video tutorials, tried-and-true tips + our latest learnings to surround you with abundance all season long
How do you know when a melon is ripe?
The million-dollar question!
There is simply no one way, Friends.
Here are the keys to keep in mind.
Here are three clues to help you harvest at just the right moment:
Go knocking on your watermelons! Listen to the tone, feel the resonance in the melon. The lower the tone, the riper the melon. Ripe melons will also have more vibration from within, with unripe melons feeling more solid with a higher pitch 'pink' rather than the deeper 'pank' and deepest 'punk.'
For this method, it's ideal to have multiple melons to give you a reference point. It's also crucial to note that the lowest tone only denotes the ripest melon --- not necessarily a ripe melon. If you're wondering what method to employ in a market, this is the one :)
You'll notice at the base of a watermelon's stem is a green, spiraling tendril. Once the associated watermelon is ripe, that tendril...
I was tempted to share 'seeds to never transplant,' yet never is such strong, dominating language.
There is always more than one way to do things.
In fact, we transplant some of these seeds...
...but only because it keeps our lives more simple ...
...not because the plants prefer it.
So yes, it's true, there are some seeds whose sensitive root systems simply prefer to grow where they're planted. Planting them in soil blocks, cow pots or peat pots is always an option --- just be sure you're transplanting them as soon as seedlings emerge from the soil.
It's counter-intuitive, I know, but directly sowing these seeds in deliciously warm soil after final frost will surround you with earlier and more abundance than their transplanted kin, even in short seasons. Planting them earlier is simply not an equation to get an earlier harvest.
The cucurbit botanical family includes zucchini, summer & winter squash, melon, &...
We never thought we'd do this.
Tuck seeds in blank packets.
And yet, six weeks ago, we saw the writing on the wall. As seed packets were flying off our shelves, we had plenty of seeds in our cooler to share --- yet our packet supply was beginning to dwindle. We contacted our fabulous printer & though they're still in operation, they're functioning at a fraction of their capacity, with no timeline for us to anticipate receiving more packets.
We were able to find blank packets as our hearts sank, deflated at the thought of sharing seeds. In. Blank. Packets.
Ten seconds later my heart elated, realizing that this is the moment we inhabit: A blank slate, an open canvas, daunting & not at all what we ever would have wanted, yet the dawn of a new day.
We always talk about making the world more beautiful, more just, more creative, more resourceful.
So here we are:
We're paying artists, beloved friends, to create original art for our packets as...
You can start seeds in virtually anything that a) holds potting mix and b) drains excess water.
That being said, some containers are better than others.
Though creativity & resourcefulness are essential, now more than ever, it’s equally important to know the pros & cons of seed starting approaches.
Starting seeds is such a joy...and it's deceptively easy.
There are as many ways to garden as there are gardeners, but too many garden ‘hacks’ focus on the ‘wow!’ factor & not the fact that there are very real limitations as well as better approaches to consider.
I’ve already received hundreds of photos of struggling seedlings this spring , it’s simply not as easy as it seems. The worst ones by far are in egg cartons & jiffy pots — foreshadowing! — but don’t let me get ahead of myself :)
Certainly, there are many variables. High-quality light & potting mix are key, as is not starting too soon (the classic...
The Dutch have been developing modern soil blocking for nearly a century. Planting seeds into cubes of soil was documented 2,000 years ago in Central America, as well.
I love soil blocks for the remarkable health of transplants compared to their cousins grown in cell trays. And they’re fun to make! Plus, if you take care of your soil blockers, they will last decades if not generations.
Brilliantly, potting mix is both the container and the growing medium of a soil block. Since (most) roots evolved to grow into dark soil rather than bright air, seedlings will naturally air-prune themselves in soil blocks. This maximizes their soil volume (which is much more than a cell in a tray could offer) and prevents seedlings from becoming root-bound. For decades and without question, soil blocking is my favorite way to grow seedlings.
The best soil for soil blocking is at about half coconut coir or peat moss, which is heart-breaking because neither are particularly renewable,...
For many of us, there is no summer without tomatoes.
When you're sowing tomato seeds, you're sowing summer!
