2-19-09 Love, Rain and Seeds
In This Issue:
- February in the Garden
- Fuel and Fertilizers
- Gardenerd Tip of the Week: Seed Starting
- Product of the Month: NEW 2009 Heirloom Tomato Collection
1. February in the Garden
We’ve had a couple inches of much-needed rain here in Southern California, with the promise of more to come. There are new water conservation laws in place in Los Angeles – no watering between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Luckily we collected some rain water to keep the plants happy on dry days.
Spring is just around the corner, and these final days of winter are both rewarding and agonizing all at the same time. The rewarding part is that we’re harvesting huge heads of cabbage, kohlrabi, peas, and broccoli. The agonizing part is that we can’t plant tomatoes yet. However – with all the catalogs piled up on the nightstand, the dream is kept alive with plans to try out several new varieties this year.
Cover crops have been turned under, the compost pile has been turned over. The asparagus has been cut down and is already sending up new shoots. Strawberries are flowering, setting fruit, and turning red – so soon! The bees are hovering around blossoms on the fruit trees. It’s going to be an exciting spring in the garden.
Speaking of exciting, the BIG NEWS this week is that we are going to be featured on ABC News: Nightline sometime next week. Check the Latest News on the Gardenerd home page for dates and times.
2. Fuel and Fertilizers
Josh Tickell just released a documentary called Fuel. We highly recommend all gardenerds go see the movie. You might be wondering why it’s being mentioned in a gardening newsletter. The reason is two fold:
1) As the credits roll, Josh lists 10 things you can do to reduce your dependency on foreign oil and energy. Planting a vegetable garden is #5. Yea us!
2) Chemical fertilizers (like Miracle Grow, Ortho, and others like these) are made from petroleum. Synthetic nitrogen is produced by using natural gas and crude oil. If you’re interested in the details, click the link below to find out more about the process.
We, as gardeners, can make a huge difference in the world, just by making good choices. Choose organic fertilizers, and keep growing those veggies!
Link: The Case Against Synthetic Fertilizers by Deborah K. Rich
3. Gardenerd Tip of the Week: Seed-Starting
Starting seeds indoors during winter gives gardeners a head-start on their spring garden. Instead of waiting until the weather is warm enough to support life, we can sprout tender seedling in the comfort of our own homes under grow lights.
Here in Southern California, our problem is not the cold – we can direct seed almost anything as early as February. The problem for gardeners here is that the crops are still growing from fall/winter! So there’s no space. This is another great reason to start seeds indoors. They’ll be ready to plant out into the garden as soon as the winter crops finish up.
One more, and perhaps most important, reason to start seeds indoors is variety. Many plants (like tomatoes, eggplant and peppers) just don’t do as well if they are direct-seeded in the garden. They require the special environment and extra hours of sunlight to thrive. Instead of depending on nurseries for interesting varieties of tomatoes (there are over 600 heirlooms to choose from), you can shop seed catalogs and try out different selections every year. You can also look below to try out our brand new heirloom tomato seed collection.
For more information about starting from seed, check out these blog entries:
4. Product of the Month: NEW 2009 Heirloom Tomato Collection
We are pleased to debut, in this very issue of the Gardenerd Gazette, the brand new, all-heirloom, all the time, hot-off-the-presses addition to the Gardenerd Store. The 2009 Heirloom Tomato Collection features 8 hand-selected organic heirloom tomato varieties from Seeds of Change that we’ve enjoyed here at Gardenerd.com for years. This collection includes the following:
Stupice – the 8th wonder of the world – grows like mad – you’ll harvest this one first
Yellow Pear – we’ve tried other yellow pears, but this one is just the best
German Queen – a big, beautiful beefsteak tomato that makes you proud to be a gardener
Tigerella – this colorful conversation starter is the jewel of the garden
Cherokee Purple – this pink and purple wonder looks amazing in salads and tastes like candy
Green Zebra – we just wanted to keep it interesting. This tomato performs well year after year
Black Plum – no Italian mean is complete without the black plum. Visually interesting and very tasty
Garden Peach – it actually has fuzz on the skin! Bright yellow and cute as a button. You don’t want to miss the chance to grow this one
The best part about this collection is that you’ll save 20% over individual seed packet prices. Get yours today for only $21.
Pre-order your collection HERE!
Not doing nightshades? You can still get the 2009 Spring Garden Seed Collection too. Click here to get them while they last.
Stay tuned for more gardening tips and tidbits from the all-new Gardenerd.com. Happy Winter Gardening!