Planting Calendar – When do I plant my seeds?
We found the best planting calendar for you! We are loath to steer you away from our website, but if something great already exists, why reinvent it? Community values are important to us and that includes sharing. In that light, we’d like to share this resource, equipping you with the best support possible as our fellow gardener. The website we recommend allows you to enter your postal code so it can accurately provide you with indoor starting dates, outdoor starting dates, and transplanting dates. Now, once you’ve visited their site...you come straight back here and buy our seeds, you hear!
What is the shelf - life of seeds?
Most seeds last 2-5 years, some varieties as much as 10. Even then, they don't stop germinating at once, you just get a lower germination rate each year that follows. For example, seeds that last '2 years' may germinate 85 out of 100 seeds at that 2-year mark, but after 10 years will still germinate around 20-40 seeds. So, if you're putting seeds away for a 'survival garden', we recommend replacing your kit every 5 years for best results, but stretching it to 10 years will still give you some plants. But isn’t there a such thing as a 20-year shelf life? Not really. Businesses that advertise this are assuming at least a few seeds of each kind will still sprout after 20 years, which is true. But relying on 20-year-old seeds from a survival or prepping point of view is not something we recommend. However, if you bought seeds in 2022 will they still be good in 2025? …Yep!
Arugula - Common
Arugula is an annual green/herb that has a mustard-like flavor and can be a great addition to sandwiches and salad dressings. Resistant to aphids and wild birds, low-maintenance and drought-tolerant.
Starting: Sow directly at any time once the soil warms up and can be worked. Sow seeds 1.3cm (0.5”) deep and 10cm (4”) apart with row spacing of 30cm (12”) in nutrient-rich soil. Plant every 2-3 weeks for continuous harvest. For fall harvest, plant in late summer. Seeds germinate in 4-7 days. Arugula thrives in full sun.
Growing: As soon as seedlings emerge, thin them and use harvested seedlings in cooking. Thin seedlings to 15cm (6”) apart. Keep soil evenly watered. Arugula can be grown in containers indoors.
Harvesting: Maturity in 35-45 days with a height of 30-35cm (12-14”) and width of 10cm (4”). In 4 weeks’ time, when 5-8cm (2-3”) long, start removing outer leaves for regular use. Arugula can also be harvested by pulling the entire plant out. Flowers are also edible. Fresh Arugula Can be stored in cold, dry places for 7 to 10 days.
Seed Saving: When the plant blooms and seeds mature, cut the stalks and keep them in a dry place so they can mature fully. Keep drying until the seeds become hard. Rub seed stalks together to remove all seeds. When the pods are dried all the way, the seeds come out easily. Store in a dry and cool place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Chives, Thyme, Mint, Dill, and Basil. Don’t plant with: Peppers, Tomatoes, Strawberries, or Potatoes.
Basil -Sweet Genovese
Green, vigorous leaves that can be harvested all season long. Can be grown indoors in containers, or outdoors in the garden. Can be used fresh, dried, or frozen.
Starting: Sow indoors 1-2 months before the last spring frost or sow directly in the ground after the threat of frost has passed. Sow seeds 0.3-0.6cm (0.25”) deep and 30cm (12”) apart; if indoors sow 3-5 seeds per pot. Recommended row spacing is 30cm (12”). Germination in 7-14 days. Likes rich and well-draining soil. If you’re planning to keep your basil indoors indefinitely, the seeds can be sown at any time, it’s not necessary to wait for spring.
Growing: If started outdoors, thin the seedlings to 38-35cm (15-18”) inches apart when the seedlings are 8cm (3”) high. If you see flowers, remove them, flowers can make the plants taste bitter. Likes full direct sun and can tolerate partial shade. If kept indoors in containers, provide very bright light.
Harvesting: Mature in 85 days if harvesting all at once. Can also be harvested continually as soon as a few sets of leaves have developed. Height of a mature plant is 30-60cm (12-24”). Harvest basil by pinching off the stem or picking individual leaves. Do not use a knife, because it can leave bruises. Make sure to leave at least 3 leaves on the bottom of the stem so that plant can regrow. Frequent harvest will prolonged the plant’s life.
Seed Saving: To save seeds, do not pinch off the flowers. Instead, let the flowers mature. After flowering, seeds will develop. When the seed pods turn yellowish-brown, remove them and let them further dry for 1-2 weeks. Remove seeds.
Companion Planting: Plant with: pepper, tomato, chamomile, and oregano. Don’t plant with: Cucumber, fennel, thyme, or sage.
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
Beets - Detroit Dark Red
Globular beet that has a deep-sweet flavor and is dark red. Sweeter than other beet species. Generally, bug-free and mildew resistant. Can be canned, frozen, pickled, or consumed fresh. If harvested early, leaves can be used in salads and make tasty greens.
Starting: Sow the seeds directly in early spring, as soon as soil can be worked, 1cm (1/2”) deep and 5-10cm (2-4”) apart. Preferred row spacing is 30-45cm (12-18”). For continuous harvest, plant every two weeks until late June. Well-draining soil and full direct or partial sun is required. Days to germination 5-15.
Growing: Keep well-watered. Thin to every 7-15cm (3-6”) when the seedlings reach a height of 5cm (2”). Uprooted plants can be used as a second crop by transplanting, or eaten directly in a salad.
Harvesting: Mature in 65 days. Can reach a height of 38cm (15”). Harvest when the bulb size reaches 3-7cm( 1-3”) in diameter. Pull out or dig beets when it reaches full size. To avoid bleeding, twist the tops off 3cm (1”) from the stem, and remove the skin after cooking. Tops can be picked and eaten any time, be sure to leave at least 3 large leaves to the bulb can continue to grow.
Seed Saving: Leave beets in the ground and wait for the seed heads to grow, letting them dry out before picking. When they turn brown color, remove the seed spikes and dry them for additional 2 weeks. Separate out the dried seeds and store them in a dry, cool place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: cauliflower, radish, onion, lettuce, kohlrabi, chard, and cabbage. Don’t plant with: mustard, and charlock.
Cabbage - Copenhagen Market
Large, solid, round-headed cabbage. Great for summer harvest. Rich flavor and beautiful uniformity. Can be stored. Use to make very delicious coleslaw!
Starting: Sow indoors, 2 or 4 seeds in per pot, 1.2cm (0.5”) deep, and 5cm (2”) apart. Does well in both fertile and neutral soil. Thrives when planted in full direct sun. If planning to overwinter cabbage, sow it outdoors in July. Germination time 7-10 days.
