf in your local store. Not only do they lose their pungent flavor and aroma in the drying process, they lose their nutritional value as...

Rewards of Patience

Rewards of Patience 0

“That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more.” –Charles Bukowski Patience is a virtue. Of course, we hear this phrase all the time. But if we consider this skill so virtuous, why is it that we organize so much of our lives around instant gratification? Why do we get impatient in traffic when the automobile has allowed humans to move faster than we ever have before? Why do we expect immediate answers whenever we have a question—“google it!”? And why do we think watermelons are in...

Getting the Most Out of Your Spring Harvest!

Getting the Most Out of Your Spring Harvest! 0

The coattails of spring welcome additional responsibilities for the gardener as the temperatures rise and as the air becomes drier. The gardener must be sure their crops are drinking enough water but not drowning in it. The gardener also must not let the crops burn in the mid-day sun. Needless to say, the work of the gardener becomes much more rigorous and demanding. But early summer also brings its gifts: the spring harvest vegetables such as lettuces, radishes, snap peas, and Swiss chard. Here are some tips to get the most out of your spring harvest vegetables. Leaf Lettuce This...

The Master Communicators

The Master Communicators 0

Flowers are among nature’s most important, beautiful, complex, and symbolic creations. They are like antennae that transmit messages to the natural world through colors and patterns, and fragrances that let the insects and birds know where the nectar is. For this reason, vegetable and fruit gardeners plant flowers alongside their crops, hoping to attract beneficial pollinators. Not only do flowers communicate with their surroundings, they communicate to us too. For centuries, we have used flowers to tell someone “I love you” or “I’m sorry” or “It’s going to be alright.” They can also speak to us all on their own....

The Power of Flowers

The Power of Flowers 0

The Power of Flowers I'm sure we've all seen the positive influence flowers can have in our surroundings and communities. We’ve noticed the profound change that can happen to the community when hanging baskets and box planters of flowers are used to decorate the store front of a local business, or the streets of a neglected area of town. The sight of flowers draws people near, pulls them from their homes and out into the community as seen through our customer feedback and efforts that businesses have made to keep their customers coming back.Many towns and business have decorated their...

Tips for Encouraging Kids to Garden!

Tips for Encouraging Kids to Garden! 0

Tips for Encouraging Kids to Garden! Teaching children about gardening not only will increase their knowledge about plant biology and the Earth but will increase their self-esteem and self-confidence. At times, it can become a difficult task to get your child to want to garden. But we have found that by trying these few techniques, you can get your children interested in (and even excited about) gardening. If your child already shows an interest, the following techniques can help to cultivate their interest in the art of agriculture. Start with sprouts Sprouting seeds in a simple mason jar is a...

5 Flowers to Grow This Spring!

5 Flowers to Grow This Spring! 0

5 Flowers to Grow This Spring! “[Flowers] are important,” says former Director of Disney’s Horticulture and Environmental Initiative, Katy Moss, “they make you feel good.” Here at MVSeeds.com, we couldn’t agree more. We believe that being in the company of flowers improves one’s well-being. And we wanted to showcase, what we think are, the 5 most essential flowers to grow in your garden this spring—just in time for Mother’s Day! 1. Dahlberg Daisy – Golden FleeceThese tiny canary blooms appear as the warmth of spring is ushered in, their mellow fragrance attracting butterflies. The green foliage is delicate and lush,...

Fire it up

Fire it up 0

Fire it up For many of us, we can get used to sticking with the same tried-and-true crops; the ones we know we like and will eat. The one we know will not offend or shock us in the garden, kitchen, or local neighborhood pot luck. While this strategy is a great place to start, why not step out of the comfortable vegetable zone this year and try something that will make you sweat, squirm, and eventually, smile. This season is a perfect time to get started on some hot peppers and to pique your interest, let’s get to know...

Teaching Through Gardening

Teaching Through Gardening 0

Teaching Through Gardening   “What can educators do to foster real intelligence? We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation, and wildness.” --David Orr With the growing interest in local food and alternative teaching methods, school garden programs have been sprouting up all over the country in the last decade. Here in the Salt Lake Valley, local non-profits, neighborhood communities, and schools are working together to establish teaching gardens in elementary schools. Gardens are a great way to teach kids math and...

