Give Yourself a Bonus--

with catch crops and understory layers you get an extra harvest from the empty spots.

These sprout well in heat; sow a few seeds wherever you have an opening.

Say you have a bed of  broccoli or lettuce. As you cut the veggies, bare spots appear. If you scratch in a few seeds for heat-adapted crops like orach, purslane, amaranth, and even fast-growing squash or melons, you cover the ground quickly and have a healthy, juicy crop to harvest. Learning how to use a bumper crops of an unfamiliar heat-lover is a better alternative than watching the weeds choke out a few bitter, stressed, lettuces, radishes, and the like.

Understory crops give you a great place to grow plants that like relief from direct summer sun. Carpet the ground under and between your taller plants. Any plant that tends to have problems with bolting, tipburn, scorching, sunscald, or bitterness when grown in hot sun is a great candidate for the understory layer.  Beets, lettuce, chickory, chard, and arugula do well under tomatoes; so do cucumbers. Cilantro and greens like mustard, spinach, or lettuce can go under corn.  Plant basil all around your pepper plants to protect the peppers from sunscald. (Peppers prefer to have direct sun on top and filtered sun at the sides.) Pole beans on hoops across the bed make a perfect shadehouse for lettuce and other greens. Less room for weeds, more food for you.




Popular This Season:
Vsq 5430acornsq

Acorn, Ebony (Table Queen) Squash, Organic

(1913) Very early with short bushy vines. Acorn-shaped, ribbed fruits dark-green 1-2 lbs. Small seed cavity. Fine-textured flesh that is tender, sweet nutty,...
  • Days to maturity: 90
  • Spacing: 15-18
  • Planting depth: 1.5-2
Vam 2015

All Red Amaranth

Leaves are broad, tender, and a deep purple-red on 16" tall plant. Extremely nutritious, full of protein, iron, calcium, vitamins A and C. This variety is pe...
  • Days to maturity: 40-50
  • Seeds per packet: 300
  • When to plant: Early summer
Lettuce+anuenue

Anuenue Iceberg Lettuce

The only lettuce we know that will sprout in temperatures above 85°F without special treatment. A wonderful summer lettuce, developed in Hawaii. Does equally...
  • Days to maturity: 68-87
  • When to plant: Winter
  • Spacing: 8-9
Gqu 7367apellwa

Apellewa Quinoa

We are tremendously excited about this very short, early variety. Small 3' plants produce medium-large yields of very large seeds-the largest seeds of any va...
  • Days to maturity: 80-100
  • Seeds per packet: 240
  • Germination days: 3-4
Vgr 3740 eruca+sativa rocket leo+michels wikipedia

Arugula Greens, Organic

Fast and easy. Spicy, tender leaves and flowers for salads with mouth-watering flavor.Self-sows, attracts beneficial insects, makes a great understory  in su...
  • Days to maturity: 37-50
  • Seeds per packet: 200
  • Germination days: 5-10
Orach+aurora

Aurora Orach, Organic

An amazing rainbow of bright and unusual colors really jazzes up summer salads and vegetable plates: red, gold, green, pink, carmine, and purple. The leaves ...
  • Days to maturity: 37-60
  • Seeds per packet: 80
  • Germination days: 7-14
Vca 2890 autumn+king+carrots

Autumn King Carrot

Huge uniform roots of exceptional color, crisp flesh and high yields; fine variety for winter storage and for storing in the ground under snow. Good type for...
  • Seeds per packet: 800
  • Days to maturity: 85
  • Germination days: 6-21
Vgr 3771 aztec spinach web

Aztec Spinach (Huauzontle), Organic

A relative of quinoa and spinach. Basically, a quinoa bred for mild leafy greens. Sprouts quickly for baby leaves for salad mix. Leaves taste like spinach, w...
  • Days to maturity: 30
  • Germination days: 3-4
  • Seeds per packet: 200
Vcu 3430 beit alpha2 web

Beit Alpha MR Cucumber

Sweet and crisp, disease-resistant. Harvested young, they are "Persian" cukes.  Straight, green, medium-sized 6-8" fruits. CMV resistant. Medium vines. For P...
  • Days to maturity: 56
  • Seeds per packet: 40
  • Germination days: 7-10
Watermelon+blacktail+mtn

Blacktail Mountain Watermelon

The earliest-ripening watermelon we know. This variety has enabled many gardeners and farmers to grow ripe sweet watermelon for the first time ever. Its stro...
  • Days to maturity: 72
  • Spacing: 12-24
  • Germination days: 10-14
Hbo 7990 100 0249

Borage, Organic

Pure azure-blue flowers are like scattered jewels in the garden when borage is sown here and there among vegetables, where it will not only life the spirits,...
  • Seeds per packet: 55
  • Spacing: 15
  • Germination days: 7-10
Cosmos+bright+lights+lighter

