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Lawn & Garden Care: Tips & tricks for a beautiful yard

Grow Fresh Greens All Winter Long!

January 29, 2016 Written by Melinda Confrey

The weather outside is frightful, and fresh greens would be delightful!

Growing a garden indoors this winter is easier than you think. Some key concepts to keep in mind are light sources, soil temperature, and the type of vegetable.

Light: Large windows and skylights are essential in stimulating growth. If you don't have excellent natural light sources in your home you should consider buying grow lights. A full spectrum light will simulate the missing sunlight. To see our selection of grow lights click here.

Temperature: Warm inviting soil is a necessity. Placing your germination tray near a window is a great source of light. However, your window may let in too much cold air chilling your soil and preventing successful germination. A simple heat mat can solve this problem. Heat mats keep the soil at an easy 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Another option would be to place your trays on top of a warm surface ie. your refrigerator. To see our selection of heat mats click here.

Seed Variety: Only certain varieties of vegetables grow well indoors, we recommend: Herbs, Kale, Leaf Lettuce, Peppers (hot), Spinach, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes (cherry variety)

Fall Garlic! How do you plant it?

October 19, 2015 Written by Melinda Confrey

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time already – time to start ordering and prepare for planting garlic! Here are some instructions for planting garlic and how to order the right amount. Already know what you need?

Garlic is best planted in the fall for harvest the following summer. It can be planted in spring, but this will result in lower yields and is not recommended, as cloves that have not been exposed to temperatures below 65 degrees may not form bulbs. Garlic is very cold-hardy and starts growing again early in the spring after planting. Hardneck garlics produce flower stalks called scapes in early summer. The scapes should be cut to encourage larger bulb development and are also a popular food and marketable product. Garlic bulbs are then ready to dig and cure around mid to late summer, after the lower leaves have dried down.

The best time to plant garlic depends on where you live – but generally it should be planted between the end of October and end of November, after the first frost but before the ground freezes. Our garlic ships between October 6th and 15th, and sells out every year – so if you’re thinking about planting garlic this fall, now is the time to order. Whether you’re a Music lover or a Spanish lover, don’t get your heart broken when they sell out!

How to Plant:

Garlic prefers soft, loamy soil with good fertility and likes to be covered with a thick mulch. A thick layer of straw mulch laid down after planting helps prevent the garlic from “heaving” out of the soil when the ground freezes, and will also help keep down spring weeds.

Separate bulbs into individual cloves right before planting, being careful not to break off the basal scar, which protects the bulbs from rotting. Plant each clove with the basal root end down, and pointed tip up. Larger cloves will produce larger bulbs with fewer cloves, while smaller cloves will produce heads with more small cloves. Small cloves, especially those found on softneck bulbs, can be sown in the fall at a close planting density for garlic greens.

For most hardneck and softneck varieties individual cloves should be planted 2″ deep (if mulching) or 3-4″ deep (if not using mulch), with the cloves 6″ apart in rows 18″ apart. Elephant garlic requires a wider spacing of 8-12″.

How Much Do You Need?

The amount of space that can be planted from a bag of garlic depends mainly on how many cloves are in each head for that variety.

Softnecks weigh about 2.25oz/bulb, so you get about 50 seed cloves/lb with roughly 7-10 seed cloves/bulb. For a 10 foot bed with 3 rows in it, you would need 60 cloves or a little over 1lb. That translates to about 60,000 cloves/acre (~1,200lb/acre) using 6” bulb spacing and 18” row spacing.

Hardnecks weigh about 2oz/bulb so there are about 40 seed cloves/lb with 4-7 seed cloves/bulb. Since hardnecks and softnecks use the same spacing, the number you need is the same – about 60,000 cloves/acre using 6” bulb spacing and 18” row spacing. However the weight of garlic you need will be different, about 1.5 lbs for a 10 foot bed or 1,500 lbs/acre.

Happy planting!

Article Courtesy of: 

The Seed Hopper, High Mowing Organic Seeds:


Mid Summer Gardening Tips!

July 20, 2015 Written by Melinda Confrey

We are well into gardening season and as things move along we have some house cleaning to do!

These little tricks will help your garden flourish to its fullest potential for the rest of the season!


  • Continue to fertilize regularly for replenishing blossoms
  • Dead head any old blooms to allow for new ones to come through


  • You can now reseed spinach and leaf lettuce for a fall crop
  • Continue to prune your tomatoes
  • Make sure to remove any diseased plants from your garden, this can prevent the disease from spreading
  • If you're applying chemicals in the garden for potato beetles, Flea Beetles, or Aphids MAKE SURE to read the label carefully on how many days until the vegetables can be eaten
  • Water the garden from below early in the day to control powdery mildew on cucumber, squash, and pumpkin. This way there is no moisture on the leaves when the temperature drops in the evening.

Plant Me Now!

February 24, 2015 Written by Melinda Confrey

How to Grow Begonias ~ they are about as easy as it gets!

Begonias are easy to start and care for. Just remember, the rounded part goes down. Begin with a Seedling Starting Mix, make a hole deep enough for the tuber to fit in, but that the top is level with the growing medium. The planted tubers have to be started in a warm place. Cover the pots with plastic or domes that have ventilation until they start to grow. Once they start to grow, make sure they get plenty of good light so they grow short and stocky, not long and leggy. Moving them to a cooler area will keep them more compact. Be careful with placement of the begonias, do not have in direct sunlight as it can cause burning. Plenty of indirect light is best. Once the begonia is a couple inches tall, it can be fertilized with a low nitrogen fertilizer every couple weeks.

Start your Begonias Now and up to the 3rd week in March to get a bountiful amount of blooms in the summer!

Available at both Early's Locations!

Mother's Day Winning Recipe

May 21, 2014 Written by Melinda Confrey

Thank you to Joleen Harach- Schneider who nominated Mary Harach for our Mother's Day Giveaway.  The following is the winning recipe:

2 cups corn drained
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup green pepper
2 tbsp red onion
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp tarragon
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup oil
Dash of salt & pepper

Mix all and put in fridge for 4 hours or overnight.  Serve and Enjoy!

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