Sharon Hull, This Week in the Garden | Support local seed business

Peninsula Premier Admin

Do you like to support local businesses? If so, you’ll want to take a look at the seeds grown by our very own internationally regarded seed producer living right here in Santa Cruz County.

The new-for-2021 seeds from Renee Shepherd’s company Renee’s Garden Seeds are available now in your favorite garden center, or from her website  (The site is a gold mine of gardening information; if you haven’t checked it out, do!  You can subscribe for the free monthly newsletter there, access delicious recipes – most tested in Shepherd’s own kitchen – and read how-to articles or watch instructive videos.) The website is user-friendly, with seeds searchable by intended usage (such as pollinator-friendly plants) as well as alphabetically. They have all been tested in Shepherd’s trial gardens for good production and vigorous growth in local conditions.

Seeds are categorized by usage as well as alphabetically. (Contributed)
Some of the 2021 varieties. (Contributed)

Some new vegetables from Renee’s Garden Seeds:

Early Flame Jalapeños – compact plants, perfect for container growing. Pretty glossy fruit with thick walls. These peppers are not only a culinary type to add to your favorite recipes but the plants and the fruits are attractive enough to mix in among flowering plants.

Romance Carrots – excellent flavor, crisp texture and vigorous production make these bright orange carrots worth trying this spring. Suitable for all climate zones.

Webb’s Wonderful Lettuce – if you have had trouble growing head lettuce in warm summer temps with long daylight hours, this heirloom is quite heat tolerant. Big crisp leaves are excellent in salads and tacos and stay firm even in sandwiches.

Some new flowers from Renee’s Garden Seeds:

Hestia Dwarf Edible-flower Runner Beans – another compact introduction from Renee. Easy to grow 12 to 14 inch plants have lush foliage with pretty coral-pink and white flowers beloved by hummingbirds. The flowers are edible – try them scattered over a salad. Cascading habit is attractive in containers, window boxes or hanging baskets.

Orange & Yellow Beast Marigold – 3 to 3.5 foot tall plants produce nonstop large bright double-double flowers that are very attractive to pollinators. Long-lasting in the garden and in bouquets.  The blue-green foliage is appealing too.

Rainbow Bouquet Strawflowers – if you’ve grown strawflowers in the past, you know how long-lasting they are, on the plants but also when placed in arrangements or air dried for crafting.  These are dwarf plants so are right at home in containers or in the ground. The seeds produce plants with abundant flowers in shades of pink, rose, golden yellow and white.

Start seed now for late spring and even a few summer vegetables and flowers, especially those like tomatoes that require some protected growing time before they can go into the garden. While it is too early to direct-sow heat-loving and rapidly growing seed like green beans (the seed tends to rot in cold soil), you can get many plants going in pots now for later transplanting into the garden. You’ll save money by starting your plants from seed plus you’ll have a far wider selection of plants from which to choose.

Garden tips are provided courtesy of horticulturist Sharon Hull of the San Lorenzo Garden Center. Contact her at 831-423-0223.

Contributed by local news sources

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