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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Vegetables
grafted tomato

Grafted tomatoes are the most exciting thing to hit the herb and veggie business in a long time. These unique vegetables (fruits?) are made by attaching the top of one plant (called the scion) to the root system of another type of plant (called the rootstock).

When the union is complete, the resulting plant reaps benefits from both parents. The rootstock contributes vigour and disease resistance and the scion (the top) is choosen for the fruit type, flavour, yield and quality. The end result should be a healthier plant, more tomatoes and fewer issues with disease.

While grafting has been used on trees, shrubs and many other types of plants for centuries, it is relatively new for tomatoes and soon other plants like peppers, eggplant, and cucumbers.

As grafted tomatoes are new to the Pacific Northwest, we look forward to growing them this year and seeing how they perform in our climate. Plant a few yourself and let us know how they are doing!

Benefits of Grafted Tomatoes

  • Increased vigour
  • Improved quality and quantity of fruit
  • Greater disease and environmental tolerance
  • Larger harvest over a longer period of time

Growing Grafted Tomatoes

Unlike traditional tomatoes, do not plant grafted tomatoes deep. They should not be planted any deeper than they are in the pot. Otherwise, treat them as you would other tomatoes. Plant in full sun, water regularly and apply a tomato fertilizer as required. Stake varieties as required.

This year Arts Nursery is proud to offer an attractive selection of grafted tomato varieties. Quantities are limited so hurry in and get yours today...


Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Posted By: Ron Tamis in Vegetables

 giant pumpkinWell Mother Nature is certainly throwing us some curves with the weather this spring again, especially in terms of precipitation and saturated fields. 

Taking my experience from previous years I’ve come up with a few suggestions for your own successful pumpkin patch.

 Drainage:  If you have the ability to “hill” your seed bed this will keep the seed from getting saturated.  Raised beds and box planters work well for this.

Transplants:  If your ground is still too wet, you can start your pumpkin plants now in small pots or seedling trays, to get a head start on the season.

If you are direct seeding, remember, 2 – 3 seeds per hill.  If you have older or untreated seed, I would even increase that number.  You can always thin them out when weeding.

Space:  More plants are not necessarily better.  Make sure you give adequate growing room for your plants.

This year Rondriso Farms is going into our 8th season of growing pumpkins!  Each year we try to do something new to improve on our Pumpkin Patch and adapt to Mother Nature’s demands. 

The one thing we have learned is no two years are alike which makes you think out of the box and improve on methods that maybe worked on one year, but aren’t necessarily the right techniques for this year!  We are constantly reminding ourselves of our environment and keeping our farm sustainable for future generations (We have 3 boys!) 

At Rondriso Farms sustainability means good soil heath.  That starts with our cattle and compost.  We rotate crops and manure applications to rejuvenate organic matter levels and provide humus for earth worms and microbes that help battle disease and give the crops a fighting chance!  

As with your garden it is important to keep your organic matter levels up!  That means no insecticides, soil fumigants, and stay away from the harmful fertilizers!  Make sure you replenish your soil with compost or well-rotted manure and supplement micronutrients with naturally based fertilizers. 

We apply safe and sustainable practices to all our crops on our farm, from our naturally raised beef, pumpkin patch, to our delicious sweet corn, potatoes, carrots and other assorted farm fresh vegetables.  Even our hay customers complement us on how well their animals do on their Rondriso Farms hay diet!

That’s all for now.  Let’s keep an eye on the barometer and cross our fingers for lots of May sunshine and heat units!!!!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Vegetables
yukon gold potatos

Potatoes are one of the easiest and most rewarding vegetables to grow in your garden. All you need is a little bit of space, sunshine and potato seedlings.

Potatoes come in a variety of types, sizes, shapes and colours including white, yellow or even blue. To get started either purchase potato seedlings, generally available in March or cut your own potatoes into large chunks. Each chunk should contain at least two eyes or growth points. Allow freshly cut potatoes to dry for 24 hours before planting.

Plant your spuds in an area that recieves at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. While they will tolerate less light, they will produce smaller crops.

The planting area should have rich, loose, well drained soil, preferably mildly acidic. Mix bonemeal in with the soil to help promote root/tuber development. New potato plant growth is tender so wait until chances of frost have passed before planting. In our area, this is usually mid to late March. Tubers may rot if planted to early as the soil is likely cold and wet.

Potato plants will produce potatoes off any part of the stem that is covered in soil. As the plant grows to about 1ft in height, gently hill up or mound the soil around the stem. Leave about half the stem exposed. Repeat this process every couple of weeks until the plant begins to flower.

During the growing season, water your potato plant regularly and deeply, but allow the mound to go somewhat dry between waterings. A good foliar fertilizer, or fish emulsion can be used every 2-3 weeks until the plant begins to bloom. Do not fertilize after flowering has started.

Harvest your potatoes when the foliage begins to die back. Gently remove a little bit of soil from the soil mound to determine if the potatoes are ready. Place the potatoes in a cool dry place for a couple of days to allow the skins to toughen up.

Enjoy your spuds!

potatoes

Our Favourite Potato Varieties

Name Harvest Yield Skin Colour Size Comments
Norland Early High Red Large High yielding variety, adapts well to different soils. Sensitive to drought. Susceptible to skinning and bruising if harvested before maturity. Washes well at maturity
Sangre Mid High Red Large Ranks high in taste tests. No after cooking discoloration. High levels of vitamin C
Russet Burbank Late Good Russet Large Requires uniform moisture supply and long growing season to produce maximum quality tubers and to prevent knobbiness and second growth
Kennebec Mid-Late High White Very Large High yielding, fast growing variety. Widely adapted.
Warba Very Early High White Large High yielding variety
Bintje Late High Yellow Medium High yielding, widely adapted. Higher tuber set, give each plant more space, approx 40-45cm apart
Yukon Gold Mid High Yellow Medium Large tubers. Slightly susceptible to hollow heart.
Banana Late High Gourmet Fingerling Fresh market specialty potato. Yellow fleshed. Produces 15-20 tubers per plant
Nicola Late Good Gourmet Medium Low GI rating, good for diabetics.
If you are looking for a specific potato variety, please visit Art's Nursery or call 604.882.1201 ahead of time to confirm availability. Best Potato selection is during the month of March.


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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