Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category
March 29th, 2013 by Kathie
Gardening season is officially here, and this weekend’s weather forecast couldn’t be better! At the Food Co-op, we have everything you need to start your own backyard garden plot because we know there are few things more satisfying than eating food that you’ve grown yourself.
What to plant? We have seeds from Oatsplanter Farm and Seed Dreams, and seed potatoes from Dick Bedlington of Lynden, Wash., to help you with that. But if you would rather start with transplants, we have plant starts outside of our north entrance from Port Townsend’s Midori Farm, too. There you will find cool weather spring crops, i.e, peas, spinach, lettuce, arugula, stir fry mix, Seascape strawberries, and onions (yellow storage, red, and Walla Walla sweets).
You don’t really need a big garden plot to see how green your thumb might be. Many vegetables and berries can be grown in a decent size pot or container.
Remember, when planning your garden, generally speaking, if you are growing for the leaves, partial shade is okay. If you are growing for the fruit from a flower, plant in full sun.
If you’re brand new to growing food, we recommend two books that we sell in the store. The first book is written by the owners of Midori Farm – Marko Colby and Hanako Myers. Vegetable by Vegetable: A Guide for Gardening Near the Salish Sea covers over 60 vegetables and herbs with detailed information on each, including seeding times, water and fertility needs, disease, pests, winter gardening, and harvest tips.
We also stock The Maritime Northwest Garden Guide by Rob Peterson and Carl Elliott. This book is especially valuable for the monthly gardening calendar. You can find copies of Vegetable by Vegetable right inside the north entrance. The Maritime Northwest Garden Guide is in the book section of the store by the bulk spices in the Wellness Department.
Although we don’t carry this book (try William James Bookseller), I highly recommend Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening written by Steve Solomon, now in its sixth edition. Solomon started Territorial Seed Company in 1979 which he sold in 1985. In Solomon’s extensive book, he gives the recipe for “the best fertilizer” a friend of mine says he has ever used:
- 4 parts cottonseed meal
- ½ part lime (best is an equal mixture of agricultural lime and dolomite)
- ½ part phosphate rock or bone meal
- ½ kelp meal
Solomon recommends 1-2 gallons of fertilizer per 100 square feet or ¼ to ½ cup per plant. As you can see, we carry everything you need to mix your own except the lime. We’re investigating a source for lime, but for now, we don’t have it in stock. Personally, I think you can do without it and still have good results.
If you like good food, gardening is a very satisfying component of culinary satisfaction. There aren’t very many things that make me squeal with delight, but I have to admit that gathering lettuce from the garden for a dinner salad is one of them.