Bright Lights Cosmos

Favorite butterfly flowers in yellow, orange, and gold, dance in the breeze on lacy, airy plants. Abundant 2” wide flowers great for cutting, as a companion ...
  • Spacing: 12-18
  • Seeds per packet: 80
  • Planting depth: Shallow
Gbu 7250 +buckwheat+seed%2c+japan wikipedia +k.g.kirailla

Buckwheat, Organic

Generous packet for grain or cover cropping. Quick and easy spring or summer cover crop. Outstanding bee plant-attracts many beneficial insects. Composts qui...
  • Days to maturity: 63-91
  • Planting depth: 1.5
  • Seeds per packet: 2600
Okra+cajun+jewel

Cajun Jewel Okra, Organic

Already a favorite in the South, we suggest trying this jewel in the North too.We don't live in good okra country; nights are cool here in the Coast Range. C...
  • Days to maturity: 50-64
  • Germination days: 10-15
  • Seeds per packet: 40
Vam 2030

Calaloo (Tampala) Amaranth

Large, tender leaves with deep red centers. Heat-loving green from Asia that tastes like spinach. Great in containers. Pinch top when about 6" to encourage b...
  • Days to maturity: 40-50
  • Seeds per packet: 300
  • When to plant: Early summer
Zinnia+and+swallowtail+trimmed

California Giant Zinnia

Big, bright flowers that go on and on til frost. 3-4' tall, large double flowers in lots of colors. Among the best flowers for the vegetable plot, as they ar...
  • Days to maturity: 80-90
  • Spacing: 8
  • Germination days: 7-14
Carrot+mix

Carrot Mix

Carrots of many sizesand colors for your entertainment and delectation. BOTANICAL NAME: Daucus carotaGROWING INSTRUCTIONS: Sow seed 3" apart or broadcast c...
  • Germination days: 8-21
  • Seeds per packet: 800
  • Days to maturity: 85
Vca 2910 carrot chantenay 2 soc web

Chantenay Carrot, Organic

French heirloom from the late 1800s. Wide 5 ½" deep-orange, shorter roots cope well with problem soils. Yields heavily, keeps well, good eating, freezing, al...
  • Seeds per packet: 800
  • Days to maturity: 70
  • Germination days: 6-21
Cilantro

Cilantro (Coriander, Chinese Parsley), Organic

Major flavor in Mexican and Chinese food. Add fresh taste and zest to salsa, salads, beans, egg rolls and other dishes. Seeds (known as coriander) are used a...
  • Seeds per packet: 125
  • Germination days: 10-21
  • Spacing: 5
Basil+cinnamon

Cinnamon Basil, Organic

Luscious cinnamon flavor and scentfor tea, cooking, sachets, and bouquets. Reputedly the hardiest basil. Repels insects. BOTANICAL NAME: Ocimum basilicumGRO...
  • Seeds per packet: 400
  • Planting depth: 1/8
  • Spacing: 6
Okra

Clemson Spineless Okra, Organic

All-America winner in 1939. Most popular okra. 3-5' mildly bushy stalks bearing quality, straight spineless 6-9" pods with a 2" diameter. Rich green color. P...
  • Days to maturity: 50-64
  • Germination days: 10-15
  • Seeds per packet: 50
Squash+cocozelle

Cocozelle Zucchini Squash

Famous for sweet flavor this Italian Heirloom is a staff favorite. Small seed cavity, outstanding flavor and texture. In our trials, it was the best-tasting ...
  • Days to maturity: 53
  • Spacing: 15-18
  • Planting depth: 1.5-2
Bean+contender

Contender Bush Green Bean

Known for its early and high yields since its introduction in 1949. Tender, stringless pods 5-7" long. Tolerates heat & mildew. Great for canning & f...
  • Days to maturity: 40-50
  • When to plant: After danger of frost
  • Germination days: 8-16
Dillflowers

Dill, Organic

This herb is often succession-sown in vegetable gardens-good companion to cabbages, and a major attractor of beneficial insects and butterflies. Chopped leav...
  • Germination days: 21-25
  • Spacing: 8
  • Seeds per packet: 200
Edible+flwr+bowl

Edible Flower Collection

A rainbow of safe and tasty flowers for salad, veggie platters, cakes, drinks, and garnish. A variety of seasons and bloom times. Perfect in vegetable beds, ...
Vgr 3750 lg egyptspinach

Egyptian Spinach, Jute, Molokheiya

Also known as Molokheiya or Jute. Multi-purpose vegetable can survive both dry and wet. Related to hibiscus. Fresh leaves can be eaten as salad or cooked gre...
  • Days to maturity: 70
  • Germination days: 7-14
  • Planting depth: 1/8
Gam 7197fercita

