March 2012 


Renee Live!

Click to Listen to Renee's interview with
 Lynne Rossetto Kasper
on public radio's
"The Splendid Table"

     Seed Buying 101: A Seed Gardener’s Glossary

This month we're pleased to feature the "Seed Gardener's Glossary" from the Home Garden Seed Association This trade organization promotes gardening from seed and Renee's Garden and many other home garden seed companies are members.

"How often do you hear or find yourself wondering what is the difference between an heirloom and an open-pollinated seed variety, an F-1 hybrid and a “GMO?” Misconceptions about these terms are rampant. Breeding techniques continue to evolve, and the ethical debate on the long-term effects of this brave new world of hi-tech breeding will rage on.  Seed choices abound, and gardeners deserve to make educated decisions about what is best for their own use.  read the article

"Russian Banana Fingerlings"

"All Red"

New For Spring: Grow Potato Mini Tubers

We just added seed potatoes to our kitchen garden catalog - both beloved heirlooms, and new varieties of USDA Certified Organic potato mini tubers, produced and grown for us in Washington State and chosen for superior eating quality, delicious flavors, pretty colors and unusual shapes.

Mini tubers are perfect little seed potatoes about the size of a walnut, produced by tissue culture from top quality potato eyes, and then grown out in a nursery environment. They are totally free of the multiple invisible viruses and bacteria that reduce productivity in ordinary field-grown potato seed stock. Each mini tuber is planted whole and grows into a large, vigorous plant, producing high yields of full-size potatoes. Every order includes our "Mini Tuber Potato Growing Guide", with complete step-by-step planting, growing and harvest information.

Choose from 8 different varieties or plant a Renee's Potato Patch
Click Here to view and order

"Purple Majesty"

"Heirloom Caribe"




Onion plants off to a good start

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

From our new offering of onion plants for bulbing onions, we have planted out the Rainbow Onion Sampler for intermediate days. First we prepared the planting bed with well aged compost, an organic high nitrogen fertilizer, and earthworm castings for an extra kick. Each little onion plant was set 4 inches apart and perked up right away after being planted out. We mulched with a layer of straw and covered the bed with bird netting, as you never know what the birds might find tasty this time of year. Throughout their growth, we will supplement every few weeks with high nitrogen liquid fish emulsion to ensure big full sweet onions bulbs.

We are also growing out the varieties in our new Certified Organic line (seeds available this fall) to take pictures for our website, and are trialing new varieties for future intros.

Warm season veggies like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are started in our greenhouse. We place the seed flats on heat mats, keeping them 75-80 F (24-27C), so soil temperatures are high enough for good germination on these heat lovers. When seedlings have several sets of true leaves, they will be transplanted into individual 4inch pots to grow until plants go outdoors when nights reach 50-55 F (10-13 C). Cool season vegetables are planted directly in our raised garden beds. There are leafy greens, including lettuce, kale, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli raab, and root vegetables like beets, carrots, radish and rutabaga. We are also growing bulbing fennel, scallions, leeks, parsley, cilantro, and several arugulas. All of these varieties will grow nicely and mature in the cool spring weather.

Warm season seedlings in the greenhouse

Cool season veggies in our raised beds

Recipe of the Month
Asian Style Spinach Salad

This dressing combines all my favorite Asian flavors. Add cooked chicken or shrimp for a complete full-flavored but low calorie meal.

New: Grow The Ingredients Giveaway

This month we are doing a seed giveaway for the fresh ingredients in our scrumptious spinach salad recipe, so you can make it with your own harvests.

Every newsletter subscriber is already eligible to win. We do a random drawing for three winners on March 24. Watch your email to see if you have won!

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

Best Wishes,
Renee Shepherd

What's On Renee's Blog
Protecting Seedlings with Bird Netting

Growing a garden from seed is exciting and rewarding, but care must be taken to protect young seedlings while they are small and vulnerable. It can be extremely frustrating to watch your seeds germinate and begin to grow, only to have birds come along when you are not looking and pluck them out of the ground one by one. In our trial garden we are big fans of bird netting and use it extensively as a simple and effective way to protect seedlings from bird predation. In this blog post, Trial Garden Manager Lindsay Del Carlo shows you how to do it.

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