Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A is for ALFALFA

The latest from Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Mary's Heirloom Seeds
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September 27, 2016

We are SO EXCITED to announce a few new (to us)
heirloom seed varieties for 2017 and to share more organic gardening knowledge.
If you don't already follow us on facebook,
Mary from Mary's Heirloom Seeds is volunteering at a local school for their harvest day. 
Mary's Heirloom Seeds will also be donating SEEDS for the kids to plant!  We're so excited!

We also have a few specials available just for this week.  Info is below.  Enjoy!
Using ALFALFA in the Garden  

Just this weekend we added larger quantities of Organic, Non-GMO Alfalfa Meal to our site.
The 3 pound and 5 pound options offer a big savings!

*Yes, we specify NON-GMO since there are gmo varieties of alfalfa* 

From Benefits of Using Alfalfa Meal in the Garden

When added to your compost pile, alfalfa acts as a stimulant. It decomposes rapidly, creating heat which helps the rest of your compost to decompose. And your finished compost will have higher nutrient levels when alfalfa is used. Higher nutrient levels in your compost and soil means more nutrient-dense produce in your garden.  Bonus, Worms LOVE Alfalfa Meal!

As a garden fertilizer, alfalfa meal is used to increase organic matter in the soil and makes an excellent fast and effective soil conditioner. The high amounts of carbohydrates and protein encourage beneficial soil microbes and earthworms that are responsible for quickly breaking down the nutrients and making them available for use by the plants.

We also offer a tutorial to
Make Your Own Organic Liquid Fertilizer using Organic Alfalfa meal

Making a Liquid fertilizer is pretty easy.  I used make Seaweed tea every year but not everyone has access to seaweed.  Now I make Alfalfa Tea.
It's also important to mention that while I call it "TEA,"  I DO NOT DRINK IT!  
Just need to clear that up.
Making Alfalfa Tea
You'll need:

1 - 5 gallon bucket
1 cup Organic Alfalfa Meal

Fill bucket with water, let it sit from 1 to 4 days. The result will be a thick tea. Apply generously to the root area of shrubs and flowers or use as a foliar spray after straining the solids out. The longer it brews, the better it is but the worse it will smell.


Now is the time to purchase Organic Alfalfa meal
We offer big savings on larger quantities!

Your read that right!
We have a discount code available NOW thru September 30th for Coconut Coir Bricks

Save 20% at checkout when you use the code "COCO" at checkout 
Coconut Coir Brick 

**save an additional 20% off our 4 brick option**

Yes, I use
coconut coir too!
BONUS: FREE SEED PACK with every purchase of coconut coir products thru September 30th!
NEW @ Mary's Heirloom Seeds 

In case you missed it, we've already announced a few NEW heirloom varieties for 2017 here...
And now we've added a few more

Dill, Mammoth 

Abraham Lincoln Tomato 

Eva Ball Purple Tomato 

Easter Egg Radish 
We are currently working on new labels and packaging.  If you purchase any of the NEW varieties for 2017, your order may be delayed up to a week.  Please have patience as we are working as fast as possible gearing up for the 2017 planting season.  

We've had quite a few request about what to do with left over seeds.  At Mary's Heirloom Seeds, a packet of Snowball Self-Blanching Cauliflower contains 200 heirloom seeds. If you don't plant all 200, You can share them with your friends and family or you can store them for next season/year.

For the best germination rates, try to use all stored flower and vegetable seeds the next growing season. Seed health and viability goes down the longer the seeds are stored.

If you save seeds from your own produce, seeds should be completely cleaned and dry before storing.

Paper is the best storage option for seeds.  Packets should be labelled with date of storage and variety of seed.

Heritage Collection Jar *Includes 2 seed packs*
If you are storing purchased seeds they have already been cleaned.  If possible, store seeds in their original packaging to avoid mixing up seed varieties.

This is just a small sampling of the tips, tutorials & videos available on our
Growing Tips & Videos Page

SEED Starting Info
We continue to add more tips, tutorials and videos every week.
If you have a specific request, please send us an email to
If you have additional questions please feel free to ask. 