Growing: Transplant seeds 2 weeks after the last expected frost. Thin to the one strongest plant per pot. When transplanting, recommended space between seedlings is 45-60cm (18-24”). Row spacing 60-90cm. (24-36”) When transplanting, the stem can also be buried up to halfway. Cover vulnerable seedlings if the temperature drops rapidly. Make sure to maintain moisture levels. By giving plants constant and even hydration, cabbage splitting can be avoided.
Harvesting: Maturity in 63-100 days. Ready for harvest when the heads are firm. If not picked on time the heads will split. Splitting can also happen when overwatered and overfertilized. Average Head diameter 15-20cm (6-8”).
Seed Saving: Keep the cabbage plant overwinter but make sure that it won’t get affected by the frost. If the cabbage heads are still hard and firm in the spring, then you can make the cut on top so the stems can come up through easier. The size of the stem is typically 1.2-1.5(4-5') tall. The stem will produce blooms in yellow color. Once the flowers mature and the seed pods finish forming, remove the pods carefully and let them dry. Once dried remove the seeds and keep them in a cool, dry place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: potatoes, dill, mint, chamomile, sage, and rosemary.
Don’t plant with: peppermint, eggplant, potato, tomato, and peppers.
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.
Cauliflower - Early Snowball
Pure white cauliflower with green, vigorous self-wrapped leaves that protect it from frost. The white heads can grow 17cm (7") in diameter. Smooth, delicious, and crunchy head can be used fresh, cooked, or frozen.
Starting: Sow indoors in April or May, for fall harvest (preferred), or sow directly in late spring. Sow seeds 5-6mm (0.23") deep and place 3 to 4 seeds close to each other. Well-draining soil and full sun are required. Germination period 8-10 days. Transplant 45-60cm (18-24") apart. Row spacing 60cm (24")
Growing: Thin to one seedling per pot before transplanting. Keep thinned seedlings 30-60cm (10-25") apart. Maintain even moisture levels and keep it hydrated.
Harvesting: Mature in 65-70 days. As soon as the florets start separating, it is time for harvest. Cut the cauliflower head at the base with a sharp knife, including a few leaves.
Seed Saving: Remove the cauliflower from the soil in winter and keep it in the sand or sawdust. Replant in the spring. Wait for it to bloom and for seeds to form. When pods get dry and brown, remove them and let them dry some more. Remove the seeds from the pods and keep them dry in a cool place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: celery, broccoli, beets, and spinach.
Don’t plant with: tomato, pepper, corn, or strawberry.
Celery - Utah 52-70
Widely adapted celery with smooth, crispy, and tender dark green stalks. Strong roots, well-developed heart. Has high disease tolerance.
Starting: Sow seeds indoors 0.6-1.2cm (0.25-0.5”) deep and 2.5cm(1”) apart 10 weeks before the last spring frost date. Germination takes 7-21 days. Plant in well-draining, rich and nutritious soil. Likes full indirect sun when indoors. Full bright sun after transplanting.
Growing: Put 3 seedlings per pot. Thin to strong plant when the plant reaches 5cm (2”). Once reaching 15cm (6”) in length, move into the garden. Do not transplant until the 1st of June. Even slight frost can bring serious damage to celery. Transplant seedlings 15-20cm (6-8”) apart. Row spacing 60-90cm (2-3'). The soil has to be the same in the garden as it was in the pot.
Harvesting: Mature in 90-100 days. Water generously the day before harvesting. Stalks that are located outside the celery plant can be harvested anytime. Yet, the whole plant should be harvested once it grows fully. Don’t remove the plant entirely, so the roots stay intact and the celery plant has a chance of overwintering. Grows 22-25cm (9-10”) tall.
Seed Saving: Take out the celery from the ground and wrap up the roots so they won’t be affected by frost during winter. Cover roots with light dirt and keep moist. Replant in the spring and remove damaged foliage. The plant will flower in the spring and make seed heads. Let the heads mature and dry on the plant. Then remove and leave to fully dry indoors. Remove seeds and keep them in a dry and cool place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Leeks, onion, spinach, tomatoes, and beans.
Don’t plant with: Carrots, turnips, parsnips, or parsley.
Chamomile - German
Our favourite, fragrant, annual herb. Used fresh or dried. Best for a soothing tea. Supports beneficial insects. Edible flowers can be used in salads. High tolerance to drought and easily adaptable. Because of its Daisy-like white flowers with yellow hearts is the perfect choice for xeriscaping.
Starting: Sow directly outdoors 3mm (0.1”) deep and 2.5 cm (1”) after the frost threat has passed. Or start indoors 10 weeks prior to the last frost. Recommended row spacing 30cm (12”). Germinates in 10-15 days. Prefers well-drained soil and full sun. Firm the soil lightly on top of the seeds. Bottom heat supports quick germination.
Growing: Transplant or thin 10-15cm (4-6”) apart when the seeds have at least two sets of leaves. If started indoors, harden off before transplant. To prevent self-sowing, deadhead. Increase the watering frequency in dry and hot weather. Can be grown in containers.
Harvesting: Mature in 80 days, with height up to 75cm (30”). Harvest flowers when they get fully open. Gather flowers in the morning using scissors. Spread flowers on paper and keep them in a dry and cool place so they can dry out. Store dried heads in an airtight jar. Gather leaves in spring or early summer.
Seed Saving: Let flower heads mature on the stem and dry up. When they become brown, remove them from the stem and lay them out in a dry and cool place. Rub the flower heads to remove the seeds. Store seeds in a cool and dry place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Onions, collards, kale, dill, and mint. Don’t plant with: Peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, or eggplants.
Chives – Common Onion Chives
A hardy perennial plant with the flavor of mild green onion. High tolerance to drought. Beneficial for bumblebees, hoverflies, and insects. Utilized in salads and sandwiches. Can be grown in containers. Produces lavender-pink flowers. Can be utilized either frozen, dried, or fresh.
Starting: Sow directly in average soil 0.5-1cm (0,25-0.5”) deep and 15 cm (6") apart after the frost threat has passed. Recommended row spacing is 30cm (12"). Start indoors late winter to mid-spring after the frost threat has passed. Germinates in 7-14 days. Seedlings like warm temperatures and constant moisture.