Garden Cover Crops

Garden Cover Crops 0

Garden Cover Crops So, your garden has been a success this season, showering you with snap peas and string beans and squash—oh my! Now, as the kids return to school and the weather cools, it is time to put your garden to bed. After you clean out your garden beds from leftover fruit and vegetable plants, weeds, and trellising structures, you can simply cover the beds with leaves or straw for the winter. However, after all that your garden has given to you this season, wouldn’t it be nice to give it something in return? This fall is a great...

Master Gardening Pop Quiz

Master Gardening Pop Quiz 0

Now that you all have your gardens in for the season… can you identify the following plant starts? Answers:1. Cauliflower 2. Basil - Thai 3. Cabbage – Golden Acre4. Arugula 5. Sunflower 6. Chia7. Red Amaranth 8. Corn- Batam 9. Kale – Blue Curled. I hope you did well; these seedlings can be pretty tough to identify when they are just a few days old. If you were given the chance to taste these as part of the identification process you would be amazed at how much these small seedlings called microgreens reflect the flavor of their adult counterparts.Microgreens and...

Summertime Wheatgrass Growing Tips

Summertime Wheatgrass Growing Tips 0

During the heat of the summer, months growing wheatgrass can be subject to a few potential complications due to the heat. Generally speaking, wheatgrass does best below 75 degrees F, but not cooler than 65 degrees. We hope these tips help! Heat Problems During the Initial Soak – if your soak water gets too hot the seeds can actually spoil in the water. The solution is to soak less time (8 hours) or put your soak container in the refrigerator and soak 8 to 12 hours. Root Problems Due to Heat - Wheat does poorly in hot temperatures and grows...

Spin Farming: with Urban Gardener Linda Borghi

Spin Farming: with Urban Gardener Linda Borghi 0

This week let's investigate a new farming phenomenon called Spin Farming and Spin Gardening. People in urban or rural areas are turning small plots of land into a farm for themselves and for others on as little as 1/3 acre, sometimes making a pretty good profit. We thought it was pretty exciting! What is Spin Farming?SPIN stands for S-mall P-lot IN-tensive, and it is a production system that makes it possible to earn significant income from land bases under an acre in size by growing common vegetables. SPIN provides everything you’d expect from a good franchise: a business concept, marketing...

Superior Soil: Superior Food & Superior Life

Superior Soil: Superior Food & Superior Life 0

A friend of mine once said: "Where the light meets darkness is the razor’s edge of our human existence. We exist where light comes to meet the great mineral world to mix and draw it towards the light through the mystery of chlorophyll, basis of organic life." To quote this same anonymous author, "The organic sheen of life on earth lives within narrow limits. In fact, the top 8-12 inches of soil, and about the first 20 feet of ocean water, carry the life processes that allow conversion of sunlight to carbohydrates among other things. All organic life depends on...

Worm Bin Instructions

Worm Bin Instructions 1

Instructions for Using A Worm Bin | Raising Red Earthworms The following information is provided by Todd Spratt, Vermitech Specialist Buy Earthworms here. See Also: Instructions for Building a Worm BinOUR CURRENT CRISES Our world is facing a number of environmental challenges, one of which is garbage and what to do with it all! Many states are requiring counties within their borders to reduce landfills by 50% by the year 2000. It is estimated that 25 to 40 percent of our waste is organic in nature (yard waste, table scraps, paper, etc.).   It takes approximately 8 gallons of water...

Herbal Cleansing and Detoxification

Herbal Cleansing and Detoxification 0

Herbal Detoxification: Going Beyond The Symptoms Detoxification is the mental and physical symptoms, that generally occur when you alter your lifestyle by like changing your diet or exercising, or breaking a bad habit, like giving up smoking or drinking. Why should I detox? Detoxification is the first step towards leading a longer, healthier life. It is the human body’s way of cleansing itself of toxins that may be hindering its ability to complete natural processes. This happens when a person significantly alters their lifestyle by abandoning a harmful or unhealthy habit. The body’s response to the detoxification may seem negative,...

Herbs for Stress Relief: Guide to Relaxing Herbs

Herbs for Stress Relief: Guide to Relaxing Herbs 0

A Guide to Stress Relieving Herbs Relaxation Benefits of Medicinal & Herbal Tea Herbs Summary from David Hoffman. 1991. Vermont: Healing Arts Press Black Horehound – Not to be confused with white horehound – is an excellent remedy for the settling of nausea and vomiting where the cause lies within the nervous system rather than in the stomach. It may be used in motion sickness, for example, where the nausea is triggered through the inner ear and the central nervous system. This herb will also be of value in helping the vomiting associated with pregnancy or nausea and vomiting due...

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