March 2011

News from
The Thyme Garden

March 2011

The Year of Horseradish



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www.thymegarden.com


ABOUT THE THYME GARDEN NEWSLETTER
After being in business for 22 years now and wanting to keep in touch with our customers with a monthly newsletter we're giving it a try. We apologize if you received this email and don't want to be bothered. You can easily unsubscribe below. We think this will be a great way to share our 30 years of experience at growing herbs as well as using them in recipes in the kitchen.

IN THIS ISSUE

Warming Up for a New Garden Year
~Information on starting seeds and using heating coils.

Hopping into a New Project
~ Our new walk-in cooler is complete! Information about hops, storing hops, and hop products.


Eat Your Flowers!
~ Suggestions for flowers to grow and eat.


WHAT'S COMING ?
Take a Country Ride
~ The Thyme Garden Nursery Opens its 22nd Season


Get into the Fun!
~ Growing and Eating Your Own Mushrooms


Ole Mole!
~ A recipe for the spicy goodness of Mole sauce and useful info on growing peppers.







Warming Up for a New Garden Year
  It's going to be Spring soon I'm sure of it so now is the time for many of us to start our seedlings. One of the frequently asked questions from our customer
s is "when can I start my basil?" The answer is now, if you are using a heated system. Basil can be a little tricky to start outdoors because it needs consistent heat and soil moisture or it will dampen off after sprouting. It can be done though if you wait until late May or June. The question is, can you wait that long for fresh basil?


Our greenhouse is filling up with lots of plugs ready to transplant to 4" pots. We start most of our seed varieties in plug flats with our heating coils we sell to give the soil some bottom heat. The coils come with a thermostat set at approximately 74 degrees and come with installation instructions. Using bottom heat gives our seeds an extra boost so they germinate faster. Some seeds almost sprout over night! A warning though not all seeds like warm soil to germinate. Those we start right in 4" pots in the greenhouse. We don't keep our greenhouses very warm, in the 50s to 60s range. I hate spending money on propane. Seeds like chives, parsley, chervil, pyrethrum, cardoon to name a few will do fine in cooler temperatures. Others will germinate but take much longer, allowing time for bad things to happen while they germinate like mice eating the seed, drying out, molds and pathogens attacking the seed etc. So the faster you can get them to germinate the better. Follow this link to order coils.


Hopping into a New Project
Finally our walk-in cooler is done and we're filling it up with hop rhizomes! It's been a challenging but fun project to do. We had a refrigeration company install the equipment but the rest we built ourselves. That has to go near the top of my list of most unusual things I've built in my forty-seven years as a carpenter. I am going to have a page linked from our Hops Rhizomes Page with pictures we took while we built it and advice for those considering building one yourself. We're hoping to get our rhizomes dug in the next week or so if it ever quits raining. We should have enough in to start shipping rhizomes next Thursday. We ship in the order received so those of you that ordered last Fall will be recieving yours first. We also try to ship the more southern states first since they are starting to warm up. As we go through these rhizomes we will start offering extra large and two year old rhizomes. Keep checking our website for availability.

If you receive your hops before your ground has thawed, store them in the refrigerator. Keep them moist and don't freeze them.

Hops are wonderful plants to grow. They provide shade, privacy, and those beautiful cones for brewing beer. If you are interested in growing hops, check out our Hop Info Page.

Homebrewers! We now offer pellets and cones! We also have wholesale pricing for orders of 100 rhizomes or more. Call to place an order...541-487-8671.

Eat Your Flowers!
We grow somewhere between 700 to 800, sometimes more, sometimes less varieties of herbs in our display gardens. My favorite herbs vary from year to year but lately its been edible flowers. Our display gardens are divided into groups of plants by their use or sometimes just the genus like thymus for example. We have 50 or 60 varieties of thyme in one garden. A couple years ago we started an Edible Flower Garden because we use flowers in our salads at our Garden Tour and Herbal Luncheons (taking reservations now!) as well as in a lot of our catering dishes. Now when I go out in the morning to pick flowers for our herb flower salads, which have ten or more varieties of flowers on them, I can go to one garden and have fun!

An Edible Flower Garden has an added benefit over a standard flower garden in that the flowers can be eaten! Some of the varieties available in our seed selection on our website that I would recommend are Borage, we offer Blue Flowering and White Flowering - Tangerine and Lemon Marigolds, Garlic Chives (White and Mauve), Bachelor's Buttons, 3 Varieties of Nasturtiums, Scarlet Runner Beans, Hyacinthe Beans, Edible Chrysanthemum, Thyme, Fennel (Bronze and Florence), Calendula and Heartsease. Lavender and Hibiscus flowers are also useful for making thirst quenching herbal beverages and are attractive garden bloomers.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the spring!
Janet, Rolfe, and Bethany
Email Us: herbs@thymegarden.com
Visit Us: www.thymegarden.com