|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.
Not to Worry! Spring is on it's way~
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Here at Farrand Farms, we are working very hard to help you get off to a great start in 2014. Mother Nature has presented us with many new challenges this season, but she will not stop us from introducing nearly 45 new and exciting plant varieties. We are going to have some fun!
The following 6 hints will help you get started:
Hint #1: Since we are all forced to begin our gardens just a little later in 2014, why not plant some early green onions, radishes and lettuce in some pots right now. It's easy and it's fast. Farrand Farms has all you need to get started.
Hint #2: Start your cool weather crops like broccoli, cabbage, kale and lettuce for transplanting outside in a couple of weeks.
WARNING: It is much too early to start warm weather crops like tomatoes and peppers. To avoid weak and spindly plants, they are best started in late March in Kansas City and then transplanted into your garden in late April.
Hint #3: Onion plants for growing slicing onions will be in soon. Please call us @ 816.353.2312 to make sure they have arrivied.
Hint #4: Asparagus Roots (both UC157 and Purple Passion varieties) should arrive within the next 10 days. Plant them as soon as the ground allows (dry and tillable).
Hint #5: Farrand Farms now has five varieties of seed potatoes ready for you. A blue variety is expected soon. If you have wood ashes from your fireplace or a wood stove, sprinkle them over your potato bed. They are a great source of potash!
NOTE: Forget about St. Patrick's Day as being the date potatoes must be planted - that's just an old wives' tale. In our area, potatoes can be planted up to June 1st and still provide a good harvest.
Hint #6: NO,.... DON'T DO IT!! That is, plant sweet potatoes now. They want warm weather and produce best when planted between May 20th and June 10th. 'Beauregard' is our favorite variety and we are growing thousands of them for you.
It's fun to be open again! Please feel free to give us a call at 816.353.2312. Our open hours change often in the spring.
Now, let's get ready to play in the dirt!
Monday, February 24, 2014
Got seed left from 2013 . . .is it good and will it grow?
In most cases, seed will remain viable for many seasons. Whether they are still good depends mostly on how they were kept or stored.
Here's a simple way to test your left over seed. You'll need a washcloth (towel, dish towel, or even paper towel work well). Saturate the towel with tap water and squeeze out the excess. Lay the towel on a flat surface. Place a few test seeds on 1/2 of the towel surface and fold the other half over the seeds. Some people like to use a cookie sheet to hold the towel. Let the seed set at room temerature for a couple of days. Seeds will quickly swell and sprouts will emerge very quickly. If the seeds do not show signs of growth after four days, they are probably not worth planting. Remember to keep the towel moist. Almost all seeds (everything from sweet corn down to lettuce seed) respond to this test.
Seed is easy to keep from one season to the next. Here are 2 easy steps to help you succeed :
1. Store the seed in sealed containers to keep insects and moths from eating the germ. Jars, tupperware containers and even ziplock bags work well.
2. Store your seed in cool dry conditions. Refrigerators are great for keeping seed fresh.
Spring is nearly upon us, so test your seed now. Should you find you need fresh seed, Farrand Farms has plenty on hand to get you started.
To get started, our hours are 9 am - 5 pm, Monday through Saturday. Please call us at 816.353.2312 to check our open hours as they frequently change as spring arrives.
It's great to be back and growing!
AUGUST GARDENING TIPS
Monday, August 19, 2013
Mother Nature is our best friend this August. The weather is perfect for starting your Fall Garden!
Your opportunity to plant Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower and Collards is now. After
Aug. 25th there is not usually enough time for these crops to fully mature. Cole crops like these grow fast in
the warm temperatures, but finish in the cool nights of October with the most tender and tasty flavor of the
At Farrand Farms, we recommend general purpose fertilizers like Hummert's 12-8-8 garden granular or, for organic food, Espoma Garden Tone. Either will get you off to a good start and will easily get you through the fall season.