And sigh: Growing gorgeous tomato transplants from seed is *not* especially easy.
Here's the counter-intuitive truth: Younger, unstressed transplants often yield many times the abundance of old, stressed transplants.
No matter how short your seasons are, starting seeds earlier than is optimal is simply undermining your abundance.
Also, your goal for any transplant (also potentially counter-intuitive!) is for your seedling to be as short, stout & deep green as possible. Short and stout because they're not leggy, stretching and stressed for light. Deep green because they're fully photosynthesizing and not nutrient-deficient.
Growing healthy tomato transplants is not easy, Friends.
Being honest with ourselves about how well we grow transplants indoors is even harder!
Here are common mistakes to save you heartache as well as how to sow...
Edible flowers are the best of all worlds, feeding us in so many ways beyond beauty, beyond calories, growing our ability to see beyond what we've known before.
As we seed our vegetables for the season ahead, now more than ever we sow the seeds of these edible flowers with a vast appreciation for their power to transform, with love, the world around them.
We are what we eat, so let's make it beautiful!
Easy to grow in any soil, any container and even limited sun, calendula is beautiful, edible and medicinal. Pluck the petals from the center calyx to toss in salad and strew across cakes! They have a mild marigold scent and flavor, which is heavenly :)
Just over one foot wide and tall with a rainbow of colors, calendula is also a favorite of pollinators and is easy to save the seed of, in fact re-seeding herself if you don't harvest all her flowers and seeds, first.
The more you harvest your calendula, the more she'll blossom....
Garden planning can be intimidating.
Learning to trust our seeds (and ourselves) is the work (and play!) of a lifetime and I'm honored to share everything I've learned about gardening and garden planning with you :)
First, you should know: There are as many ways to plan a garden as there are gardeners, so Friends,
~ learn all you can from gardeners you love (I'm honored to be among them!)
~ experiment with curiosity and joy
~ share everything you learn with everyone you can
...because we all grow more when we share more!
Second, here are
to get you started, explored in greater depth in the video above and in the words below:
1. What is most important for me to grow? Sow what you love :)
2. When is best for me to start growing? Depends if you're sowing indoors or outdoors and also if the plant is frost hardy or not! Enjoy our calendars and charts below.
3. Where is best for me to grow? The richest...
Here are the seeds you can sow directly in your garden now, if your snow has melted
And did you hear?
Fruition’s Seed Starting Academy is now free, because gardening is how we ground ourselves, especially in chaotic times
Abundant gardens nourish so much more than our bodies and we are honored to share everything we’ve learned with you in 5+ hours of fun and informative video tutorials
Normally $98, our Seed Starting Academy we are now sharing for free at www.fruitionseeds.com, because we love you ♥
Also, here is our humbling story of how we came to realize the devastation of CoVID-19, up close and personal, and how we committed to looking in the mirror long and hard. Hint: it’s harrowing! And I hope to hear more of your story one day, too
In the meantime, enjoy Fruition’s Seed Starting Academy, Friends.
We’re all in this together
Sow Seeds & Sing Songs in Social Solidarity,
Each year we grow acres of organic gardens, saving hundreds of thousands (if not millions...) of seeds of tried-and-true varieties we love as we continue to adapt them to our short seasons, year after year. Each year we also grow dozens upon dozens of new varieties, exploring and experimenting, discovering new joys and learning ever, always.
This season we're delighted to share seed with you of some gems we've found and here is a tiny taste of them all :)
Where do we begin? The flavor, the story, the abundance, the near spinelessness? If you don't have time for it all, know this: Haifa's Finest is a Fruition-bred variety, the most flavorful zucchini you'll likely ever eat. Imagine exceptional nuttiness with a creamy density that melts in your mouth --- you won't be tossing these in neighbor's mailboxes, I suspect :)
After six years of selections, we're so excited to finally share our lusciously nutty, super creamy and nearly...
For years we’ve been asked to demystify seed starting and here it is: Rise & Shine shares everything you need to start seeds successfully at home in 40 beautiful pages with easy-to-follow instructions and insightful tips for the novice and experienced grower alike.