Happy Planting,

Mary's Heirloom Seeds, P. O. Box 3763, Ramona, CA 92065

Tuesdays with a Twist # 181

Good Morning and welcome to another No Rules Party!

In case you missed it, FALL means Garlic Planting!

I also offer a Planting Guide for 2016.  I'm really excited about our new garden expansion

I've been busy learning and sharing about SOIL.  Find out more below!

Are you ready for the party?   We're your hosts 
Mary @ Back to the Basics and Mary's Kitchen
Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
Angie @ God's Growing Garden
PLEASE welcome back JOYCE @ Heavenly Bodies

Add our button if you've been featured!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Saturday at 11:59am.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 
Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features.   And now for the party!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NEW SEEDS for 2017 @ Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Here it is!  The official Announcement of the first "batch" of 2017 seeds at Mary's Heirloom Seeds!
Contender Buff Valentine Bush Bean

Mary's Heirloom Seeds
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Crimson Giant Radish
*SALE ends 9/25/16*

Recently added

September 21, 2016

I was having a convo with a friend yesterday and I mentioned that I just added 11 new varieties of heirloom seeds to my website in a single day. Also, that I hope to add more today and finally offer over 400 varieties of heirloom seeds.
She replied, "Do you know how many you offered when I first bought from you?? 120"
I was shocked!!! When we first opened Mary's Heirloom Seeds in 2011, we offer 20 varieties. In 2013 when we opened a booth at the Yellow Green Farmers market in Hollywood, FL we offered over 70 varieties. In 2014, we had grown to 120 varieties.
This has been such an exciting adventure. Every day we help people. Every day we meet new people. Every day is a new opportunity to Grow!

We're thrilled to announce the first "batch" of new heirloom seed varieties for
You'll find loads of helpful planting info and Seed Deals below.  Enjoy!
Added for 2017  

Contender Buff Valentine Bush Bean
45-60 days. The best early green bean for gardeners who desire good flavor, disease resistance, and high yield. 5½ in. long pods. Fairly hardy under adverse conditions and well suited to greenhouse use. Resistant to common bean mosaic virus (race 1) and tolerant of powdery mildew. 1949, SC/AES. Possibly derived from pre-1855 Early Valentine.

Provider Bush Bean
Snap bean for home gardens, local market, shipping fresh and for freezing.  15-17" vines, bushy, sturdy, and strong roots.
Pods round to heart-shaped, straight, 5-1/4", fleshy, low fiber, tender, stringless, and medium dark green.
Excellent for cool soil emergence for early season or cool coastal climates. Though it has a concentrated early set, it does provide for longer than many bush snap beans.

Red Acre Cabbage
Organic Red Acre Cabbage is a supreme variety of cabbage and simply the best early open pollinated Red Cabbage variety available.
Red Acre is a tasty organic cabbage variety that produces shocking reddish-purple, globe shaped heads that can add real color and beauty to your vegetable garden.  Liven up any salad with Red Acre's spectacular color. 
Each organic cabbage head reaches up to 7 inches in diameter and typically weigh approximately 3 pounds. This delicious cabbage variety is especially suited for use raw or in coleslaw.
Red Acre Cabbage is resistant to cabbage yellowing and is especially suited for small gardens as it takes up less space than other cabbage varieties.

Oriole Orange Swiss Chard
Named after the beautiful golden Oriole bird, this is a lovely orange chard that will add fantastic color your garden.
Use the young leaves in salads or the mature leaves stir fried or as steamed greens.  This chard is heat and cold tolerance and has a sweet mild taste.

Ruby Red Swiss Chard
This tasty, low in oxalic acid heirloom chard will add color to any dish.  Grows 18-24" tall.
Yields all summer and into the fall.  Use fresh or frozen.  Ruby Red Chard is VERY ornamental and a great seller at farmers markets.

