Archive for the ‘Garden Center’ Category

They’re Here! Organic Heirloom Seeds for Fall Planting

We are so proud to offer our community a great selection of organic open-pollinated heirloom seeds from the good folks at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange!
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE) is a small worker-owned and worker-run seed company specializing in organic open-pollinated and heirloom vegetable, herb, and flower seeds.  The seed company started in 1982 as an outgrowth of a love affair with heirloom varieties and in seed saving. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange had its beginning in a small family garden and a kitchen co-opted for seed processing. The kitchen garden has since expanded to numerous growing areas supplemented by a nationwide seed grower network. Now the seed company has its own office, germination testing facility, and environmentally controlled seed storage areas. From the beginning they have believed that the seed company serves: (1) as a source for new, high performance varieties, and (2) most importantly, as a preservation tool for collecting and distributing varieties with special qualities: varieties with heritage, flavor, disease resistance, or other qualities of interest to gardeners.

Check out these photos of some of the organic, heirloom veggies you can grow from the SESE seeds we currently have in-stock at Earth Pets Organic for fall planting

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Time to Garden! …new plants just arrived at Earth Pets Organic!

Click here to explore the Earth Pets website

Grow Your Own Food

There is no act more gratifying, more basic, more liberating, than to coax food from the Earth. Time and the rhythms of nature become the ultimate template by which to live. Do it just to know that you can do it, or do it just to live or do it to save money.

This Week’s Offerings

All from Local Growers

Veggie Plants

Squash . Eggplant . Tomatoes . Okra . Bell Peppers  Zucchini . Brussels Sprout. Watermelon . Cantaloupe   Blueberries   Strawberries  And a Great Variety of Herbs!

Also….Flowers & Trees

Crepe Myrtle . Azalea . Tulip . Camellia . Yellow Narcissus . Butterfly Weed. Tropical Sage. Milkweed   Forest Fire Wild Sage . Silky Gold Butterfly Weed

The new issue of Organic Gardening is on sale now!

Click here to explore the Earth Pets website


Available at Earth Pets Organic Feed & Garden

February/March2011 Issue

The Best of the Test Garden, page 42
Last summer, 14 gardeners trialed almost 50 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. These 10 topped the list. Find more at
By Doug Hall

Island Pastoral, page 50
The founder of the kitchenware company Sur la Table lovingly tends a garden overflowing with edibles, ornamentals, and a winsome assortment of livestock.
By Valerie Easton

The All-American Vegetable, page 54
Beans have nourished people on this continent for centuries. Easy to grow, flavorful, and nutritious, they merit a spot in every garden.
By William Woys Weaver

The Golden Touch, page 56
Turmeric is considered the mother herb of India; its assertive flavor and vivid color permeate a culture and its cuisine.
By Suvir Saran

Thought Lines, page 6

Letters, page 10

Design Like a Pro, page 18
Four-season appeal starts with the winter garden.

Plant TNT, page 20
Vivid flowers and heady fragrance make this native azalea stand out.

Skills & Abilities, page 22
Install a mowing strip; make insect traps.

Common Ground, page 26
Cristina Santiestevan examines whether peat belongs in our gardens.

Flower Power, page 32
Pamper winter-parched skin with this tropical oil.

Simply Fresh, page 36
Foraging gives new meaning to the phrase ìgoing out for dinner.î

Bibendum, page 40
Jeff Cox on how organic vines make better wines.

Ask Organic Gardening, page 66
Flower bulbs and freezing temps, reusing potting soil, and drying herbs in the microwave.

Good Bug, Bad Bug, page 72
Is it friend or foe? An ID guide to the immature insect.

Earth Matters, page 74
Plastic in the garden, the new superfruit, potatoes with promise, and more.

We Like This!, page 80
Forecasting tools: traditional to high-tech.

Find It Here, page 86

Maria’s Farm County Kitchen, page 88
A trip south makes gardening wondrous again.

The Pumpkins are Here!

Click here to explore the Earth Pets website

Pumpkins! Pumpkins! And More Pumpkins!

Medium, Big and Huge!

Great for Carving and Decorating!

404 NW 10th Avenue

Gainesville, Florida 32601

They’re Here! Ghost Pepper Plants!

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World’s Hottest Chili Pepper! 

Local and organically grown Bhut Jolokia Pepper plants

Available now at Earth Pets Organic Feed & Garden

In 2007, Guinness World Book of Records named this the “Hottest Pepper” In the World!

Growing the Bhut jolokia

Ghost pepper is pretty easy to grow here. In its native India it enjoys the heat and humidity so it is not too difficult to make it happy growing in Florida. Elsewhere it might do best in greenhouse conditions. Dry conditions seem to decrease the production of capsaicin (the ingredient that causes the hot-burning sensation) in the fruit.

