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Basil Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/8”-1/4”
Row Spacing:12”
Plant Spacing:10”-12”
Days to Germination: 5-10 days
Germination Temperature:65°-75°F

We know you’re itching to plant these, but . . . wait! Basil originated in the tropics and cannot thrive in cold weather. Direct-sow after all danger of frost has passed, spacing seed 1⁄2" to 1" apart in well-draining soil. To start as transplants, sow the Basil seed in seed starter mix 6 weeks before the last frost date. Provide heat, bright sunlight and good ventilation. Keep the growing medium barely moist, almost dry. Transplant the Basil seedlings outdoors after the last frost in a sunny spot with moderately fertile soil. Thin or space the plants in the garden 10" to 12" apart for proper growing conditions. Pinch back tops and flower buds to extend leaf production. Harvest the largest leaves from the top and sides to help create a bushier plant. Feed occasionally as needed with kelp or fish emulsion. Herbs dislike chemical fertilizers and Basil is no exception.

Basil-Basking Global Cuisine

Pesto: Not Just For Pasta
Pesto sauce made with homemade Basil is great on spaghetti, but have you ever tried freezing it and then stuffing pieces of it under the skin of a chicken before roasting? Use it in vinaigrette, spread it on Tomato sandwiches or on a burger instead of mustard. Put it in omelets, in soups, in Thai curries, in Potato salad. Spread it on swordfish steaks before you put them on the grill.
Chile Pepper Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/4”
Row Spacing:18”-24”
Plant Spacing:18”
Days to Germination: 8-18 days
Germination Temperature:70°-85°F

Start Peppers 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date in your area. Sow 3 to 5 seeds per individual pot of starter mix or singly in peat pots. Provide light, even moisture and ventilation. Bottom warmth hastens germination. Seedlings prefer 70° to 85°F during the day with slightly cooler temperatures at night. Individually transplant the strongest seedlings to 4" pots and fertilize weekly. Do not allow seedlings to become root-bound. Amend a well-draining, sunny site with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-rotted manure. When night temperatures are reliably above 55°F, expose the Pepper plants to sun gradually over 1 week, then transplant. Water well and fertilize as needed with manure tea, kelp or fish emulsion. Mulch soil around Peppers if soil dries out too quickly. Harvest carefully, using a sharp blade, leaving 1⁄2" of stem, when Peppers reach desired size and color.

Turn Up the Heat
From start to finish, Peppers are a crop that like it hot. Unless your climate is truly steamy, you must start them ahead in a warm spot, on a heat mat if possible, or on top of the refrigerator or kitchen cabinet. Only after warm weather has settled in should you set them out--in the sunniest part of the garden.

Delayed Gratification
For a greater overall Pepper yield, remove any blossoms that appear on your young transplants up until the time you set them in the ground. You'll miss out on the earliest fruits, but by letting the plant put its energy into its growth rather than early fruits, you'll get more productive plants later on.

Peppers to Dry For!
Peppers are among the easiest of vegetables to dry. Just select the best fruits with the deepest color (no trace of rot), remove seeds and slice into strips. You can use any type of food drier: electric, solar or even a box with a light bulb in it - try to keep the heat no higher than 120°F. You can even dry Peppers on a tray above a woodstove or a heat register. The Peppers are done when they are no longer sticky and can then be stored in jars or plastic bags. It is easy to reconstitute them in water to flavor and brighten winter fare, especially rice and pasta dishes. To make a delicious homemade paprika (either hot or sweet), dry the Peppers until they are crispy, then pulverize them in a blender. You'll be so amazed at the fresh, rich aroma of this home-grown spice that you may never use commercial Paprika again. And you can choose the degree of heat!

The Spice of Life: Hot Chile Peppers
Pepper Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/4”
Row Spacing:18”-24”
Plant Spacing:18”
Days to Germination: 8-18 days
Germination Temperature:70°-85°F

Start Peppers 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date in your area. Sow 3 to 5 seeds per individual pot of starter mix or singly in peat pots. Provide light, even moisture and ventilation. Bottom warmth hastens germination. Seedlings prefer 70° to 85°F during the day with slightly cooler temperatures at night. Individually transplant the strongest seedlings to 4" pots and fertilize weekly. Do not allow seedlings to become root-bound. Amend a well-draining, sunny site with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-rotted manure. When night temperatures are reliably above 55°F, expose the Pepper plants to sun gradually over 1 week, then transplant. Water well and fertilize as needed with manure tea, kelp or fish emulsion. Mulch soil around Peppers if soil dries out too quickly. Harvest carefully, using a sharp blade, leaving 1⁄2" of stem, when Peppers reach desired size and color.

Turn Up the Heat
From start to finish, Peppers are a crop that like it hot. Unless your climate is truly steamy, you must start them ahead in a warm spot, on a heat mat if possible, or on top of the refrigerator or kitchen cabinet. Only after warm weather has settled in should you set them out--in the sunniest part of the garden.