Growing: When the plant becomes 45cm (1.5’) tall, thin 1m (3’) apart (or once the seedlings are 4 weeks old). If sown indoors, transplant them into a larger container or in the garden when the soil warms up. Harden off the plant before transplanting to avoid scalding and shock. Place them 15 cm (6″) apart in full sun. Keep weeds under control. Water evenly to keep the plant well-hydrated. Divide it every 3 years to keep it vigorous.
Harvesting: Mature in 80 days with an average height of 20-30cm (8-12”). When the plant reaches a length of 15cm (6”) start snipping the leaves for eating. With the use of scissors, onion chives can be entirely cut down to 4cm (2”) and will regrow. When protected from frost, it can be harvested all winter in Canada’s warm regions.
Seed Saving: Let flower pods mature. After the flowers bloom, remove the seeds immediately so they do not spread to nearby areas. Place the container around the flowering pod and shake it gently until all seeds are out. Keep seeds in a cool and dry place for up to 3 years.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Potatoes, Cabbage, Beets, Carrots, Mustard, and Rhubarb. Don’t plant with: Beans, Asparagus, Spinach, and Peas.
Cilantro - Common
This bolt-resistant, high-yielding herb is a popular ingredient in various dishes around the world. The plant is grown for its leaves which are called Cilantro and seeds called Coriander. It grows very quickly and in a wide range of environments. It can survive both frost and drought. Annual.
Starting: Sow directly into the ground in the late spring when the frost has passed, 0.6cm (0.25”) deep. Sow again in the fall for a winter harvest. Needs 7-14 days for germination. Keep 20cm (8”) between seeds. Row spacing 25cm (10”). Likes full direct sun but tolerates shade. Plant every 2-3 weeks for continuous harvest. For growing indoors, start at any time of year, plant 3-5 seeds per pot.
Growing: Thin seedlings to 23-30cm (9-12”) apart when the leaves start to appear. Water cilantro evenly and keep it hydrated. Control and remove any weeds.
Harvesting: Average height when mature is 70cm (28”) tall. Mature in 60 days. Harvest weekly. Cut the top ⅓ of the plant, leaving several leaves still on the plant so it can continue to grow.
Seed Saving: Once the flowers mature, the seeds will develop. When they become straw coloured, remove the seed heads and lay in them the shade. Once dried completely, remove seeds and keep them in a cool and dry place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Mint, yarrow, basil, tansy. Don’t plant with Tomato, pepper, eggplants, or potato.
Clover - White Dutch
1. Select the right time: In early spring, you can sow white Dutch clover seeds as soon as the soil can be worked. For fall planting, aim to sow the seeds approximately 6 to 8 weeks before the first expected frost.
2. Choose a suitable location: If possible, select an area with well-drained soil that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day. While clover can tolerate partial shade, it may not grow as vigorously in shady areas. Avoid planting in low-lying or waterlogged spots, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot.
3. Prepare the soil: Before planting, remove any existing vegetation, including weeds or grass, by hand or using a garden hoe. Remove any rocks, roots, or debris from the area.
4. Optional: Test and amend the soil: Conduct a soil test to determine the nutrient levels and pH of your soil. White Dutch clover prefers slightly acidic soil, so aim for a pH range between 6.0 and 7.0. If necessary, adjust the pH by adding lime to raise it or sulfur to lower it, following the recommended application rates. Additionally, incorporate organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, into the soil to improve its fertility and structure.
5. Sow the seeds: White Dutch clover seeds are small, so mix them with a carrier like dry sand or vermiculite to help distribute them more evenly. This will prevent overcrowding in some areas and ensure better coverage overall. Once mixed, broadcast the seeds evenly over the prepared soil. It's helpful to divide the area into smaller sections to ensure uniform coverage. Consider using a handheld spreader or a mechanical seeder to simplify the process. Afterward, gently rake the seeds into the top of the soil to provide good seed-to-soil contact.
6. Water the seeds: Immediately after sowing the seeds, water the area thoroughly but gently. Use a fine mist or a gentle shower setting to avoid displacing the seeds. The goal is to keep the soil consistently moist until germination occurs. Depending on weather conditions, this may require watering every day or every few days. Be careful not to overwater, as excessive moisture can cause the seeds to rot.
7. Germination and establishment: White Dutch clover seeds typically germinate within 7 to 14 days if the soil temperature is around 15°C (60°F) or higher. Maintain consistent moisture during this period to encourage successful germination. Once the seedlings emerge, continue to water as necessary to prevent the soil from drying out. As the seedlings grow, they will develop a dense mat of leaves that helps suppress weeds.
8. Maintenance: Regular watering is crucial during the establishment phase. Once established, white Dutch clover requires less irrigation, as it has a deep root system that allows it to tolerate dry conditions better than many other plants. However, if rainfall is insufficient, continue to provide supplemental water when the soil becomes dry.
9. Mowing and fertilizing: When the clover reaches a height of 2 to 3 inches, it can be mowed to encourage denser growth and control weed competition. Remove no more than one-third of the plant's height at a time. Avoid mowing too low, as this can stress the plants and make them more susceptible to damage. White Dutch clover has the unique ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, which enriches the soil naturally. Therefore, it generally does not require additional fertilization. However, if desired, you can apply a light application of organic fertilizer in early spring to provide a nutrient boost.
Remember to adjust these instructions based on your specific growing conditions and consult local gardening resources or experts for region-specific advice.
Corn – Golden Bantam
At least there’s one! A corn variety that grows in our cold climate is rare. Corn that is open-pollinated and heirloom, also rare. But Golden Bantam checks all the boxes, making it perfect for everything from backyard gardening to prepping.
Starting: Corn likes warm soil, so wait until late spring/early summer when your soil is at least 18°C (65°F). If not, the seeds will likely rot in the ground before sprouting. Plant direct or start indoors. Choose a sunny location and sow seeds 2-5cm (1-2″) deep and 7.5cm (3″) apart, in rows 60-90cm (24-36″) apart. Germination in 7-10 days. Corn can be tricky to get going, so if you don’t see seedling within 12 days, re-plant. Corn is wind pollinated, so plant in a block or a grid instead of single rows.
Growing: Thin seedlings to 20-25cm (8-10″) apart. Corn is heavy feeder and benefits from being fertilized. Water generously. Plants grow 1.5-2m (5') tall with 12-18cm (5-7") cobs.
