Beans – Provider
Bush bean, green bean. Productive, tolerant of poor soil.
Starting: Sow outdoors in spring 2-5cm (1-2”) deep/apart. Row spacing 30-45cm (12-18”) apart. For a constant supply all season long, plant every 2 weeks until 8 weeks before final frost. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Growing: Germination in 6-14 days. Thin to 10-15cm (4-6”) apart when seedlings are 10cm (4”) high.
Harvesting: Maturity in 51-55 days, height 45cm (18”). Pods are ready to pick when they snap easily. Regular picking will encourage more production.
Seed Saving: Allow the pods to dry on the still-growing plant until the bean seeds rattle loosely inside the pods. Pick pods and let dry inside for another 1-2 weeks. Remove the seeds from the pods and store in a cool, dry location.
Companion Planting: carrots, cabbage, celery, kale, tomatoes, lettuce, peas, cauliflower, parsley, spinach, and savory
Carrots – Scarlet Nantes
Typical orange carrot. Can be used raw, bunched, or stored. Great for juicing.
Starting: Sow directly in early spring. Sow 0.5-1.5cm (0.25-0.5”) deep and 5-7cm (2-3”) apart. Row spacing 30-35cm (12-14”). After seedling, firm the soil. Keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout. Requires full, direct sun and loose, well-draining soil. Germination period 8-10 days. Sow every 3-6 weeks for continuous harvest.
Growing: Thin to one every 2-3 cm (0.7-1”) when seedlings reach a height of 8cm (3”). The further apart, the larger the carrot will grow. Keep soil moist and hydrated. Remove any weeds to give space to young carrots.
Harvesting: Mature when tops are approx 45-55cm (18-22”). Gather carrots when they get bright orange in color. Can be harvested in any size. Matures in 60-70 days. Hydrate the soil and loosen it to take the carrots out easier. To keep carrots for winter, twist the tops off but don’t wash them; keep them in sawdust or sand, under cool temperature over winter. You can also leave outdoors, mulch to protect them from frost and pick as desired throughout winter.
Seed Saving: Carrots are biennials and they flower in their second year. Wait for the flowers to appear and let the flowerheads dry. Remove dried flower heads and let them dry out some more. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Onions, peas, lettuce, leek, rosemary, chives, and radish.
Don’t Plant with: Dill parsnip, potato, celery.
Cucumber - Space Master
Bush, dwarf cucumber with a juicy and sweet taste. Dark green, with smooth skin. High tolerance towards diseases such as a mosaic virus. Can grow many in small space. Does well in hanging baskets and containers. Great for pickling small fruit. Delicious addition to salads.
Starting: Sow early spring outdoors 1.3cm (0.5”) 45-60cm (15-24”) apart. Start seeds in early spring approximately 3 to 4 weeks after the last frost. Row spacing 240cm (48”) Germination in 8-10 days. Likes well-draining soil and full, direct sun. For indoor starting, sow 3 seeds per 2cm (1”).
Growing: If planted in the container, thin to the strongest plant per pot. Keep the soil evenly moist and water often. Do not get the foliage wet. Remove shriveled and undeveloped fruit. Can be trained on the trellis (optional) and hanging baskets (in which will grow downwards).
Harvesting: Mature in 60 days. Produces cucumbers with a length of 20cm. (8”) Plant every 2 to 3 weeks for continuous harvest. Make sure to stop planting 3 months prior to the fall frost. For a high amount of production, keep the plant well-picked regularly. Pinch off the flowers about one month before the fall frost to help the remaining fruits grow.
Seed Saving: Let cucumbers grow and mature. You know it is ready when the skin gets brownish-yellow color. Remove the fruit from the vines and keep it in a cool and dry place for up to a week. Cut cucumbers and remove seeds. Add water. Keep in the shade for 24 to 36 hours. Stir two times a day and let it ferment. Remove the hollow seeds and unwanted debris and take the good seeds out of the water. Dry them for two weeks. Cucumber seeds can be stored in a cool and dry place for up to 8 years.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Asparagus, celery, corn, onion, radish, and beans.
Don’t plant with: cabbage, kale, melons, sage, potato, or fennel.
Kale - Dwarf Green Curled (Blue Vates)
Compact kale with curly shape and greenish-blue leaves. Does well in cool temperatures. Can withstand poor soil and wind. Rich in vitamin A. Low maintenance, can be grown in any environment.
Starting: Start seeds outdoors in May or April. Also sow in late summer for fall harvest. Sow thickly 1.25 (0.5”) deep and 15-30cm (6-12”) apart. To start indoors, sow 1 month before the last frost in spring and transplant once the threat of frost is passed. Row spacing 30-45cm (12-18”). Germination 5 to 8 days.
