We hope you all have had a week of bounty following last Thursday’s gorgeous harvest moon.
Let’s talk about planting…
To seed or not to seed, that is the question
The first step to planting a garden is deciding how each crop will grow best. Aside from light, soil and moisture requirements, some plants do better when they’re planted from scattered seed, while others need a more nurturing environment as they grow into seedlings.
During these trying autumnal times, the way a seed is planted can make all the difference.
As a rule of thumb, seeds for most cabbage family plants like kale, cabbage and other leafy greens like heads of lettuce are best planted in small containers or trays and transplanted at 4-6 weeks. At this point the seedling has at least four adult leaves and is established enough before exposing it to the elements in a full-sized garden bed.
Best direct-seeded are soft herbs like cilantro, loose greens and carrots, because once these plants are rooted and growing, they don’t like to be moved.
Beets and onions are the least picky; they’ll grow either way.
Moving into winter, we have lots of beets, onions, Asian greens and lettuces on the way! Keep your eye out for these goodies at our Malibu markets.
Behind the scenes: a look inside our nursery
Anything that we don’t plant directly into the ground or our garden beds goes into our nursery. There, we check on them throughout the day and tuck them in every evening with green thoughts and a gentle mist.
We grow our seedlings under a dark shade canopy to help the soil maintain moisture. For seeds to germinate, or sprout, they need consistent moisture and warmth. The canopy cloth serves to protect the seedlings from winds or harsh temperatures.
We carefully plant one to two seeds at a time in each section of our planting trays, then we cover the tray to protect the newly sprouting seeds from pests.
Most seeds sprout within 10 days, but if not, we simply recycle the soil for future use.
Biodynamics is everywhere in our little nursery. We peacefully protest birds and mice by covering our seed trays with covers or fabrics. We reuse and recycle old trays and containers. We utilize a two-tiered system for watering so that the water that drains from the seedling trays on top to the plants on the bottom.
Want a little nursery of your own?
Lucky for us, we can keep a garden year-round in Southern California.
Help us help you prepare for our mild winter with garden starts. We have an abundance of seedlings for cool season-loving favorites. To learn more about growing your very own starts, come volunteer and sow seeds with us!
Farmer of the week: Susan
Susan Bean is from Miami and majors in Global Studies at UCLA. She’s our spectacular apprentice and quite frankly, we don’t know what we would do without her.
Knowing that she wants to open her own restaurant one day, Susan devotes all of her time to studying food and embracing every aspect of the culinary world. She found herself at One Gun Ranch for the opportunity to learn how a sustainable market farm maintains relationships with chefs, and she utilizes our surplus harvest to make delicious meals and desserts of her own! On any given evening find Susan sailing or surrounded by friends, cooking up a storm and experimenting with flavors in her kitchen-laboratory.