Harvesting: Corn is ripe when juice from the kernels is milky white, the silk on the ears has turned dark brown, and the ears are firm. It’s not ready when the juice of the kernel is still watery and overripe when the kernels get chewy and starchy. Cook right away, or store it in the refrigerator. To store corn, keep corn in the husk and place in the refrigerator uncovered for 1 or 2 days. Corn stored for more than 2 days loses its sweetness.
Seed Saving: Leave some ears to fully mature on the plant. Pick when the whole husk is brown. Open the husks slightly but don’t remove them. Then hang them in bunches in a dry place for a few/several more weeks until the seeds are completely dry and easy to remove.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Beans, Cloves, Sunflower, pumpkin, Dill, Basil, and Peas. Don’t plant with: Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale, or tomato.
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.
Dill - Bouquet
A great addition to any garden. The main ingredient for pickling. Attractive to birds, butterflies, and bees. Nice-looking plant with lacy foliage, fragrant colors, and yellow flowers. Grows 90-120cm (36-48”) tall. Annual.
Starting: Can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Doesn’t like to be transplanted. Start in early spring for a summer harvest and again in fall for a winter harvest. Sow 0.6cm (0.25”) deep and 2.5cm (1”) apart. Average row spacing is 60cm (24”). Needs 10-21 days to germinate. Likes full direct sun and well-draining, fertile soil. If growing indoors, plant 3-5 sees per pot at any time of year.
Growing: Thin to 15cm (6”) apart once the seedlings develop. Keep seedlings watered evenly and constantly moist. Control weeds.
Harvesting: Mature in 70 days. When the plant is 15cm (6”) tall you can start harvesting. Harvest the heads (before they flower). It’s best to remove heads in the morning.
Seed Saving: Let the dill plant flowers bloom and produce seeds (instead of picking them to eat). After the seed heads finish forming, around 12 weeks, cut off the flower heads once the seeds turn brown and hang them upside down for drying. Keep them away from direct sunlight. After drying, rub and remove seeds.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Lettuce, onion, cucumber, and corn. Don’t plant with: Carrots, tomatoes, or pepper.
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.
Lettuce -Paris Island Romaine
Flavourful and crispy lettuce. Emerald-green crispy leaves with a white heart. Uniformly shaped salad heads make the perfect Caesar salad ingredient. Resistant to diseases such as mosaic virus, tip burn, and bolting.
Starting: Sow outdoors in April/May 0.3cm (0.125”) deep and 15cm (6”) apart. Row spacing 45cm (18”). Can be sown directly or started indoors. Germination in 7 to 10 days. Start in well-draining soil and under full direct sun. For continuous harvest, sow every 2-3 weeks.
Growing: Keep the soil moisture level even all the time. Thin to 10cm (12”) apart. Control and remove weeds around the plant.
Harvesting: Height when mature is 30cm (12”). Average maturity is 72-75 days. When the lettuce is mature, pick either individual leaves or whole heads. Leaves can be gathered all season long. New leaves will grow from the main stem. Harvest in the morning for the crispy and juicy leaves.
Seed Saving: At the end of the season, a stalk will grow from the centre of the plant. Stalks produce pods and flowers. Let them mature, dry out, and turn brown. The pods will split open by themselves. Remove seeds slowly by shaking the pot in the bag every day. Or, you can cut off the whole flower head and let it dry by hanging it upside down. After drying, shake and remove the seeds.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Beets, carrot, celery, dill, garlic, and onion.
Don’t plant with Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, or kale.
Morning Glory - Heavenly Blue
Lots and lots of big blue flowers! These plants get tall…really tall. Morning glories are stunning flowering vines that can add a touch of beauty and elegance to any garden or outdoor space. Among the various morning glory varieties, one that stands out for its captivating blue flowers is the Heavenly Blue Morning Glory. With its vibrant color and delicate blooms, this plant is a popular choice for gardeners around the world.
Selecting the Right Location - Morning glories thrive in full sun, so choose a sunny spot in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. They also prefer well-draining soil, so make sure the soil in your chosen location is loose and fertile.
Preparing the Soil - Morning glories are not very demanding when it comes to soil, but they do prefer soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage.
Sowing the Seeds - Heavenly Blue Morning Glory can be grown either from seeds or transplants. If you choose to sow seeds directly into the ground, wait until after the last frost in your area. Make small holes in the soil, about 5mm (¼”) deep, and space them about15cm (6”) inches apart. Drop one or two seeds into each hole and cover them with soil.
Watering - Keep the soil consistently moist but avoid overwatering. Water the plants deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions. It's important not to let the soil dry out completely, especially during hot and dry spells.
Providing Support - Height 3.6m (12'). Morning glories are climbing vines, so they need support to grow vertically. Install a trellis, fence, or any other structure that can provide a sturdy framework for the vines to climb. As the plants grow, gently guide them towards the support and secure them with ties if necessary.
Maintenance - Pinch off the tips of the plants when they start to climb to encourage branching.
Fertilizing - Heavenly Blue Morning Glory doesn't require heavy fertilization but can benefit from a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Use a slow-release fertilizer or organic options to provide essential nutrients without overstimulating growth.
Pests and Diseases - Morning glories are generally resistant to most pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for common garden pests like aphids, spider mites, and slugs.
Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) - Nasturtiums are not only beautiful flowers but also great companions for Heavenly Blue Morning Glory. They repel aphids and whiteflies, which are common pests that can affect the health of morning glory vines. Additionally, nasturtiums serve as a sacrificial plant, attracting pests away from the morning glories.
Marigolds - Marigolds are known for their ability to repel nematodes, which can damage the roots of many plants, including morning glories. By planting marigolds near your Heavenly Blue Morning Glory, you can help protect the roots from these harmful pests. Marigolds also attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, which feed on aphids and other garden pests.
Borage - Borage is an excellent companion plant for Heavenly Blue Morning Glory due to its attractive blue flowers and its ability to attract pollinators. Bees are particularly fond of borage flowers, and having them around can increase pollination rates for your morning glories, resulting in better fruit set and seed production.
Climbing Roses - If you want to create a visually stunning combination in your garden, consider planting climbing roses alongside Heavenly Blue Morning Glory. The roses provide a vertical structure for the morning glory vines to climb, creating a picturesque display of contrasting colors and textures. Additionally, the roses' thorns can deter animals and pests from damaging the morning glory vines.
