2013 Organic Flower and Vegetable Seeds

At the heart of our olive ranch lies 5.5 acres of organic plants, flowers and fruits. These terraces and garden beds are filled with a vast selection of heirloom and lesser-known varieties, many of which we hold onto each season through our seed-saving practices.larkspur_greenhouse Each spring we like to share many our favorites with our fellow gardeners as part of our commitment to saving heritage seeds and continue the tradition of passing seed "over the garden fence." Here's a look at what's available at our San Francisco Ferry Buildng shop this season.... FLOWERS ANNUAL LARKSPUR, Consolida ambigualarkspur Old-fashioned, stately spikes of bright blue, pink or white flowers reaching heights of 3' to 4' feet. These feathery-leaved plants make an excellent border or long-lasting cut flower.
  • Cool weather annual
  • Direct sow in early spring or fall 1" - 2" deep in fertile garden soil
  • Germination: 2-3 weeks
  • Maintain moisture during germination; stake as necessary
LOVE IN A MIST -Nigella damascenenigella A favorite not just for its name but also for the delicate blue flowers amongst soft, feathery foliage. Excellent cut flower in the Bay Area.
  • Sow early- to mid-spring or in the fall in well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Dead-head frequently to keep blooming
HEIRLOOM SWEET PEAS -Lathyrus odoratussweet peas Originally introduced by a Sicilian monk, Father Francisco Cupani. These deep blue flowers with magenta wings have a very enticing and fragrant sweet scent.
  • Soak seeds overnight, then sow ½” deep in fall in mild winter climates; in less temperate climates, sow in early spring
  • Stake or trellis as desired
  • Full sun
CORN COCKLE -Agrostemma githagocorncockle Elegant, pinwheel-shaped annual with white and occasionally violet flowers.
  • Direct sow in fertile soil in spring or fall in mild climates
  • Full sun
  • Great cut flower
  • Good nectar source for bees
BLUE SHRIMP PLANT-Cerinthe majorCerinthe Mediterranean native and strikingly beautiful annual. These blue-magenta flowers are tinged with violet, and accented with a succulent blue-grey leaf. “Shocker” in the border and excellent in pots.
  • Sow in fertile soil when temperature has warmed
  • Full sun, balanced moisture
CHAMPAGNE POPPY MIX -Papaver nudicaulefloral_poppy A colorful, easy-to-grow addition along sunny walkways, in containers and sprinkled throughout mixed beds.
  • A perennial in zones 6-8
  • Direct sow outside after danger of frost
  • Hearty seed; will tolerate poor sandy soil with low fertility, heat and drought conditions
  • Full sun
MONEY PLANT -Lunaria annua This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. Fragrant magenta flowers bloom in mid-spring and eventually dry into translucent flat seed pods that resemble silver coins.
  • Direct sow outdoors in the fall and keep soil consistently moist
  • Sun to partial shade
BACHELOR'S BUTTONS - Cenaturea cyanuscornflower Produce an abundant supply of 2” double, fringed, thistle-like blooms in late spring & early summer. In mild summer areas they will continue to flower until September if old flowers are removed. They attract butterflies in the garden & are edible.
  • Direct sow outdoors in the spring, summer, or fall
  • Prefer full sun & can tolerate dry soil
SHUNKGIKU -Chrysanthemum coronariumchrysanthemum The aromatic bright green leaves (4-8”) are a nice addition to salad mixes if sown closely together as a baby green. If sown more sparsely & left to mature to full size, they will produce small orange and yellow flowers that make a great edible accent to many dishes.
  • more prolific in warmer temperatures, but can tolerate cooler weather
  • Full sun
VEGETABLES CILANTRO -Coriandrum sativumcilantro Fragrant & indispensible herb in Asian & Mexican cooking. The seed is culinary coriander.
  • Direct sow in spring in almost any garden soil in full sun
  • Resow periodically for a continuous supply of fresh leaves or allow plant to set seed
  • Excellent “beneficial” annual
BIG JOHN'S PUMPKINgiantpumpkin These giant pumpkins need ample space and care to encourage growth.
  • Warm weather annual
  • Pale salmon-colored fruit
  • Direct sow in compost-rich soil in spring when soil temperature is above 55 degrees
  • For bigger pumpkins, water daily and remove extra flowers to encourage those which remain to grow larger and bury stems of the vine
RED RUSSIAN KALE -Brassica napus pabularia This showy brassica thrives in the cooler temperatures of spring, fall and even winter in some climates. Very tender, tooth-edged, deep grey-green leaves with purple stems.
  • Direct sow in fertile soil in cool weather or into flats in late summer/early spring before transplanting
  • Allow 24" between plants & harvest leaves for up to 6 months
  • Full sun
TRUE RED CRANBERRY BEAN A rare heirloom pole variety, this is one of the oldest American beans. Deep red color that looks like a ripe cranberry.
  • Sow seeds outdoors after danger of frost has passed and soil and air temperatures have warmed
  • Harvest dry beans when the pods are completely mature and dry
  • Full sun
TONGUE OF FIRE BEAN These Italian beans retain their flavor whether fresh, frozen or canned. The 6"-7" string-less, red-streaked pods can be eaten young as snap beans. A relative of the Cranberry bean, they are originally from South America but eventually found their way to Italy.
  • Sow seeds outdoors after danger of frost has passed and soil and air temperatures have warmed
  • Full sun
Enjoy and happy sowing.