April 15 Produce Feature

Spring Load Your Garden

Spring is here–time to get outside and feel the earth between your fingers and toes! Growing your own food is one of the hallmarks of self-sustainability. Whether you aspire to self-reliance, contribute healthy produce to your local food bank, or just want to experience the rewards of working with Nature, Marlene’s has the supplies to support you through the growing season.

April 15 Produce 1The sum is greater than the parts!

For over 30 years, the Hendrikus approach to healthy growing has transcended simply using organic fertilizers and discontinuing pesticides. Their philosophy is founded on the interconnectedness of all living things, and using knowledge, techniques, and earth
wisdom to restore, sustain, and enhance the environment.

Complete 6-4-4, HuMagic and Soil Enhancer
2-13-0 are a powerful, three-part team to give your garden outstanding health and vitality. The carefully selected variety of nutrients, a calcium/magnesium balancer, and the living humus in HuMagic, are a “magical” blend for plants and crops.

Like to keep things simple? Start with Complete 6-4-4. Hendrikus’s premier all-purpose blend combines both fast and slow-release nutrients to offer all plants access to high quality macro nutrients, micro nutrients, trace elements and minerals for a sustained food source.

HuMagic is a powerful, living soil conditioner for improved plant health, vitality and production, as well as increased soil fertility and water holding capacity. Rich in active, available humic and fulvic acids, carbon, natural macro and micro nutrients along with trace minerals, it is one of the finest humates on the market.

Could your garden be lacking elements needed for optimal vegetation development? Soil Enhancer 2-13-0 provides organic nutrition and enhances microbial activity to give depth to soil that is nutritionally deficient.

April 15 Produce 2Worm Tea by Wiser Worm is an odorless, non-toxic, and chemical-free alternative to fertilizer, like a multivitamin for plants. Made from worm castings (yep, worm poop), worm tea helps inoculate potting soil against harmful fungi, delivering valuable nutrients such as minerals, beneficial microbes, and bacteria. Worm Tea does not expire and won’t clog sprayers or water lines. Black spots on your roses? The condition is caused by a fungus called Diplocarpon rosae. Trim off the infected leaves and stems and spray with worm tea to inoculate the new growth from the harmful bacteria.

April 15 Produce 3Family-owned Botanical Interests embodies the tradition of passing gardening lore, techniques, and secrets from generation to generation. They offer dependable, non-GMO, and untreated vegetable, herb, and flower seeds in packets that bearing a wealth of information. “I like to say that we’re a gardening education company that just happens to sell seeds,” founder Judy Curtis says. “Our packets are like mini-encyclopedias, full of information to inspire and assist every type of gardener.”

April 15 Produce 4The plant starts are coming!

Every spring, Diane Downie and Paul Shelley begin delivering the organic vegetable starts they’ve cultivated on their “urban farm” – an extensively developed, high-yielding yard and greenhouse project in Lakewood. When favorites like Brandywine and Cherokee Purple plants arrive, diehard homegrown tomato fans gather them quickly. “The first starts we’ll bring to Marlene’s will be greens like lettuce, arugula, spinach, chard, and kale, and by mid-April we’ll have broccoli and Romanesco. This year in April we’ll also have Hood strawberry plants that will produce very sweet berries in June. Our tomato starts will arrive in early May, ready to get in the ground as soon as the possibility of frost is gone. In June we will have pepper, cucumber, and squash starts. We will also be bringing various herbs to Marlene’s throughout the spring and early summer. Ready, set, shovel!”

April 15 Produce 5Over 600 heirloom, open-pollinated, and hybrid varieties of vegetable, fruit, herb and flower seed are produced by High Mowing Organic Seeds in what began as a backyard business for owner Tom Stearns. High Mowing now offers state-of-the-art seed testing, cleaning, and sorting equipment, and a customer service team, including many farmers, who understand that organic seeds are the key to creating true food security. Choose High Mowing Organic Seeds and take your home-grown food supply to the next level!

April 15 Produce 6Often referred to as “beyond organic,” biodynamic agriculture not only eschews chemicals and pesticides, but operates a farm as a holistic system in which animals, plants, soil, solar and astrological forces, herbal preparations, and even spiritual intention work together to produce sustainable, nutrient-rich crops and seeds. Sero Biodynamic Seeds are produced by the founders of Territorial Seed Company, and are certified by Demeter USA, the oldest and most stringent ecological certification in the world. You’ll not only taste the difference with biodynamic seeds—insects, soil, and neighboring animals may reflect new levels of vitality.

April 15 Produce 7Help your garden grow!

Healthy plants provide an ideal environment for beneficial insects, like honeybees and butterflies. Remember, unless they are certified organic, plants from “big box” stores contain neocotinoids, which have been proven deadly to honey bees!

Humus is what compost aspires to be! It’s what gives soil a rich, dark, earthy appearance. When compost has undergone as much microbial decomposition as it can, the result is humus, which can last for thousands of years if undisturbed.

The new moon is the best time for planting above ground annual crops that produce seeds outside the fruit, like lettuce, spinach, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and grain crops.

The second quarter moon is a good time for planting annuals that produce above ground, with seeds that form inside the fruit, such as beans, melons, peas, peppers, squash, and tomatoes.

After the full moon is the best time for planting root crops, including beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, and peanuts. It is also good for perennials, biennials, bulbs and transplanting.

The fourth quarter moon is your garden’s resting period. This is the best time to cultivate, harvest, transplant, and prune.