Sunflowers - Sunflowers are not only sun-loving companions for Heavenly Blue Morning Glory, but they also provide shade and support for the morning glory vines. The tall stalks of sunflowers can act as a natural trellis, helping the morning glories reach higher heights. This combination creates a visually striking garden display with the blue morning glory flowers contrasting against the bright yellow sunflower blooms.
Mustard - Tendergreen
Annual. Great spinach substitute with smooth, glossy leaves and mild flavor. Can be utilized fresh or cooked. Perfect additions to salads. Drought tolerant. Can be grown in containers.
Starting: Sow directly outdoors in full sun and rich soil 4 weeks before the last expected frost. Sow 6mm (0.25”) deep and 12-15cm (5-6”) apart. Recommended row spacing 25-30cm (10-12”). Plant every 2 weeks for continual harvest. Can be grown as a fall crop when planted in late summer or early fall 10 weeks before the first winter frost. Germination in 10-21 days.
Growing: Thin 30cm (12”) apart when the plant reaches the height of 2-5cm (1-2”). Control the weeds and keep plants evenly moist. Monitor diseases and pests.
Harvesting: Mature in 25-45 days with a height of 40-60cm (16-24”). When the plant becomes 10-12cm (4-5”) long, start picking the fresh leaves. Take leaves for continual harvest or remove the entire plant. Mature leaves have a strong flavor and taste best. Keep harvested greens in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Flowers are edible too. Can be frozen when blanched. When leaves become bitter, stop harvesting.
Seed Saving: Let the Tendergreen mustard overwinter before harvesting seeds. Remove the plant and cut half of the stem off. Keep in a humid area where the temperature range is between 0-4°C (32-40°F). Once the temperature outside warms up, replant. Let it produce flower heads. Remove mature heads when they become brown by cutting them off with scissors. Let it dry out some more and remove the seeds by threshing. Seeds can be saved in dry and cool places for up to 4 years.
Companion Planting: Plant with: dill, chamomile, mint, yarrow, and celery. Don’t plant with: soybeans, beans, or sunflowers.
Nasturtium - Tall Climbing
Height 2m (6-7’)
Let these edible, red, yellow, and orange flowers flow across the ground or train them vertically by tying them to something. Tolerant of drought and pour soil, they’re perfect for beginners. Great for hanging baskets too!
Planting and Germination - Tall climbing nasturtiums are typically grown as annual plants, meaning they complete their life cycle in one season. They are usually sown directly in the ground in late spring or early summer, once all danger of frost has passed. This timing ensures that the plants have the best chance of thriving in warm weather. Sow the seeds about 3cm (1 inch) deep and 8cm (3”) apart. Water the soil gently to keep it moist but not waterlogged. Germination typically occurs within 7-14 days, depending on the temperature and moisture levels. Once the seeds have germinated, thin the seedlings to ensure proper spacing for healthy growth.
Climbing and Training - As the name suggests, tall climbing nasturtiums have a natural tendency to climb and scramble. To support their growth and create an attractive display, provide them with a trellis, arbor, or other suitable support structure. You can also encourage them to climb on fences, walls, or other vertical surfaces. When the plants are young, gently guide their stems towards the support structure. Use loose ties or soft twine to secure the stems without damaging them. As the plants grow, they will use their leaf-stem tendrils to cling to the support and continue climbing.
Care and Maintenance - Tall climbing nasturtiums are relatively low-maintenance plants. Here are some tips to keep them healthy and thriving:
1. Watering: These plants prefer moderate moisture levels, so water them regularly to keep the soil evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.
2. Fertilization: Nasturtiums are not heavy feeders and can thrive in average garden soil. However, if your soil is poor or lacks nutrients, you can apply a balanced fertilizer once or twice during the growing season.
3. Pruning (Optional): Trailing varieties of nasturtiums are prone to legginess. To maintain a compact and bush growth habit, prune the longest stems back by 6 to 12 inches in mid-summer and again in late summer. Also, remove any browning leaves and flowers by pinching them off at the base.
4. Harvesting Seeds and Blooms: Nasturtiums produce attractive edible flowers and seeds. Harvest the flowers when they are fully open and use them in salads, garnishes, or as a colorful addition to your dishes. Allow some flowers to mature, and you can collect the seeds for replanting next season.
Tomatoes - Nasturtiums act as a natural pest deterrent, repelling aphids, whiteflies, and other insects that commonly attack tomatoes. The bright flowers of the nasturtiums can also attract pollinators, such as bees, which aid in tomato pollination. Plant nasturtiums around the base of tomato plants or let them climb up trellises alongside tomatoes for a beautiful and beneficial combination.
Cucumbers - Attract beneficial insects like bees and predatory wasps, which help pollinate the cucumber flowers and control pests, such as cucumber beetles. Additionally, the sprawling growth habit of cucumbers can benefit from the shade provided by the nasturtium's broad leaves.
Beans - Nasturtiums provide natural ground cover, shading the soil and helping to retain moisture, which can benefit the shallow roots of beans. In return, the beans' nitrogen-fixing abilities can improve the nutrient content of the soil, benefiting the nasturtiums. Plant nasturtiums along the edges of bean rows or let them climb up trellises alongside beans to create an attractive and symbiotic pairing.
Herbs - Nasturtiums can also be planted alongside various herbs to enhance garden health. For example, they can help repel pests like aphids and whiteflies that commonly attack herbs such as basil, parsley, and dill.
Oregano - Common
Perennial, easy-to-grow herb with an intense aroma. Widely utilized in cooking as a seasoning. Comes with dark green, oval leaves. Produces white and pink flowers through summer. Can be used dried or fresh. High tolerance towards drought and cold weather.
Starting: Start directly outdoors in early spring after frost danger has passed. Sow 3mm (1/8") deep and 30cm (12") apart. Do not bury or only lightly bury seeds. Recommended row spacing is 30cm (12"). Start indoors 6 weeks prior to the last frost. The best pot diameter when starting indoors is 30cm (12") and more. Plant in nutrient-rich, loose, well-drained soil in partial sun. 7 to 21 days are required for germination. Can be started by cuttings and divisions too.
Growing: Thin to 23-38cm (9-15") apart when the plant reaches a height of 15cm (6"). Can be grown indoors as a potted plant. Water occasionally to keep the soil moist. Pinch back foliage to encourage bushy growth.