Delayed Gratification
For a greater overall Pepper yield, remove any blossoms that appear on your young transplants up until the time you set them in the ground. You'll miss out on the earliest fruits, but by letting the plant put its energy into its growth rather than early fruits, you'll get more productive plants later on.

The Look for Late Summer
Most of us grow Peppers because they taste so great, but I find them equally useful as an ornamental. If I want to add some edibles to a dooryard plot, I might not pick a sprawling cuke or Tomato vine, but I’d pick a few Pepper plants, with their healthy green foliage, tidy upright habit and colorful fruits. There they are, quietly green but growing steadily, until all of a sudden the plants are as showy as rosebushes. Though red ones are always my favorites, the yellow ones are gorgeous too. And they appear at a time in the season when many flowering plants have passed their prime--especially herbs whose flowering time is usually spring and early summer. Try some in pots on the terrace, too.

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties
Sunflowers Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/2”
Seed Spacing:4”-5”
Plant Spacing:12”-24”
Days to Germination: 7-14 days
Germination Temperature:65°-85°F

Helianthus annuus. Easy to grow in full sunlight, they should be sown in well-draining, loamy soil after the danger of frost has passed. Plant the seeds 1⁄2" deep and keep the seedbed uniformly moist until the seedlings emerge, about 10 days after sowing. Weed carefully and keep well-watered until established. You may also start Sunflowers indoors 3 weeks before the last frost date. Plant seeds 1⁄2" deep in pots of good seed-starting mix at 65° to 85°F. Provide even moisture, strong light and good ventilation. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin or transplant them 12" to 24" apart in the garden. A good cut flower, this cheerful garden favorite may be planted successively every 3 weeks in the spring and early summer for more continuous blooms.

Our Pollinators are in Peril
Tomato Disease Codes
We have listed the diseases to which select hybrids have been bred to be resistant~one of the true benefits of improved hybrids.
V: Verticilium Wilt
F: Fusarium Wilt
F1: Fusarium Wilt Race 1
F2: Fusarium Wilt Race 2
N: Nematode
A: Alternaria alternata
L: Septoria leafspot
ST: Stemphylium
EB: Early Blight
LB: Late Blight
TMV: Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Tomato Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/4”
Row Spacing:36”
Plant Spacing:24”-30”
Days to Germination: 6-15 days
Germination Temperature:70°-85°F

It’s best to raise Tomatoes as transplants. Sow Tomato seeds in sterile seed mix 6 to 8 weeks before the danger of frost has passed, water lightly and provide bottom heat. Grow seedlings at 60° to 75°F in a brightly lit, well-ventilated area. (Windowsills are not bright enough; the plant will get leggy and flop over.) Fertilize lightly as needed, increasing the pot size as needed. After the last spring frost, place outdoors for a week to harden off and to introduce to stronger sunlight. Prepare fertile Tomato beds in full sun with lots of compost and/or well-rotted manure. Transplant, burying seedlings deeper than initially grown, incorporating organic fertilizer under each transplant. Support with Tomato cages or tie plants loosely to rough wooden stakes, using soft cloth. Feed occasionally as needed. Keep Tomatoes well-watered by soaking the soil and not the leaves. Harvest when ripe!

Green Means Go
If you're wondering if your Tomato plants (or any annual crops) are getting the soil fertility they need, keep an eye on the "seed leaves". This is the first pair of leaves to emerge when a seed sprouts. They remain at the base of the stem as the plant grows. If the seed leaves stay healthy and green, you're doing something right with the soil in that row. If they are pale, yellow or withered, you need to prepare the soil more carefully next time you plant.

Juicy Fruits
The more water a vegetable contains, the more water you need to give it in dry, hot weather. Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Celery are especially thirsty. If you can, group them together and run a soaker hose through the patch.

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows
According to the theory of companion planting, Tomatoes and Basil benefit one another when grown in the same plot. Certainly, they cause each other no harm, for we have often interplanted the two in a row, especially when we're training Tomatoes vertically on strings. There's plenty of space in between them for bushy Basil plants. After all, they keep excellent company in the kitchen, whether you're serving fresh Tomatoes strewn with the pungent green Basil leaves or cooking both up into a luscious sauce for pasta. It's handy to be able to pick the two together. And who knows? Perhaps the Basil's strong scent repels insect pests that might otherwise prey on the Tomatoes.