Fercita Amaranth

Fast-maturing for short seasons. We are so excited about this amaranth. Unique variety with freckled leaves and plumed heads of golden and red. White seed, n...
  • Seeds per packet: 330
  • Days to maturity: 75-90
  • Germination days: 5-14
Vco 3240 dsc 0327 web

Georgia Collards

Old Southern heirloom from 1880 with crumpled, very tender leaves. We have received many comments from customers who really appreciate the flavor of this par...
  • Days to maturity: 60-80
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • When to plant: Mid-summer
Hch 8020

German Chamomile

A truly outstanding fruity-tasting tea is made from the flowers. Major ingredient of "tummy" and "sleepy" tea blends to safely and gently calm the mind and b...
  • Spacing: 6-10
  • Seeds per packet: 1200
  • Planting depth: Shallow
Vtu 5925 gilfeatherturnip2

Gilfeather Turnip, Organic

An heirloom that has become a New England classic, with a festival in its honor in Wardsboro, VT. (All the dishes served at the festival contain this, Wardsb...
  • Germination days: 4-8
  • Days to maturity: 85
  • Planting depth: 1/4-1/2
Chard%2c+marigolds

Good Companions Collection

A beautiful way to fight pests--grow nectar plants for helpful insect predators.Tested in our gardens-it works for us! These are companion plants that make a...
Vme 4370melon haogen web

Haogen Melon

Fragrant, sweet green-fleshed melon, sometimes swirled with pink. Divine flavor. Smooth rind with green sutures. Vigorous vines, with heavy crops of small fr...
  • Days to maturity: 75
  • Spacing: 15
  • Germination days: 7-10
Vru 5212

Joan Rutabaga, organic

People are rediscovering the rutabaga Partly because it's related to kale and shares many of the same health benefits, and partly because of the flavor and v...
  • Germination days: 4-8
  • Planting depth: 3/8
  • Days to maturity: 95
Vcu 3440 dscf2272 web

Lemon Cucumber, Organic

From 1894, size and shape of a lemon. Eat when small and pale. Crunchy white flesh on the inside is mild and surprisingly sweet. Very easy to digest. Excelle...
  • Days to maturity: 58-70
  • Seeds per packet: 40
  • Germination days: 7-10
Fma 8775t marigold+lemongem

Lemon Gem Marigold

Quick and easy. Small plants mounded with hundreds of yellow flowers. Citrus-scented foliage and flowers repel insects-nice in pots on a patio, or among vege...
  • Spacing: 8-12
  • Germination days: 5-7
  • Days to maturity: 60
Corn+little+giant

Little Giant Sweet Corn

Not just a novelty, this little plant makes tasty, good-sized golden ears super early. Yummy corn flavor. We really liked the way the 3'-4' stalks didn't cas...
  • Days to maturity: 55
  • Planting depth: 1-2
  • Seeds per packet: 60
Beet lutzgreenleafwinterkeeper

Lutz (Greenleaf, Winter Keeper) Beet

The best red storage beet, large and very sweet. Long harvest period-keeps its choice, sweet flavor and tender texture all the way up into the largest sizes....
  • Days to maturity: 65-70
  • Seeds per packet: 160
  • Spacing: 4
Vgr 3790 02438.03.grnmalabar.cat

Malabar Spinach

A very unusual productive and delicious Asian vegetable. Thick, darkgreen leaves on handsome 6' vines provide abundant tasty greens throughout the summer. He...
  • Days to maturity: 90
  • Seeds per packet: 50
  • Germination days: 7-14
Calendula+medicinal+jpg

Medicinal Calendula, Organic

Selected for resins and medicinal strength. Mostly single and yellow-orange. Very long season of bloom--often blooms year-round in warmer zones.Likes cool we...
  • Germination days: 21-28
  • Planting depth: 1/2-1
  • Seeds per packet: 50
Hec 8110 oil sun pic tg+chastain

Oilseed Sunflower

Black-seeded type bred for big yields of small seeds high in oil. Plants get about 6 feet tall and have the familiar bright yellow flowers, slightly smaller ...
  • Spacing: 9-24
  • Days to maturity: 100
  • Germination days: 7-14
Yes%2c+perhaps+ +pearl+millet%2c early grain

Pearl Millet, African Millet

Best for food use in the home garden or small homestead, because it is so easy to hull. Like the "hulless" barleys in that it does have hulls, but they fall ...
  • Days to maturity: 70-91
  • Spacing: 7
  • Seeds per packet: 500
Kale+portugese+2

Portugese Kale (Tronchuda Cabbage)