Harvesting: Maturity in 90 days, height 50cm (20"). Harvest before flowering to keep for drying. For better drying, remove the whole branch or stem. For fresh use pick the leaves once the plant becomes 10-12cm (4-5") tall.
Seed Saving: Flowers appear after 4 weeks from planting. Let the flowers develop. Once they are dried, shake the flower heads in a bag to remove the seeds. Separate stem and seeds. Keep seeds in a dry and cool location.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Peppers, Squash, strawberries, and kohlrabi. Don’t plant with: Broccoli, Cabbage, Collards, or Celery.
Parsley -Moss Curled
This annual parsley has deep-green, curled leaves with deep crevasses. Matures early. One of the most important herbs in cuisine worldwide. Tolerates cold weather very well.
Starting: To start outdoors, sow seeds 3cm (1.25”) deep and 8cm (3”) apart in early spring. If using a cloche, parsley can be grown outdoors during winter in many parts of Canada. Row spacing 30cm (12”). To start indoors, sow (0.5”) deep, 3-5 seeds per pot. Germinates slowly, takes 10 to 28 days. Likes full, direct sun and partial shade. Prefers well-draining soil.
Growing: Keep soil hydrated and evenly moist. Thin seedlings to 15cm (6”) apart. If started indoors, transplant when the soil warms up (late spring), 15cm (6”) apart.
Harvesting: Mature in 70 days if harvesting all at once. Can also be harvested continually as soon as a few sets of leaves have developed. Grows 30cm (12”) tall. Remove the largest leaves first. To keep the plant healthy, remove 25cm (10”) of stem along with the leaves. You can cut the entire plant if you want rather than harvesting a little at a time; to do so, cut it off slightly above ground level, it will regrow.
Seed Saving: Stop harvesting from the plant to let the flowers and seeds develop. Pick one by one as they get dry. Further dry them in indirect sunlight for 1-2 weeks.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, and chives. Don’t plant with: Onions, shallots, garlic, or lettuce.
Peas - Laxton’s Progress
Starting: Peas are a cool weather crop and can be sown as early as the ground can be worked. Sow double rows directly in the soil spaced 25cm (10”) deep and 6.5cm (2.5”) apart. Space rows 75cm (2.5’) apart. Sow every 2 weeks for continual harvest throughout the summer until mid-summer. Untreated seeds (chemical free) can be tricky to sprout, so if you don’t see seedling after 10-14 days, replant.
Growing: Laxton’s Progress peas grow 38cm (15”) high, so trellising is optional but not necessary. There’s no need to thin the seedlings.
Harvesting: Expect a generous harvest of large 11- 13cm (4 ½ - 5 ½”) long pods that contain 7 to 9 delicious, dark green, high-quality peas. Maturity in 58 days, height 45cm (18”). Pods are ready to pick when they’re full and plump. Regular picking will encourage more production. (Note: the pods of this pea variety are not typically eaten, shell before consuming)
Seed Saving: Allow the pods to dry on the still-growing plant until the pea seeds rattle loosely inside the dry, brown pods. Pick the pods and let them further dry inside for another 1-2 weeks. Remove the seeds from the pods and store in a cool, dry location.
Companion Planting: Plant with: beans, carrots, cabbage, celery, corn, cucumber Don’t plant with: chive, onion, garlic
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.
Peas -Sugar Snap
A snap pea that can be eaten pod and all. This pole pea is tender, sweet, with crispy thick pods. Easy to grow, low-maintenance heirloom with climbing vines. Great for early sowing. Can be eaten raw, cooked, or frozen.
Starting: Likes cool weather. Plant as soon as soil can be worked, approximately 4 weeks before the last spring frost date. Sow seeds 2.5-4cm (1-1.5”) deep and 5-7.5cm (2-3”) apart outdoors. Leave 30-45cm (12-18”) between rows. For fall harvest, sow again at the end of July. Seeds will germinate in 7-14 days. Likes full direct sun and well-draining soil.
Growing: Thinning is not required. Once vines start to grow, support them with a trellis. This variety is a climber and requires trellis 150-170cm (60-70”) tall. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Once the peas flowers appear, increase watering. Can tolerate wilt.
Harvesting: Mature at 62-70 days. Pods grow 7.5cm (3” ) long. Can be harvested before reaching maturity at desired stage. Ready once the peas have filled out the pod and pods are swollen.
Seed Saving: Let pods mature all the way. Once they turn brown and a little crispy, remove the entire plant or pick individually. Let the pods dry out 1-2 week more. Remove peas.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Cucumber, eggplant, spinach, and turnips.
Don’t plant with: Onion, garlic, scallions, or shallots.
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.
Radish - Cherry Belle
Very fast growing. Sweet and crispy white pulp. A fantastic vegetable for any garden. A great addition to any salad.
Starting: Sow as soon as soil can be worked, radishes like cool weather. Sow direct 1.2cm (0.5”) deep approximately 4 weeks prior to the last frost in the spring. Leave 5-10cm (2-4”) between seeds. Row spacing 30cm (12”). Germination 5 to 7 days. Likes well-draining, well-worked soil; full direct sun. For a second harvest in the fall, plant 2 months prior to the first fall frost.
Growing: Thin the seedlings 5-8cm (2-3”) apart. For continuous harvest, plant every two weeks except midsummer (radishes don’t tolerate hot weather).
Harvesting: Mature in 21-27 days! Grows 15-20cm (6-8”) high. Harvest when 2.5cm (1”) in diameter. Pull out of the soil and wash.
Seed Saving: Isolate from other varieties so cross-pollination can be avoided. Let the plant mature fully and wait until it produces a stalk. After flowering, pods will form. Wait until pods turn brown. Remove the pods and let them dry for up to one week. Remove seeds and keep them in a dry and cool place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Cucumber, spinach, oregano, and lettuce.
Don’t plant with Broccoli, Agastache, or potato.
Scarlet Runner Bean
Height: 3-5m (10-16')
Another vine that is tall-tall-tall. 3-5m (10-16'). Scarlet runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) are climbing perennial vines that produce beautiful red flowers and delicious edible beans. These beans are not only a visual delight in the garden but also a versatile addition to your culinary adventures.
Choosing the Right Location - Scarlet runner beans thrive in full sun, so it's crucial to choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Additionally, they prefer well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. Before planting, make sure to prepare the soil by removing any weeds and adding organic matter to improve fertility and drainage.
