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    How to Grow Peppers: A Beginners Guide

    Peppers, while technically classified as fruits, are commonly used as vegetables in culinary dishes all around the world. With a wide variety of peppers available, such as bell peppers, jalapeños, and poblano peppers, there's something to suit every taste, from mild and sweet to fiery hot. Growing your own peppers can be a rewarding experience, and this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of growing peppers from seeds, planting, and caring for them, as well as how to use and store your delicious harvest.

    1. Seed Plantation Choose a pepper variety that is suitable for your climate and geographical location. Start the planting process indoors about 8 to 12 weeks before the last expected frost date.
    2. Container Size Selection If you're opting for container gardening, make sure the container size matches the pepper variety you've chosen. Typically, containers with a capacity of 3 to 5 gallons work well for most pepper plants.
    3. Indoor Lighting Provide ample indoor lighting to support the growth of your pepper plants. You can use LED lights or place the containers near a window that receives plenty of sunlight.
    4. Fertilization Fertilization is crucial for a thriving garden. While some soil mixes come pre-fortified with nutrients, adding organic, water-soluble fertilizers can significantly boost your pepper plants' growth.
    5. Outdoor Transition As the weather warms up, it's time to move your pepper plants outdoors. Peppers thrive in temperatures between 70- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit, with moderate humidity (40% to 50%). If the temperature consistently stays above 55 degrees, you can leave your plants outside.
    6. Regular Watering Once your pepper plants are outside, make sure to water them regularly. Keep an eye on pest control and provide nutrients as needed to ensure healthy growth and a bountiful harvest.
    7. Harvesting When it's time to harvest your peppers, use a sharp knife or pruners. Avoid pulling the peppers off the plant, as this can cause damage to the branches and increase the risk of disease. Leave some of the stem attached to the pepper when cutting it. Harvesting some peppers while they're green and allowing others to mature on the vine will give you a mix of flavors, heat, and nutrition.
    8. How to Use Your Peppers Now that gardening season is over, it's time to put your hard work to good use. In the winter, a great way to use your peppers is by making roasted red pepper soup, stuffed peppers, salsa, and sauces. If you're not ready to create a recipe using your peppers just yet, you can freeze them for later use.

    By following this comprehensive guide, you'll be well on your way to growing and harvesting your own peppers. Not only will you enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own food, but you'll also have a variety of delicious peppers to incorporate into your favorite recipes. Happy gardening!

    How to Grow Lavender

    Lavender provides not only fragrant and delicate esthetic charm to gardens but also provides various culinary and medicinal purposes. Furthermore, it blends seamlessly with gourmet cuisine, beverages, and skincare creations.

    Imagine the enjoyment of growing your very own lavender and exploring the benefits, beauty, and aroma it can bring into your home. This guide is designed to provide an understanding of the growing process.

     A Guide to Growing Lavender

    Growing lavender is a straightforward process that enhances any home environment, indoors or in the garden. The key to having lavender flourish is to have well-drained soil, whether it is in a container or a garden bed. Additionally, selecting a location with a minimum of 6-8 hours of sunlight is important.

    Lavender proves responsive to indoor and outdoor growth, making it an outstanding choice for various garden and living arrangements. When propagated from seeds, lavender typically matures to its full state after a year of care. In its initial year, lavender may grow to a modest bloom, offering a glimpse of its aromatic potential.

    Then, by their second season, they should be in full bloom, providing an abundance of scented flowers to enjoy.

    To grow lavender from seed, get a light, seed-specific potting mix, then cover each seed lightly with a thin coating of soil. Lavender germinates faster when exposed to sunshine, so don't completely cover them. Place the seedlings in a warm location or use a heating mat to keep them warm.

    It is essential to note that light is imperative for the germination process. If natural sunlight is unavailable, consider using artificial plant lights. Keep the soil temperature between 60- and 65-degrees Fahrenheit for the best germination rate. Monitor the temperature with a soil thermometer.

    Allowing the soil to dry slightly between watering and placing the seedlings somewhere with adequate airflow will help reduce overwatering. When the seedlings are a few inches tall and have a few sets of leaves, it's time to harden them off.

    It's the process of acclimating seedlings to the outdoors to boost their chances of survival after transplantation. This means taking the seedlings outside for brief periods, first in a more covered position and then gradually pushing them into more open locations. This way, your seedlings should be ready to transplant in a few weeks.

    Water your transplants once or twice a week while they are settling in. After a few weeks, your lavender's roots should be established, and you can reduce watering to once every two to three weeks. When it starts to bloom, reduce your watering to once or twice a week, as plants require more water and nutrients.

    While acquiring the skill of growing lavender from seeds may pose a challenge, the rewards are so great. It demands time, patience, and diligence; however, the sight of a thriving garden with lavender will fill you with pride and satisfaction, validating your dedicated efforts. Contact Bentley Seed Co. to start growing lavender or to learn about the abundance of vegetable and flower seed packets we provide! Our seed packets are the perfect gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, and memorials. Shop today!

    Why It’s Important To Use Non-GMO Seeds

    You’re likely aware of GMOs and their presence in a variety of food products, but did you know that even some seeds are genetically engineered? In fact, it’s estimated that more than 90% of corn, soybean, and cotton in America are planted with GMO.