A very juicy, sweet, and tender heirloom kale from Portugal. Stands heat better than other kales, and doesn't require cold to sweeten the flavor. Succulent t...
  • Germination days: 5-17
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • Seeds per packet: 50
Purslane

Purslane Greens, Organic

Does well in any garden soil, and loves hot weather. Fleshy, crunchy leaves have a fresh, very slightly lemony flavor, great in summer salads. Popular in man...
  • When to plant: Spring
  • Days to maturity: 50
  • Seeds per packet: 200
Mch 6280  chards rainbow web

Rainbow Chard Mix, Organic

Beautiful in planters and flower beds, nice cut young for salads. Red, yellow, pink, purple, white, and orange. BOTANICAL NAME: Beta vulgaris GROWING INSTRUC...
  • Spacing: 8
  • Days to maturity: 50-60
  • Seeds per packet: 50
Fco 8700cosmos

Sensation Mix Cosmos

Lovely 4" single flowers with a yellow center and wide pink, white, or magenta petals on tall, airy plants. Feathery delicate leaves. Ideal for cutting. Easi...
  • Germination days: 21-28
  • Days to maturity: 80
  • Seeds per packet: 80
Gse 7375sesame

Sesame, Kingoma

This is a tan-seeded sesame, very versatile for baking, cooking, salads, barbeque, fish dishes, and for cooking with other grains like quinoa. Also makes a d...
  • Germination days: 7
  • Days to maturity: 85
  • Spacing: 10
Vbe 2483 beet shiraz web

Shiraz Beet, Organic

A fast-growing, vigorous table beet with big tops, and a smooth round red-purple root. Incredibly easy to grow, and dependable.Selected for resistance to Riz...
  • Days to maturity: 58
  • Seeds per packet: 160
  • Spacing: 4
Hsp 8365spilanthes

Spilanthes, Toothache Plant, Organic

Easy to grow, immune-enhancing tonic, dentifrice, anesthetic. Chewing on a leaf or bud causes a tingling in the mouth, used in small amounts to give interest...
  • Germination days: 10-15
  • Planting depth: 1/8
  • Spacing: 6
Hsa 8380 ccpic2 enrico+roman

Summer Savory

Fast and easy from seedThere is a reason why "savory" means "tasty".This is the main flavor in the famous "Herbs de Provence" blend from Southern France. Add...
  • Germination days: 10-15
  • Planting depth: Barely cover
  • Seeds per packet: 150
Jamie+pics+october+2010+077

Sweet Basil, Organic

Our fine standard variety for cooking. Superb taste. 1-2" long shiny green leaves; spikes for white flowers are delicious also.BOTANICAL NAME: Ocimum basilic...
  • Seeds per packet: 400
  • Planting depth: 1/8
  • Spacing: 6
Hba 7960+sacred basil

Tulsi, Holy or Sacred Basil, Organic

Makes a delicious tea. A mounting body of research shows that Tulsi has immune-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, and adaptogenic properties superior even to Gi...
  • Seeds per packet: 400
  • Planting depth: 1/8
  • Spacing: 6
Sunflower+autumn

Velvet Queen Sunflower

Gorgeous mahogany red sunflowers with dark chocolate-black centers. Well-branched 5-7' tall plants carry many blooms with strong stems.BOTANICAL NAME:Heliant...
  • Planting depth: 1/4"
  • Days to maturity: 75-100
  • Germination days: 7-14
Wallawallasweetonions

Walla Walla Onion, Organic

Big, juicy, sweet onion from Washington that can grow to 3 lbs. In Walla Walla, WA, they're planted in August and overwintered. Spring-planted bulbs will be ...
  • Days to maturity: 125-300
  • Seeds per packet: 150
  • Germination days: 10-14
Hfe 8151 img 0713 2

Wild Fennel

Easy-to-grow source of fennel leaf and seed for salad mixes, pasta sauces, meat and fish dishes, and herbal teas. Secret ingredient of the best pasta sauces....
  • Planting depth: Barely
  • Days to maturity: 40-70
  • Spacing: 18-24
Squash+delicata+zepplin

Zeppelin Delicata Winter Squash, Organic

Ivory-cream skin with dark-green stripes. (1894) We have had many requests for this sweet little squash. Fruits 3 x 8h, have rich, moist sweet flesh, almost...
  • Days to maturity: 90
  • Spacing: 15-18
  • Planting depth: 1.5-2
Lettuce   sunset+duller

Starting Lettuce in Hot Weather

1) Choose bolt-resistant varieties. To simplify that, we have a Summer Salad Collection and a Bolt-Resistant Mix 2)Put the seed in a dry, closed jar in the refrigerator for a few days. Most lettuce varieties do not like to sprout if  the seeds hav...