Vates Blue Curled Kale
A sturdy, upright, kale with a compact habit (plants grow 12-36 inches high and 18-24 inches wide).  
This hardy Scotch type kale is slow to bolt and readily overwinters.  The finely curled, blue-green, leaves can be harvested all winter down to zone 6.

Parris Island Cos Lettuce
The heads are uniform in size, tall and erect with interiors that are pale-green to cream.  The outer leaves are dark, gray-green in color. Named after the island of the same name off of the South Carolina coast.
Paris Island forms upright 10-12" heads that are uniform, medium green, slightly savoyed with a creamy white heart.  Mosaic virus tolerant 

American Flag Leek
Originated around 1870.  Also called "Giant Musselburh" or "Scotch Flag" Leeks date back to the time of the Ancient Egyptians.  Their popularity has grown through many cultures since then.
Leeks create a tasty pearl white bulb with huge green leaves.  They have a delicate onion flavor that makes them a favorite in soups, stews and salads.  Perfect for the home gardener and market grower.
Stems grow 10-15" long and about 2-3" in diameter.  Leek seeds should be planted indoors 50 to 60 days before last frost. Very hardy; overwinters well in most regions doing well in both southern and northern states.

Big Red Ripper (Mandy) Cowpea 
  Good flavored table pea with 10 in. pods containing as many as 18 large peas per pod! Use fresh or dried. Reddish-green pods are borne high and are easy to see in the foliage. Resistant to very hot, dry summers. Vigorous, sprawling vines

Hubbard Blue Squash 
 Blue Hubbard Squash was introduced in 1909 as Symmes Blue Hubbard Squash by  James J. H. Gregory & Son seed company. It was first listed in their 1910 Retail Catalogue. JJH said of the Blue Hubbard, "Thick meated, fine-grained, dry and very sweet; close your eyes while eating and you would think you were eating cake." 
Hubbard Blue Squash is a soft grey-green to deep green on the outside, the sweet orange flesh is an amazing keeper and great for pies! If you'd like a winter treat, bake one of these with butter salt/ pepper and serve in slices.  Fruits can weigh up to 15 lbs!

Fordhook Acorn Squash 
Introduced in 1890s. Beautiful, Cream colored skin. Very popular in the 1920s.
Fruits up to 2 pounds and a Vining type of squash.
Eaten fresh at 56 days or for baking at 85 days.  

Cow's Horn Okra 
This heirloom okra dates back to around the Civil War.  It has a twisted shape that resembles a cow's horn. These large pods can reach 14" and still stay crunchy, meaty and flavorful. 
Cow's Horn still has that true okra flavor that has been bred out of many okra.   This is the reason heirlooms are so popular these days. Best picked when 6-7" for fried okra.  Longer pods are perfect for gumbo.

Crimson Sweet Watermelon 
 Crimson Sweet is truly...well...sweet...with a high sugar content around 12%!  This mouth watering watermelon produces 20-25# fruits with juicy red flesh. 
Your kids will not be disappointed by the taste, but they might not win any seed spitting contest as Crimson Sweet contains very few seeds. 
Crimson Sweet watermelon thrives in a wide range of climates. This watermelon is resistant to anthracnose and fusarium wilt.  Make lots of room for crimson sweet watermelon as it spreads 6-10' growing the absolute sweetest melons of all.  It even has an award to prove it!
We are currently working on new labels and packaging.  If you purchase any of the NEW varieties for 2017, your order may be delayed up to a week.  Please have patience as we are working as fast as possible gearing up for the 2017 planting season. 
Plant A FALL Garden & Save 

 Shared last week on our blog
Depending on where you live, many of you are planting FALL Crops.  This is a great way to extend your growing season and save money!  If you have never planted a Fall garden but you would like to, this is a great opportunity.  If you're on the fence about planting a Fall garden, this is definitely a must-read!
Read Plant A Fall Garden & Save
Growing Tips, Tutorials & Videos   

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask. 

Happy Planting,

Mary's Heirloom Seeds, P. O. Box 3763, Ramona, CA 92065