    The seemingly widespread adoption of these seeds might make it seem like GMO seeds are safe and beneficial, but there are significant negatives to using them. Here’s why it’s important to use non GMO seeds:

    What are non GMO seeds?

    Before getting into the importance of using non GMO seeds, let’s first clarify what they are. After all, you might be wondering, “What are non GMO seeds?” Also called organic seeds, non GMO seeds are seeds that have been cultivated through pollination. They have not been genetically engineered or genetically modified in any way.

    Risks of using genetically engineered seeds

    There are two main risks to using GMO seeds – the unknown long-term health effects on humans and animals and the potential for soil contamination. In addition to these negatives, genetically engineered seeds cannot be saved after a harvest, and they can only produce a single generation of crops that have similar characteristics. The increasing use of GMO seeds could potentially lead to a significant loss of biodiversity.

    Why use non GMO seeds

    Gardening and farming with non GMO seeds is always the better choice. They are naturally produced in the same way nature has been doing for thousands of years and can be saved after a harvest. Additionally, non GMO seeds simply produce foods that are tastier and healthier.

    With the majority of major crops in the US using genetically engineered seeds, it can be difficult to find non GMO seeds for your home garden. Not when you shop with us. At Bentley Seed Co, you can find a variety of organic and uncoated vegetable seeds, herb seeds, flowers, seeds, and more. We have everything you and your garden needs, so explore our selection of home gardening products today!

    How to Grow Echinacea

    The Echinacea has a striking appearance with attractive pink and purple petals, and its nectar makes it popular among bees and butterflies. They are perennial plants belonging to the daisy family and have origins tracing back to the Eastern and Central U.S.

    Also called a coneflower, the plant has also become a very popular addition to many home gardens not only because of its looks but also because of its medicinal value. You can use echinacea to make herbal tea, strengthening immunity.

    When and Where to Plant Coneflower

    Growing Echinacea is straightforward as long as it is hosted in the right environment. These plants require temperatures of 65 degrees and above and will do best in do well in full sun and well-drained soils. The addition of light mulch can prevent weeds.

    • Light requirements: Echinacea blossoms in full or limited sunlight, sometimes even flowering until mid-winter. Flowering will be at its prime in full sun conditions. Just remember – the coneflower requires a minimum of four hours of daylight daily.
    • Soil: Coneflower does well in well-drained soils. It can endure infertile rocky soils but won't grow in wet and muddy soils.
    • Planting: The right time to plant the seeds is during the spring. You can quickly grow Echinacea from seeds by sowing during a cold and moist period. You should propagate the seeds densely in the fall. Remember to cover them slightly to prevent birds from eating them. The seeds will germinate in the spring if all conditions are right.

    How to Winterize Echinacea

    Winterizing coneflowers helps them during the cold period. You can prepare the plants for the cold season by trimming, mulching, winter covering, watering, and practicing disease management. Adding mulch to the garden also helps to protect the plant in winter. Winter covering provides extra protection to the plant, which is an important step especially for those in a colder climate. In climates that have snow and temperatures that cause freezing, it is important to keep your plants ready!

    Shop Echinacea With Bentley Seed Co.

    Bentley Seed Co provides a large selection of high-quality flower and vegetable seeds for businesses, home gardeners, and gift favors. Our seeds are uncoated, non-GMO, that make gardening safe for the entire family. Visit us today to view our selection and start your gardening journey today!

    The Best Late-Season Crops

    As the gardening season begins to slow, it's not time to hang up your gardening tools just yet. Late-season crops provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy fresh produce well into the fall months. Lets explore some of the best crops to grow during the late season.


    Best Late Season Crops

    1. Leafy Greens

    Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and kale thrive in cooler temperatures in the later summer season, making them ideal for late-season gardening. These crops can endure light frosts and still provide flavorful leaves. With proper protection like row covers or cold frames, you can enjoy a continuous supply of nutritious greens throughout autumn.

    1. Root Vegetables

    Root vegetables like carrots, radishes, and beets are perfect for late-season planting. These crops benefit from the cooler temperatures, unlike other crops, which enhance their flavor and sweetness.  You should plant these crops about two to three months before the first frost date in your area. Harvesting root vegetables can become easier in the fall because the cooler soil make it less likely that pests will attack the crops.

    1. Brassicas

    Brassicas, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, tend to thrive in the fall season. These crops often improve in flavor after exposure to light frosts. These crops require an extended growing season, so starting these seeds indoors during the summer season is recommended. With proper care, you and your family can enjoy delicious, nutrient-rich brassicas well into late autumn.


    Find the Best Late Season Crops with Bentley Seed Co.

    Late-season gardening can open up a world of possibilities for new or professional gardeners. By selecting the right crops, you and your family can continue to enjoy fresh and nutritious harvests even as the days grow colder. Find the best selection of late season crop seeds with Bentley Seed Co. Our cold weather seed packets contain varieties that are meant for colder harvests and can be planted later into the summer. Bentley Seed Co. is committed to providing safe, high-quality seeds to ensure our customers have an enjoyable and successful planting experience year after year. Shop with us today!


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