Give Bhut jolokia plenty of room to grow, especially if you plant it in the ground. These chili peppers can grow to 5′ high by 5′ wide in ideal conditions. Ghost chili may be grown in pots, but this limits the size to which the plant can ultimately grow. Fertilize regularly with a fish-based fertilizer. Keep the plants well watered and grow in full sun.


The pepper is used as a spice in food or eaten alone. Bhut jolokia has a fruity pepper smell and taste with a persistent smell of capsaicin. One seed from a Bhut Jolokia can sustain intense pain sensations in the mouth for up to 30 minutes before subsiding. Most of the heat of these peppers is concentrated in the fleshy part of the fruit around the seeds and up around the stem. They can be used fresh, dried or in powdered form to make very spicy cuisines.


Extreme care should be taken when ingesting the pepper and its seeds. Take small nibbles first to judge your particular tolerance to the pepper’s heat. These little devils are called “Ghost Chili” or “Ghost Pepper” because if you were to pop a whole one in your mouth and eat it, you could feel like a ghost or wish you were dead. Use caution when handling them (gloves are highly recommended) especially when chopping or cutting the fruit since the oleoresin of the chilies will stick well to your hands. Rubbing your eyes or nose after handling the peppers may transfer the oleoresin to sensitive body parts and open up a new world of long lasting burning sensations and pain in those areas. No fooling, these little beauties are beastly HOT!

Various sized plants available.  Prices range from $8-$14

** Available now but selling fast! **

Earth Pets Organic Feed & Garden

404 NW 10th Avenue  Gainesville, Florida 32601

(352) 377-1100

First Annual Fall Garden Boot Camp!

Join us for the

First Annual Fall Garden Boot Camp

August 14 — 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Loga Springs Academy, 931 NE 16th Avenue, Gainesville

This is the time to start your Fall garden.  At this primer you will:

Learn about what grows here best, and how to get it started.

Find out how to grow healthy produce without scary chemicals.

Get your hands dirty planting seeds, starts and ‘edible plants’.

Take home a pile of info, some packets of various seeds, and other start-up materials to get your garden going.  We’ll have some other special offers.


  • Denise Weber – landscape designer/builder and intensive gardener
  • Jim Notestein – Gainesville nurseryman and horticultural guru
  • Paul Miller –  organic farmer, horticulturist,  and green web designer
  • Floyd Gainey  – Local expert in composting  and soils amendments

Classes will be taught partly inside in the air-conditioned comfort of Loga Springs Academy, and outdoors using the site’s gardens and edible landscaping. Morning snacks and a tasty, nutritious lunch will be provided.

Registration –  $25 per person, $10 for children under 12

Please pre-register by August 10 online by clicking here

Or, by referring to Fall Garden Primer, at 352-336-0904 or email at

Is Your Yard Florida Friendly?

Florida Natives are beautiful and help protect Florida’s aquifer!

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Did you know that environmental protection begins in your own yard?  By choosing Florida-friendly/Florida native plants, you will help protect Florida’s aquifer. Check out this easy-to-use searchable database for nearly 380 Florida-Friendly trees, palms, shrubs, flowers, groundcovers, grasses and vines.

Why Go Florida-Friendly?

Irrigation of lawns and landscaping in Florida represents the single largest use of water from our municipal water supplies. This water use has seriously impacted the aquifer, which is the source of our drinking water and water that supports Florida’s magical springs and other ecosystems. In addition, fertilizers and pesticides used on lawns are major sources of pollution in our lakes, rivers and bays.

Whether you are new to Florida or have lived here all of your life, learn how to protect Florida’s environment. Get started in your own back yard by implementing the Nine Principles of Florida-friendly landscaping listed below. Learn to landscape and garden the Florida way – the smart way to grow!

Nine Principles of Florida-friendly Landscaping

1) Right Plant, Right Place: Plants selected to suit a specific site will require minimal amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides.

2) Water Efficiently: Irrigate only when your lawn needs water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy yard and conservation of limited resources.

3) Fertilize Appropriately: Less is often best. Over-use of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard and the environment.

4) Mulch: Maintain two to three inches of mulch to help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds.

5) Attract Wildlife: Plants in your yard that provide food, water and shelter can conserve Florida’s diverse wildlife.

6) Manage Yard Pests Responsibly: Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.

7) Recycle: Grass clippings, leaves and yard trimmings composted and recycled on site provide nutrients to the soil and reduce waste disposal.

8 ) Reduce Stormwater Runoff: Water running off your yard can carry pollutants, such as fertilizer, pesticides, soil and debris that can harm water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent pollution.

9) Protect the Waterfront: Waterfront property, whether on a river, stream, pond, bay or beach, is very fragile and should be carefully protected to maintain freshwater and marine ecosystems.

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