Planting Scarlet Runner Beans - Scarlet runner beans can be started indoors or directly sown into the ground once the danger of frost has passed. If you choose to start them indoors, sow the seeds in biodegradable pots about 2 weeks before the last expected frost. Transplant the seedlings outdoors when they have reached a height of approximately 15cm (6 inches). If you prefer direct sowing, plant the seeds about 3.5cm (1½”) deep and space them 7-10cm (3-4″) apart.
Providing Adequate Support - As climbing vines, scarlet runner beans require proper support to grow and thrive. Install a trellis, fence, or teepee-like structure before planting to give the vines something to climb on. Make sure the support is sturdy enough to bear the weight of the mature plants and provides ample space for the vines to spread out.
Watering and Fertilizing - Scarlet runner beans require consistent moisture to ensure healthy growth. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged, throughout the growing season. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions. Fertilize the plants with a balanced organic fertilizer during planting and again when the vines start to flower. Avoid using excessive nitrogen-rich fertilizers as they can promote leafy growth at the expense of bean production.
Managing Pests and Diseases - Like any other plant, scarlet runner beans are susceptible to certain pests and diseases. Some common pests that can affect these beans include aphids, bean beetles, and slugs. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestation and take appropriate measures such as handpicking or employing natural predators to control pests. As for diseases, scarlet runner beans can be prone to fungal infections such as powdery mildew and rust. To prevent these diseases, ensure proper air circulation around the plants by spacing them adequately
Harvesting Scarlet Runner Beans - Scarlet runner beans are generally ready for harvest 70-90 days after planting. The beans should be picked when they are still young and tender, before they become tough and stringy. Harvesting regularly promotes continued production throughout the season. To harvest the beans, simply snap or cut them off the vines.
Culinary Uses - Scarlet runner beans are highly versatile in the kitchen and can be used in various dishes. They have a rich, nutty flavor and a slightly creamy texture. These beans can be enjoyed cooked in stews, soups, salads, or as a side dish. They can also be dried for later use or ground into flour.
Radish - Radishes are fast-growing root vegetables that help break up compacted soil due to their strong root system. By planting radishes alongside scarlet runner beans, they can loosen the soil and improve drainage, which benefits the bean plants. Radishes are also known to repel certain pests like flea beetles.
Cabbage Family Plants - Plants from the cabbage family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, can provide shade and act as a natural windbreak for scarlet runner beans. These leafy vegetables, when planted close to the beans, help conserve soil moisture and create a microclimate that favors bean growth.
Herbs - Certain herbs like dill, mint, and rosemary can be beneficial companions for scarlet runner beans. Dill attracts beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings, which prey on pests that may harm the bean plants. Mint repels aphids and can serve as a living mulch, keeping the soil cool and moist. Rosemary, with its strong aroma, can deter pests like bean beetles and provide some shade for the 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.
Squash - Black Beauty Zucchini
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.
Squash - Table Queen Acorn
Bush-type acorn-shaped squash with a long history. Dark green color and fruit that grows 15cm(6”) in diameter. Average weight 0.6kg (1.5lbs). Very productive. Takes lots of space. Delicious, pale yellow pulp flesh. Can be stored and is great for cooking.
Starting: Sow indoors one month before the last expected spring frost. Plant 3 seeds in one pot. Can also be sown directly one week after frost. Depth of 2.5cm(1”) and 0.9-1.2 (3-4' ) apart. Row spacing 2m (6'). Germinates in 7-10 days. Likes well-draining soil and full direct sun.
Growing: Thin to the strongest plant in the pot before transplanting. Transplant one week after the last frost. Remove blooms that appear in the mid/late summer, this way all nutrients go towards the fruit already on the vines. Avoid getting water on the leaves.
Harvesting: Mature in 70-75 days. Reaches a height of 30cm (12”). Once the stems dry and the skin gets very hard, it’s time to harvest. Harvest before the last frost with a sharp knife and leave of 5-7cm (2-3”) of stem on the fruit. Let the stem dry out some more in a dry location. If planning to store, do not wash.
Seed Saving: Once the stem of the squash dries, the seeds are mature. Cut squash and take out pulp and seeds. Put it in a bowl of water and carefully separate the seeds and pulp. Keep only the seeds that sink. Lay out and let dry for 2-3 weeks.
Companion Planting: Plant with: pumpkin, corn, radish, peas, beans.
Don’t plant with: potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, or kohlrabi.
Summer savory - Common
An aromatic and delicately flavoured herb. Can be used both fresh and dried. Used in recipes with salads, eggs, meat, and beans, and Italian dishes. Annual plant that repels insects.
Starting: Can be started outdoors directly in late spring, or started indoors 6-8 weeks prior to the last spring frost. Germinates without soil cover in 10-21 days. Lay seeds on top of the soil or sow shallowly with a depth of 0.6cm (0.25”) and 30cm (12”) apart. The average row spacing is 45cm (12”). Likes full direct sun and rich, well-draining, sandy soil. If only growing inside, plant 3-5 seed per pot, any time of year.
Growing: Don’t over-water once seedlings are established, prefers a dry environment. If started indoors, transplant when the seedlings are 15cm (6”) high and the risk of frost has passed.
Harvesting: Mature in 60 days. Grows 45cm (18”) high. Once the plant reaches the height of 15cm (6”) start harvesting leaves. Pick them in the morning for delicious taste and fresh flavor. Remove the whole stem and hand it upside down to keep it dry.
Seed Saving: Can be propagated from cutting or from seed. Once seed heads have matured, remove them from the stem and let them dry out. After drying, remove the seeds and keep them in a dry and cool place.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Tomato, beans, rosemary, and marigolds. Don’t plant with: Fennel, kohlrabi, brassicas.
Sunflower - ALL
Starting: In springtime choose a sunny location and sow seeds directly into the ground 5mm-1cm (1⁄4-1⁄2 inches) deep after last frost. Germination 10-15 days. Sow three times more seed than the number of plants you want. When seedlings are 5cm (2 inches) high, thin to 0.75-1m (2-3 feet) apart.
Growing: Water a little or water a lot, you do you! Sunflowers are easy to get along with, they are drought tolerant but also like water. Likewise with fertilizing. Taller plants may need staking due to the weight of their huge heads.