Taming Tomatoes
The better your Tomato crop, the more important it is to support those heavy, leafy vines laden with ripening fruits. Our favorite system is to train them in circular cages~and we don’t mean those flimsy ones you buy at the garden center, which are neither tall enough nor strong enough to support the weight of indeterminate (vining) varieties. Instead we purchase sheets of concrete reinforcing wire, which is sold at hardware stores in flat rectangular sheets of heavy duty metal grid, with 6" X 6" openings, just the right size for reaching in to pick. Each sheet, cut in half, will make two 5' tall cylindrical cages. Cut the sheet in half with wire cutters, leaving stubs of wire that can be twisted around the opposite sides to form a cylinder about 18" in diameter. Also snip off the horizontal wire at the bottom, leaving more stubs you can poke into the earth to hold the cage steady. As the Tomatoes grow you can train them a little, removing the bottom suckers up to the first fruiting branch, and guiding each uppermost tip to stay within the cage as it grows. But most of the time the vines will simply rest their elbows on the wire, so to speak, as they climb, remaining staunchly upright.

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties

Cooking Tip: Variations on a Theme
At the height of Tomato season, platters appear on the table regularly, and we never seem to get tired of them. But it’s nice to vary the dressing. Sometimes it’s just a simple vinaigrette. Sometimes its a heavier balsamic vinegar dressing with olive oil and honey. Sliced red Onions are often part of the mix. Basil, either with the leaves whole or cut into ribbons, is a frequent player. And sometimes we make a pesto with our Lemon Basil and some good olive oil--maybe a little extra lemon as well, and some parmigiano cheese. It stays a brighter green than other pestos, and is wonderful spooned over the Tomato.

Tomatoes With Character
Some Tomatoes are glamorous like Elizabeth Taylor--lush, perfect, refined. Brandywines are glamorous like Melina Mercouri or Anna Magnani. Though their flavor is extraordinary, they do not always form perfect circles when sliced. Sometimes the fruits are lumpy, contorted, or deeply cleft, and you end up cutting them into free form chunks. They are perfect tossed with bread in an Italian panzanella salad, where flavor is more important than form. Or in salsa. Or in sandwiches with lots of mayo. Or try this one: toss some chunks of brie in hot, drained pasta, then add oddly shaped pieces of Brandywine Tomatoes. Ah, summer.

Tomato Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/4”
Row Spacing:36”
Plant Spacing:24”-30”
Days to Germination: 6-15 days
Germination Temperature:70°-85°F

It’s best to raise Tomatoes as transplants. Sow Tomato seeds in sterile seed mix 6 to 8 weeks before the danger of frost has passed, water lightly and provide bottom heat. Grow seedlings at 60° to 75°F in a brightly lit, well-ventilated area. (Windowsills are not bright enough; the plant will get leggy and flop over.) Fertilize lightly as needed, increasing the pot size as needed. After the last spring frost, place outdoors for a week to harden off and to introduce to stronger sunlight. Prepare fertile Tomato beds in full sun with lots of compost and/or well-rotted manure. Transplant, burying seedlings deeper than initially grown, incorporating organic fertilizer under each transplant. Support with Tomato cages or tie plants loosely to rough wooden stakes, using soft cloth. Feed occasionally as needed. Keep Tomatoes well-watered by soaking the soil and not the leaves. Harvest when ripe!

Green Means Go
If you're wondering if your Tomato plants (or any annual crops) are getting the soil fertility they need, keep an eye on the "seed leaves". This is the first pair of leaves to emerge when a seed sprouts. They remain at the base of the stem as the plant grows. If the seed leaves stay healthy and green, you're doing something right with the soil in that row. If they are pale, yellow or withered, you need to prepare the soil more carefully next time you plant.

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties

Delicious, Voluptuous Heirloom Tomatoes

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows
According to the theory of companion planting, Tomatoes and Basil benefit one another when grown in the same plot. Certainly, they cause each other no harm, for we have often interplanted the two in a row, especially when we're training Tomatoes vertically on strings. There's plenty of space in between them for bushy Basil plants. After all, they keep excellent company in the kitchen, whether you're serving fresh Tomatoes strewn with the pungent green Basil leaves or cooking both up into a luscious sauce for pasta. It's handy to be able to pick the two together. And who knows? Perhaps the Basil's strong scent repels insect pests that might otherwise prey on the Tomatoes.

Juicy Fruits
The more water a vegetable contains, the more water you need to give it in dry, hot weather. Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Celery are especially thirsty. If you can, group them together and run a soaker hose through the patch.

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties

Cooking Tip: Variations on a Theme
At the height of Tomato season, platters appear on the table regularly, and we never seem to get tired of them. But it’s nice to vary the dressing. Sometimes it’s just a simple vinaigrette. Sometimes its a heavier balsamic vinegar dressing with olive oil and honey. Sliced red Onions are often part of the mix. Basil, either with the leaves whole or cut into ribbons, is a frequent player. And sometimes we make a pesto with our Lemon Basil and some good olive oil--maybe a little extra lemon as well, and some parmigiano cheese. It stays a brighter green than other pestos, and is wonderful spooned over the Tomato.