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Fruition Garden Journal

stories, tutorials, tried-and-true tips and our latest learnings to keep you up-to-date, inspired and surrounded by abundance in each season

What We Just Learned About Final Frost (& Happy Memorial Day)!

 

Growing up in the Finger Lakes of New York, high elevation Zone 5, I have the mantra of "Memorial Day is Final Frost" deeply embedded in my brain. I am constantly questioning my assumptions about myself and the world around me; this year I was inspired to dig a little deeper into this maxim. 

Are historic frost dates still relevant?

potatoes are ideally planted three weeks before final frost

Pouring over decades of temperature records in our county from the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Association (which is totally free and fascinating, I highly recommend it!) from 1930 to present, here are my observations:

a) Our final frost dates have (surprisingly) remained fairly consistent, often occurring just before Memorial Day.

b) Even on years when final frost is weeks earlier than Memorial Day (like May 1st, 1970, which happens 2-3 times each decade), the night temps generally aren't out of the 40s consistently until around Memorial Day.

Which is all to say:

...

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5 Tips for Gorgeous Transplants

 

Happy Spring, Friends!

With Memorial Day just around the corner, it's finally time to tuck your transplants in the ground. Whether you're planting them in raised beds, a large garden or in a container on your deck, here are five tips to boost their health and, as a result, the beauty and abundance surrounding you this season.

We grow thousands of certified organic transplants for our farm store each spring.

First, know this: Healthy, unstressed transplants grow the greatest abundance. Healthy transplants are short and stout, deep green and not root bound. See the gallery at the bottom for pictures worth a thousand words.

Without further ado:

1. Hardening Off

Transplants, whether you grow them or buy them, are rather sensitive little beings.

Grown indoors with seed-starting soil mix and a roof over their heads, your transplants have lived their lives in conditions very different from those in your garden. They've never experienced gusting winds, falling rain, fluctuating...

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Organic Tomato Transplants & More at Fruition's Farm Store

 

Organic Tomato Transplants & More

at Fruition's Farm Store

You'll find organic heirloom tomato transplants, bolt-resistant cilantro seeds, luscious fingerling seed potatoes, abundant garden insight, hands-on classes & so much more.

That's Eric Aulenbacher, by the way, who loves tomatoes & we love him!

Come visit Fruition!

Saturdays, now through June 2nd between 10 and 2, are the perfect time to visit us at 7921 Hickory Bottom Road in Naples to find:

gorgeous organic transplants

~tomato, pepper, eggplant, ground cherry and basil plus hundreds of other herbs,  vegetables and flowers~

hundreds of varieties of organic seeds

~regionally adapted to thrive in short seasons~

tools for seed starting & organic gardening

~so you'll fully reap what you sow~

luscious fingerling seed potatoes

~in a rainbow of colors, ready to plant~

the friendly faces of Fruition

~eager to share our passion and knowledge with you~

hands-on organic gardening classes
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10 Easy Seeds to Sow in May

 

10 Easy Seeds to Sow in May

Daffodils bloom, wood frogs sing! As robins pull worms from the warming soil, here are ten easy seeds to sow in May.

1. Peas

The classic harbinger of spring, peas are sown as soon as your soil can be worked. (What does that mean? Check out this video.) Some years we sow peas in March. Other years, it's May. All seasons have their advantages and disadvantages. Everything's grand or everything's not grand: you choose. I digress.

Peas tolerate cool seasons better than most plants in your garden. To some extent, the earlier you plant your peas the earlier you'll harvest peas. Keep in mind: peas developing in cooler temperatures will be sweeter and more tender than those developing in the heat of summer. So tuck them in quick! And whatever you do, please resist starting them indoors; peas absolutely despise having their sensitive root systems uprooted. Most of us can relate.

To extend your pea harvest this season, sow both dwarf and full-size...

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Fruition's Guide to Companion Planting

Companion Planting

Tomatoes love basil.

Kale loves dill.

Is it really that simple?

Yes and no.

Companion planting is the art of planting your garden so everything will thrive in their neighbor's company.

Here is the bottom line: diversity is essential for a healthy, gorgeous garden.

And the more the merrier: more species, more varieties, more flowers, more insects, more joy.

Our insectary mix, full of diversity delicious for countless species.

What makes a good companion plant? Here are the three characteristics I consider when pairing companion plants, followed by my four go-to companion plants for any garden.

Three Kinds of Companions

1. Height + Light

Tall plants can act as a living trellis for climbing crops. For example, pole beans grow marvelously up sunflowers and corn.

Lettuce and other leaf crops thrive in the shade of taller plants in summer.

Tall crops often create shade in your garden, as well. Limit the shade they make by planting tall crops north/south...

