When to plant tomatoes

Tomatoes are the most anticipated and pampered of the garden vegetables.  People start calling our store in early February asking if we have tomatoes for sale yet.  Unfortunately, these eager gardeners are 6-7 weeks too early, and any tomatoes that … Continue reading

Growing tips for squash

Squashes have similar characteristics and needs to cucumbers, melons and pumpkins.  They grow best in the warm months, like a compost rich soil and to be watered deeply.   Summer squashes like zucchini, crookneck and sunburst have the widest growing window … Continue reading

How to increase your spinach yield

Spinach likes to grow in a cool environment, with moist soil and a light dose of fertilizer.  In the cool months, plant out into a full sun location, during the warmer months, spinach does best when planted in a shady … Continue reading

How to grow a large pumpkin

Pumpkins are large, rambling growers that need to be transplanted into your garden by mid-June if you are growing them for Halloween.   These plants are lovers of a rich, composted soil and do well when planted into the outskirts of … Continue reading

When to grow peppers

Peppers are grown when the weather is at its warmest.  Some of the smaller fruiting varieties like jalapenos and serranos need less heat and can be planted as early as mid-March.  The majority of peppers, including bells and stuffers, need … Continue reading

Getting an optimum yield from your peas

Peas are a great sweet treat from the garden and grow the best when the weather is cool.  The best months for transplanting peas into your garden are late-August through late-March.  For optimum yields, all peas should be given a … Continue reading

Tips for growing melons

Melon These are some of the most heat loving plants that there are.  Choose a full sun location, and prepare your soil for transplanting by loosening the soil in a 24” circle and mixing in one bucketful of compost, 6 … Continue reading

Tips for planting leeks

Onion/Leek transplants are a really easy way for you to grow onions in your garden.   You can break apart the individual cells of the 6 packs and plant out the onion seedlings six inches apart in a richly composted soil.  … Continue reading

Growing kale

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that contains a high level of minerals in its rich, juicy leaves.  While able to grow all year long, kale is best suited to the cooler months of the year when its leaves taste … Continue reading

Growing eggplants

Eggplants are a real heat lover, and grow best when transplanted between mid-April and the end of August.  Eggplants usually hit their peak of production later in the growing season, between August and October, when the daytime temps are at … Continue reading

Growing collards

Collards are an under-rated green, that are high in vitamins and minerals, but are low in flavor.  The large, paddle-shaped leaves, can be harvested over an extended period when they are picked from the bottom up, as they mature. Plants … Continue reading

Growing chard

Chard is a nutritious leafy green that is best, meaning sweetest, when grown during the cool months of the year.  Typically, chard is planted into the garden between September and April, however, in our mild coastal climate, chard really does … Continue reading

Growing celery

Celery is thought to be tricky to grow because it can be temperamental when being transplanted.  When transplanting, the seedlings should be at least 3” tall and should look sturdy.  Locate the young plants in a part of your garden … Continue reading

Who is in the Brassica Family?

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, and Cauliflower are all in the brassica family and as such have similar growing requirements and needs.  Typically planted into your garden between mid-August and early May.  Each of these varieties wants to be planted into … Continue reading

Tips for growing beans

Beans are best when grown during the warmer parts of the year.  Bush beans can be direct seeded into your garden from mid-March through mid-September.  Pole, Lima and Soy beans have a smaller planting window, usually, early-April through late-August. Fava … Continue reading

Tips for growing artichokes

Artichokes can be grown very successfully here in Southern California, especially in the cool climate that exists close to the coast.  Plants can grow to be 4-5 feet tall and will perennialize, coming back year after year if they are … Continue reading

Making the most of your potato growing experience

Potatoes are one of the most bountiful and rewarding crops that you, the home gardener, can grow.  It is possible, under the right conditions, to pull 30 times as many potatoes out of your garden, as you plant into it.  … Continue reading

Tips for growing onions

SHALLOTS Shallots, a member of the Allium (onion) family, have an interesting, delicate flavor that has long be prized by gourmands and chefs from Here, to Oxnard, and back.  In our temperate coastal zone, shallots, along with other members of … Continue reading

Everything you need to know about garlic (well, almost everything)

Garlic is a staple in kitchens, and of cuisines all the world over.   Long used both for its medicinal value and its ability to wake up any tired dish, garlic has been raised and traded by indigenous people for all … Continue reading

Finding the perfect place for your pitaya

Known variably as pitaya, pitahaya or dragon fruit, this is an epiphytic cactus that is native to the tropical rainforest regions of Mexico, Central and South America.  In the last 5 years, sub-tropical fruit growers and gourmet chefs have “rediscovered” … Continue reading