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Fruition Garden Journal

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

May 25, 2018
 

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

May 18, 2018
 

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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10 Easy Seeds to Sow in May

May 04, 2018
 

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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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?

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

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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