in the Foothills
1. Wait until the last day of frost to plant... These dates are averaged- so you have to make your own assessment.
2. The annual frost dates for most areas in Western Nevada County are listed in the adjoining column. Some other factors that effect when to plant include how wet the season is and when the rains stop.
3. Beware of setting out plants -especially warm season plants like chilies squash, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant or melons until the danger of frost has passed.
4. Many locations in the lower foothills have decent soil, but many of us are growing in areas that once hosted only manzanita. In ALL cases- the soil must be ammended. Soft rock phosphate is a must, as is calcium and organic material including compost and fertilizers (organic- of course).
5. In all cases- have your soil tested! It does not cost much and can make a big difference- Check with your local nursery of gardening supply outlet for soil testing prices... If you are not an expert- get the full package that lists suggested solutions to any problems that your soil may present.
We offer both Plants and Plugs
PLUGS- Plug flats or Liners with 72 to 285 plug plants per tray- Plugs are aproximately 3/4" x 3/4" by 2+ inches. These are ready to finish and then plant and can be planted with a commercial planting tractor attachment or by manually. For complete information on How to Order Plugs or to have us Custom Sow a variety for you- see our order Page. NOTE* Plugs must be ordered EARLY to allow time for sowing- Custom Sowing from you seed is also possible!
PLANTS- Our plants come in 3" Square, 3.5" Deep Pots with root channels, to allow the best root performance. These pots come 32 plants to a tray and are held in special carry trays that allow for air pruning of the roots for enhanced performance of our transplants. See our Order Page for how to order your plants.
FROST DATES:- These dates are averaged- so keep an eye on the weather before you Plant- Nevada City - 5/20 North San Juan - 4/20 Grass Valley - 5/1 Scotts Flat Area - 5/10 Penn Valley Area-3/30 Lake of the Pines- 3/30 Alta Sierra Area - 4/10 Chicago Park - 4-15 Rough & Ready - 4/10 Colfax Area - 4/10 Auburn Area - 3/20 Newcastle Area - 3/20 Loomis - 3/20
Certified Organic Transplants & Plugs
Our Plants & Plugs are Locally Climatized and ready to grow- We grow using Non-GMO & Certified Organic Seeds.
Our roster of varieties is based on what works and what we have had good luck growing over the last 20 years and which varieties we get the best feedback on.
The key factors we rely on when choosing varieties are
- The ability to ripen within our growing season.
- The ability to withstand our long, hot dry summer and our arid growing conditions.
- The quality of the fruit.
- Taste & Portability- We try to balance varieties that offer both the best taste for our tables and the most easily transportable to our local farmers markets and stores.
- Indeterminate vs Determinate-
- Determinate plants are bush-like- that is, they grow in a specific area and do not cover a large space- they are easier to contain and work well in a "cage" or a row.
- Indeterminate plants grow in a vine-like manner and spread out over an area- they are best grown along a fence - If grown in a cage- you must trim them to keep them contained.
- Open Pollinated vs Hybrid plants- We use offer both Heirloom and Hybrid plants- We find that whereas we love heirloom taste- the durability of Hybrid plants is sometimes a great advantage in oursometimes problematic growing region due to weather and water.
- Our Heirloom varieties are Open-pollinated, traditional types that have been grown for desirable traits for millenia. They grow well without high inputs and have better flavor and are usually heartier. These varities can mutate to adapt to the local ecosystem, over time. Since these are harder to breed- they may take longer to adapt to a specific ecosystem and develop a resistance to local diseases and other factors. Seeds taken from these plants will be true to the parent and are sought by seed savers who wish to continue the strain.
- Hybrid varieties are the first offsprings of distant and distinct parental lines of the same species. Hybirds have been bred for superior disease resistance, which is an important factor in modern times. We utilize some popular Hybrids due to the fact that our local conditions sometimes make it difficult to produce some desirable varieties in any consistant manner and these are bred to eliminate many pathogens or problematic conditions. The seed from this plant will be sterile or will fail to express the desired traits of the parent.
We feel the most successful strategy in our gowing area is to grow both Heirloom and hybrid if you want to have a complete selection for both your table and for the Farmers Market.
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