April, 2011

We make our selections only after careful evaluation in our own trial gardens.

How We Choose Our Seeds

Every year in early spring, I set about finding new varieties and contracting with growers to produce new seed crops for varieties we currently offer. First and foremost, I work hard to find good, sustainable and organic growers with the skill and expertise to grow the high-quality, high germinating seeds we know we can count on and our customers will be successful with. We have close relationships with our growers, and many have become trusted friends.

While I always look for unique selections, my major criteria are still excellence in flavor, color and ease of growing and garden performance for home gardeners.

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We offer varieties grown by seed producers from all over the world

Borecole Kale


Calendula starts in pots

April In the Trial Garden
by Lindsay Del Carlo, Trial Garden Manager

Varieties that grow best while the weather is cool are thriving now in our spring garden. One favorite is our new Braising Greens Mix, a colorful blend of 4 varieties: 2 colored chard varieties and two beets grown here for their different colored greens. (This Braising Greens Mix will be one of our new introductions for 2012). The fast-growing blend is sown thickly in a garden bed or container. Baby seedlings can be harvested very young as tender micro-greens, or grown larger to shear off with a scissors at 4-5 inches for meltingly tender braising or stir fry greens - really healthy and delicious eating at either stage.

We are also trialing several heirloom varieties of Red and Green Borecole Kale. These frilly, nutrient-rich leaves will be a wonderful addition to soups and pasta dishes, or just steamed with a little olive oil and lemon juice.

Cool season flowers like Sweet Peas, Godetia, and Calendula are starting to grow vigorously now that night time temperatures have started warming up a towards 50F. By the end of May, we will be seeing them burst into bloom with their incredible colors. We are trialing several new Sweet Pea combinations and some single colors, a double Godetia, and several colors of a new Calendula bred especially for containers. These bright, fully double flowers will grow to just 10-12 inches tall; perfect to shine in containers on a patio with pretty edible petals to add to salads or rice dishes.

Braising Greens Mix


Training Sweet Peas on netting

We've had so many inquiries about drip irrigation, we'd like to recommend the experts at DripWorks.

DripWorks celebrates 20 years of providing gardeners with complete drip irrigation systems. Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the root zone, producing healthier plants while minimizing the amount of time spent weeding and hand watering.
Raised beds are a great way to grow a vegetable or flower garden. Once your bed has been prepared and planted, it's a perfect time to install a drip irrigation system. Watch the DripWorks videos showing how simple it is to set up a drip system in a raised bed. If you require more help, DripWorks offers a free design service. To learn more, go to the DripWorks virtual catalog, request a free catalog or visit dripworksusa.com.

Recipe of the Month
Asparagus Frittata

A savory and flavorful brunch, or light dinner dish that sets off seasonal asparagus.


On Renee's Blog:
It All Starts with Dirt

Spreading compost at our NE Trial Garden

Come Visit Often!

Please visit our website to view all of our new 2011 introductions, monthly feature articles and complete online catalog. Ordering is quick, easy and secure. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best Wishes,
Renee Shepherd


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