Growing: Likes well-draining soil and full direct and indirect sunlight. If in a container, thin to the strongest plant. Provide consistent moisture. When dry, the flavor and foliage quality is low.
Harvesting: Growth 30-45cm (12-18”) tall. Mature in 30-60 days. Cut or pick leaves from the bottom when the leaves become 5-8cm (2-3”) tall or large enough for salads. Kale regrows its leaves. An entire plant can be harvested by cutting it one inch from ground level.
Seed Saving: Kale has to be overwintered in order to produce seeds. It can withstand cold very well. Flowers will appear in the spring that will mature and develop pods. Once pods turn brown, it’s time to cut them off and dry them. Additionally, people also pull the whole plant from the soil, hang it upside down, and let it dry. Remove seeds from dried pods.
Companion Planting: Plant with: chamomile, mint, sage, and rosemary.
Don’t plant with: Peppers, potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes.
Lettuce - Black Seeded Simpson
Light-green, slightly crumpled leaf-lettuce with a delicate and tender flavor. Easily adaptable to a wide range of environments. Can withstand drought, heat, and frost.
Starting: Sow seeds directly when the soil can be worked in early spring 0-0.5cm (0- 0.25”) deep and 10-15cm (4-6”) apart. Also sow in the late summer for fall harvest. Likes rich soil and direct, full, or partial sunlight. At first, plant seeds in rows 30-45cm (12-18”) apart. For continuous harvest, plant seeds every 2 weeks. Germination takes 7 to 14 days.
Growing: Once the seeds start to grow 2.5-5cm (1-2”) high, thin them to one per every 15-20cm (6-8”). Keep the plant moist and hydrated so it can develop sweet and tender leaves. Control weeds.
Harvesting: Mature in 45 days when reaching height of 15-18cm (6-7”). For the best results, harvest in the morning. These heirlooms regrow after the leaves are cut. Leaves can be gathered throughout the season. When the middle stem of the plant grows high, the lettuce is no longer good because the leaves turn bitter.
Seed Saving: In the late summer, lettuce will produce stalks and flowers. They will mature, become brown, and split open. Remove the entire plant and hang upside down. Once dried, remove seeds by shaking the pods or crushing them. Separate good seeds.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Onion, cucumber, carrot, and chives.
Don’t plant with Cabbage, kale, broccoli, or cauliflower.
Peas - Sugar Ann
Description: Bush snap peas with high yield. Sweet, delicious flavor and crispy texture. Great for small gardens. Easy to grow. Vibrant green color and smooth skin. Matures early. Open-pollinated plants have high resistance to diseases such as powdery mildew.
Starting: Once the soil can be worked, start Sugar Ann peas outdoors. For a fall harvest, sow again in July or mid-august. Sow 2.5-4cm (1-1.5”) deep and 5-7.5cm (2-3”) apart. Recommended row spacing is 30-45cm (12-18”). Likes well-draining soil and full direct sun. Germinates in 7-14 days.
Growing: Do not require thinning. Water evenly and keep the soil moist. Increase watering frequency once peas bloom and start producing pods. Grows on vines 45-50cm (18-20”) long, trellis optional but not necessary.
Harvesting: Mature in 62 days. Once peas get bright green color and pods swell up, it is time for harvest. Produces pods of 7.5cm (3”) long. Hold vine with one hand and carefully pull pea with the other.
Seed Saving: Let the pods mature all the way. Once they get dry, remove the pods by hand and let them dry out some more. Remove the seeds and keep only healthy ones.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Cucumber, carrot, corn, and parsley.
Don’t plant with: Onions, mint, Garlic, or leek.
Peppers - California Wonder Peppers
Typical green/red bell pepper. Crunchy and crispy with juicy flesh and well-formed fruit. Mild and sweet flavor. Great for any recipes and especially stuffed peppers. Can be grown in an open field, garden, or greenhouse. High resistance towards tobacco mosaic virus.
Starting: Sow indoors in early spring 8-10 weeks before final spring frost. Seed depth 0.05-1cm (0.25-0.5”). Germination takes 7 to 21 days. When transplanting outside, keep 30-45cm (12-18”) between plants and rows 50-50cm (20-24”) apart. Likes well-draining fertile soil. Full sun.
Growing: Transplant seeds that are started indoors in In June, once the weather gets warm. Can be grown in containers too. Remove unwanted weeds. Keep the soil evenly moist and hydrated.
Harvesting: Mature in 75 days. The plant grows 50-60cm (20-24”) high. The longer peppers mature, the sweeter the taste is and the content of vitamin C is higher. Early picking will cause the plant to produce more. Once fruit grows large and firm, it is ready for harvest. Can be picked green, but if left for longer period of time and under direct sun, turns red.
