November 2011

Holiday Gifts for Gardeners
A Gift of Seeds Keeps on Growing

Enter HOLIDAY in the coupon code box at checkout.

Renee's Themed Gift Collections

Our Holiday Gift Collections will create unique gardens with a full range of colors, flavors and fragrance. Each pretty Themed Collection envelope holds 5 different eye-catching watercolor packets of our favorite varieties. Perfect paired with Renee's cookbook or combine with a gift boxed set of both cookbooks.
View Themed Collections and order.

Easy to Grow Garden Collections for Beginning Gardeners

Each handsome Collection contains five packets of colorful, delicious and reliably easy to grow vegetables. Especially rewarding for new gardeners.  Choose "Rainbow Kitchen Garden" or "Container Vegetable Garden". View and order.

Easy to Grow Container Herb Garden
Five of the best varieties for growing your own delicious fresh herbs in pots, containers or windowboxes. Includes "how to" brochure. View and order.

Scatter Can Gardens

Native Orange CA Poppies
and Carefree Annual Wildflowers

Our distinctive 7 inch re-sealable Scatter Garden Seed Canisters contain enough seed to broadcast a large field of flowers. Each can has a full description and complete "how to grow" instructions printed on the back. Ample seed to cover 600 to 700 square feet.
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Garden Gift Certificates

Give a gift of seeds with our attractive gift certificates. Recipients can order online or by mail.  View and order

Cookbook Gift Sets

A boxed set of Renee's two companion Kitchen Garden  cookbooks, offered at a 10% discount, is a feast for the eye and  palate. A fine gift for gardening cooks or cooking gardeners. View and order

Our Bonus Packs
Make Ideal Stocking Stuffers

These large and beautiful 4 x 6 inch Bonus Packets are generously filled with very special seeds. Choose from:
"Rainbow of California Poppies"
"Seeds for a Butterfly Garden"
"Seeds for a Hummingbird Garden"
"Gourmet Cat Treats"
"Native American Three Sisters Garden" 
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Honey Nut "personal size" squash

Fava bean & purple vetch cover crop adds nutrients



November in the Trial Garden
by Lindsay Del Carlo, Trial Garden Manager

It has become quite wintery here in our central California Trial Garden. We had our first frost about 3 weeks ago, so we used white row cover to hold in warmth as a "season extender" so that the last peppers and chiles of the season could ripen. This week we finally harvested the last of them: "Baby Bell" multicolored sweet peppers, little "Red Demon" and orange "Fogo" Thai chiles, fiery "Red Savina" chiles and our trial of heirloom "Las Cruces" cayenne chiles. Renee has been busy making holiday gifts: she is drying the cayennes to grind for chile powder and making different hot sauces out of the Thai chiles and habaneros.

We have had a very successful and bountiful harvest of the new climbing mini butternut winter squash, ‘Honey Nut’, that we chose from Cornell University’s new organic vegetable breeding program. These "personal size" little beauties are actually a cross between butternut and buttercup squashes, growing like ornaments on vines that climbed easily on a trellis. Maturing at just 4-5 inches, the fruits initially have dark green rinds when immature, then ripen up orange with streaks of green. Their deep orange flesh is wonderfully sweet and delicious. We plan to introduce this variety next year for certain!

As summer/fall crops are finished up, it is essential not to leave bare soil during the winter because severe weather and heavy rains will erode top soil and leach out nutrients, so we have planted a cover crop for protection. Purple vetch and fava beans replenish nutrients as they fix nitrogen from air into their root nodules. When the plants are incorporated back into the soil in the spring, the nodules then break down releasing the nitrogen back into the soil.

We are also using Pacific Gold Mustard. This cover crop has very high levels of glucosinolates which have a fumigating effect in the soil to help fend off soil dwelling pathogens that affect crops like tomatoes and basil. Pacific Gold Mustard also takes up large amounts of nutrients that would otherwise be leached out of the soil. In the spring, the mustard plants are either turned into the soil or composted and added back as top dressing. Then their stored nutrients are released into the soil and become available for spring crops to use.

 A final harvest of peppers and chilies

Pacific Gold Mustard cover crop actually fights soil borne diseases

Recipe of the Month
Pumpkin Orange Ginger Cheesecake

Orange and candied ginger add subtle accents to this lightened cheesecake.

On Renee's Blog
Fall in our Vermont Trial Garden

Click Here to view

Come Visit Often!

Please visit our website to view all of our monthly feature articles and online catalog. Ordering is quick, easy and secure. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best Wishes,
Renee Shepherd

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Renee's Garden Seeds, 6060 Graham Hill Rd., Felton, CA 95018