Everything you need to know to get a repeat performance of your favorite edibles next year without ever buying new seeds again.
If left to them their own devices, fleshy fruits naturally fall to the earth, where some of their seeds sprout when spring arrives again. Saving seeds from these plants mimics nature’s way—and it’s not at all difficult to do. But remember that only seeds from open-pollinated, not hybrid, plants will produce the same crop next year. (The packet that the original seeds arrived in will tell you whether the variety is open-pollinated or hybrid.)
Salt of the Earth Seed Company is unique because the seeds we sell you come from our own farm, Invincible Summer Farms. The seed is in turn used by our farm in fresh production. We go through a rigorous trialling period before things go into seed production.
We are pleased to be offering our heirloom tomato, eggplant and pepper plants once again!
Our customers include the finest restaurants in the NYC area with critically acclaimed chefs, so we can vouch for the high quality of both our seeds and produce.
All our seed is open pollinated or heirloom and made to be freely shared and improved upon as humans have been doing for centuries. We are sustainable from seed to fork!
All seed we offer is currently being grown by Invincible Summer Farms in Southold, NY. Future partnerships with other seed producers will also have farm of origin labels because we believe you should know exactly where your seed is coming from.
Salt of the Earth Seed Company collaborates with the Long Island Regional Seed Consortium to educate, advocate and foster our local seed system.
Bumblebees in North America are facing pressures of disease, habitat loss, climate change and the overuse of pesticides. Here’s how gardeners can help:
Are you facing any tomato troubles about now? Well, there is help to be had, from Dr. Meg McGrath, a longtime vegetable pathologist for Cornell University. Plus a handy app!
Bean Beetle Control
Colorado Potato beatles have been spotted in the garden eating tomatillo plants!
I am attaching a link from the U of minnesota extension P
Handpicking, especially in small gardens, can be effective. Drop adults and larvae in a pail filled with soapy water. Also remove or crush the yellowish orange eggs on the underside of leaves. New adult beetles can fly into gardens so be sure to check your potatoes regularly. Handpicking may be less practical in larger gardens.
There are few natural enemies of the Colorado potato beetle. Stink bugs and lady beetles will prey upon Colorado potato beetle eggs, and the fungus Beauveria bassiana will kill both larvae and adults. However, natural enemies will have little impact on overall Colorado potato beetle numbers.
Spinosad will do less leaf damage then Neem. It is available labeled for other insects. I use Bonide’s Organic Potato Beetle spray available at Home Depot. Spinosad is made from the residue from bacteria in the production of Rum and is safe to use up to harvest. If you use Neem, spray it on a few test leaves to see if it affects the leaf and makes them unpalatable.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Many people have neither the time nor the space for a vegetable garden. But nearly everyone has at least a sunny windowsill, indoor or outdoor spot where you can grow something fresh and delicious. In fact, Gateway Gardens and groups like Long Island Food Not Bombs share the mission of encouraging everyone to grow some food for themselves. In the case of Food Not Bombs, volunteers grow seedlings to give away to people at weekly food-sharing events in Hempstead, Huntington and Farmingville.
That’s a great idea, but while you can grow some lettuce or spinach in a half-gallon milk carton, you need a 10-gallon container like a garbage can for a zucchini. So it’s important to understand what size different vegetables need; otherwise, the seedling will go to waste.
But bear in mind that the containers can be absolutely anything. In fact, you can cut an X in the plastic bag containing a commercial potting mix and plant your seedling right in the bag!
Vegetables for Small & Medium Containers
The vegetables that can make it in the smallest containers, besides lettuce and spinach, include radishes (which grow really fast) and green onions. A dwarf tomato plant needs about a two-gallon container, and that could be a plastic bucket or even a dishpan.
Five to 8 gallon buckets, garbage cans or flowerpots can hold larger quantities of the smaller vegetables and be used for carrots, beets and eggplant as well.
Important: Remember to put drainage holes in all containers and some bark or stones or something similar in the bottom to keep the soil from staying too wet.
Vegetables For Large Containers
For vegetables that grow on vines, like squashes, and others such as cabbage, full-size tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts, you need a 10-20 gallon container. Consider laundry baskets, old Styrofoam coolers, garbage cans, etc. You can get more than one kind of vegetable from a large container. For example, you could plant lettuce or spinach all around a couple of zucchini or a full-size tomato. When the weather gets warm and the tomato starts to get big, you’ll already have harvested the cool-weather loving lettuce.
Soil: A Long-Term Investment
The seedlings, of course, need soil to grown in, and you should regard the soil as a long-term investment. Don’t try to use soil you dig up from outside. Use a commercial potting mix either with topsoil and compost already in it, or purchase sterile topsoil and sterile compost to add to the potting mix. You can reuse your soil for years by just adding some compost to it next year and for years after.
Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County has lots more expert information about container farming. Follow this link to find it.