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Keith Farrand

Want to keep up on the latest things that are growing on at Farrand Farms? The man with the greenest thumb in Kansas City will help you with all his latest tips and share insight and info right here at Farrand's Notes. If you have some special questions or would like to suggest ideas for Keith to address just send him an email on the link under his picture.


April . . . Bring on the Sun!

Keith @ Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hey, I'm just like you. . . .FRUSTRATED! It's been too wet, too dark and too cold for too long. I don't recall a March when I couldn't do a few days tilling and working in the garden. I've given up on March and am eagerly looking forward to a great April.

Forget the old wives tale that potatoes must be in by St. Patrick's Day. Nearly all early and cool season crops can be planted right up and into early May. Asparagus, rhubarb, green and slicing onions, all cole crops (broccoli, cabbage, etc.), and seeds for spinach, lettuce and radishes are wanting a place in your garden. Let's not forget the kids either - strawberry plants look great and inspire the young ones to develop an interest in the garden. Gardening should be fun!

Now is the time to come into Farrand Farms and see what is going on. Remember, we grow nearly 90% of what we sell. The greenhouses are absolutely beautiful as our flowers and vegetables are beginning to show brilliant colors and prospering growth. Perennials are showing strong renewal and our Jackson and Perkins roses are developing new leaves.

Want a great cheer-up? The pansies will absolutely put a smile on your face. They are the nicest we have raised in many seasons. These are top quality, healthy and fresh. You won't find the spindly, weak plants that the hardware and boxes are selling. Only the best for you at Farrand Farms.

Please check our "Spring Planting Schedule" for our area on our website. Our staff will be glad to help you make your selections and answer any questions you may have.

Here's a Tip: Because it has been so wet, your garden may be slow to dry. Add 1-1 1/2" of Cotton Burr Compost on top and work it in 6" deep. Not only is Cotton Burr a great organic compost, but your soil will dry in half the time!

Easter is not far off and we'll have the Easter lilies ready for you on Wednesday, March 31st. A great idea with the lilies is to place a few yellow and dark purple pansies around their base for a very special welcome to the Easter celebration. Don't forget you can plant your Easter lily in the garden after the holiday and it will bloom in June each year thereafter.

Got a question? E-mail me and I'll try my best to get an answer to you and may even include it in my next "Farrand's Notes". Come on over and see why Toby Tobin says Farrand Farms is his absolute favorite greenhouse. I'm sure you'll be inspired. Bring on the sun . . . .


The Early Stuff . . . .

Keith @ Monday, March 8, 2010

Right now is the best time to start your strawberries. Remember, they are winter hardy so cold will not harm them. When planted now they get a head start on their roots, bigger and better roots mean bigger and better plants. Plants put in now will often double the size of plants planted in early May. We recommend 'Surecrop' for a June bearing variety and 'Ozark Beauty' as an everbearing variety. Both do great in our climate.

It's the perfect time to plant peas. When planted early, they often produce a sweeter and more tender crop. It's a good policy not to plant peas after April 15th. If they are planted late, they usually will not produce a heavy crop and flavor begins to fade with the warmer temperature. I recommend 'Sugar Snap' because you can eat pod and all right from the plant. Kids and grandkids will love the picking and eating right off the vine!

Here at Farrand Farms, we've got all the early stuff you'll need to get started right. Seed potatoes, onions, asparagus, rhubarb and horseradish are all ready to go. Come on in for a visit.

About Inoculants:
Every now and then we are asked about inoculant for legumes (peas, beans , limas, etc.) and what it does. Inoculants are beneficial organisms that help legume seeds get off to a stronger start. Because our seed producers today are so much better at growing, storing and shipping seeds, we believe inoculant is not as much of an official requirement for success. For the past ten seasons we have not chosen to carry it. Inoculants can be expensive and have short life spans. Should you choose to use it, make sure to check the expiration date. Nearly all of customers have great success today without the use of inoculants.

Here's a Tip:
Plant your onions with Espoma 'Tomato Tone' organic fertilizer. Folks buy it year after year and swear it's the key ingredient to the sweetest onions. 'Candy' and 'Miss Society' are the most popular varieties we have.

Don't forget to check our planting dates for your 2010 gardens. You can find the Spring Planting Schedule on the left menu of our homepage. It's a simple and easy way to find out what to plant and when.

We've just changed hours again! We are now open 7 days a week:
9 am - 6 pm Monday through Sat
10 am - 5 pm Sunday
Have a great start and I'll offer more in a couple of weeks.



Spring Awakening!

Keith @ Monday, March 1, 2010

We are back! Most of you already know we grow almost everything we sell here at Farrand Farms, so you won't be surprised to learn we already have over 15,000 sq ft. of our greenhouses full of fresh growing plants.

For those of you with a tomato affection, we have some varieties ready to plant now! We plan to have a little fun early this year. We've planted several bushel and half-bushel baskets with various combinations of tomatoes, lettuce, onions and a wide variety of herbs including basils. These containers will be fun to watch - you can even take them home to finish them yourselves. Go ahead, be the first on the block to enjoy a homegrown tomato!

Farrand Farms is now open for the spring season. Onion sets are in and we have a great selection of fresh garden seeds. We always recommend Cotton Burr Compost when turning your soils. Cotton Burr helps create a great root environment and often times it helps dry out very damp soils.

We've got lots of new flowers and plants to introduce you to this spring. Check out our "What's New" section for a brief preview. We'll do our best to keep you updated.

Pansies and violas are already showing their happy faces. Did you know their blossoms are edible? Great for adding a bit of spring to a salad!

It's still too early to do a lot outside, but you can do yourself a great favor by stopping in and watching us grow. Each and everyday, our greenhouses have something new and exciting going on. After our long dark winter, a visit to Farrand Farms will do wonders for your soul. So cheer up and come on in to see us!