The Veggies are Here!!!

The Veggies are Here!!!

It’s Veggie Week at Natureworks! We start preparing for this time of year in the fall, contracting with organic growers to grow all kinds of edibles for us. It is quite the process, as we all have VERY strong ideas about what varieties must make the list. At last, they are starting to arrive, and they look GORGEOUS! 

Yes my friends, we are using our new teaching tent to stage the edibles. This is just a portion of shipment number one

Now, let me tell you that we are expecting NINE trucks of plants in three days– veggies, herbs, perennials, and tons of crazy, exciting, unusual annuals. That means it’s going to be quite chaotic as we sort all this out. Not everything will arrive at once- especially with the storm that happened on Tuesday. Deliveries will arrive through late Friday. Please be patient while the plants arrive and are priced and put out. Great quality takes time. The storm threw us and a few of our suppliers for a loop! Sure does make you appreciate electricity even more! We will be well stocked for the weekend and receive more organic vegetables and herbs next week to restock. We will have plenty to choose from during the month of May and into June! 

Don’t forget to release the beneficial insects and then plant plenty of flowers and herbs to keep them happy!

We have everything you need to plant your warm season veggies. Plants (of

course), a well-stocked seed rack, lobster compost, Healthy Grow Tomato and Vegetable granular fertilizer, Neptune’s Harvest liquid Tomato and Veg fertilizer, Organic Plant Magic, Smart Pots of all sizes, sturdy tomato cages, row covers and hoops, and straw mulch. Let me break it down for you…

I mix up a batch of Organic Plant Magic compost tea in a bucket and set my seedlings in it to soak. I then dig a hole, add compost and organic fertilizer, plant my seedling, put the cage over it, and mulch it with straw. Doing this in raised beds is so easy as the soil is already soft and prepared. If I am planting seeds, I loosen the soil with my digging fork, add compost and fertilizer, grade it smooth, remove the rocks, plant the seeds, spread my straw, and water in with Organic Plant Magic.This month I am adding three new raised beds to my yard as the trees have grown and part of my garden is in the shade. My tomatoes need a new home. I spent many hours preparing that area on Sunday. We have a great deal on cedar raised beds right now. I grow in Smart Pots, clay pots, a big old wheelbarrow, and anything else I can fill with our wonderful organic soil. 

I never rototill- I smother with newspaper, cardboard, and spoiled hay. The three new raised beds are going against this border (filled with milkweed just beginning to poke it’s head up) in a U shaped pattern.

Once again we are encouraging you to plant your cucurbits from seed – cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins, gourds, and melons. We are not carrying seedlings of the plants in this family. It is SO EASY to sow the seeds and you can then protect them from the get go with floating row covers against the dreaded striped cucumber beetles and squash vine borers. You should also consider covering your eggplants with floating row covers to keep the flea beetles at bay until the plants become established. You remove the covers when the plants flower for pollination. In case you doubt the benefit of row covers, check out the before and after pictures of our spring planting of spinach, kale, and broccoli in a Smart Pot Big Bag Long Bed:

Planting Day in early April
An impressive harvest of healthy food today!

Planting is a gradual process for me and for most people. Everyone asks me how I get so much done- “Do you ever sleep?” is the common question. Yes, I actually sleep a lot, that is my secret. My other secret is that I can compartmentalize my projects. Sunday I worked on the new border around the

We have amazing roses too!

new raised beds. Monday I put up my pea fence and pruned the last of the winter damaged plants. Each day I did a bit of weeding. But I purposely didn’t think about ALL the things I had to do. I focused and truly enjoyed the time I had in the garden each day. In the end, I got a lot more done than I expected. So if you read this email and get all excited, realize that during the next 3-4 weeks we will be restocking constantly. Yes, if you want the widest selection of edibles and especially unusual annuals, you should get in here soon. But expect to return many times as our selection grows and changes. That’s what makes this job so fun. 

All day Saturday, in the pouring rain no less, I stood at our potting bench in the annual section and planted up hummingbird pots. It was so much fun and, of course, we saw hummingbirds! With the arrival of our Garden Geek line as well as the Hot Plants for Cool Climates line, we will be overstuffed with the coolest annuals and tropicals ever. I took a few pictures of the tags this 
morning to tease you… 

 

 

Don’t forget that May is one of the most enjoyable months in the shade garden. I was tasked with displaying our selection of shade perennials on Friday afternoon. It was so much fun. We have wildflowers, native plants, Hellebores galore, so many choices. 

Our shade house is overstocked with beautiful perennials, wildflowers, and groundcovers.

Got milkweed? We get this question every day. Our common milkweed plants

Our Asclepias bench

have not arrived yet but we do have many other forms of Asclepias including A. incarnata (swamp milkweed), A. tuberosa (butterfly weed), and A. curassavica (tropical variety). Feel free to leave your name with the retail staff if you would like a courtesy call when the common milkweed arrives. Don’t worry, we will have PLENTY and of course, our plants are NEVER grown with toxic pesticides. 

I will end this email with a simple statement: GROW FOOD. It doesn’t matter how much or how you do it. Just grow some of your own food. It will deeply connect you to the cycles of the seasons and there is nothing more delicious and nutritious than food you picked and ate on the same day. Last night’s dinner contained spinach, broccoli raab, asparagus, parsley, spring garlic, chives, and lettuces that I harvested right before preparing the meal.  At Natureworks, we are on an acre, and that includes the shop, the parking lot, our holding area, all of our outbuildings, and our nursery yard. Yet we manage to grow a lot of food. Stop by Veggie Island in the middle of our parking lot and harvest some lettuce. You will see examples of the myriad ways you can incorporate edibles into even the smallest, most crowded space. If we can do it here, anyone can! We hope to inspire you. And remember, flowers and food belong together. Herbs and food belong together. It’s all connected. We feed ourselves. We feed the beneficial insects. We feed the pollinators. A healthy ecosystem is the best reward of all. 

See you this week!

Signature_Nancy
A beautiful variety of shade-loving Primula sieboldii in our lathe house.