Keep an eye out for fluttering white butterflies - they are commonly called 'Millers' and love to deposit their eggs on fall cole crops like broccoli. When the eggs hatch, worms called 'cabbage worms' begin to rapidly devour plant leaves. It's good that the worms are very easy to control. Farrand Farms recommends
'Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew', which contains Spinosad, a naturally occurring organic bacteria that will
immediately kill worms. It is safe to use right up to harvest and will not harm children or pets. You may also expect good results from more traditional worm controls like Sevin or Eight. Choose which works best for you.
It is also a good time to plant turnip and mustard seed for great fall greens. After the 10th of September is an ideal time to plant a few fall radishes and leafy types of lettuce. Some folks like to plant a few peas in the fall as well. Sugar Snap and Little Marvel will usually give you the best results. Bloomsdale Spinach should be planted just before mid-October. You can use some in November and leave the rest to winter over in
your garden. Spinach will easily survive the worst winter conditions and reward you in late February and early March with tender and flavorful spinach for the first salads of the new season.
We've got the fresh seed you need to get started. We'll have the full inventory of Hummert
grass seed and fall fertilizers very soon. Toby Tobin recommends Hummert above all others and we agree with him.
Those of you who have been driving by Farrand Farms recently know the mums are looking great! The weather is being so cooperative, why not get them planted now? If you buy them before Sept. 1st, you'll save two bucks apiece on the two gallon size. Selection is at it's best right now and we have all your favorite colors. Fall asters are nearly perfect! We'll be putting out our fall pansies around the first week of Sept.
Fall bulbs (like tulips and daffodils) will be arriving around September 10. We also have a very good selection of Iris's ready for planting now too. Remember, the beauty of spring is planted in the fall.
Don't let this scare you if you think time is quickly passing, but if you'll take a peak inside our greenhouses,
Christmas is now growing. We have already started over 12,000 poinsettias! Bring the kids, it's always
fun to see the plants when they are small. You''ll appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the ever
changing world at Farrand Farms.
Come on by and see what we are growing. It's time to play in the Dirt!
To Mulch or not to Mulch . . . .that is the question!
Thursday, June 27, 2013
The answer is YES! You should mulch!
Mulch does 3 great things for your garden.
1. It helps retain soil moisture.
2. It helps reduce soil temperatures.
3. It helps to keep weeds to a minimum.
At Farrand Farms, we believe the best mulch for the vegetable garden is wheat straw. It is easy to spread and apply. Pull it apart and layer it about 4-6" deep. Because straw is lightweight, it will allow air and water to easily pass through to your garden soil. Any weeds that do come up through straw are weak and easily removed. Straw is also natural and organic in nature and can be returned to the soil at the end of the growing season.
Newspaper also makes a good vegetable mulch. When it is applied several layers thick, it will readily break down by the end of the growing season. Newspaper is nature friendly too!
We never recommend grass clippings as a mulch. When they are applied too heavily, they compact and actually shed water and do not breath well. If you do decide to use grass clippings, apply them lightly and, every couple of weeks, loosen them with a garden fork or a rake.
When muching flower beds and roses, Farrand Farms suggests Cypress mulch as one of the very best. Cedar is also a good choice. Both Cypress and Cedar are very long lasting mulches (can be reused in many cases for up to 5 years without breaking down). Both are easy to apply and resistant to harboring insects.
It is a good idea when applying these great mulches to leave an inch or two of space from the actual plant stems. By leaving this space, you greatly reduce stem molds and other common viral and bacterial diseases.
If you have a choice, avoid using dyed mixed mulches like the red, grey and black mulches. They decay quickly and the color fades much too rapidly. We are not fans of rubber mulches either, as many have been shown to leach some minor toxins into the soils.
Yes, do mulch and do it now! Straw in the vegetable garden and Cypress around the flowers and roses.
Farrand Farms has plenty of straw and Cypress mulch to help you succeed.
Mulching . . . .what a great idea!