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Mmmmmm! 5 Keys to Eating Greens Before Memorial Day

Mmmmmmm!

5 Keys to Eating Greens Before Memorial Day

Traditional wisdom sends us to our garden Memorial Day weekend.  And for good reason: the soil is finally warm, it is marvelous to not wear socks and all the quintessential summer crops (tomatoes, basil, beans) can be planted with confidence knowing there will (likely) not be another frost 'til fall. 

Certainly, Memorial Day is a great time to start your garden but friends, there’s no need to wait. Especially if you love salad as much as Davi and I do :)

With the right seeds, the right tools and the right timing, you can be eating greens six weeks or more before Memorial Day, even in our short seasons here in the Finger Lakes. 

Yes, even when it's still snowing on April 19th, as it is today :)

Here are my five ways to make sure you're eating salad before Memorial Day. 

1. Sow in fall 

When does nature sow her seeds? 

In the fall!

Much more on this as autumn approaches :)

In the meantime,...

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Fruition's Spring Giveaway!

 

Fruition's Spring Giveaway!

Want to set yourself up for an abundant season ahead? Join our Giveaway!

We've teamed up with Neptune's Harvest to give you one quart of organic fish and kelp emulsion, four pounds of organic crab & lobster meal, one Neptune's Harvest hat and bumper sticker plus 12 months of Flourish Garden Club.

That's over $150 value! See full details at the bottom of our post.

In the meantime, let's talk soil building :)

3 Easy Ways to Boost Your Garden Fertility This Spring

So much depends on the seeds you sow. And when you sow them. And how. 

If you nail these things but plant into poor soil, you still won't be successful. 

Here are three of the best amendments you can add to build soil fertility in your garden:

Organic Compost is magic. It is the work of untold billions of organisms, mostly microscopic, turning proverbial trash into treasure. How to compost well is a whole other subject, but here is the bottom-line: if your compost...

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6 Seeds to Sow in Early April

 

Here in the Finger Lakes of New York, Zone 5a, we're filling our greenhouse with the seeds of crops best sown 6 to 8 weeks before last frost. Exploring last frost dates is a blog coming soon! In the meantime, we aim for Memorial Day as our frost-free date. 

What are we sowing this week?

Enjoy the tutorial above, breaking it all down!

Here is the laundry list, with notes:

1) Alliums

Though onions & shallots (like Cuisse du Poulet below) were ideally started 4 to 6 weeks ago, there is no time like the present and last call! Leeks and scallions are not day-length sensitive, so sow them anytime now through mid-July. We'll be planting them out early/mid May.

2) Solanids

Now is the perfect time to start pepperseggplant and tomatoes (like Brandywise below). Other varieties in the solanid family to start indoors include ground cherries and tomatillos, but hold off on them til mid-April: they are a lot more vigorous and will easily...

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My Favorite Tomatoes & Starting from Seed

My Favorite Tomatoes & Starting from Seed

Tomatoes are quintessential summer. Whether it's fresh salsa from the garden, a satisfying slice on a sandwich or dropping wedges onto the top of a frittata just as it enters the oven, tomatoes are one of the simplest ways to make me smile in any season.

Here are a few of my favorites: 

Chiapas is always the first and last tomato we harvest. Super early, super productive and super disease resistant, it's also super delicious.

Honey Drop ripens right after Chiapas & is lusciously sweet, similar to Sungold in both flavor and size. The biggest difference? Sungold is an F1 Hybrid owned by a multinational corporation while Honey Drop is open-pollinated (so its saved seed will grow true to type) and is owned by no one, so we all have access and will for generations. 

Gold Medal has remained one my favorite tomatoes for decades. It's massive! With flavor rich and fruity, it's cross-section is marbled red, orange and yellow....

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Come to Fruition! On-Farm Classes In April

classes hands-on workshop Mar 30, 2018

Come to Fruition!

Organic Seeds & Gardening Classes this Spring

Come celebrate spring at Fruition Seeds’ farm store! You’ll find hundreds of varieties of organic seeds, each one selected to thrive in our short seasons. Find everything you need to start them and expect our organic transplants in May.  We share our passion and knowledge always, so bring all your garden quandaries, conundrums and dreams! We’re open each Saturday from 10 to 2 through June 5th at 7921 Hickory Bottom Road in Naples.

For years we’ve been asked for more personal and more seasonal garden insight from Fruition Seeds and friends, the answer is finally YES! Each Saturday in April & May I’ll share my passion and expertise with you with hands-on classes at Fruition Seeds. Each 90 minute class costs $20 and includes a PDF of Petra’s eBook, Rise & Shine: Starting Seeds with Ease plus a packet or transplant of your choice as well as a complimentary month of...

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