Seed Saving: Keep in mind that peppers will cross-pollinate with other varieties of pepper, so isolation or caging may be necessary to preserve genetic purity if growing more than one type of pepper. Allow the pepper to fully mature then cut it open and remove the pepper seeds. Spread out the seeds to dry for about two weeks. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place
Companion Planting: Plant with: basil, carrots, asparagus, eggplant, and oregano.
Don’t plant with: brassicas, fennel, or beans.
Spinach - Bloomsdale Longstanding
Fast-growing spinach variety. Large, dark green leaves full of juicy flavor. Leaves can be used in salads or in cooking. Resistant to blue mold and blight. Starting: Plant as soon as the soil becomes workable in spring. Sow directly an thickly 2.5-4cm (0.5”) with row spacing of 30-45cm (12-18”). For continuous harvest, plant every 3 weeks before the hot weather hits. Likes indirect sun, or shade. Well-draining, light soil. For fall harvest, plant in late summer. Germination takes 5 to 9 days.
Growing: Thin to 15cm (6”) when the seedlings reach the height of 2-5cm (1-2”). Keep plants evenly moist but not too wet. Remove the weeds. If too hot, cover the plant.
Harvesting: Mature in 42 days. Height 20cm (8”). Remove leaves when they are large enough to be eaten. Pick the large leaves first, this way, new leaves will keep growing. Can also harvest entire plant by removing it at ground level.
Seed Saving: To avoid cross-pollination, plant spinach far from other varieties.. After leaves turn yellow and seed pods mature, remove them from the stem. Use gloves, the pods may be prickly. Let the pods dry out some more. The seeds can be removed from the pod or planted with it. Keep the spinach seeds in a dry and cool place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Beans, peas, cabbage, chard, and onion.
Don’t plant with: potato, melon, corn, or sunflower.
Tomato - Scotia
Crop Failure notice: supply limited due to crop failure, may be substituted with Roma Tomato. Sturdy dwarf tomatoes from Nova Scotia. Light red color with greenish hints on top. Known for making green tomato relish. Matures early. Globe-shaped medium size fruits. Ideal for both small gardens and commercial growth.
Starting: Start indoors in March or April, 6-8 weeks prior to the last spring frost date. Sow 3 seeds in a 2.5X2.5(1X1”) pot. Germination takes 5-10 days. Thin to one plant after germination. Place in bright sunlight. Once they develop 2 sets of leaves, transplant them into the larger pots. After the frost is totally gone, transplant outside 60cm (24”) apart. Row spacing 90-120cm (36-48”). Harden off before transplanting. Likes well-drained soil, highly fertile, and full, direct sun.
Growing: Keep evenly hydrated. Do not require a trellis. Yet, stakes can help to keep them growing upright. Feed with well-balanced fertilizer or compost tea.
Harvesting: Matures in 95 days. Average height 90-120cm (36-48”). Harvest when they turn vivid red. Harvest soon or it can overripe. Harvest all fruit before the frost. If stem is too attached, then cut with scissors.
Seed Saving: Pick mature tomatoes and cut them open. Take out the seeds and pulp. Let it stay out for several days until the mold is formed. Wash the seeds and let them dry out for 7 days in the shade. Once completely dry, keep the seeds in a dry and cool place for up to 4 years.
Companion Planting: Plant with: carrots, celery, basil, and beans.
Don’t plant with: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, or Corn.
Zucchini -Black Beauty
Summer squash. Productive and popular variety. Bush, Semi-upright plant. Dark green fruit, glossy. Creamy white flesh and tender texture. High quality and easy to grow.
Starting: Sow directly or start indoors. Start indoors 4 weeks before last spring frost. Start 3 seeds in per spot. Germination in 7-10 days. Sow at a depth of 2.5cm (1”). Likes full direct sun and rich, well-draining soil. Row spacing 2m (6’).
Growing: Thin to the strongest plant per pot if using containers. Thin directly sown seedlings to 1m (3' ) apart. Transplant one week after the last frost if started indoors. Keep moist, and water evenly. Avoid getting water on leaves.
Harvesting: Once the fruit reaches 10-12cm in length, it is time for harvest. Typically, the plant has to be picked every 2 days. Regular picking will help plants to produce regularly. When developed fully, fruits have a hard skin.
Seed Saving: Seeds can be taken from any mature zucchini. Remove zucchini and take out the seeds and pulp. Separate seeds by putting them in the water. Pick out seeds that sink and let them dry for 2-3 weeks. Stir occasionally.
Companion Planting: Plant with: beans, peas, radish corn, and pumpkin.
Don’t plant with: potatoes, melons, or beets.