Harvesting: Let the seed heads dry on their stems if possible. If needed put a paper bag over the head to keep birds away. Don’t pick too soon, when the plant dies back it needs time to develop the seeds within their hulls. When the head is facing down, the petals have fallen off, and the back of head has turned from green to yellow, cut the head off leaving 30cm (12 inches) of stem attached. Dry indoors for another 2-3 weeks in a cool, dry place.
Seed Saving: Remove the seeds by rubbing 2 heads together. Roast or eat raw, or save the seeds to plant again next year.
Companion Planting: Plant with: lettuce, squash, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, peas, beans
Sweet Pea Mix
Height 90-150cm (3-5’)
Blue, red, white, pink, purple, yes! These self-twining vines will climb trellises, hang from baskets AND make great cut flowers. Remove dead flowers to encourage continuous blooming.
Preparing the Soil - Sweet peas thrive in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Follow these steps to prepare the soil for planting:
1. Choose a Sunny Location: Sweet peas prefer a sunny spot in your garden, receiving at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
2. Loosen the Soil: Use a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of around 30cm (12 inches). This will improve drainage and allow the roots to penetrate easily.
3. Add Organic Matter: Incorporate organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, into the soil to improve its fertility and moisture retention.
Planting Sweet Peas - Now that your soil is prepared, it's time to sow your sweet pea seeds. Follow these steps for successful planting:
1. Soaking the Seeds (optional): Before sowing, soak your sweet pea seeds in water overnight. This will help soften the hard seed coat, promoting faster germination.
2. Spacing: Dig a trench that is approximately 15cm(6 inches) deep and 15cm (6 inches) wide. Space the seeds about 5cm (2 inches) apart along the trench.
3. Planting Depth: Depth: Cover the seeds with about an inch of soil, gently firming it down to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.
4. Watering: After planting, give the seeds a thorough watering. Subsequently, keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged during the germination period.
5. Supporting Climbing Varieties: Install trellises or supports for the plants to climb on. This will prevent them from sprawling and ensure they grow upright.
Caring for Sweet Peas - Sweet peas require regular care to thrive and produce abundant blooms. Here are some essential care tips to keep in mind:
1. Watering: Sweet peas need consistent moisture, especially during hot and dry periods. Water deeply and regularly, ensuring the soil remains evenly moist. Avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases.
2. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plants to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain a cool root environment.
3. Fertilizing: Feed your sweet peas with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer once a month during the growing season. This will provide essential nutrients for healthy growth and abundant flowering.
4. Deadheading: Regularly remove faded flowers to encourage continuous blooming and prevent the plants from diverting energy into seed production.
5. Pest and Disease Control: Monitor your sweet peas for common pests like aphids and caterpillars.
Harvesting Sweet Peas - The reward for your hard work comes when you can finally enjoy the beautiful blooms and intoxicating fragrance of your sweet peas. Here's how to harvest them:
1. Timing: Sweet peas are best harvested in the morning when the flowers are fully open and the fragrance is at its peak.
2. Cutting Technique: Use sharp scissors or pruners
Companion Planting with Sweet Peas
1. Nasturtiums: They repel aphids, which are common pests that can damage sweet pea plants. Additionally, the vibrant flowers of nasturtiums create a beautiful contrast with the sweet pea blooms.
2. Lavender: Planting lavender near your sweet peas not only adds visual appeal but also attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies. Lavender's aromatic scent can also help deter pests.
3. Marigolds: Marigolds are known for their ability to repel pests, including nematodes and aphids. Planting marigolds alongside sweet peas can provide protection against these common garden pests.
4. Chives: Chives have natural pest-repellent properties, particularly against aphids. They also attract beneficial insects, such as hoverflies, which prey on aphids and other harmful pests.
5. Lupines: Lupines are nitrogen-fixing plants, meaning they can increase soil fertility by converting atmospheric nitrogen into a usable form. Planting lupines near sweet peas can provide them with a nutrient boost.
Tomato – Large Red Cherry
Perfect ingredient for any soup, stew, or salad. Delicious and juicy when eaten raw. Vigorous vines produce vivid, red tomatoes. Uniform in size and perfect for any garden. Disease resistant.
Starting: Sow indoors in March or April at a depth of 0.6cm (0.25”) deep and 2.5cm(1”) apart. . Germinates in 7-10 days. Once the threat of frost is passed, transplant outside in June. However, make sure to harden before transplanting by slowly adjusting them outside the environment. Cover with soil up to the lowest leaves. Plant seedlings in bright sunlight, under full sun.. Plant spacing 60cm (24”), and row spacing 90cm (36”).
Growing: Grows 1.5-2m (4-6’) high. Mature in 65-8days. Needs a trellis/cage/stake. Hydrate every 2-3 days and avoid getting the leaves wet.
Harvesting: When ripe, the tomatoes have a bit of give (softness) when gently squeezed. Pick all tomatoes before the frost comes. If there are still unripe tomatoes on the plants, bring the whole plant inside and hand upside down in a dry location, tomatoes will continue to ripen.
Seed Saving: Pick mature tomatoes and cut them in half. Squeeze the seeds and pulp in a bowl. Let it ferment for a couple of days. Once mold forms, remove and separate seeds. Rince in a strainer under running water then let dry out in indirect sun.
Companion Planting: Plant with: Basi, asparagus, mint, onion, squash, sage.
Don’t plant with: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or potatoes.
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.
Wildflowers - Mixed
Starting: Choose a location with 6-8hrs of direct sun. Remove all vegetation, preferably by hand, as tilling can cause weed seeds to sprout. For even seed distribution, mix seeds with sand before sowing (5:1 sand to seeds). Sow half the seeds 2 weeks before last spring frost, when the ground is still cold. 8 weeks later, sow remaining seeds when all risk of frost has passed. Alternatively, you can sow half the seeds in late autumn, and the other half 6 weeks after the final spring frost. Broadcast by hand over bare, lightly raked soil. After sowing, rake lightly to cover with 3mm (1/8”) soil; covering too deeply will delay germination. Water directly after sowing, and regularly for 4-6 weeks.
Growing: Drought tolerant once established. Do not fertilize - reduces blooming. New wildflower gardens are very susceptible to weeds, so weed regularly.
Harvesting: At end of autumn mow garden to height of 10-15cm (4-6”).
Seed Saving: Not necessary. Many of the annuals in this mix will self-seed and the biennials and perennials will naturally grow again in subsequent years as per their nature.
Companion Planting: N/A