Fruition Garden Journal

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

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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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!

Sowing alliums is certainly a sign that spring has nearly sprung. 

The ideal window to sow onions, leeks & seeded shallots here in Zone 5 is mid-February to mid-March. No need to rush, you've got time to gather everything you need to make it easy. Growing great seedlings is one of the best ways to ensure you'll truly reap what you sow. 

And don't worry, it's not time to start everything. In fact, most seeds sown this early would be sown weeks (& months!) too soon, here in Zone 5. 

The only seeds to sow in February are allium seeds.  The Allium family (thanks for the great name, Linneus) include onions, leeks, shallots, chives and garlic. Garlic and vegetative shallots are planted in fall and chives can wait 'til April, but the first three are best sown mid-February to...

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7 Essentials of Seed Starting: an Infographic

Feb 08, 2018

7 Essentials of Seed Starting 

Many gardeners want to start seeds more successfully, so my friend Sal and I created this gorgeous infographic for you:

 Where do I get...

...the LED grow light that we use? Here.

...easy to use soil blockers to make gorgeous soil blocks? Here.

...organic potting soil? Here

...a heat mat that will change my life? Here.

And for our Ultimate Seed Starting Collection, head here.

What inspired us to make an infographic for you?

Dreaming of the season ahead, my dear friend Kc inspired me to make a list of the 7 essential things she needed to know to start seeds well...

...then I'm scheming to make supper with my dear friend Sal, whose illustrations are as vivid and whimsical as her gardens and stories. Eureka! Sal and I had SO much fun laughing and learning as we brought to life the 7 Essentials of Seed Starting through visual story.

Welcome to Sal's Garden!

Questions for Sal:

Petra: Whose advice do you always listen to?

Sal:...

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5 Keys to Preventing Tomato Disease (there is no silver bullet, but #1 is close)

Jan 26, 2018

5 Keys to Preventing Tomato Disease

(there is no silver bullet, but #1 is close)

Whether you hope to harvest 10 or 10,000 tomatoes, diseases like Late Blight, Early Blight and Septoria Leaf Spot are affecting your abundance every season here in the Northeast.

Here are the 5 keys to preventing tomato disease:

1. Start with disease-resistant seeds.

Sowing seeds with natural genetic resistance to these diseases is the single greatest thing you can do to increase your success whether you are an organic or conventional grower.

Often flavorful heirlooms have little disease resistance and modern varieties with tons of disease resistance have little remarkable flavor. There are exceptions though, and here are some:

Chiapas

 

A delicious heirloom tomato that shares the classic tomato genus but belongs to a separate species, so it has natural resistance to late blight, early blight and septoria leaf spot. Chiapas is always the first and often the final tomato we harvest each...

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9 Questions When Sourcing Seed (and what to really ask about GMOs)

Jan 19, 2018
 

Here are nine key questions to source the best seeds possible for you, making your garden beautiful and abundant from the start.

At the end is my (inimitable) response to one of our most asked questions:

"Are these seeds GMO-free?"

Most importantly:

Stay curious, ask questions & have fun!

 

May the seeds you sow amplify abundance for all for months and generations to come :)

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Get Our Free Seed Starting eBook!

​​​⭐️ Rise & Shine: Starting Seeds with Ease ​​​⭐️

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.