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  • Sowing Method: Direct
  • Plant Type: Vegetable

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Gardening Tips

Diakon Radish Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/4”
Row Spacing:8”
Seed Spacing:1/2”-3/4”
Days to Germination: 3-7 days
Germination Temperature: 45°-85°F

After the danger of hard frost has passed, direct sow Daikon Radish seed in moderately fertile, well draining soil in full sunlight. If necessary, amend the soil lightly with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-rotted manure: overly rich soil may result in too much top growth and not enough Radish. They prefer sunny, cool weather. Direct-sow 1⁄4" deep in rows about 8" apart, tamp down and water lightly. The key to growing crisp, mild Daikon Radishes is to keep them well watered and thinned to 1" to 2" apart once they are 2" tall. Radish thinnings may be tossed into salads – tops and all. Harvest Daikon Radishes when they are small and tender for the mildest flavor and most crispy texture. Pull each Daikon Radish gently out of the soil. Direct-sow every 7 to 14 days for a steady supply through the summer.

Shade Tolerance
Okra Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/2”-3/4”
Row Spacing:24”-36”
Plant Spacing:24”
Days to Germination:7-14 days
Germination Temperature:65°-70°F

Except in the warmest climates, Okra must be started indoors as it needs a long, warm growing season. Sow Okra in a good seed-starting medium 4 to 6 weeks prior to the last frost date. Use deep pots to accommodate its long taproots. Provide even moisture, strong light and good ventilation. Prior to transplanting, acclimate the seedlings by gradually exposing them to outside conditions for 1 to 2 weeks. After the soil has warmed up, gently transplant the seedlings 24" apart in a sunny spot with fertile, well-draining soil. Okra is a heavy feeder so fertilize regularly to increase harvest yields. Five to 7 days after flowering, pods will form on the plants, which grow to over 3' tall. Pick pods daily while young and tender; if pods mature, they become quite woody and pod production diminishes considerably.
Parsnip Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
: ½”-3/4”
Row Spacing:4”-5”
Seed Spacing:1”
Days to Germination: 14-21 days
Germination Temperature: 45°-85°F

Parsnips can be slow to germinate. Use fresh seed, since it does not have a long shelf life. Soak the seed in water for 24 hours, then sow directly into a well-draining, deeply dug bed, in full sun or light shade as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Sow thickly but evenly. Cover well, tamp down firmly and keep evenly moist until the seed germinates. Once the seedlings are 2" tall, thin to 4" apart. To prevent the Parsnips from forking, do not add extra organic matter to the soil. Keep the bed well-weeded. Allow Parsnips to be kissed by the frost to develop a sweet, nutty flavor. Harvest anytime after the first hard frost and store in a cool place. You may also leave them in the garden to be harvested as needed or overwintered for an early spring treat. After harvest, twist off the leaves since they draw water from the roots.

Tips for Harvesting and Storing Root Vegetables
Peas Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1”-2”
Row Spacing:18”-20”
Seed Spacing:1”-2”
Days to Germination: 4-14 days
Germination Temperature: 60°-70°F

Since Peas dislike heat, direct-sow in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked or in the late summer for fall harvest. Peas prefer rich soil. Amend the soil as necessary with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-rotted manure. Plant in full sunlight. Plant seeds 1" to 2" apart or in double rows 4" to 6" apart. Provide a supportive structure if the Pea vines grow over 24" tall. Space the rows the distance equal to the height of each variety. Water regularly and mulch to deter weeds and retain ground moisture. Install floating row covers to protect the plants from birds if necessary. Harvest Shelling Peas while they are small and tender. Harvest Snow Pea Pods when their pods are flat and shiny. Harvest Snap Peas when their pods are fat and tight but still smooth. Pick Peas on a daily basis once mature to prolong pod formation. For an early crop, prepare the bed completely in the fall, digging in lots of manure. By doing so, you will not have to wait for the soil to be workable and prepared: all you will have to do is pop the seeds in the ground as soon as it has thawed in the early spring. Peas are open-pollinated, thus ideal candidates for seed saving.

