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Fruition Garden Journal

video tutorials, tried-and-true tips + our latest learnings to surround you with abundance all season long

6 Seeds to Sow in Early April

Apr 06, 2018
 

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?

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! Other alliums like 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 become stressed started this...

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My Favorite Tomatoes & Starting from Seed

Apr 02, 2018

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

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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Want Fewer Mosquitoes in Your Garden?

Mar 21, 2018
 

Want Less Mosquitoes in Your Garden?

Growing up in my father's garden, I learned to love bats as much as grow lettuce, sing songs and save seeds. 

Bats play an astonishing role in our world. We would not enjoy mango, banana, chocolate or tequila (from agave) were it not for millions of bats pollinating them each night. Keystone species in nearly every ecosystem, the 1,200+ species of bat account for nearly 20% of mammals on earth. Even if you aren't cultivating guavas in your garden, there are so many reasons to welcome them.

 

Why Bats in Your Garden?

-Bats eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes per hour, often consuming their weight in insects overnight

-Bats also eat Cucumber Beetles, the primary vectors of bacterial wilt.

-Bat guano (dung) is rich, well-balanced fertilizer for your garden. Did you know guano was Texas's largest mineral export before oil? 

-Watching bats fly above the garden at twilight always takes my breath away. They are incredible acrobats (teehee),...

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When to Plant What? Timing is Everything.

Mar 15, 2018
 

Hooray!

We've officially made it through to the other side of the Persephone Period!

Enjoy my video for the full story :)

Beyond Greek goddesses rejoicing, this means it's almost time to start sowing seeds beyond onion, shallot & leek...

...but if you're with us here in the Northeast, still hold back.

When you're planting seeds, timing is everything.

So What's Next?

Here is one chart from my ebook, Rise & Shine: Starting Seeds with Ease, that will help plan when to sow seeds direct in your garden this season:

Here is another chart from Rise & Shine: Starting Seeds with Ease, that will help plan when to start and tranplant your seedlings this season:

Last week at the Philadelphia Flower Show, Stephanie asked if I would sign a printed copy of Rise & Shine.

My jaw fell quite wide.

Friends, I sometimes forget that more than offering seeds, and deeper than building skills, I am sharing inspiration. Confidence. Transformation. Gratitude. Abundance, in...

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Why I Love Sunflowers & Slowing Down

Mar 09, 2018

Evening Colors sunflower is a heavenly mix of autumnal hues with long, strong stems perfect for cutting.

My favorite moment of Evening Colors last summer was watching a family of song sparrows navigate their branches, foraging and feasting on the soft, invertebrate bodies of caterpillars also having lunch among the blossoms. The mother (I confess a presumption) was only slightly larger than her children by July but her calm, exacting movements clearly demonstrated her honed skills, deftly capturing and whacking one insect after another as her protégés fumbled along after her. She would patiently offer her quarry to them, letting them squirm as their caterpillars squirmed, letting them learn, slowly, the quick grace of slipping an insect straight down a throat.

I’m sure I did very important things that day.

Critical things, even.

That dance of life and death, of learning and becoming, those breathless moments among the blossoms: that is all I remember, all...

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How Long Do Seeds Last? Best Practices & A Story

Mar 02, 2018
 

The red-winged blackbirds have returned and we just got eighteen inches of snow!  

Before I sat down with a cup of chaga tea to write you this morning, here is what we did at dawn:

 

How Long Do Seeds Last?

Friends, I've been asked a lot recently:

"Is it worth planting these seeds I didn't sow last season?"

The answer is yes. Mostly.

Here's the thing: most seeds will last three to five years kept dry and stable, relatively low temperatures. A kitchen cupboard or desk drawer are perfect places for seeds. So planting seed from the year or two prior is perfect. 

The only exception: anything in the allium family (onion, leek, scallion, chive, shallot) and parsnip. Their seed coat is thin and fragile, so they readily oxidize and lose their germination. These are the only seeds to purchase each year. If you do have extra from years past, sow them more densely than you would if their germination was optimal. 

Many seeds are delicious as seedlings...

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Introducing Flourish, Fruition's new Garden Club!

Feb 24, 2018
 

Friends!

I'm proud, grateful and utterly thrilled to introduce:

Flourish, Fruition's new Garden Club!

For years you've asked for more: more detailed information, more video tutorials, more timely, personal advice throughout the season. Starting March 1st, Flourish Garden Club surrounds you with timely resources and inspiration to optimize your precious time and garden space.

Flourish is the deep dive of how we do what we do and how you can do it at home, so you can reap what you sow, all season long. 

Learn more and join us here.

Together, we'll cultivate your knowledge, skills and confidence so the seasonal cycles and techniques of organic gardening become second nature to you.

Together we'll learn, laugh and grow the gardens of our dreams.

Each month, Flourish members receive:

Timely tips and techniques each week, making it easy to optimize your time and garden space, surrounding you with abundance all season long. 

~ Exclusive, ...

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Harbinger of Harbingers: Sowing Allium Seeds for Spring

Feb 20, 2018
 

Harbinger of Harbingers: Sowing Allium Seeds for Spring

With snow still on the ground and freezing nights long from over, it's finally time to sow the first seeds of spring. 

But don't worry, it's not time to start everything. In fact, most seeds sown this early would be sown months too soon. 

The only seeds to sow in February are allium seeds.  The Allium family (thanks for the great name, Linneus) include onions, leeks, shallotschives and garlic. Garlic is planted in fall and chives can wait 'til April, but the first three are best sown mid-February to mid-March. It's not a race and no need to make any extra work for yourself, just know if you're looking forward to homegrown shallots as much as I am, it's time to start planning. 

Materials You'll Need:

Here is a materials list to get you started from page 15 of Rise & Shine: Starting Seeds with Ease, Fruition's eBook making it easy for you to sow seeds like a pro:

Organic Seed...

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See You at the Flower Show!

Feb 16, 2018

See You Soon!

Each year we look so forward to celebrating spring and seeing people we love at flower shows throughout the Northeast.

Where will we see you?

We're especially excited because for years you've asked us to share more tools and techniques to make organic gardening easier and more successful...

...and finally we are!

In addition to our full line of organic seeds and dahlias, you'll find heat mats, LED lights, row cover, biotella mulch, Petra's 25-page ebook Rise & Shine: Starting Seeds with Ease and more. 

See you soon!

Connecticut Flower & Garden Show 

February 22nd - 25th

Petra presents:

5 Easy Seeds to Save Thursday at 11 am

10 Tips for Container Gardening Friday at 3:30

7 Essentials of Seed Starting Sunday at 11

Philadelphia Flower Show 

March 2nd - 11th

Petra presents:

7 Keys to Simplify Watering Your Garden Saturday the 3rd at 2 pm

Milkweed for Monarchs: Growing 5 Natives from Seed Sunday the 4th at 10 am

Petra participates in the ...

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