Cues for Minding Your Peas
Picking Peas is easy, but you need to do it at least every other day for best quality and freshness, and to keep production going. Here are a few tips:
~For Pea vines that flop over but are too short to trellis, flip them to one side and pick the ones exposed on top. The next day flip the whole row back again and pick the other side.
~For tender shelling Peas, pick when the Peas are round and filled out in the pods. When you squeeze the pod they should feel solid but not hard.
~Pick snap Peas such as Super Sugar Snaps when they feel hard, but while the surfaces of the pods are still smooth.
~Peas grown for their pods, such as Snowflake, should be picked while they are still flat, before the Peas swell inside. The pods can be picked while tiny, but have more flavor at a larger size.

Win the Race for Spring Peas
A local restaurant we know used to award a prize for the earliest Peas brought in. To me, that heavenly fresh taste is reward enough. Here are some tricks for extra-earlies: prepare the bed completely in the fall, digging in lots of manure. It can even be fresh manure, since it will rot during winter. You won’t have to wait for the soil to be workable; just pop the seeds in the ground as soon as it has thawed. In warm climates, you can even plant in late fall or winter for spring germination.

Shade Tolerance
Pumpkin Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1”
Row Spacing:5’
Hill Spacing:5’-6’
Days to Germination: 5-10 days
Germination Temperature: 65°-75°F

Pumpkins need space to ramble, as well as a hot growing site in full sunlight. They may be started outdoors shortly after the last frost. Direct-sow 3 to 5 seeds per hill, then thin to the 2 strongest seedlings. To start seedlings indoors, sow singly in pots 3 to 4 weeks before transplant date. Provide seedlings with good ventilation, strong light and even moisture. Transplant outdoors after the last frost date. Enrich soil with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well rotted manure. Cover seedlings with cloches if it gets cool, water regularly and feed as needed with kelp or fish emulsion. (Powdery mildew on leaves won’t affect the pumpkins.) Harvest when mature with a sharp knife, leaving 2" of stem at the top. To cure Pumpkins, if there is no danger of frost, leave outdoors in the sun for 10 days or place in a warm, dry room for 5 to 7 days. Store in a cool, dry place until use.

Our Pollinators are in Peril

Tips for Harvesting and Storing Pumpkins and Winter Squash

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties

Cooking Tip:
The Frost Is on the Pumpkin

We’d be happy just to grow Rouge d'Étampes Pumpkins for their beauty alone, but they also make heavenly, velvety soups. Since they often grow quite large, we cut them up into large chunks, blanch briefly in boiling water, then wrap the chunks individually in foil and put them in the freezer for a winter-long supply.

Radish Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/4”
Row Spacing:8”
Seed Spacing:1/2”-3/4”
Days to Germination: 3-7 days
Germination Temperature: 45°-85°F

After the danger of hard frost has passed, direct sow Radish seed in moderately fertile, well-draining soil in full sunlight. If necessary, amend the soil lightly with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well rotted manure: Overly rich soil may result in too much top growth and not enough Radish. They prefer sunny, cool weather. Direct-sow 1⁄4" deep in rows about 8" apart, tamp down and water lightly. The key to growing crisp, mild Radishes is to keep them well-watered and thinned to 1" to 2" apart once they are 2" tall. Radish thinnings may be tossed into salads~tops and all. Harvest Radishes when they are small and tender for the mildest flavor and most crispy texture. Pull each Radish gently out of the soil. Direct-sow every 7 to 14 days for a steady supply throughout the summer.

Kids and Radishes
Radishes are often suggested as a crop for children because the roots are so quick to mature. Dropping the seeds into the rows and then waiting for them to come up is a great introduction to gardening. It teaches children patience without taxing it too greatly. Thinning the little seedlings after a few weeks is fun too, because they can see the tiny red Radish just starting to form. At harvest time, they're proud of their contribution to the family salad, even if the taste of Radishes might be a bit hot for them. Making it an early spring project will ensure sweeter, less pungent roots. And you'll share in their discovery of the miracle of nature: a miracle that has the power to enthrall at any age.

Shade Tolerance

Cooking Tip: Cooking With Radishes
Red radishes are usually eaten raw, to preserve their color and crispness. But I love to use them in cooked dishes as well. The trick is adding them toward the end of the cooking process. I toss in a handful of sliced Radishes when I’m stir-frying vegetables. I also love the bright color they give to fried rice.